March 20 is the first day of spring when day and night are approximately the same length. That’s a sign that boating season is on the horizon with events that fill up a boater’s calendar for spring, summer and beyond. If you arrive via your boat, be sure to plan for guest moorage well ahead.
1. March 23-26: Palm Beach International Boat Show (PBIBS)
Come check out over 800 boats at PBIBS, a premier South Florida boat show where over 50,000 show goers gather annually. From center console fishing boats to superyachts, if it floats, you’ll find it in Palm Beach this spring.
2. April 28-30: Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show
Whether racers or a cruisers, sailors love to gather at City Dock in Annapolis in April. With a great lineup of sailboats and sailing gear, this unique show is a real draw and a great reminder to tackle that spring commissioning list.
3. May 20-26: National Safe Boating Week
Safety awareness should be on every boater’s radar and campaigns like National Safe Boating Week in May promote good habits including wearing personal flotation devices. One way to participate is to take a photo of yourself wearing a life jacket and post it on social media to help spread the word that safety and boating go hand-in-hand.
4. May 29: Memorial Day
The unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend is when most people first return to the water. The weather is fine in most parts of the country and it’s a great time to gather with family and loved ones in remembrance of those who fought for the country.
5. June 3-11: National Fishing and Boating Week
Grab your rod and bait and jump on your boat for some wild angling action during National Fishing and Boating Week. The fish are biting and the weather is fantastic.
6. June 18: Father’s Day
Honor dad by taking him out on the water whether to dip the hook, go waterskiing, hoist the sails or for a weekend cruise on calm waters. Happening the same week as the summer solstice and the longest day of the year (June 21), Father’s Day will have you enjoying on-the-water fun with your dear old dad.
7. July 4: Independence Day
Watch fireworks displays from your boat as the nation celebrates its birthday. Fourth of July is a major boating weekend so stay safe, make slip and restaurant reservations well ahead of time, and stick to best boating practices because you won’t be on the water alone.
8. September 4: Labor Day
For many, Labor Day signals the end of summer boating when kids return to school and the weather cools. However, you have nearly a month of actual summer left so don’t put away that boat just yet.
9. September 14-17: Newport International Boat Show (NIBS)
A prestigious boating event in the Northeast, the Newport International Boat Show takes up over 13 acres of downtown Newport, Rhode Island each September. Both power and sailboats are on display in what is arguably the sailing capital of the country. Tuck into a lobster role and enjoy the last of summer in this historic town.
10. September 21-24: Norwalk Boat Show
Head to Connecticut for the Norwalk Boat Show held at the Norwalk Cove Marina. Nearly 10,000 show goers come each year to check out new boats and gear as well as try their hand at one of the many on-the-water experiences offered by the show.
11. October 5-8 & October 12-15: Annapolis Power and Sailboat Shows
The grand city of Annapolis welcomes back-to-back boating events in the form of its power and sailboat shows. Held next door to the United States Naval Academy, these shows are can’t-miss events for all boaters whether “stinkpotters” or “blowboaters”.
12. October 25-29: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS)
Summer may be done in much of the rest of the country, but South Florida draws an international crowd in Fort Lauderdale on docks that feature more superyachts and premier nautical gear than any other floating boat show in the nation. Serious yachties mix with tire kickers at this festive boating event and there’s something for everyone.
Spring is a good time to plan your boating outings for the rest of the year. Beat the crowds by making advance reservations for guest moorage for busy weekends. Book with Snag-A-Slip at one of their hundreds of locations and you’ll always have a place to tie up. Dust off the winter cobwebs and jump into spring – the water’s great.