Marine News from the Great Lakes

Detroit Boat Show Cruises Into Cobo Center Feb. 16-24

Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Detroit Boat Show turns the Motor City into the Boater City February 16-24 at Cobo Center. The show, like the boating industry, is growing again this year, covering 500,000 square feet with everything boating. After another successful boating season in Michigan, exhibitors vie for the few remaining spaces available.

“It’s great to see a thriving boating industry in Michigan,” said Show Manager Nicki Polan. “We have new exhibitors this year, and past exhibitors are taking more space and bringing in more product, which makes for a bigger and better show that is sure to impress our attendees.”

More than 60,000 consumers are expected to attend to see and buy hundreds of new model 2019 debuts as well as 2018 and 2017 model boats for fishing, skiing, wakeboarding and cruising – also paddle boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and inflatables. It is the best place to shop for a boat, as it would take weeks to visit as many dealers around the state. Show prices are also extremely competitive and buying a boat in February assures boats will be ready for an early spring launch.

Many dealers say they can attribute up to 50-percent of their annual sales to sales and leads generated at this show. Past surveys have shown more than 1,500 boats, worth an estimated $50 million, traditionally sell during the Boat Show’s nine-day run, and shortly after to leads generated at the show.

The Detroit Boat Show also offers exhibits selling boating accessories and services including motors, dockage, water toys, skiing and wakeboarding gear, boating and fishing accessories, electronics, boat gear, nautical gifts, artwork, and much more.

Promotions featured this year include a thrilling shark show that is fun and educational for people of all ages, kids craft area, meet a live mermaid, the ever-popular water rollerz, contests and giveaways, Broadcast Center with local radio street teams, a free boater safety course, and MORE!

Special admission days include:

  1. Mon., Feb. 18: Senior Day & 2nd Annual Career Day – seniors 65 and older receive free admission during show hours (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.) Career day is free admission for High School and College Students interested in finding out more about careers in the industry, including marine technology!
  2. Tues., Feb. 19: Ladies Day – Ladies get in free.
  3. Wed., Feb. 20: A Boat Load of Food – Donate five cans of food to Gleaners Food Bank between 3 & 6 p.m. to get in free
  4. Thurs., Feb. 21: Millennial’s Night Out - 35 and under receive free admission during show hours (3 – 9 p.m.)

Tickets and hotel accommodations at the Courtyard by Marriott are available at

The Detroit Boat Show is owned and produced by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA), the voice of boating in Michigan. Revenue generated from this event is returned to fund boater’s interests via MBIA’s programs and services. For more information, visit or call 1.800.932.2628

Visit our Events Page for more details.

The Detroit Boat Show is sponsored by Great Lakes Scuttlebutt, Official Magazine of the Detroit Boat Show and the Courtyard by Marriott.

If You Go:

February 16-24

Show Hours:
Saturdays: 10 am–8 pm
Sundays & Monday: 11 am–6 pm
Tuesday through Friday: 3 pm–9 pm

Adults: $13.00
Children 12 and under are free with an adult.

Parking is available at Cobo Center and surrounding lots.

This article first appeared in the Winter Issue (Jan/Feb) 2019 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Lake Erie, Lake St Clair, Boat Show

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