For those not able to jet off to warmer climates, dreaming about the sand, sun and browse might be the only method to make it through the long winter season. But for boat and outside enthusiasts, there’s a guaranteed method to treat the winter blues: boat and sports programs.

U.S. boat and boating-related retail purchases amounted to $30 billion in 2003 and this figure is growing quickly. Seventy-two million people participate in recreational boating, more than the combined total of those who play golf or tennis, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Each year, the NMMA holds boat programs from coast to coast that are open to the public. At these shows, experienced boaters and beginners alike discover a friendly, unwinded environment where professionals are on hand to provide objective advice.

” Whether you’re an experienced sailor or someone who’s never been on a boat, we desire you to come in here and feel the excitement of boating,” stated Steve Tadd, director of NMMA’s Discover Boating program. “Boating is something you can enter at any point in your life. Whether you’re 8 or 80, we’re here to reveal you how much fun you can have and how simple it can be.”

The majority of NMMA boat and sports reveals deal family-oriented entertainment; some even verge on the spectacular – including water animal touch-tanks, sea lion reveals, remote-control boat races and a host of interactive activities. Kids are confessed free or at significantly decreased costs to most programs.

In addition, specialists drop in a number of the programs to use fishing seminars, directions on boat repair, one-on-one casting demonstrations for beginning anglers and even scuba-diving lessons.

Here are some highlights of displays and destinations at some of this winter’s NMMA programs.

* Scuba diving: At choose boat programs, visitors can take a dip in a tropically warm swimming pool established particularly for scuba diving. All scuba fits and diving devices are provided.

* Indoor lake: For the Toronto International Boat Show, the new Ricoh Coliseum will be flooded with more than 1 million gallons of water, creating the world’s largest indoor “marina.” Visitors can stroll the docks, board boats, relax, socialize and dine dockside. More than 50 boats will be moored on the lake, with live entertainment daily.

* Women at the helm: This exhibit at choose programs is committed to supplying boating details to women, with the focus on boating as a household activity.

* Fishing workshops: From fly-fishing for trout to big-game fishing for marlin, many programs include displays and seminars with angling pointers, equipment and travel info.

” Whether you’re a skilled sailor or someone who’s never been on a boat, we desire you to come in here and feel the enjoyment of boating,” stated Steve Tadd, director of NMMA’s Discover Boating program. Whether you’re 8 or 80, we’re here to show you how much fun you can have and how easy it can be.”

Visitors can stroll the docks, board boats, unwind, dine and interact socially dockside. More than 50 boats will be moored on the lake, with live entertainment daily.

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