The year 2019 is days, even hours, away, and the festivities will continue next weekend as the Grand Strand Boat and Sportsman Expo arrives for an early date at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
The 34th annual event is set for Friday through Sunday (Jan. 4-6) featuring a combination of boat displays, fishing and boating related vendors and a lively and varied schedule of seminars.
A variety of boats will be on display from dealers from Charleston to Wilmington. In short, every type of boat from kayaks and jon boats for saltwater marsh areas to huge offshore center consoles will be on hand for attendees to peruse.
Kayaks are becoming more and more popular for sightseers and fishermen alike, and will be a focus during the show.
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“Kayak fishing is just taking off, and we’ll also some big ocean-going boats,” said show coordinator Kevin Bennett. “So we’ve got everything from kayaks all the way up to boats for the serious offshore fisherman.”
Bennett points out he has some new vendors lined up to display their wares and services at the expo.
“We’ve picked up quite a few new vendors, with some really new, exciting boat-related products,” said Bennett. “We had a cold winter last year, and we had a lot of blocks (on boats) crack. There’s going to be a vendor called Boat Safe, which provides boat heaters for blocks.”
The seminar schedule is a full one with a variety of local experts and topics on tap.
The seminar speakers include Capt. Mike Eady, Capt. Mike McDonald, Capt. Adam Goodwin, Capt. Jerry Dilsaver, Capt. Lin Fore and Capt. Jason Burton.
“These are local, tried and true guys — there’s a lot of people who follow those guys,” said Bennett. “They’ve got a lot of credibility.”
Topics include inshore fishing for trout, reds and flounder, king mackerel fishing, kayak fishing, cast net techniques, boating safety and trailer towing safety.