The Newport International Boat Show, the first show of the season in the Northeast, opens on Thursday, Sept. 12, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 15. This show has always been one of my favorites, because almost all of the new boats are there, and then, well, it’s in Newport, one of the most historic and iconic boating destinations in the United States.
The show this year, the 49th annual, will have 340 new sail and power boats from 15 to 90 feet, centered around the Newport Yachting Center in the middle of town, plus tents and land displays for engines, electronics and accessories. At the same time, there also will be a brokerage show at the Newport Shipyard with about 100 boats, and a wooden boat show at Bowen’s Wharf. You can take a water shuttle to connect to all the shows, or simply walk a few blocks.
This year construction of Hammetts Wharf Hotel has changed the layout of some of the tent and land displays; the land portion of the show has shifted north a bit toward the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina. The construction has not affected the in-the-water displays.
The show highlights new boats and accessories being introduced there for the first time in a promotion called Newport for New Products. The new cruising powerboats include the Bruckmann Abaco 47, Maritimo X50, MJM 53z, Zeelander 72, Hinckley Sport Boat 40x, Prestige 420, and others. Judges will announce the winners in various categories on Friday morning.
In addition, people who attend the show on Thursday, the Preview Day, can vote for their favorite new sail or powerboat in the People’s Choice Award. One voter will be selected at random and will receive a $250 American Express gift card.
During the show you can sign up for hands-on, in-the-water boating clinics taught by professional skippers at Confident Captain. They include both sail and power, and cover everything from docking and navigating to how to use on-board equipment. The clinics last 90 minutes and cost $99 a person.
And the United States Power Squadrons, now called America’s Boating Club, will hold boating seminars at the Newport Harbor Hotel during the show. They cover a variety of topics, including Reading the Weather, Using Radar, Anchoring Techniques, and more. The seminars cost $19.95 a person.
If you’re driving to the show, you can park at Easton’s Beach, for $25 a day, and take a shuttle to the show. If you want to get in a boating mood, park in Jamestown and take a ferry to the show.
Show tickets cost $35 on Thursday and then $17 on Friday through Sunday. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, and then 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Read more: