Port Clinton, Ohio — The 15th annual Progressive Catawba Island Boat and Yacht Show will drop anchor in the exclusive Catawba Island Club marina on Friday for a 3-day event that annually sees more than 12,000 boaters celebrating the start of this year’s boating season.
The largest spring in-water show on the Great Lakes, its dockside format allows the display of boats raging from simple one-man kayaks to plush motor yachts and sailboats. In addition, more than 50 nautical accessory, equipment, service and marina displays ring the picturesque marina basin. But it’s become known as a nautical festival, too.
“With this show continuing to grow in popularity,” says Michelle Burke, president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, “we keep adding entertainment and special family features for visitors to enjoy when they’re not climbing aboard the boats. It really makes it a boating season kick-off party.”
For example, On-The-Water-Ohio will stage a new “Discovery Center,” presented by the Bauman Auto Group. It will include the show’s first-ever “Paddling Pavilion” spotlighting paddleboards, kayaks and related accessories, plus paddling pros doing in-water demos and Lake Erie Kayak Fishing expert, Chuck Earls, teaching rigging, setups and safety.
Also, in the “Discovery Center” will be a variety of daily presentations on subjects ranging from spring launching tips to notable hazards navigating the Lake Erie Islands. On-The-Water-Ohio will also include a “Market Place,” curated by Cuyahoga Collectives and featuring the works of local and regional crafters and artisans.
A first-ever Firelands Auto Group “All-Family Patio” is also being added. When visitors get tired of climbing on boats, they can head for this kick-back area that boasts comfortable lounge seating, family games, even a fire pit with smores for all!
Fishermen aren’t left out either. Two major seminars are slated for the Progressive Main Stage featuring author, blogger and walleye fishing expert, Capt. Ross Robertson (Big Water Fishing Charters). He’ll presents his “Walleye Fishing Techniques Seminar” and review the fishing outlook for 2022. Capt. Robertson’s seminars are scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm.
Sailing is a focus of this show, too. There is special emphasis on newcomers desiring to find out if sailing might be right for them. Dubbed “Discover Sailing,” boats manned by a licensed captain take prospective sailors out on the lake. The would-be sailors will raise sails and take the helm for a true taste of cruising with the wind.
If the boats aren’t rocking, the Progressive Main Stage will be! Daily live musical entertainment is scheduled all weekend with appearances by Rick DeWitt, the Island Doctor, the Jimmy Jack Band and Taylor Lamborne.
While toe-tapping to the music, show goers will enjoy the “Food Truck Rally.” It features hand-picked local vendors led by the ever-popular Berardi’s truck, among others. And, for the first time, Put-in-Bay’s iconic Boardwalk Lobster Bisque truck will likely draw lines to savor the flavor!
Fun and entertainment aside, the stars of the show still remain the wide variety of boats that will be dockside, all open for boarding and even available for sea trials. For example, a large fleet of fishing machines ranging from compact center consoles to triple-engine high performers will be ready to chase this summer’s Walleye, Perch and Smallmouth.
The Catawba Island Club is located on the northwest side of the Catawba peninsula, off Northwest Catawba Road in Port Clinton. All Show Parking areas and Show Shuttles are FREE, courtesy of the Firelands Auto Group.
Show hours will be: Friday (April 29), 12 Noon to 6 PM; Saturday (April 30), 10 AM to 6 PM; and Sunday (May 1), 11AM to 5 PM. Advance discount admission tickets are available online.
For complete show schedules, go to: www.catawbaislandboatshow.com