Seaside Boat Show Set For Annual Return Next Weekend

Seaside Boat Show Set For Annual Return Next Weekend
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OCEAN CITY – A boat show to benefit local youth will return to Ocean City this month.

The Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club will host its 40th annual Seaside Boat Show at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center Feb. 17-19. Dubbed “the boat show that works for kids,” the annual fundraiser provides the Optimist Club with funds to support local youth programs.

“We try to help everybody the best we can,” said Publicity Chair Charles Smith.

Held each year on Presidents Day weekend, the Seaside Boat Show attracts thousands of water and boating enthusiasts to view and purchase the newest and most popular boat models and water-related items. With more than 350 boats, 150 exhibitors and 50 boat dealers, it’s become one of the most popular boat shows on the east coast.

“We have sold out the boat show every year for the last 35 or so years … and we get around 15,000 people that come each year,” Smith said. “It’s a big show.”

Organizers say visitors will have an opportunity to see an array of sport cruisers, sport fishing, performance and “super boats,” and browse marine electronics, trailers, canvas tops, motors, jewelry, art and fishing gear. Financing and insurance companies will also be on hand to facilitate boat purchases.

“Every one of these dealers has the most current electronics and the newest boats and Sea-Doos,” Smith said.

He added that one of the biggest attractions is the boat show’s door prize. Each person who purchases an admission ticket has a chance to win a pontoon boat and motor, courtesy of North Bay Marina owners Scott and Mary McCurdy.

“North Bay Marina is providing the Optimist with a boat and motor, and they’ve been doing that for the last 35 years,” he said. “That’s really helped us. It’s a really big draw.”

Smith said proceeds raised from the annual event allow the Optimist Club to support local youth through contests, awards banquets, recreational and sports activities, scholarships and more. For example, the organization has contributed roughly $2.8 million in scholarships to Pocomoke, Snow Hill and Stephen Decatur high schools over the last 30 years.

“We do whatever we can to support the kids,” he said. “We also have reading programs at Ocean City Elementary School, Berlin Intermediate School and Stephen Decatur Middle School, and we have also put $25,000 into Head Start programs this year.”

Smith encouraged everyone to attend this year’s boat show. The event will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase at the convention center, and admission is $10 for adults, $1 for kids and $15 for a weekend pass.

For more information on the Seaside Boat Show, visit For more information on the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club, visit