AC Baby

This weekend, Atlantic City (AC) is hosting the final Northeast boat show of the year. That means it’s your last chance to check out a boat show before the rush of indoor shows, the first of which is New York beginning on New Year’s Day. While there are indeed other boat shows between now and the end of the year, there are none in the Northeast. You’d have to travel to Maryland or further down the coast to Ft Lauderdale to catch a big boat show the rest of the year.

AC Boat ShowI’ve never been to the Atlantic City show, so I asked some experts about it. I spoke to several veteran exhibitors and local boaters at last weekend’s Norwalk Boat Show, and most say the AC show is smaller than Norwalk’s based on number of displays and attendees.

On the other hand, several exhibitors were hopeful that the 2013 AC in-water show might be better than it has been in the past few years, especially if the weather holds up.

Besides the weak economy over the past several years, other factors have affected Atlantic City over the past several years. Vendors I spoke to told me about severe weather that has repeatedly kept attendees away from the outdoor boat show, and in some cases even washed away the exhibitors’ displays. As of this moment, the weekend weather forecast for Atlantic City looks perfect for the boat show – a much needed break for loyal vendors and show organizers, and of course for local boaters who want to go to the show.

Some boaters and vendors I talked to told me that they are hopeful the recent change in ownership of the hosting marina, from Trump to the Golden Nugget, may have a positive effect on the show. According to many TripAdvisor reviews, the hotel renovations have been a change for the better, although much of the city is still the same old Atlantic City that it has been over the past several years.

Lastly, if the recent deal between New York City and the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association holds up, this is the last year for the next several years that there will not be a fall boat show in New York City. My point is that starting next year, with a new combined in-water and indoor show at the Javits Center, many area boaters may choose to attend the potentially huge September NYC boat show over this fledgling event in New Jersey. But that’s next year. This weekend, this year, Atlantic City is all we have left.

So if you’re not out on the water this weekend, enjoy the wonderful weather and check out the Atlantic City Boat Show.

When: Sep 26 – 29, 2013
Where: Farley State Marina at the Golden Nugget, Atlantic City, NJ (map)

Show Hours:
Thursday and Friday: 11am – 6pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Adults: $15
Children (under 12): FREE