Features at a Glance

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 Progressive® Insurance Boat School

An educated boater is a safe boater

Boost your boating IQ! Learn the fundamentals of boating safety and have fun. Top-notch mariners from the Annapolis School of Seamanship will be on deck to lead an array of interactive “courses” including general boating safety seminars, proper docking procedures, a boating simulator experience, and tips and tricks to help ensure your safety on the water. It’s enjoyable and educational for the whole family!

  • Gateway to Boating Get an overview of the styles and types of boats and how they fit the boating lifestyle you choose.
  • Watersports Safety Seminar Gain the know-how you need to keep everyone on your boat —and on the water—safe, and ensure every outing is fun and enjoyable.
  • iNavigation: Learn how to use the resources available to modern boaters—from traditional compass and paper charts, to onboard electronics, to tablets such as the Apple iPad® to stay safe and have fun on the water.
  • Boat Systems: Learn how to manage your boats systems from stem to stern.
  • Docking & Line Handling: Does docking cause you stress? Let us “show you the ropes” with tricks, and techniques that can make docking easy.
  • 10 Steps to Becoming a Good Gilligan: Even on a three-hour tour, a good first mate is key to a great day on the water. This sessions covers the skills you need as a first mate. 

Stop by the Progressive® Insurance Welcome Center or Progressive Insurance Boat School for more information, and a complete schedule.


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FREE DIY Seminars in the NEW Boater's Education Center

If you’re interested in learning what it takes to maintain, repair or upgrade your boat or engine, head to Fred’s Shed for practical, professional advice. Free seminars cover a variety of topics, include demonstrations of tools and techniques on boat and motor cutaways, and end with question/answer sessions.
Be sure to come with projects and questions to discuss—and leave with the know-how, confidence and inspiration to do it yourself.

Together, “The Boating Guy” and certified marine service technician “Fred, The Outboard Doctor,” bring more than 50 years of boating and wrench-slinging experience to the Shed.

Click here for a complete list of seminars.

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Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training

On-the-water boating workshops—only at the boat show!

Nothing beats hands on experience when it comes to improving your boating skills and learning new ones. This year add more fun and excitement to your boat show experience while taking your boating skills up a notch. There’s something for everyone—from absolute beginners to seasoned skippers—you’ll learn skills that will last a lifetime. The workshop lineup includes women only events and special classes for  junior skippers. All sessions are taught by USCG licensed captains who are professional certified instructors. Registration fees apply.

To Register at the show visit the Discover Boating booth located on the lower level of the convention center at the entrance to the Riverwalk and docks.


One-Hour Powerboating Workshops

  • Close Quarters Boat Control
  • Open Water Boat Handling
  • First Mate Skills
  • Anchoring and Rafting up With Other Boats

Registration fee $25  Register online and SAVE $10 plus get FREE show admission

Three-Hour Powerboating Workshops

  • Advanced Docking & Precision Boat Control
  • Essential Powerboat Skills

Registration fee $75  Register online and SAVE $25 plus get FREE show admission

Two Hour Sailing Workshops

Presented by Sailing Florida Charters and Sailing School

  • Introduction to Sailing
  • Introduction to Cruising Catamarans
  • Cruising & Charter Skills

Registration fee $40 Register online and SAVE $10 plus get FREE show admission

To register at the show visit the Discover Boating booth located on the lower level of the convention center at the entrance to the Riverwalk and docks.





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 NEW! Boating Skills Virtual Trainer—Interactive Boating Simulator

Take the helm of a virtual boat to practice basic boating maneuvers and improve your boating skills—without leaving dry land. The United States Power Squadrons®' new Boating Skills Virtual Trainer® (BSVT) makes learning fun and easy! It features a steering wheel and a real Mercury throttle you use to “drive” a 20-ft. console boat on a lake with other powerboats, sailboats, navigation aids and a full marina.

Training options include close quarters maneuvering, docking and more. Instructors can adjust current and wind direction and velocity, and day/night settings to vary the degree of difficulty and challenge you whatever your skill level.

The BSVT is in the new Boating & Education Resource Center, at the top of the escalators as you enter the show.

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 See the World Champion Miss Geico Offshore Racing Boat

The fourth generation Miss GEICO is a 50-ft. Victory catamaran made of carbon/Kevlar. Powered by 1650 RACE Mercury racing engines that generate 3,300 horsepower, she can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph!    

Watch Video »

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NEW! Try It Cove—Free Paddle Sports Demos

Looking for a new way to enjoy the outdoors and energize your exercise routine? Head to Try It Cove, located on the main docks, and experience for yourself why paddle sports are among the world’s fastest-growing water sports. Get out on the water and try stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaks and other paddle sport activities.
Be sure to bring your bathing suit and a towel; we’ll provide the equipment, life jackets,  
and a changing room. Must purchase a ticket to participate.
Check back for class schedules throughout the show.


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 NEW! Yacht Club Lounge—Located on the water

Enjoy live music, island drink specials, and free Wi-Fi while taking in a panoramic view of the expanded in-water section of the show, which features a wide selection of yachts, sport fishing and pleasure boats ranging in size from 20-80 feet.

Whether you want to ponder your options after shopping for the boat of your dreams, meet up with friends or just kick back by the bay, the Yacht Club Lounge is a tented oasis where you can chill out in air conditioning or relax in the fresh ocean air.

Experience the Ultimate Driving Machine® courtesy of your local Tampa Bay BMW centers.

Be among the first in the nation to sit inside the all-new BMW 750i. The 7 Series is the BMW’s flagship when it comes to innovation in design and technology. Experience, in person, ground breaking technology like a R

ear Executive Lounge Seating Package, a 7-inch Touch Command Tablet, and Gesture Control (which adjusts the audio volume control, accepts or rejects incoming phone calls or executes a multitude of other commands simply with wave of the hand), and you will see why the all-new BMW 7 Series leads the class. Be sure to use #BMWTAMPABAY with your favorite BMW at the show!

Test drive select models of BMW from the X Series, M Series, and 6 Series product line* every day during show hours.  Receive a $1000 Purchase incentive on all new 2015 and 2016 Model Year BMWs** 

* Must have a valid US driver’s license and be a minimum of 21 years of age to drive
** Must complete test drive, excludes BMW i8, MINI vehicles and BMW CPO/CPO Elite vehicles

Experience the 2016 BMW 7 Series

The 2016 BMW 7 Series sets a new benchmark in lightweight design, driving dynamics, comfort, intelligent connectivity and intuitive operation. To see firsthand, please view the exclusive 7 series film below. For more information please visit BMWtampabay.com or any one of the local Tampa Bay area BMW centers – Bert Smith BMW, Ferman BMW, Fields BMW in Lakeland, Reeves BMW and BMW of Sarasota.