Families Take to Cruising Central Virginia Boat and Water Sports Show

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Manufacturers have responded to growing number of families boating by designing craft that are more diverse and help mesh the boating needs of parents and children. None serve as many uses as the express cruiser.

“Visitors to the 1st Annual Central Virginia Boat & Water Sports Show will get a first-hand look at all the features that go into today’s cruising boats,” said show director Kevin McLaughlin. “People entertain and swim from them. They are big enough to be comfortable and carry the fuel to go off show. You can spend a few days in gunk-holing around the Chesapeake or dress up and take friends out to dinner.”

Many of today’s cruisers also offer the convenience of being able light enough to be towed by a pickup truck or sport utility vehicle. The Central Virginia Boat & Water Virginia Sports Show, which runs from Jan. 7 through Jan. 9, 2005 at the new Richmond Convention Center, will feature numerous cruisers and express cruisers, some of which are making their first appearance in the region.

SeaRay of Richmond will show SeaRay’s new 27 Amberjack.

“This is a cruiser you can trailer,” said owner Ben Gibson. “It’s a SeaRay-appointed fishing boat; something you fish on all day and take corporate clients out to dinner at night.”

Warehouse Creek Yacht Sales in Virginia Beach is bringing Cruiser Yachts from 28-to-37 feet, said Steven Scherr, sales manager.

“These are high-end express cruising yachts with twin engines, either gas or diesel,” Scherr said. “They are strictly pleasure boats designed for family fun cruising.”

Cruisers Yachts, priced from $94,900, are well appointed with cherry wood throughout the cabin and full electronics and entertainment centers as standard features.

Warehouse Creek also will display 18-to 25-foot AquaSport fishing boats with a choice of Yamaha or Evinrude outboards and prices starting at $19,500.

Gary Stepp, owner of Stepp’s Harborview Marina, near Colonial Beach on the Potomac River, will display the 2005 Rinker Fiesta express cruisers from 25-to-38 feet.

“These are extremely well-built with solid glass hulls instead of cored hulls. They are top-end quality at two-thirds of the price,” said Stepp, whose family-owned marina and boat dealership is midway between Washington D.C. and the Chesapeake Bay.

Rinker’s has switched to Volvo stern drives in the new 2005 models because the composites used in their construction in place of steel have fewer corrosion problems.

“Rinker puts more standard equipment than anybody else into their boats. The 29-footers comes with a radio, depth sounder and compass. When you get into the 31-foot range, the boats comes equipped with radar,” Stepp said.

Adams & Durvin Marine of Richmond will introduce Larson Boats’ new 2005 Cabrio 24 and the Cabrio 26, which make their regional debut at the Central Virginia Boat & Water Sports Show, according to sales associate Richard Allen. “Both boats have air conditioning and are loaded with standard features, including carpeting in the upper level,” Allen said. “These cruisers sleep four and have a plasma TVs and they still can be towed on a trailer.”

The 1st Annual Central Virginia Boat and Water Sports Show will be open Friday, Jan. 7, from 1:00-to-9:00 PM, on Saturday, Jan. 8, from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and on Sunday, Jan. 9, from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The show is produced by MAC Events, a nationally recognized producer of high-quality business-to-consumer trade shows in a variety of industries and markets since 1968. The Spring Lake, NJ-based family-owned company produces 18 recreational vehicle, boat, home & garden and outdoor sports shows a year throughout Colorado, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Wisconsin and is a source of market research for the recreational vehicle, boating and home improvement industries.

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Kevin McLaughlin