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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Sixty exhibitors from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan are taking part in this year's Fort Wayne Boat Show & Sale at Memorial Coliseum. Today is the last day of the show.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Teddy Murray, 6, enjoys checking out the 2018 Hobie Eclipse 12.0 during the 37th annual Boat Show at the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday February 17, 2018.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Ben Zern, 10, enjoys checking out the 2018 Nautique GS20 during the he 37th annual Boat Show at the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday February 17, 2018.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Ben Zern, 10, enjoys checking out the 2018 Nautique GS20 during the he 37th annual Boat Show at the Memorial Coliseum on Saturday February 17, 2018.

Sunday, February 18, 2018 1:00 am

Boat show helping shake winter blues

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Bob Rynders has a boat – a 16-foot fishing boat he uses when he has free time to get out on the water.

That didn't stop him from thinking about buying another one Saturday at the Fort Wayne Boat Show & Sale at Memorial Coliseum.

Rynders, 71, of Fort Wayne said he attends the show just about every year.

“I'm sure looking,” he said as he stood by a black Tracker that retails for more than $18,000. “I'd like to have another bass boat.”

It's the 37th year for the show, which features watercraft from 60 exhibitors from Indiana and Michigan. Options for interested buyers range from the bass boats Rynders eyed to Hobie fishing kayaks to speedy sport boats to pontoon boats.

Show promoter Tracy Sweeney said part of the allure of the boat show is that it offers something for everyone. About 350 boats share space with jet skis, information booths and kiosks with clothing and boating accessories.

“It's not just the boats, it's the lake experience,” said Sweeney, who expects about 10,000 visitors to the show that began Thursday and ends today.

Terry Zelt was with his wife, Kathy, and family friend Graham Bischoff, 7, as they looked over a pontoon boat Saturday afternoon. Asked if he was buying, Terry answered with a quick, “No,” but said he recently sold a boat and regrets it.

“Just window shopping,” he said. “It's a good time of year to get out and get the winter blues out of your system.”

Scott and Tammi Burish are members of Lake City Skiers, a group of amateur water acrobats – think tricks on water skis – in Warsaw. Scott said the show provides a way to think about summer fun while still in winter.

“It's about having a good time,” he said. “It's fun. The show kind of gets bigger and bigger.”

mleblanc@jg.net