Kick off the New Year at the Boat & Sportman Expo

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Are you interested in feeling like a kid in a candy store?

A really excited kid surrounded by high-powered, high-tech, floating candy?

The Grand Strand Boat & Sportsman Expo is returning in its 31st year on January 9 through January 11 and bringing with it more boats, more gear, more vendors and simply more to do with your family. If you’re into the outdoorsy thing, you’re going to want to be here.

Especially since it’s less than one mile from your spot at the Driftwood… that’s about a 15 minute walk. Truly, it’s that close.

While the draw is the vast selection of boats big and small, motored and self-propelled, visitors will enjoy seeing all manner of water-related sporting equipment on display at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

Kevin Bennett, the show’s coordinator, said the expo will include 12 dealers from North and South Carolina displaying boats ranging from 10 to 40 feet. Revel in the fantasy of inshore and offshore fishing boats; marvel at super-fast pleasure boats; gawk at pontoon boats; ogle jet skis. For those who like to be a little more one with the water, you’ll love the paddle boards, kayaks and sailboats in every iteration imaginable. Landlubbers shouldn’t feel left out, since Bennett said they’ll also be including a new line of RVs, customs golf carts and ATVs galore.

Maybe that new pair of compression socks waiting under the tree this year just wasn’t to your liking and you feel you may need to rectify that disaster with a little “me” shopping. Guess what, the expo is not not just about eye candy — you can buy stuff here, too.

All manner of fishing — inshore or off — duck hunting, paddle boarding and kayaking gear will be on sale, courtesy of more than forty vendors that will set up shop at the center. If you have in the past had trouble locating some type of marine gear, we’re guessing you’ll be able to find it at the expo, alongside some expert advice.

“There is something for outdoors enthusiasts at every turn,” Bennett said in an email.

But this is hardly just about looking and buying — you can do some learning here as well.

Bone up on your in and offshore fishing techniques at seminars being held during the show; become the safest boater you can be, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary; and for those new to the sport or are considering diving (ahem) in, the U.S. Power Squadron will be offering discussions on boating basics.

Bennett said this year’s show will be the “biggest yet.”

Show dates are Friday, January 9 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.); Saturday, January 10 (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.); and through Sunday, January 11 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Adult admittance is $8; seniors 65 and older are $7; children 4 to 12 are $5 and those 3 and under are free.

The Myrtle Beach Convention Center is at 2101 N. Oak Street, which is a short jaunt north on N. Ocean Boulevard, to 21st Avenue to Oak Street. For more information and a list of vendors, go to

Have you attended the Grand Strand Boat & Sportsman Expo int the past? What did you think? What’s your sport of choice?


(Posted: 12/29/14)