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Over 100,000 people will converge on Miami starting Thursday, February 12 for the Miami International Boat Show, sponsored by Progressive Insurance. One of the largest boat shows in the world and the largest in South Florida, the Miami International Boat Show will span five daysboat-show_copy4 across three locations: the Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina, and Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace.

More than 2,000 companies from around the world will be present at this event, presenting more than 3,000 different boats that are on sale right now. They run the gamut from racing boats to cruisers for the whole family, yachts for leisure, and beautiful, top-of-the-line motor boats.

At the Miami Beach Convention Center, thousands of boat retailers and manufacturers have set up shop inside the Center itself as well as along Convention Center Drive, 18th Street and 19th Street. Outside, there are boats and equipment exhibits that you will be able to see up-close for yourselves; a few boat retailers will even allow you to get out on the water and experience boat-show_copy3riding the waves in their newest models. At Bayside Marketplace, the latest in sailboats and yachts will be on display, and there will be chances to board some of these as well. At Sea Isle Marina, the New Powerboat and Yacht Show will be a sight to behold, as this year’s cruisers and powerboats will sail past for your perusal and enjoyment.

Also at the show, there will be a number of vendors that sell products for the sailing experience, whether they be necessities or luxuries. Vendors will be selling the latest in marine electronics, boating apparel, safety products, dock equipment and accessories, engines and generators, and even leisure products such as watersports equipment and paddle sports.

There are some special events and contests in store at the Miami International Boat Show. The Big Game Room at the Miami Beach Convention Center will be turned into the world’s largest blue-water fishing expo, and you can buy all you need for your next fishing expedition, ranging from rods to bait. Guy Harvey will present Panama Paradise: A Salute to Tropic Star Lodge at boat-show_copy2the Big Game Room on Saturday, February 14 at 5:30 p.m. The well-known artist, photographer and diver will also be available for autographs and photo-ops at the Guy Harvey Artist Pavilion on the second floor of the Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Thursday and ending on Sunday.

As far as contests go, do you think you have the nicest boat and the cutest pets? Combine the two for a chance to win a $500 boat show shopping spree. The Pets on Board Photo Contest is sponsored by The Miami Herald and is accepting cute photos of pets on boats between now and Saturday, February 14. At the end of the day, the winner and honorable mention designees will be contacted so they can spend their gift cards at the show the next day. (Five “honorable mention” winners will receive a smaller prize of $50 of store credit at the show.) You can turn in your photos online at miamiboatshow.com or you can turn them in at the Discover Boating Center in C Lobby at the Convention Center up until the end of the day on Saturday, February 14.

Tickets are available for purchase online and at the event. Access to the first day, Thursday, February 12, is priced at $35 per person. A pass good for all five days of the boat show costs $85. One-day passes between Friday and Monday are priced at $20 for adults, and $35 for two-boat-show_copy1day access. If you purchase your ticket online, you will also receive a yearly subscription to Cruising World, Outdoor Life, Yachting, Field & Stream or Saltwater Sportsman magazines (your choice). One ticket is good for all three locations, and shuttles and water taxis are available to take ticketholders between the Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside. Online purchases may be made at miamiboatshow.com.

Many hotels are already sold out for this event. If you go to miamiboatshow.com, they recommend a number of hotels that still have rooms at affordable rates. Through their partner onPeak, they have been able to work with hotels to provide lower rates at this busy time. Hotels that still have rooms as of press time include the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club, Loews Miami Beach, Mondrian South Beach, Riviera Suites South Beach, and Shelborne South Beach. Prices are as low as $299 per night.

The Miami International Boat Show is brought to you by Progressive Insurance. Additional sponsors include GMC, Bud Light, Costa, Cupcake Vineyards, Discover Boating, the Florida Lottery, Fred’s Shed, GEICO, Heineken, IFBSO, the Miami Beach Visitor & Convention Authority, Miami-Dade County, The Miami Herald, NMMA-Certification, Dodge RAM, SIMRAD, and Yamaha Boat.

For more information on the Miami International Boat Show, visit miamiboatshow.com. “Like” them on Facebook by going to facebook.com/miamiboatshow and follow them on Twitter @miamiboatshow.