Atlantic City Boat Show is the Best Time to browse and buy

The Atlantic Boat Show coming to the Atlantic City Convention Center later this month offers New Jersey area boaters a once-a-year opportunity to shop for the best in boats, gear and accessories. A recent Foresight Research report confirms that boat shows are the only place consumers can compare different boats, models and prices from multiple dealers and view and board the boats all under one roof.

The Foresight research also finds that:

* For those who attended a boat show, the boat show had the most influence on their decision to buy a boat (57% ranking 4 or 5 on a 5 point scale) versus their experience at a dealership (54%) and the Internet (47%).
* Buyers said boat shows have the most influence during the interest/consideration phase of the purchase process. Boat show attendees often "discover" brands they may not have known about.
* Nearly six in ten new boat buyers (57%) attended at least one boat show in the 12 months prior to buying their boat.
* Nearly 20% of new boat buyers were first introduced to their dealer at a boat show.

The recreational boating industry's leading trade group, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which produces the show, reports that there's pent-up demand for boats and hopes to find buyers come out this year given signs of economic recovery and growth in consumer spending.

The NMMA notes an estimated 66 million Americans who went boating in 2009 increased the time they spent on their boats by four percent, demonstrating boating's popularity despite the recession. In fact, the NMMA says nearly one million Americans (933,000) bought a powerboat in 2009. Eighty-two percent were pre-owned and 18 percent new versus a normal 72 percent pre-owned indicating people are buying and want to go boating but are choosing what they perceive to be a more value-oriented approach. Manufacturers are responding by offering more value priced new boats in 2011, a number of which can be financed for less than $250 per month and can be found at the show's Affordability Pavilion.

What's more, the most recent data from NMMA shows that boating is still big business in New Jersey. New Jersey generated $225 million in boat and related sales in 2009 alone and is home to more than 183,000 registered boats.

The Atlantic City Boat Show boasts the best in boat shopping, but also offers fun attractions and educational opportunities for boaters of all ages. Visit with Russell Newberry from Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, who will be available daily to meet and greet fans. Take a scuba dive in 15,000 gallon Be a Diver Pool where you can also test some of the latest scuba equipment and have a photo of yourself taken underwater. Be sure to check out Special Sailboat Section, back by popular demand and offering top sailboats from Beneteau, Catalina, Jeanneau, Hunter, Com-Pac and more.

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