Ohioans have lots of boating opportunities, even in winter

COLUMBUS – While mid-winter in Ohio suggests the boating season is closed, quite the opposite is true.

“There is another segment to the boating season and that is attending a boat show. The open water season is not far away and after the holidays, a lot of people get excited about the prospect of purchasing a boat or planning some type of boating vacation,” said Jeff Hoedt, chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft.

The Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat Show at the Convention Center concluded Jan. 21 as the Mid-America Sail and Power Boat Show got under way at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

Boat and travel shows also will be held in Columbus Feb. 8-11; Vandalia, Feb. 15-18; Lima, March 10-11; again in Cleveland, March 17-25; and at the Washington County Fairgrounds, March 30 through April 1.

Those who attend the bigger, as well as smaller boat shows, will find Ohio offers excellent boating opportunities, professional sales staffs, industry and marine trade association representatives and staff from the ODNR Division of Watercraft.

“Boat shows are great resource providers in terms of information and education, advice, printed materials, and purchase opportunities,” said Hoedt.

“While experienced boaters are eager to visit such shows each year in anticipation of the upcoming boating season, those who want to become introduced to recreational boating should attend one or more of these shows,” he added.

Recreational boating is an affordable and enjoyable experience that is especially attractive to families who want to share time together in the outdoors.

People of all income levels can enjoy boating at a level they find comfortable for their particular style and area of interest. Now is the time to get ready for the open-water boating season.

Online registration now enables boat owners with access to a personal computer and desktop mouse to renew their three-year watercraft registration through June 30.

More than 125,000 owners of powerboats, sailboats, wave-runners, and other watercraft will be renewing their tri-annual registration this year during the next several months.

The new online watercraft registration renewal system actually is a double bonus for Ohio residents, who last month also began to renew their annual motor vehicle registrations online through a Bureau of Motor Vehicles Web site.

Ohio ranks eighth nationally with 408,495 registered watercraft. Recreational boating in Ohio generates an estimated $1.4 billion annually for the state’s economy and helps support 19,500 jobs in the state.

There are an estimated 234,300 boat owners residing in Ohio with the average boat-owning household each possessing nearly two registered watercraft.

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