Thank you for attending this year's show - See you January 11-15, 2017!

Features at a Glance

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NEW! Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Center (LVACWS)


The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is coming to Chicago in June 2016 and will be held on fresh water for the first time in its 165-year history! Stop by the LVACWS Center at the Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show for an exclusive, early bird pre-sale of tickets at all levels before they are available to the public. Additionally, there will be special experiences throughout the show including:
  • America's Cup Trophy on Saturday and Sunday
  • Autograph sessions with ORACLE TEAM USA member Matt Cassidy on Saturday and Sunday
  • Video wall with past races, updates from the teams and information on the America's Cup and the ACWS Chicago event
  • AC45 Racing Simulator experience
  • AC45 Virtual Reality experience


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Strictly Sail Advanced Seminar Series

Strictly Sail advanced sailing seminars are presented by some of the best sailing authorities in the world.

Registration is required for advanced seminars. Please click here to register.

Friday, January 15

"Not the Skipper" Essential Skills —presented by Sheila McCurdy

9am–1pm  Room S106a  Fee: $75 —Includes same-day admission to the show

Are you not the skipper, but spend time on boats-often as the only crew? Have you been concerned how you would help if something went wrong, or if you had to handle an emergency? The essentials are easy to master and will help build confidence and enjoyment aboard your boat. This course will cover the basics of controlling a boat at slow speeds, using safety equipment, determining the boat's location, and getting outside help.

Great Lakes Basic Marine Weather Seminar —presented by Mark Thornton

9am–1pm  Room S106b  Fee: $75 —Includes same-day admission to the show

The Great Lakes Basic Marine Weather Seminar is designed to provide Great Lakes boaters with an understanding of basic marine meteorology. Over the course of the day, attendees will learn about the forces controlling the wind, the formation and movement of low pressure systems, wave forecasting, and how to identify the conditions favoring the development of severe weather. Attendees will develop a Great Lakes basic forecasting resource kit based upon publicly available government and university websites.

Click here for a complete outline of the seminar

Saturday, January 16

Great Lakes Wind Forecasting: A Workshop for Sailors —presented by Mark Thornton

9:00am–5:00pm  Room S106b  Fee: $125 —Includes 2-day admission to the show

Great Lakes Wind Forecasting: A Workshop for Sailors is designed to improve the wind forecasting skills of sailors of all experience levels and interests. Accurately forecasting the wind promotes safer, more enjoyable outings and improves performance on the race course.  Whether you are a day sailor, beer can racer, long distance cruiser, or serious competitor, the skills learned in the Workshop will enhance your understanding of the wind and improve your sailing experience. 

Click here for a complete outline of the workshop.

Coastal Safety at Sea —presented by Brian Adams

9am–1pm  Room S106a  Fee: $75 —Includes same-day admission to the show

US Sailing’s 4-hour Near Coastal Safety at Sea Course is designed specifically for near-shore boaters, sailors, and cruisers and their boats. Did you know that 95% of boating accidents happen less than three miles from shore?  This four-hour seminar is designed specifically for Great Lakes sailors and power boaters. This could be the most important day of your boating life! Topics include: Heavy Weather Boating, Crew Overboard Prevention and Recovery, Sailor’s Health, How Boats Get into Trouble, Emergency Signaling and Management and Seamanship. 

Sunday, January 17

Thunderstorms: What you Need to Know —presented by Jim Johnson

9am–1pm   Room S106b  Fee: $75 —Includes same-day admission to the show

Discover the hidden workings of a thunderstorm — how it forms, grows and dies. Emphasis placed on visual on hazard recognition from your vessel, storm judgement and decision making.

Registration is required for advanced seminars. Please click here and scroll down to seminars to register.



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Progressive® Insurance Boat School

An educated boater is a safe boater

Boost your boating IQ! Learn the fundamentals of boating safety and have fun. Top-notch mariners from the Annapolis School of Seamanship will be on deck to lead an array of interactive “courses” including general boating safety seminars, proper docking procedures, a boating simulator experience, and tips and tricks to help ensure your safety on the water. It’s enjoyable and educational for the whole family!

  • Gateway to Boating: Get an overview of the styles and types of boats and how they fit the boating lifestyle you choose.
  • Watersports Safety Seminar: Gain the know-how you need to keep everyone on your boat —and on the water—safe, and ensure every outing is fun and enjoyable.
  • iNavigation: Learn how to use the resources available to modern boaters—from traditional compass and paper charts, to onboard electronics, to tablets such as the Apple iPad® to stay safe and have fun on the water.
  • Boat Systems: Learn how to manage your boats systems from stem to stern.
  • Docking & Line Handling: Does docking cause you stress? Let us “show you the ropes” with tricks, and techniques that can make docking easy.
  • 10 Steps to Becoming a Good Gilligan: Even on a three-hour tour, a good first mate is key to a great day on the water. This sessions covers the skills you need as a first mate.

Stop by the Progressive® Insurance Welcome Center or Progressive Insurance Boat School for more information.



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Fred's Shed Interactive Learning Center

FREE DIY seminars on boat and motor maintenance, repair and upgrades.

If you’re interested in learning what it takes to maintain, repair or upgrade your boat or engine, head to Fred’s Shed for practical, professional advice. Free seminars cover a variety of topics, include demonstrations of techniques and tools on boat and motor cutaways, and end with question/answer sessions. Come with your questions and projects to discuss, and leave with the know-how, confidence and inspiration to do it yourself. 

Click here for a complete seminar schedule.


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RV Handyman Campsite 

/lib/img/gallery/img10121417551.jpgDon't miss leading RV expert, author of The RV Handbook, and managing editor of, David Solberg. Dave will be on hand to chat with you about the joys of RVing and his experiences on the road and behind the wheel. Whether you’re a first-timer, a full-timer, or fall somewhere in between Dave can answer your questions and offer proven, practical advice for your next road trip.

Learn more about Dave at

Click here for a complete seminar schedule


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NEW! Boating Skills Virtual Trainer—Interactive Boating Simulator

Take the helm of a virtual boat to practice basic boating maneuvers and improve your boating skills—without leaving dry land. The United States Power Squadrons®' new Boating Skills Virtual Trainer® (BSVT) makes learning fun and easy! It features a steering wheel and a real Mercury throttle you use to “drive” a 20-ft. console boat on a lake with other powerboats, sailboats, navigation aids and a full marina.
Training options include close quarters maneuvering, docking and more. Instructors can adjust current and wind direction and velocity, and day/night settings to vary the degree of difficulty and challenge you whatever your skill level.

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PaddleFest—Free Paddle Sports Demos

In search of a new way to enjoy the water, spend time outdoors or energize your exercise routine? Head to the PaddleFest Pool to get out on the water and experience the fun of stand up paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking and other paddle sports. We’ll provide all the gear and instruction you need to take a demo ride—no experience needed. 

Get a first look at the latest in paddle sports gear and watercraft, too. Industry experts and manufacturers will be on hand to demonstrate everything from from fishing, recreational and whitewater kayaks to stand up paddle boards.

Once you've zeroed in on your favorite paddle sport, you can take advantage of once-a-year show deals from leading paddle sports retailers including Windward Boardshop, Offshore Marine, Quest Watersports & Fontana Paddle Company.

Presented by Windward Boardshop and Offshore Marine

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Sailing Simulator—Free Sailing Lessons

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to pilot a sailboat, here’s your chance to find out—without leaving dry land! Climb aboard the Sailing Simulator and discover how fun and easy it is to sail. Designed with beginners in mind, the sailing simulator offers a true-to-life sailing experience. You’ll tack and jibe and use the tiller to keep the boat level on the show floor as fans fill the sails and move the boat from side to side.


NEW! Corona Find Your Beach Bar & Cantina  


Put yourself in a vacation state of mind! The Corona Find Your Beach Bar & Cantina serves up an island resort ambiance along with icy cold beverages and tasty casual fare including Baha Cali fish tacos, beer battered fish & chips and specialty flatbreads. It’s the perfect place to take a break, meet up with friends and ponder your outdoor adventure options. Todd Donnelly of the Mr. Myers Band will provide musical entertainment.

Click here for more information on Todd Donnelly and the Mr. Myers Band.



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Rockin', Rollin', Bubbles

Climb inside to take a spin—literally—in the Rockin’ Rollin’ Bubbles. Act like a crazy hamster, try log rolling tricks or race with other “water walkers”. It’s great fun, and best of all, you can go with a friend. Mom and Dad, be sure to bring your video cameras—the photo ops are fantastic!     

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Huck Finn Trout Pond

FREE fishing for children 12 and younger.

There's no limit to the fun! Catch-and-release trout pond, stocked with frisky trout is a great way to introduce kids to the sport of fishing. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moment when your little angler reels in a "big one"!

Author’s Corner

When: All days of the show

Stop by the Author's Corner and visit with one of your favorite story tellers and pick up the latest adventure novels. Scheduled to be in attandance include: Stop back for a list of participating authors.

Progressive Progressive Insurance Boat School Corona GMC Overton's Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Discover Boating Fred's Shed NMMA-Certification Fairmont Chicago Offshore West Marine