Why Go to the Boat Show

Why Go to the Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat Show

By Keith Ogulnick, Progressive Chicago Boat Show Manager

You’ve seen the billboards and ads across town and on your phone. You may have even caught yourself singing along with the “Come on Down to the Boat Show!” jingle watching SportsCenter. 

But you just still haven’t decided to join us at the Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat Show. Well, here’s a quick summary of why you should “Come on down to the boat show…”

It’s not just a Boat Show!
We have one of the most amazing shows in the U.S. because it’s not just boats. Sure, we have a great selection of powerboats, but we also have sailboats and accessories. Not to mention all the seminars and clinics and interactive features.

why go to show

Check out amazing boats
If you love getting on the water, the Chicago boat show is just heaven. There are so many boat types and brands displayed all in one place. We’re talking luxurious cabin cruisers, state-of-the-art sailboats, family-friendly pontoons, even stand-up paddleboards. It’s fun to see all the cool innovations and eye-popping designs, all under one roof. Here’s the list of all the boat brands you can see at the show.

Shop for a boat
Unlike auto and most powersports shows, you can actually buy boats right at the event, from massive cabin cruisers to kayaks. Our show is particularly great for if you’re in the market for a new boat because you can shop several dealers and several boat types/brands at one time, in one place. Plus, boat and engine manufacturers often offer incentives in order to book sales well before the high season. 

why go to show imageLearn stuff
The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat show offers lots of opportunities to become a better boater, sailor and angler. You’ll find just about everything to up your game, including casting and paddling classes, Virtual Reality set-ups to improve your boat handling skills, and Q&A with experts on maintenance. You can even go really in-depth with specialized seminars by nationally renowned experts on interesting topics such as sailing the Great Lakes (some of these require a fee and/or preregistration). Click for a schedule of educational offerings.

Get accessorized
Shows are also great places to find the latest gear to upgrade your current watercraft. More than 100 vendors offer accessories or lifestyle items to enhance your boating and outdoor adventures: personal flotation devices, navigation electronics, custom paint, lighting and more. If it’s for your boat, someone’s likely selling it.

It gets the kids out of the house!
At this time of year, we all want to get out of the house with family, so we make the Chicago Show a great time for kids. Kids love exploring all the different kinds of boats, of course (be sure to keep them close to keep them safe). But you’ll find tons of other kids activities, such crafts with Chicago Maritime Arts Center, a remote control sailboat pond, a sailing simulator, boat building and an actual trout fishing! Full list of kids activities is here.

Cure your Winter Blues!why go to show image
Finally, the Chicago Boat Show is a great event for getting together with your friends now that the hectic holidays are over. You can meet at the show after work, grab a drink and some food and relive some great stories from last summer, or plan this season’s outings. Especially check out the “$5 after 5” event on Thursday night, featuring $5 tickets and $5 food and drink offerings.

We hope to see you at the show! Buy your ticket here.