The Orlando Boat Show Returns to the Orange County Convention Center

Mar 01, 2024 by Laura Category: News Releases 0 comments

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 1, 2024) – The Marine Industry Association of Central Florida (MIACF) presents the Orlando Boat Show for a three-day event on April 5, 6, and 7, 2024 at the Orange County Convention Center, North Hall B. The highly anticipated show features 19 of Central Florida’s top boat dealers representing more than 80 manufacturers with approximately 400 boats on display.

The Orlando Boat Show features a wide variety of boats including bowriders, center consoles, deck boats, flats boats, freshwater fishing boats, jet boats, pontoons, and surf boats to fit any lifestyle and budget.

Extra incentives are available only during the show from dealers and manufacturers such as extended warranties, service packages, waived dockage, enhanced electronics, and accessory packages.

“The Orlando Boat Show is designed for new and avid boaters to explore the latest in boating trends and technology, featuring hundreds of new 2024 models by the world’s leading boat manufacturers,” said Joe Lewis, general manager of Mount Dora Boating Center and Marina and president of MIACF. “With interactive displays and a new kids’ fishing clinic, the whole family will enjoy the best of boating at one show.”

Lewis continued that the boating lifestyle promotes physiological and psychological changes spanning health and wellness, awe and wonder, creativity and play, happiness, and relaxation.

Recent research has shown that people experience emotional, behavioral, and psychological benefits being near, in, on, or underwater, and while participating in activities like boating. The effect of boating on our lives, and its fundamental connection to our planet’s waters, are well documented from an economic, ecological, and educational perspective. 1

Tickets on Sale Now

Ticket prices are $10 per person and are available for purchase online at or the gate. Kids under the age of 12 are free!

Orange County Convention Center parking is $10.65 with cashless pay only.


All events are included in show admission.

Hook The Future kid’s fishing clinic

Captain Don Dingman, as seen on the Sportsman Channel’s Hook The Future TV show, presents kid’s fishing clinics and interactive discussions of basic fishing techniques, tackle, safety, and conservation. Kids aged 5-15 receive a free rod and reel combo following each clinic while supplies last.

Twiggy, the waterskiing squirrel

In 1978, a baby squirrel was rescued after being blown from her nest during a hurricane. Lou Ann and Chuck Best chose to take her in and make her a part of their family. Twiggy the world-famous water-skiing squirrel has been entertaining adults and children alike with her water ski show since 1979. Due to her husband’s passing in 1997, Lou Ann decided to make water safety an important part of Twiggy’s act. She created a squirrel-sized life jacket for Twiggy to wear in her performances. Thereafter, all of Twiggy’s shows are focused on teaching her fans about water safety.

Today, Twiggy starts a new chapter in her legacy. Lou Ann’s son, Chuck Best Jr. has decided to take on the family business and continue Twiggy’s story. Chuck and his fiancé, Toni, have reimagined his parents’ show and together they have embarked on an all-new, revamped, interactive, and exciting show for Twiggy. Twiggy is now the spokes animal for The National Safe Boating Council’s “Wear It” Campaign promoting water safety all over the world.

Additional Activation Areas

  • NEW themed, streetmosphere throughout the show includes the Longshoreman comedic street performers, a pirate magician, and a mermaid on stilts (performance times vary).
  • Kids aged 12 and under can catch a live fish at the Let’s Go Fishing Trout Pond and receive a custom caricature driving a boat by Cartoon You Caricatures.
  • Try the Virtual Saltwater Fishing Simulator to experience the excitement of competition to catch a bull dolphin.
  • The Fishing Zone is devoted to all types of fishing gear including freshwater and saltwater rod and reels, freshwater, and saltwater lures, clothing for a great day on the water, and all types of fishing gear and accessories.
  • Crack the Code and Win a 2024 SX190 Yamaha. Register for the “Crack the Code Contest” and for a chance to win a 2024 SX190 Yamaha powerboat sponsored by VForce Marine Orlando.

National Marine Manufacturers Association

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), 2023 study reveals recreational boating saw a 36% increase in annual economic activity from 2018’s $170 billion to $230 billion in 2023 and a 14% jump in recreational marine industry-related jobs from 691,000 in 2018 to 812,000 in 2023.

States leading the nation with the highest economic activity and job growth from recreational boating include Florida (#1): $31.3B, up 53%, and 109,000 jobs, up 19% from 2018.

Central Florida Marine Industry

  • $6.412 billion in annual economic impact
  • 23,892 jobs supported
  • 851 businesses supported
  • Plus, 95% of boats sold in the U.S. are built in the U.S.

Created in 1989, the Marine Industry Association of Central Florida (MIACF) is a not-for-profit trade organization focused on the sound growth of the marine industry for the benefit of its members and their customers, local communities, and the environment.  MIACF is comprised of more than 30 members in Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties and is the owner and producer of the Orlando Boat Show and the Daytona Beach Boat Show.


Media contact: Laura E. Richeson at 407.616.8108 or [email protected].

Digital Media Kit: Download images courtesy of the Orlando Boat Show.

 1 Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, the bestselling book on the scientific connection between water and happiness.

Photo courtesy: Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina

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