Boating season isn’t yet fully upon us, but with every tic up the thermostat, the water in Lake Havasu looks that much more inviting. Truthfully, boating season starts sometime between Easter and Memorial Day, but it’s the annual Lake Havasu Boat Show that really revs up the engines for the area’s boat fans. Boating is the backbone of Lake Havasu’s tourism-driven economy, so it’s no surprise that the boat show has quickly become one of the larger events of its kind on the west coast. Now in its 27th year, the Marine Association’s big show — which continues today and Sunday at Lake Havasu State Park — features more than 140 exhibitors, with 300 boats on site representing more than 50 brands. If you’re in the market for a new boat, or you’re simply in the mood to browse, the boat show is usually an efficient way to shop and compare.

The Havasu show adds an interactive element that isn’t found at boat shows elsewhere: For the second year, organizers are putting an emphasis on demonstrations and test rides. The new launch ramp and courtesy docks at Windsor 3 will be used to demonstrate a variety of pontoon boats, wakesport boats and family sports boats to try out. At Windsor 4, Yamaha personal watercraft and jet sport boats will provide potential buyers the opportunity to test their newest models. On the beach nearby, visitors can try out kayaks and paddle boards with qualified instructors.

Besides the latest and greatest, one of the coolest things the boat show offers this year is a nostalgic salute to the history of boating. The Classic Hot Boat Show & Shine will feature two dozen restored flatbottom high-performance hydros from the 1950s through 1980s. Winners of the show are chosen by public vote, and the winner will get a $1,000 cash prize. Bottom line, you don’t want to miss this show. If nothing else, it’s a great chance to get into the right frame of mind for a beautiful boating season that awaits.

— Today’s News-Herald

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