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Friday, February 22, 2013

Get your boat on: off water and under one roof

If you're looking for your dream boat, the Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers Association's annual boat show would be a good place to start.

Open today through Sunday, the show at the Roanoke Civic Center gives visitors not only a look at and information on the latest boat models and personal watercraft, but also a place to compare them and talk to the dealers under one roof. And those in attendance will have plenty of opportunity to talk shop with those who have knowledge of things nautical.

This year, there will be representatives from a credit union on hand just in case visitors want to make that dream boat a reality. According to boat show chairman Darrel Ross, dealers, anxious to get the boating season under way, will be dealing.

"This time of year, you have the best deals as far as manufacturers and extended warranties," Ross said.

Visitors also can check out what lake-related vendors have to offer and check into a free boating safety class offered by the Smith Mountain Lake Sail and Power Squadron.

Dealers expected for the show are Conrad Brothers Marine Service of Pulaski and Moneta; Hughes Marine of Danville; Magnum Boating of Hardy; Smith Mountain Boat & Tackle of Penhook; Smith Mountain Yacht Club of Moneta; Virgil Naff's Sea-Doo of Lynchburg; and Webster Marine Center of Moneta.

Today, admission to the show, which opens at 1 and closes at 7 p.m., is free.

On Saturday, hours are 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Sunday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission both days is $7.50. Children younger than 12 are admitted for free with an adult.

For more information, visit www.roanokeboatshow.com.