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Weather fails to dampen Outdoor Expo and Boat Show

By Staff | Dec 12, 2017

In spite of the inclement weather predictions, there were overflowing crowds at the second annual Cape Coral Outdoor Boat Show held at the German American Club this past weekend.

“I’m very pleased with the crowds so far,” organizer Donald Ware said Friday night. “This show has just gotten bigger, bigger, bigger and better.”

The three-day expo began Friday morning and ran into late Sunday afternoon.

“I’m very happy we retained about 90 percent of our vendors from last year,” Ware said. “The number of vendors has increased by 20 but the number of boats has quadrupled.”

Panga Boats USA is located in Cape Coral and is the largest Yamaha Imemsa Panga dealer in the United States. Panga Boats USA has been in the boat design and manufacturing business since 1985.

Roger Harmon, owner of Panga Boats USA said, “We had a good show last year and sold about 6 boats. That’s why we’re back this year.”

Last year the Cape Coral Boat Expo attracted numerous smaller vendors but this year it attracted many of the larger boat vendors.

“This year we were able to bring in Marine Max, Fishtale Marina, Marina Mike’s and all of the heavy hitters,” Ware said. “And, we have so many boats we had to enlarge the space.”

Action Craft Boats returned to this year’s Expo.

“We came back because last year we not only sold boats at the Expo, we were still receiving contacts from people about 8 months after the expo,” Larry Lengel said.

“A great addition to this year’s Expo is Jim Griffiths, owner of Nautical Mile Magazine,” Ware said. “Jim suggested having a fishing seminar tent where fishing seminars go on all day by some of the best fishing guides in the world.”

“Last year I rented a booth to hand out copies of the Nautical Mile,” Griffiths said. “But this year Donald Ware contacted me about hosting the fishing seminars which led into me helping him promote the event.”

There were plenty of fishing seminars where visitors could learn from the best guides in the area: Rob Mody, Chuck Downs, Gregg McKee, Mike Wright, Kayak Fishing Guide Josh Harvell, Mike Avion, Josh Olive and New York City retired fireman Jerry Geyer.

Geyer recently caught his 900th tarpon and offered about 30 minutes on the intricacies of tarpon fishing.

“FishWare Outfitters gave away 200 free T-shirts to the first 200 people that arrived each day,” Ware said. “This year we tried to have something for every active lifestyle and budget from fishing boats to electric boats to the three-wheel Polaris Slingshot.”