Over 350 Boats Fill Ocean City Convention Center at 36th Annual Seaside Boat Show
Sisters Alivia and Ella of Lewes are spending their Sunday with cousin Emily from Pennsylvania looking at over 350 boats inside the Ocean City Convention Center.
"I like comparing how the boats are to each other, like the different seats and floors," says 9-year-old Alivia.
The Seaside Boat Show has been bringing boat dealers from along the east coast to Ocean City for 36 years now and it's brought Show Chairman Charlie Dorman here for 30 years.
"Everybody is a volunteer. Nobody gets paid for anything," Dorman explains. "We have pontoon boats. We have wave runners, any kind of boat that you can think of in the water," he adds.
Tickets to the boat show cost $10. Guests can enter their tickets into a raffle for a chance to win a pontoon boat from North Bay Marina in Selbyville. All proceeds from ticket sales, as well as vendor entree fees, go to the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club to be put towards local schools and children's organizations throughout Worcester County.
"We have donated the boat for the last 33 years," says owner of North Bay Marina, Scott McCurdy.
McCurdy has been coming to the Seaside boat show since the beginning. "Our main focus here at the boat show are our pontoon boats," McCurdy says. "We've been selling the Sweet Water pontoon boat in this area since 1980. Two kinds of people come to a boat show. People who own a boat and people who should own a boat."
Alivia, Ella, and Emily already have a boat, but that doesn't stop them from dreaming.
"We sat down at the table and we looked through all of the different flooring and what we might pick and this is what we want on our own boat," 13-year-old Ella recaps.
In the end, the girls have a larger takeaway from the show. "I think it's awesome that the money goes back to kids like me," says 14-year-old Emily.
Last year the boat show raised around $150,000. This year the goal is to raise that amount again. Event coordinators say they plan to add boat performances to next year's show.