With new innovations in boat design, efficiency and technology, and boaters’ passion for the water, 2015 is expected to be an exciting year for recreational boating according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The public is invited to see some of these innovations during the 2015 DFW Winter Boat Expo at Dallas Market Hall Jan. 30 – Feb. 8, 2015.

Other trends for 2015 include the growth of customized use-specific manufacturer packages, the evolution of marinas as destinations, the rising popularity of personal watercraft, and using social media and marketing to
engage boating enthusiasts and buyers.

Bron Beal, executive director of the DFW Winter Boat Expo, notes there will be greater variety in use-specific manufacturer packages. “While there will always be a standard fishing or ski package that allows the customer the ability to delete or add a few options targeted to the highest common purchaser, in 2015 we are likely going to see unusual accessories and customization for lifestyle. Comfort and greater maneuverability are wildly popular for boat owners.”

Marinas continue to become destination and resort locations, instead of just places to keep a boat. Operators recognize that by holding events and providing amenities such as pools, clubhouses, rental operations, restaurants, paddle boat racks and more, marinas are appealing to a wider audience. As a result, the marina industry is beginning to view itself as a player in the tourism industry, and there is early interest in working with tourism agencies to further promote that concept.

Personal watercraft sales should remain strong at the 2015 DFW Winter Boat Expo, primarily because of the price point for new ownership and the introduction of watercraft with lightweight and easy to tow and store designs.

“Watercraft like the Sea-Doo Spark appeal not only to the established hardcore personal watercraft users, but also to many others who didn’t think they could afford or have space to store a watercraft like the Spark,” says Kyle Bell, Sales Manager at Richardson Motorsports.

As boat sales continue to see a gradual upward trajectory, it’s paramount that dealers be creative with their marketing and online presence.

“Social media influences buyers of all generations, year-round, especially with lifestyle purchases,” explains Denise Eiser, Marketing and Social Media consultant at Proofhouse. “Everyone from boat brands to service and accessory providers will need to take their social media programs to new levels of service and professionalism in order to keep the customer engaged and loyal, across the board.” 

Presented by the United Boat Dealers of North Texas, the DFW Winter Boat Expo will have more than 450 all new 2015 boat and watercraft models on display and available for purchase from 20 North Texas boat dealers during 10 consecutive days. Nearly 100 different vendors will have booths.

The DFW Winter Boat Expo is one of the only private boat shows in the country and is the only show in the North Texas region and Oklahoma City. And while many people tend to think of Texas for its horses and cowboys, it may come as a surprise to learn that Texas is the No. 2 boat state in the country, behind Minnesota. 

Dallas Market Hall is located at 2200 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207. Parking is free.

Dates and hours for the DFW Winter Boat Expo are:

  • Jan. 30 – Feb. 8, 2015
  • Monday – Thursday, noon – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, 3 – 9 p.m.                                                          
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Ticket Information:

  • $12 Adults, $6 Children, Under 5 Free
  • Tickets for the show are only available at the door
  • On Friday and Saturday nights, women and children are FREE after 6pm!

For more information about the DFW Winter Boat Expo, go to Connect on Facebook – and Twitter – @dfwboatexpo.