We spy Kimmet & Doug performing in front of the huge houseboat. | Courtesy of Louisville Boat Show

The boating industry is experiencing quite an uptick in sales, according to the National Marine Manufactures Association (NMMA), which they credit to a renewed interest in the hobby by millennials. Last year, an estimated 250,000 boats were sold, which is an increase of 6-7 percent. The NMMA is even referring to 2017 as “a golden age for our economy and our industry.”

If you are, indeed, someone contemplating a boat purchase, you’re in luck as the Progressive Louisville Boat, RV, and Sportshow returns for its 60th year to the Kentucky Expo Center from Jan. 25-29. Along with hundreds of various watercraft, campers and cabins, there’s plenty of hands-on activities to keep everyone in your group occupied while you scope out the pontoon of your dreams.

Professional wake boarder Chad Sharpe will teach lessons. | Courtesy of Louisville Boat Show

From wake boarding lessons, to learning more about the new sport of Louisville Flyboard, to climbing through the massive two-story, five-bedroom houseboats, the show also includes merchandise from both local and national companies.

New this year is an appearance by “Mac and the Big Cheese Ultimate Outdoor Cooking” comedians Pat Mac and Mike “The Big Cheese” Flaverman.

The NMMA estimates there are 172,315 recreational boats in Kentucky, and 86 percent of those are powerboats. The total annual economic impact of the boating industry in the state is $1.9 billion.

The Boat, RV, and Sportshow runs Wednesday, 5-9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, noon-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are $12, and children 15 and under are free.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."