Boat varietiesWhat a wonderful way to spend a sopping wet Vancouver night…inside BC Place Stadium climbing aboard boats.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at the Vancouver International Boat Show, but it certainly wasn’t the experience we enjoyed.  I honestly didn’t think companies would be thrilled to have my little monkeys scrambling aboard their six, seven and eight figure boats.  However, not one eye was batted, not one side-eye glance, nothing!  Just encouraging words, and many “welcome aboards”.

After wandering the jam-packed concourse we headed down to the floor.  Thanks to the detailed map provided in the program, I knew there was a kid zone to check out.  Our boys nearly jumped out of their socks when they realized they could paddle boats around a massive indoor pond.  I’ve never seen them dress so quickly; the life jackets were on in an instant.  As the show was a bit quiet on Friday night, there weren’t many kids waiting to ride the paddle boats.  Our lucky boys got lengthy turns many times over.  One piece of advice, bring a change of pants for your kids.  We didn’t and ours ended up with their entire bottom halves dripping wet.

Paddle boatsOnce we extracted them from the paddle boats, and they made (and tested) their craft boats, we were off to pretend that we were looking for a boat for our family.  Who doesn’t like to dream?  It seemed as though every possible type of boat was present.  There were speed boats, fishing boats, glamorous tug boats, sail boats, and yachts.  The best part of all, the boats were open to the public to explore.  A few requested shoe removal but the majority were sitting just waiting for folks to climb on board.

Sailboat CollageI really enjoyed my chat with the folks from the BC Sailing Association.  If you are interested in getting your kids into sailing be sure to stop by their booth.  The BC Sailing Association offers programs for kids; they also support a mobile unit that travels all over the province delivering sailing lessons to kids.  The BC Sailing Association booth is located very close to the booth where you can fish for live trout!  Truly the Vancouver International Boat Show has something for everyone.

If you are interested in purchasing a boat, want to learn more about sailing, or just wish to dream about owning a boat in the future, you will have a truly enjoyable time at the Vancouver International Boat Show.  Your kids will have a blast riding the paddle boats and exploring the numerous varieties of marine travel on display at BC Place.  The show runs Saturday (10am – 8pm) and Sunday (10am – 5pm).  If you purchase your tickets online you save $2; kids 12 & under are FREE!