SYRACUSE — Would you like to try maneuvering a Boston Whaler on the water without any chance of shipwrecking?
Do you need to know how to equip your boat to pass a vessel safety exam?
Would the kids like to meet “Coastie, the Tugboat,” the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary mascot?
Visitors can do all of these things, and more, at the new-look Boating Information Center at the Central NY Boat Show at the New York State Fairgrounds Feb. 14-17.
The new exhibit has been developed by the New York Sea Grant in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Coast Guard Reserve, New York State Parks Marine Services Bureau, and the U.S. Power Squadron Syracuse Chapter.
Coastie will welcome visitors to the Boating Information Center that includes the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer, at the show courtesy of America’s Boating Club: U.S. Power Squadron District 6, that allows the public to try driving a Boston Whaler on a 4-mile lake with varying levels of difficulty and wind and water conditions. Users can learn how to leave and return to the dock, turn, moor, make an emergency stop, and more.
The 2019 New York Sea Grant Discover Clean and Safe Boating educational vessel will be equipped to pass a vessel safety exam that provides boaters with a certificate of an approved inspection by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron personnel.
Information will be available on U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron boating safety classes and CNY Boat Show Boating Information Center visitors may register for a drawing for a free boating class registration. Anyone born after May 1, 1996, must pass an approved boater safety course to legally operate a motorboat or personal watercraft on NY waters.
Visitors to the exhibit will also be able to try driving a remote-controlled toy boat through a navigation course in a small pool. The New York State Parks Marine Services Bureau safety trailer will be set up in the exhibit.
A new information rack will have boater educational resources focused on:
• How to properly select a life vest or personal floatation device
• How to become a New York State-certified boating safety instructor
• Vessel safety checks procedure
• Marine law enforcement careers
• Pleasure vessel noise levels and impaired boaters regulations
• Clean, Drain, Dry practices to slow the spread of aquatic invasive species, and
• Volunteer opportunities with boating organizations.
Show hours are 1-9 pm on Thursday, Feb. 14 and Friday, Feb. 15; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16; and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17. Show admission is $10 per person, 13 and younger free. Free parking and shuttle are provided. Information online at www.cnyboatshow.com.