April 2015

The Boat Show: Hilton Head Island

Author: Special to CH2

We often take a few things for granted while living or visiting here in the Lowcountry, including daydreaming about our next opportunity to enjoy a relaxing sunny day of boating. Some of us like exploring for dolphins; many of us like cruising at sunset; and some of us love fishing all day, reeling in the big ones in one of the many local (secret) favorite spots, either in-shore or offshore. Since we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a beautiful eco-system that beckons us to venture out on our sea legs, it’s great to know what’s available in our own backyard and how to get started.

One of the largest in-water boat shows in the Lowcountry, the Hilton Head Island Boat Show, provides everything required to begin enjoying life on the water, Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2 at Windmill Harbour at the South Carolina Yacht Club. The harbor of the South Carolina Yacht Club at Windmill Harbour is transformed into the weekend home of magnificent boat displays, recreational watercraft and hands-on clinics. It’s an opportunity to see the latest power and sail boat models, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and much more. A Nautical & Artisan Village will offer a vast display of boating and luxury lifestyle products and services. Everything from nautical electronics and fishing gear to artwork and upscale resort apparel will be showcased over the weekend.

There will be free boating and fishing clinics each day, from fly-fishing demonstrations to fishing clinics for kids; stand-up paddleboard yoga and kayaking demonstrations, along with Coast Guard and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources safety demonstrations.

Experienced fishermen and boaters won’t be disappointed in the new vast display of boats and boating products. One of the most unique things about the Hilton Head Island Boat Show is the ability to schedule appointments for sea trials, which are essentially test-drives on the water. Interested show attendees are encouraged to schedule a prior appointment with a boat dealer for a sea trial during the show.

The Windmill Harbour Marina is one of only three private locked harbors on the East Coast, with boat slip rentals and storage available to the public. The private Windmill Harbour gated community offers unparalleled security and convenience to boat owners. Additional information about the marina can be found at windmillharbourmarina.org.

If you happen to be new to the nautical life or have little or no boating experience and simply want to get a sneak peek behind the gates of the beautiful homes in Windmill Harbour and magnificent views of the Intracoastal Waterway at the South Carolina Yacht Club, this year’s show has something special for you.

NEW Taste of the Harbour
A new upscale wine, spirits and culinary celebration is certain to become a marquee event for the Hilton Head Island Boat Show, especially with this year’s special guest vintners, Rob and Lydia Mondavi. Taste of the Harbour will take place on the Promenade of the South Carolina Yacht Club. Mingle with the celebrity chefs and winemakers in intimate settings at the tasting events, which will take place Friday and Saturday of the Boat Show weekend: Friday, May 1, 6:30-9:30 p.m., VIP Patron Preview Party with the Rob and Lydia Mondavi and a special guest celebrity chef; Saturday, May 2, 4-7 p.m., Lowcountry Pop-Up with guest local chefs Amanda Russ, executive chef, Pomodori; Kevin Cavanaugh, executive chef, South Carolina Yacht Club; Peter Russo, executive chef, 700 Kitchen Cooking School/Mansion on Forsyth Park; Nick Unangst, corporate chef/partner SERG Group; Saturday, May 2, 6-7:30 p.m., VIP Wine Tasting with Rob & Lydia Mondavi, (limited seating available).

If you go
The boat show takes place Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., rain or shine. Advance admission is $12 per person online with children 12 and under free; at the gate, $15 per person. Free parking is available in several locations throughout the Windmill Harbour neighborhood, with free trolley shuttle service to the South Carolina Yacht Club. Entry to the show is not permitted by boat.

The prestigious South Carolina Yacht Club will be open to the public for dining as well as tours of the clubhouse and facilities. The South Carolina Yacht Club Grill will also have a special Boat Show menu for attendees available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 

Tickets and additional information on the Hilton Head Island Boat Show and Taste of the Harbour are available online at hiltonheadislandboatshow.com.

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