The Charleston Boat Show Celebrates 40 Years

The Charleston Boat Show Celebrates 40 Years

Charleston, SC- January 7, 2020– The annual Charleston Boat Show, presented by Rick Hendrick Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, has something to celebrate. Not only is the popular show celebrating its 40th anniversary, but the industry is celebrating another very strong year. “Based on the current economic indicators, 2020 could be the best year ever for the boating industry,” said Tri-County Marine Trade Association President Chris Butler.


The Charleston Boat Show has an interesting history, all starting in 1980, with a small group of local boat dealers Duncan’s Boat City, Summerville Marine, Dorchester Marine, Outboard Shop, Seels and Marine Center (now Hanckel Marine).


This small group knew the importance of showcasing their products in a show atmosphere. Starting with a small event in a parking lot, moving to a mall, and then to the Charleston Coliseum. Eventually the Charleston Area Convention Center was built so they moved the show giving them more space.


In 2001, JBM & Associates was hired to bring the show to the next level. JBM has been successfully producing this show since January 2002. “This is my baby. I still remember the day I signed my contract. It was 9/11/2001. I sat in the GM’s office watching the TV while Jim Duncan, the President of the Tri County Marine Trade Association sat next to me. We were both in a daze as we watched the news. I never expected to have grown an entire business as boat show producers from this. Now we are in our 19th year producing this show and have four others. It has been an amazing ride and I’m so proud to  be a part of it,” said JBM founder Jacqui McGuinness.


The Charleston Area Convention Center has become a stable home for the Charleston Boat Show, and with its continued growth, there was a need for additional space. Half of the show has expanded into the parking lot. “We just keep expanding and adding more and more boats and vendors into the parking lot. I’m just so appreciative that this has worked so well over the years. The show could use twice as much space on the exhibit hall floor,” added McGuinness.


This year’s event has new features including Women on Water boating classes presented by MarineMax. Ladies will take the helm and experience a unique hands-on class designed to get women behind the wheel and confident on the water. In a relaxed classroom setting, women will learn to tie proper lines, boat operating and handling, rules of the water and so much more. Space is limited so reservations are necessary.


The Coastal Fishing Expo, presented by Coastal Carolina Fisherman and sponsored by Field & Stream has expanded with more presenters. All seminars are held on Saturday and Sunday of the show.


Musicians Pernell McDaniel and Waltzing Matilda will perform throughout the show. There is always great family fun at the show and this year is no exception. Features include: pirates, Mermaid Oracle, fairy hair, face painting, SCDNR boating simulator and much more.


The show is best known for having a huge assortment of new boats to choose from, and with specatular boat show prices. Manufacturer representatives and boat dealers consider this show one of their most successful each year. There will be more than 85 boat brands and more than 100 vendors selling marine related products and services. Some of the new vendors include: Rheos Gear Floating Sunglasses, Nautiflife, Coastal Touchless Boat Canvas, Doggie Ladders, Foxy Fossils, Hull Shield, Sea Real Art, Allegiance Flag Supply, Castaway Customs, Harbor Solar and more.


The Charleston Boat Show tickets range from $5-$20. Adults $12; Kids 4-12 and under $5; Kids 3 and under- Free; Military with ID $5; and Seniors $8. A two-day pass is available for $20. Hours: Friday noon-6pm; Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 11am-5pm. Parking is free.

For tickets and details please visit


The Charleston Boat Show is presented by Rick Hendrick Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and sponsored by SouthState Bank, Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Maritime Insurance International, Safe Harbor City Boatyard, Safe Harbor City, Safe Harbor Bristol. Partners include: Dicks Sporting Goods, Field and Stream and Coastal Carolina Fisherman.



About JBM & Associates

JBM & Associates is a company made up of women who have been producing boat shows around the country for more than 19 years. They focus on the customer’s needs, exhibitors and vendors to create experiences, not just events. In addition to the Charleston Boat Show, they also produce Savannah Boat Show, Charleston In-Water Boat Show, Wilmington Boat Show and the Jacksonville In-Water Boat Show. For more information, visit