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Cleveland Boat Show brings new vendors who are chartering new careers

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Posted at 9:40 PM, Mar 17, 2022

CLEVELAND — If you’re looking to buy a boat this spring or summer, look no further than the Cleveland Boat Show. The Cleveland Boat show is back at the I-X Center for its 65th year and will be ongoing through Sunday evening.

Michelle Burke, the manager of the show, said it’s an event for all ages.

“We have tons of boats here. We also have a lot of activities for the families, so not only is it the best place to come and look for a boat but you can spend the whole day here with the family,” she said.

She expects the crowd this year to be bigger and better than ever because more people are interested in boating than ever before.

“The pandemic was the best thing to happen to the boating industry in decades, people absolutely turned to the water they bought boats they bought paddle craft. It’s a stress reliever.”

And while some new faces may be in the crowd, there are also new faces in the booths. Jim Dempsey is one of those newcomers to the show.

During the pandemic, Dempsey traded in his suit and tie, nine to five life, for a captain’s hat.

“I said ‘I’ve been doing the corporate grind for quite a while, why don’t I get into something I really enjoy,’ and that’s boating. I’ve been boating for over 20 years,” he said. “With COVID, I was like, ‘you know what? I think there’s going to be a lot of people that want to get out of the water and want to get away.’”

He startedPower Play Yacht Charters.

“I do yacht charters out of Sandusky and Cleveland and I got to Lake Erie shoes and all the islands in Northeast Ohio,” he said. “We had a couple good years in the business world and I was fortunate what to buy a larger vessel. What I pilot is a 55-foot, Sea Ray sport yacht and it can take out about 12 people.”

He takes families out, bachelor and bachelorette parties and even weddings.

“I have yet to have a dissatisfied customer and I know that’s because it’s one of my passions and I love being engaged with them and helping them just share life with their family and friends,” he said.

You can find Captain Jim at the boat show all weekend long and dozens of other exhibits at the 2022 Cleveland Boat show all weekend long.

Tickets to the show are discounted online.