Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Visit Roanoke Boat Show for free on Friday

Mark Taylor Mark Taylor is outdoors editor at The Roanoke Times.



Mark Taylor

Outdoors coverage

The Wild Life blog

Familiar names and a popular new feature are back for the annual Southwest Virginia Boat Show.

Known simply as the Roanoke Boat Show, the event runs Friday through Sunday at the Roanoke Civic Center.

As an indication that the boat market has rebounded after a few difficult years, the boat dealer list is the same as it was last year, featuring the eight members of the Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers Association.

During the toughest few years, dealers were going out of business at a regular clip.

Also returning this year is the Free Friday promotion, which debuted last year.

The lure of free admission on Friday helped increase floor traffic on what has traditionally been a quiet day at the show.

Weekend traffic was still steady.

Admission is $7.50 for adults on Saturday and Sunday, with children 12 and younger free with a paying adult.

Participating dealers are Ace Marine, Conrad Brothers Marine, Hughes Marine, Smith Mountain Boat and Tackle, Virgil Naff SeaDoo, Magnum Boating, Smith Mountain Yacht Club and Webster Marine Center.

In addition to the boat dealers, the show will feature a number of vendors who specialize in products and services related to boating and lake living.

The show's hours are 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

More information on the show is available at www.roanokeboatshow.com, and the site also includes links to dealer websites.

Outdoor show returns to Fishersville

The Western Virginia Sport Show continues its long run this weekend.

In its 26th year, the show runs Friday through Sunday at the Augusta Expoland facility in Fishersville.

The event will include a long list of vendors, some selling outdoors products and many pushing services such as outfitting trips to exotic (and non-exotic) hunting locations.

Seminars, including some by hunting industry celebrities, are also on tap.

This year's featured talent includes Jep and Jessica from the Duck Dynasty show, well-known video hunter Stan Potts and veteran hunting writer and TV host Jim Zumbo.

Also back is the always popular big buck contest, which provides the earliest public look at some of the best deer killed in the state during this past season.

There will also be a turkey calling contest and archery competition.

The hours are noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Visit www.westernvasportshow.com for additional details.

Senate sinks paddling bill

A Senate proposal that had potential to improve paddling access to some Virginia waterways has been narrowly defeated on the Senate floor.

The crux of SB 737 was this passage: "No person shall be liable for civil or criminal trespass for travel upon the rivers, streams, or creeks within the Commonwealth if the travel consists solely of floating in or upon the water in a non-motorized vessel for purposes of recreation."

Additional language noted that the law would apply only to waters of a certain size, and also clarified that it would not allow for paddlers to set foot on private property.

The bill, submitted by Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax and crafted with the help of a couple of avid paddlers who also happen to be attorneys, ended up falling by a 21 to 18 vote.

Considering that this was the first attempt to forward such legislation, the narrow defeat should give supporters of increased paddling access reason for optimism if a similar push should take place next year, as expected.

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