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Boat Show Makes an All-Marine Family Day

Blow off the afternoon's leaf-raking and instead, head for the water to scout out some superior seafaring vessels at the 35th Norwalk Boat Show at Norwalk Cove Marina. True, you'll find luxury motor and sailing yachts, sport fishers, performance boats, sailboats, kayaks, nautical gear and a comprehensive marine accessories selection. But you'll also be surprised by some unexpected water-related activities on tap. For instance, you can dive into ?a 15,000 gallon mobile pool (if you're age 10 or older) to get a taste of scuba diving. (Don't worry, it's heated.) Or head to Kids' Cove where little mariners can paddleboat on a mini-lake, go-kart race and meet that famous porous sea creature, SpongeBob SquarePants. You can also tour a 30-foot Phantom racer and meet one of the stars of The Discovery Channel program, “The Deadliest Catch.”

The show's "History of Boating in America" exhibit gathers museum-quality classic and antique boats from private collectors and classic boat manufacturers. On view are an original production 1899 Elco electric launch, an 8-ft. World War II PT model boat from the Battleship Cove Museum, a rare collectible mahogany triple-cockpit runabout, and other classic boats.

And if you're thinking of adding boating to your family's activities line-up, you'll be in good company.  According to Roper Research, power boating had one of the highest rates of growth over the last few years, appealing to nearly 30 million people. In Connecticut, more than 100,000 people are boat owners. For information on where (and how)  to boat in your area, the State of CT website has some useful links,  including a Coastal Access Guide , a list of places to launch a boat and a table to check tides and currents.

The Norwalk Boat Show runs September 23-26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $12 for everyone 16 and older. For more informaiton, visit the show's website .

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