Sig Hansen in NewPort, RI, today!

East coast fans in the area may want to steer on over to Newport and catch Sig Hansen!  He’ll be signing autographs, posing for pics, and most likely chatting about ‘Deadliest Catch’, the new Xbox game, and his Helly Hansen Northwestern gear….So ‘Shut Up and Fish!’

NEWPORT — Nancy Piffard, director of the Newport Spring Boat show, has said that rising fuel prices have had little effect on big-boat sales. The 34th edition of the show opens today through Sunday at the Newport Yachting Center in a new atmosphere.

A few years ago, it was almost impossible to find a boat slip from the top of Narragansett Bay to New Haven, Conn. As fuel prices at marinas approach $5 a gallon this season, dock owners are using craigslist.org to sell slip space at bargain prices. One Rhode Island boat yard on craigslist recently offered 10 gallons of gasoline to boat owners who rented a slip for the summer.

For bargain hunters at the boat show, organizers are introducing a “Marine Consignment Tent” filled with nautical goods. “If the consignment item sells, the owner will then receive a percentage of the sale and partial proceeds will benefit the Seaman’s Church Institute,” Piffard said. “With the show going back to our traditional May time frame, the tent should draw crowds of true boating people not only looking for bargains, but who’ll also be tempted by the new-boat specials and enticing brokerage offerings that will be close at hand.”

The boat show is sanctioned by the Yacht Brokers Association of America (YBAA) whose members will be offering used yachts there this weekend. More than 50 YBAA members and a similar number of boat dealers are expected to exhibit nearly 200 boats, with 300 exhibits in the water, on land and under tents.

Tomorrow at noon and 4 p.m., at the Helly Hansen tent, Sig Hansen from the Emmy-nominated TV series Deadliest Catch will be signing autographs. He has one of the most lucrative yet deadliest jobs in the world.

The Bassmaster CastingKids contest, sponsored by the Rhode Island B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, will be held for youngsters between 7 and 14, competing for scholarships. The challenge is to flip, pitch and cast a hookless lure to a bull’s-eye target.

Show hours are today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Seminar schedules and discount coupons are available online at www.newportspringboatshow.com.

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