43rd Charleston Boat Show a huge success

February 6, 2023

SeaHunt Boats on display at the Charleston Boat Show (Photo Courtesy of the Charleston Boat Show)

By: Matthew Goins

Charleston, S.C — Boat show season is underway with shows across the country, including the Charleston Boat Show, which took place from January 27 to January 29 at the Charleston Area Convention Center, drawing boaters and anglers both near and far.


The Charleston Boat Show, which started 43 years ago, has become one of the top shows in the southeast. This year’s show did not disappoint, with record-breaking businesses and attendees despite the supply chain shortages and economic uncertainty.

“I have been smiling since the show ended because I never expected it to be as good as it was based on the number of exhibitors we had and the amount of attendance,” said JBM & Associates President and Owner Jacqui McGuinness.

McGuinness and her team have managed boat shows across the southeast. This was their 22nd year overseeing the Charleston Boat Show. In her view, this year’s show was one for the books.

“We knew it would be a good year due to the demands we had early on,” said McGuinness. “We knew it was going to be good months ago because we were almost sold out of exhibit space, and we had to find more space in the garage and parking lot.”

SCBFA’s Matt Goins talks with a boater about becoming a member.

The South Carolina Boating & Fishing Alliance attended the event for the third year in a row.

The Alliance experienced heavy engagement with boaters and anglers from across the state as they shared their concerns about motor titles and taxes, the red snapper issue, and the posed National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s speed restriction.

“People are realizing the gains we have made for boat manufacturing, boat ownership, and making sure access isn’t taken away,” said SCBFA Board Chairman Chris Butler. “People are seeing it and hearing it over the different types of media we produce, the laws we have helped pass, and the laws we are working on to make boating easier and less expensive in South Carolina.”

For Butler and his team at Butler Marine, the boat show’s continued success and the yearly sales they draw from it have brought them back for the last 20 years.

“It’s my only piece of advertising that works eight months from now,” said Butler. “Someone may walk into my showroom eight months from now, and they typically do, and say, ‘Hey, I was at the show and wasn’t ready to talk to anybody. I looked at what I wanted to see, and I am ready to buy now.’”

The local market is what makes the show unique and unmatched.

“Charleston is a fantastic boating community unlike most communities on the east coast,” said Butler. “Boating is bred into the fabric of Charleston.”

McGuinness links the success to the natural beauty and numerous bodies of water the state has.

“A lot has to do with the natural resources the state has,” said McGuinness. “We are blessed to have the many lakes that we do and the ocean. There are a lot of places that don’t have the same amount of natural resources

Protecting and Expanding Boating and Fishing in South Carolina

©2021 South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance. All Rights Reserved.


We need you to protect and expand boating and fishing in the Palmetto State!

With your $25 individual contribution, you will receive an SCBFA-branded neck gaiter and sticker, along with our exclusive e-newsletter.

Please note this membership is for individuals. If you would like to contribute on behalf of your business, please email: [email protected]

Contributions to the organization are not deductible for federal income tax purposes as charitable contributions.