Seminars

Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training

On-the-water power and sail learning event - ONLY AT THE BOAT SHOW! 

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Nothing beats hands on experience when it comes to improving your boating skills and learning new ones. This year let Discover Boating add more fun and excitement to your boat show experience…and take your boating skills up a notch. Whether you have boating experience or not, there's something for everyone—from absolute beginners to seasoned skippers!   

Learn from experts

All sessions are taught by USCG licensed captains who are professional, certified instructors

 

CHOOSE YOUR EVENT - POWER or SAIL

One- and Three-Hour Powerboating Workshops

Powerboaters may choose from three skills building sessions:

  • Basic Docking and Fundamental Close Quarters Maneuvering Skills
  • Open Water Boat Handling and Safety
  • Anchoring and Multi-Vessel Rafting

For details on these one-hour powerbaoting workshops and to reserve your space, click here.

Powerboaters may also opt for a more in-depth learning experience and considerably more practice time by participating in a three-hour extended workshop created specifically for and presented only at the boat show:

  • Powerboating Made Easy
  • Advanced Docking & Precision Boat Control in Tight Spaces

For workshop details and to reserve your space, click here.

Participants who register online the each three-hour session will receive FREE boat show admission for the day. Participants in all events must be capable of performing as an active crewmember while underway.

Space in these popular events is very limited. Advance registration is highly recommended.

Three-Hour Sailing Workshops

Sailors may choose from two unique on-water learning events:

  • Introduction to Sailing
  • Advanced Sailing Skills
  • Advanced Docking under Power

These 3-hour workshops provide an excellent learning opportunity through hands on skills building exercises. Those who register in advance for the three-hour sessions will receive FREE boat show admission for the day. For details on these exclusive sailing workshops and to reserve your space, click here.

Participants in all events must be capable of performing as an active crewmember while underway.

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DIY Seminars & hands-on workshops covering boat and motor maintenance, repairs and upgrades

Watch, learn and do! If you're a do-it-yourselfer or boat owner interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading your boat or motor, head to Fred's Shed for free seminars and workshops. Daily sessions will cover a variety of topics, and include demos and question/answer sessions. Certified marine service technician "Fred", brings more than 35 years boating and marine service experience to the Shed.

 

Stop by for professional, practical advice, participate in hands-on clinics, ask questions, and see the cutaway boat and motor. It's all FREE, compliments of the Progressive® Insurance Chicago In-Water Boat Show 

Seminar Descriptions

Don’t be Fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy. Did you know that a small ding on your prop could cost you 15% in fuel efficiency? Wonder if changing the pitch on your prop will make your boat plane faster? Get answers to these questions and learn how props affect performance and fuel economy. 

 
Maintaining a gas engine: Tips from a pro. Get pointers on keeping your gas-powered marine engine running its best and learn about basic maintenance. From water pumps to fuel systems, this session is sure to be of benefit.
 
Keeping your boat “shipshape”: Detailing & general maintenance. Discover the best ways to keep your boat clean. Learn tricks of the trade for removing dirty black streaks and water marks from your hull. Find out which products can make your seats and canvas look new. Whether you‘re a lifelong boater or just bought your first boat, you’re sure to learn a trick or two at this seminar. 
 
Fuel system maintenance: Keeping it clean & working.  This session will tackle fuel system basics, including the tough subject of ethanol in marine engines.
 
All charged up: Installing and maintaining a marine battery system. Everything you need to know about marine batteries, but didn’t know who or what to ask! Listen in as our pros share their expertise. You’re sure to leave with the know-how to install and maintain your batteries.
 
Go one-on-one with a service technician. Stop by for a FREE one-on-one consultation with our certified marine technician, Fred, compliments of the Show. Get advice and answers to your questions with the help of cutaway motors, tools and a cutaway boat for hands-on demonstrations. Sessions will be first-come, first-served.
 
Changing a water pump. Although often overlooked, your boat’s water pump should be changed regularly. A faulty impellor is one of the primary causes of engine failure. Stop by to learn how to change a water pump, and simple tricks that make the job easier.
 
Basic fiberglass repair and maintenance.  Learn about preventative fiberglass maintenance and strategies for repairing damage. If you own a fiberglass boat, you do not want to miss this workshop. 
 
Maintaining your generator. Learn how to keep your generator in top working order. Fred will share a list of do and don'ts for operating and maintaining your generator.
 
Proper winterization. Want to save money and winterize your boat yourself? Curious about which tasks on the winterizing checklist you should leave in the hands of the pros at your service center? Learn the tips and tricks of the big service centers that handle hundreds of winterizations each year.
 

Schedule

Thursday, June 5 

11AM             One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions

11:30 AM        Keeping your boat “shipshape”: Detailing & general maintenance

12 PM            Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy.

12:30 PM       Changing a water pump

1 PM             Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro 

1:30 PM         Fuel system maintenance: Keeping it clean & working.    

2 PM             Proper winterization.  

3 PM             Maintaining your generator 

3:30 PM         Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy. 

4 PM             Changing a water pump 

4:30 PM         Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro 

5 PM             Fuel System Maintenance: Keeping it Clean & Working 

5:30 PM        Proper Winterization

6 PM            One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions

 

Friday, June 6

11AM             One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions

11:30 AM        Keeping your boat “shipshape”: Detailing & general maintenance

12 PM            Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy.

12:30 PM       Changing a water pump

1 PM             Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro 

1:30 PM         Fuel system maintenance: Keeping it clean & working.    

2 PM             Proper winterization.  

3 PM             Maintaining your generator 

3:30 PM         Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy. 

4 PM             Changing a water pump 

4:30 PM         Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro 

5 PM             Fuel System Maintenance: Keeping it Clean & Working 

5:30 PM        Proper Winterization

6 PM            One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions

 

Saturday, June 7

10AM           One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions

10:30 AM      Proper winterization. 

11AM            Maintaining your generator

11:30 AM      Basic fiberglass repair and maintenance

12 PM          Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy.

12:30 PM      Changing a water pump

1 PM            Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro

1:30 PM       Fuel system maintenance: Keeping it clean & working.   

2 PM           Proper winterization. 

3 PM           All charged up: Installing and maintaining a marine battery

3:30 PM       Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy.

4 PM            Changing a water pump

4:30 PM        Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro

5 PM            Fuel System Maintenance: Keeping it Clean & Working

5:30 PM       Proper Winterization

6 PM            One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions  

 

Sunday, June 8 

10AM           One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions 

10:30 AM      Maintaining your generator 

11AM            Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy 

11:30 AM      Changing a water pump 

12 PM          Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro 

12:30 PM      Fuel system maintenance: Keeping it clean & working

1 PM            Proper winterization

 2 PM           All charged up: Installing and maintaining a marine battery

 2:30PM        Don’t be fuelish: Propping your boat for performance and fuel economy

 3 PM           Changing a water pump

 3:30 PM       Maintaining a gas engine. Tips from a pro

 4 PM           One-on-one with a service tech. Stop by and ask your questions 

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