Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow sets sail at Kentucky Expo Center – Spectrum News 1

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Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this story an incorrect link was provided for a survey from Family Destination Guide. The correct link has been added. (Jan. 26, 2023) 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thousands of Kentuckians will make their way to Louisville for the annual Boat, RV and Sportshow at the Kentucky Expo Center.


What You Need To Know

  • The Louisville Boat, RV and Sportshow has been held annually for nearly 60 years
  • The show runs from Jan. 25–29 this year 
  • Hundreds of boats, RVs and sporting equipment are available for purchase 
  • Tickets cost $14. 00 each per day


The  Louisville Vessel, RV and Sportshow   set sail this week. From first time boaters to advanced adventure seekers, Discover Boating’s show has provided something for everyone for nearly 60 years.

Justin Montalbano serves as a spokesperson with regard to the 5 day showcase, with experience in selling vessels and growing up being on them all the time.  

“I’d say we have 200+ boats, and probably another 200-300 RVs [in the showcase], ” said Montalbano.

Knoxville native plus boat lover Justin Montalbano is one of dozens helping to put on the Louisville Boat, RV and Sportshow. As he walked up the steps to show off a pontoon boat, he explained it’s been a favorite regarding people in the last few years because of speed and comfort.

Pontoon motorboats displayed inside the Kentucky Expo Center during the Louisville Motorboat, RV & Sportshow. (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

Montalbano used to sell boats like those, so he knows a thing or two.

“A lot of these manufacturers can build these boats fairly quickly, ” Montalbano said. “They do have a lot of them in stock, so depending if you want to custom order, it’s going to take you 8-10 weeks to get it and that’s the importance of having this show early in the year. ”

He says nearly 30, 000 people will visit the display from all over Kentucky. And if boats aren’t their speed, he says there are plenty of RVs to check out—even ones that look such as homes.

A recent survey from Family members Destinations Guide revealed the particular average Kentucky traveler would rather drive 7 hours instead of taking an one-hour flight to avoid delays and disruptions.

And if you’re still not convinced you need a summer gadget, you could check out a kayak you can peddle with your feet.

“You can sit, you can stand. That’s the nice versatility of today’s kayak, ” said Depenbrock. “The kayaking, canoeing and paddle board industry has been phenomenal the last 10 in order to 15 years, but really in the last 4-5 years we’ve seen exponential growth. ”

Captain Nathan Depenbrock is the co-owner of Canoe Kentucky & Kentucky River Tours . We first introduced a person to Captain Depenbrock within 2019 for Kentucky’s only Bourbon Boat Tour. He’s spent 27 seasons doing this show that’s been around for over 60 years. Depenbrock said buying a canoe or kayak is like buying the car—you should test drive them first.

“Whether they’re looking for canoes and kayaks or RVs and campers or bass boats and pontoons, they come out here with knowledge and education. Plus knowing how to participate in these sports in the most interesting plus fun way but the safest way, ” stated Depenbrock.

“These are big purchases, so it’s something people have thought about for a while. It’s awesome to see individuals make that dream into a reality, ” said Montalbano.

Visitors will have until Sunday to check it all out. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife will be in the showcase at booth 1000 for rules and regulations intended for the 2023 boating, fishing and hunting seasons.

Tickets to the showcase can be bought online through Discover Boating’s website for $14. 00 per day.

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