PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The Emerald Coast Boat and Lifestyle Show kicked off Friday and lasts all weekend long.
The show features boats fit for any kind of captain.
Peggy King, the Regional Marketing Director for Onewater Marine, said
“We have 30 boats out here, all different kinds, center consoles, bow riders, fishing boats, pleasure boats, pontoons, and we’re here to sell some boats.”
While there’s all different kinds of vessels, buyers have different kinds of needs. For Bay County resident Wayne Lindsey, Hurricane Michael has hindered his ability to get back on the water.
Wayne Lindsey, a Lynn Haven resident, said, “The far end of my dock wound up in my backyard, so we got the dock put back together about two to three weeks ago, so we’re boat shopping to try to start all over and try it again.”
For many locals like Wayne Lindsey, they are having difficulty finding a place to keep their boat.
Jim Hamilton, the Marina Director at Pirate’s Cove & Lighthouse Marinas, said, “There’s a lot of people that have boats that don’t have a place to put them right now.”
Many marinas have been closed in the wake of the storm.
“All the in-water marinas like the municipal marinas and Bay Point marina, they’re non-existent right now,” said Hamilton.
But buying a boat or not, events like this help bring a sense of a normalcy to the community.
“Anything normal is a blessing, we’ve been out of our house for six months and ready to get back home and ready to put a boat on that dock,” said Lindsey.
Once boats return home to their docks, boaters can return home to the water.