Progressive® Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show® to Shine a Light on New ‘Made in Minnesota’ Products, Thriving Local Boating Economy

Minnesota manufacturers, dealers and new entrepreneurs introduce marine innovations at Upper Midwest’s biggest boat show

1/9/2019 12:00:00 AM

Minneapolis, Minn. – January 9, 2019 – The 2019 Progressive® Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show®  - an annual hub to find the latest in boats and marine accessories – is seeing a surge of new product introductions, particularly those made in Minnesota, a sign of the state’s strong economy and a golden age for local boating businesses.   

“As we began to line up the roster of exhibitors for the 2019 boat show, we noticed an increase in products being introduced designed and built right here in Minnesota,” said Darren Envall, Show Manager. “As one of the top five boating states, we’re encouraged to see so many innovations originating out of Minnesota that will benefit the entire recreational boating industry and continue to boost the local economy. And, attendees can get a first look at these new products at the boat show this year!”

From the world’s first luxury fiberglass electric pontoon and mobile technologies for controlling your boat lift, to a promising technique for battling invasive species and new innovations to make boating more user-friendly than ever, Minnesota ingenuity will be on display at the 2019 Progressive® Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show® Jan. 24-27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Here’s a peek at the ‘Made in Minnesota’ products not to miss:

  • ELUX, the world’s first luxury fiberglass electric pontoon, manufactured by ELUX Marine a new company led by noted Minnesota entrepreneur Howard Root and marine inventor Bart Jones. 
  • The Dock Bot, convenient new smart technology with boat lift control and security, providing connectivity from a mobile device anywhere cellular service is available.
  • Fitzke Wood Paddleboards, collectible, handmade paddleboards custom created by master craftsman and designer Kevin Fitzke.
  • The Varatti Z22, a new Varatti Sports Performance Boat from FLOE CRAFT, a multi-water sports boat designed for surfing, wakeboarding, skiing and tubing.
  • Aqua Weed Stick, an innovative new tool designed to easily remove weeds from boat trailers, invented by Minnesota millennial entrepreneurs Michaela Anderson and Justin Kofoed.
  • The Nauti-Step, a portable step with a built-in water basin designed to keep feet clean, prevent unwanted debris like sand, dirt and grass from getting on the boat, and provide easier accessibility on and off the boat.
  • A new Fender & Bumper Hanger from Northern Lights Engineer, a noted marine design and manufacturing company based in Minnesota.
  • Zebra Mussel Mania, a potential solution from Minnesota businessman Del Anderson that destroys zebra mussel larvae using a patent-pending system of LED lights and underwater material.  

Further proof of Minnesota’s boating industry boom is the news of recent acquisitions by major Minnesota brands including: the acquisition of Bennington, Godfrey Pontoons and Rinker by Medina-based Polaris; the opening of Winnebago’s corporate office in Eden Prairie and its acquisition of Chris-Craft; and the creation of BRP Marine Group, based in St. Peter, after BRP’s acquisition of Alumacraft – all which will be at the 2019 boat show.

Show attendees are encouraged to visit these innovative companies at their booths and learn more about how Minnesotans are changing the boating industry. For a list of exhibitors and booth locations, visit the boat show website here.

Minnesota boating economic data (source: National Marine Manufacturers Association):

  • Minnesota ranked #5 in the U.S. in 2017 for boat sales with a spend of $807 million, up 12.1% from 2016.
  • Minnesota has been seeing growth in sales for the past eight consecutive years, and Minneapolis-St. Paul area has seen growth for the past seven consecutive years, up 4% through June 2018.


Thursday, January 24                      2pm–9pm
Friday, January 25                            12pm– 9pm 
Saturday, January 26                      10am–9pm
Sunday, January 27                         10am–5pm        
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tickets can be purchased in advance at at discount through January 23rd or onsite full price the day of the show. 
Cost for tickets:
Adults (13 and older): $14.00
Youth (12 and under): FREE with paid adult
Active Military: FREE - Present military ID at the box office onsite
Senior Day, Thursday, January 24, 62+ $11.00
Editor’s Note:  Preview photos are available upon request. FREE wireless will be available in the exhibit halls during show hours. Contact Bonnie Harris at 612-801-0912 for more information.
About the Progressive® Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show
The Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat and sportshows and the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information, visit To learn more about Progressive Boat Insurance, which insures more than one million watercraft, please visit or contact Julie Kolencik at, (440) 395-2019.           
Contact: Sarah Salvatori 312.946.6285

Progressive Insurance

GMC Minneapolis State Farm T-Mobile LeafFilter Manitowoc Marina Sea-Doo St. Boni Motorsports Alumacraft Daka Lifetime Tiki Mickman Brothers Prescott Boat Club Rockvam Bennington Niccum Docks Plants and Things Discover Boating NMMA-Certification