What to Expect at the Northern Illinois Boat Show & Sale [Infographic]

Visit Captain Rod at the Biggest Boat Show of the Year!

It’s that time of year again—spring is coming, and soon it’ll be warm enough to take the boat out on the water. With that in mind, now’s the time to gear up and make sure you’re ready for boating season. There’s no better place to do that than the Northern Illinois Boat Show & Sale. This annual event runs March 2nd-5th in Grayslake, and no vendor is more excited to be there than Captain Rod’s Boat Lift and Pier Services!

Here’s a bit more about everything you’ll find at the boat show, and specifically what you’ll find at our booth.

What’s at the Boat Show?

The Northern Illinois Boat Show & Sale is the largest boat show in Northern Illinois, featuring a vast array of boats as well as related products and services.

This event boasts the best sale pricing you’ll find all year, on over 200 new and used boats. The show features more than 50 of the top boat manufacturers around, so you can compare all the best local deals. Featured brands include Yamaha, Bennington, Lund, Bayliner, and many others. A wide variety of boats will be on display: jet boats, cruisers, pontoon boats, ski boats, bow riders, wake surf boats, wake board boats, cuddy cabins, deck boats, and more.

In addition to boats, there will also be more than 30 vendors exhibiting their many boat trailers, parts, and accessories.

This is one of the most important events of the year for those involved with boating. It attracts a comprehensive selection of brands and equipment, delivers the best deals of the year, and lets you see everything there is to see in the industry. It’s no wonder that people come all the way from both Chicago and Milwaukee for this event.

The Northern Illinois Boat Show & Sale is held at the Lake County Fairgrounds at 1060 East Peterson Road in Grayslake, IL. It runs from March 2nd-5th, and the hours are as follows:

  • March 2nd (Thurs): 12pm – 8pm
  • March 3rd (Fri): 12pm – 8pm
  • March 4th (Sat): 10am – 8pm
  • March 5th (Sun): 10am – 5pm

Adults pay an $8 entry fee, while seniors and veterans pay only $6 and children under 12 enter free. Parking is free as well.

What Captain Rod Brings to the Boat Show

When you visit the boat show, be sure to drop by Captain Rod’s booth! We’ll be showcasing our entire range of products and services, including pier services, boat lifts, and seawalls.

Pier Services

Spring means you can finally get back out on the water, but first you may need to reinstall a pier. Whether you’re looking to service your existing pier or install a new one, we’re the ones for the job, and when it comes to removable docks, we carry only the best—MAX Dock Systems. That includes three pier, marine, and dock lines: MAX’s Standard, Premier, and LochDock systems.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, we also design and install custom permanent steel frame piers. The frame is welded together with no moving parts, and topped with your choice of decking to suit your needs. Two of our most popular options in that regard are Genovations PVC decking and Sure-Step virgin polypropylene decking. Genovations decking has a lifetime warranty, quick installation, and efficient heat dissipation. It’s also resistant to stains, mold, fading, cracking, sagging, and more. Sure-Step decking has a unique open-web chevron-pattern design that allows sunlight, water, and wind to pass through. This makes it eco-friendly, slip-resistant, and durable.

We also offer dock accessories, including waterfront PWC floats to customize how you interact with your pier and Sunchaser Canopies to shelter your boat from birds, spiders, sun, and rain.

Boat Lifts

In addition to piers, Captain Rod’s also provides high-quality hydraulic boat lifts. Summit Hydraulic Lifts are some of the most dependable on the market, with easy assembly, weather and corrosion resistance, a safe 12-volt motor, velocity fuses that gently lower your boat in emergencies, and a power transfer strap that evenly distributes the load among the hinges. We offer these at competitive prices, and also stock a full range of boat lift options from MAX. Like their docks, these boat lifts are highly customizable, with options for catwalks, motor stops, solar power, and more.


Finally, we also install and service seawalls for protecting waterfront property from shoreline erosion. Options include steel seawalls, as well as outcropping or rip rap. These methods use either slabs of stone or fractured limestone pieces to create a more pleasing aesthetic for your shoreline, while still protecting it from waves, ice floes, and boat wakes.

Altogether, Captain Rod’s offers all the equipment you need on the waterfront: seawalls to keep your shoreline intact, piers to provide a place to store your boat, and boat lifts to safely raise and lower it in and out of the water. So, if you’re planning on boating this spring, come on out to the Northern Illinois Boat Show & Sale—and drop by Captain Rod’s booth for the best boating deals of the year!