Boat Types & Buyers Guide

The Northern Illinois Boat Show is coming to Grayslake at the New Lake County Fairgrounds on Feb. 28th – Mar. 3rd! Parking is free for you to view over 200 new and used boats. Featuring 30+ vendors and 50+ boat brands on display with on-site, long term, low rate financing available! It’s a one-stop shop for the following types of boats:


Bow Riders

Designed for day cruising and recreation, bowriders are typically between 17’-35’ long and allow access to the bow for sun bathing, relaxing and general seating. Bowriders are agile, and versatile, they can be purchased standard or with high end finishes customized for your liking, making them a top choice for people who anticipate up 8-10 passengers.

Ski Boats

A top choice for waterskiing, this type of boat is typically made of light fiberglass and has an inboard engine so propellers are far away from the edge of the boat, tucked into the bottom of the boat. These boats typically place the engine in the middle of the boat, and they host a control tower where various accessories can be attached, along with in-floor ski lockers and safe attachment areas for tow ropes. Ski boats run with strong acceleration and minimum wake sizes producing a level ride for smooth skiing.

Wake Board Boats

To get wakes as big as possible a wakeboard boat functions with features like a deeper-v shaped hull and the engine at the back of the boat. The boat’s running attitude changes with extra weight, also called “ballast”, or specially crafted tabs or hydrofoils, in order to pump up and shape the wakes to create the perfect launch ramp for wakeboarders to achieve their biggest air. Propellers are tucked well under the bottom of the boat for safety and performance; steering is accomplished via a pivoting rudder.

Cabin Cruiser

Recreational by nature, Cabin cruisers are generally equipped with cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities and are ideal for those who want to feel the sun above and the ocean below. Typically in the 25 – 45’ range, these vessels offer all the essentials of home, including air conditioning, hot water, a galley (kitchen), head (toilet), and multiple berths (sleeping accommodations).

Cuddy Cabins

Cuddy cabins are ideal for day cruising, watersports, and other on-the-water activities such as fishing and swimming. Cuddies swap the open-front seating area in the traditional bowrider for a small, enclosed cabin where a v shaped bed and possibly a small head, galley, and fresh water sink.

Deck Boats

Deck boats have a wide front deck to carry more passengers with a look and performance more like runabouts. Deck boats maintain their width farther forward than a bowrider or runabout, with a square bow vs. the V-shape of other boats, adding more forward seating.

Jet Boats

Jet Boats offer a high-performance powerful ride leaping onto plane with little hesitation, boasting thrilling speeds and handling with unparalleled agility even in shallow waters. Jet power uses an easy to maintain propulsion system enclosed in the hull so no propellers to get in the way of streamlining their raw power.

Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are designed to float on large pontoons, and are the number one growing boating segment due to it’s stylish interiors, stand up bars, sun pads, and entertainment options. Since pontoon boats offer more space and more carrying capacity than any other boating segment, they are the popular choice when it comes to relaxing days on the water with family and friends. When equipped with larger engines they can reach 60 mph.

Fishing Boats

Built for versatility, these boats are often used for both salt water and freshwater fishing. All-purpose fishing boats are a perfect choice for a versatile boat that is capable of a wide variety of tasks. All-purpose models typically feature a deeper-V boat bottom, or “hull”, and have higher sides for protection.


The selection of boats at 2019 Northern Illinois Boat Show and Sale will be spectacular!. For a variety of boats, parts and accessories come to the Illinois Boat Show Feb. 28th – Mar. 3rd at the New Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, IL.

Summer is right around the corner, and a summer out on the water is always a better one!

On-Site Financing! Long Term & Low Rates!

Save on Admission

$2 Off Admission

(limit 4 per household)

Hours & Info

  • Feb. 28th (Thurs): 12pm – 8pm
  • March 1st (Fri): 12pm – 8pm
  • March 2nd (Sat): 10am – 8pm
  • March 3rd (Sun): 10am – 5pm
  • Adults: $8
  • Children (under 12): FREE
  • Seniors: $6
  • Veterans: $6
  • FREE Parking