By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 45th Minneapolis Boat Show gets underway Thursday afternoon at the Convention Center, with close to 40,000 people expected to visit.

Boats are just a part of it. Docks, lifts, marine gear and paddle boards are also on display.

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There are 200 exhibitors at the boat show this year and it’s always a question of “what’s new?” A 39-and-a-half-foot Afina yacht tops that list.

“It has a retractable roof and roll-up windows so you can completely enclose the boat,” said Brian Ploeger of FLOE International.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Afina’s are made in Minnesota at a factory in McGregor.

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“There’s a hideaway suite, sleeps two full-sized beds,” Ploeger said.

The retractable roof is relatively new engineering for Minnesota’s waterways.

“I was out in November when it was snowing. With the engines it has, it will do over 50 mph with more than 20 people,” Ploeger said.

But the new engines you will find at the show are not all about horsepower. The new technology this year means good news for Mother Nature.

“They’ve come so far with emissions, quietness, better for the environment,” said show manager Darren Envall.

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The boat show begins Thursday at 2 p.m. Hours and ticket information can be found here.

John Lauritsen