John "Bear" Willis, MC

Stage MC for this year’s 2017 Melbourne Boat Show is well known boating and fishing personality, John “Bear” Willis.

With the philosophy that angling isn’t just about the catch, but also about the job of being in the moment, Bear has done it all.  Originally trained as a boat builder, Bear’s love of boating and fishing has led him to become a photo journalist, full-time boat sales and charter operator and senior boat tester for Trade-A-Boat magazine and is active in the boating and fishing community, representing many groups.

With his dynamic stage presence, Bear is sure to excite audiences with his passion for boating and everything that comes along with it!

Bill Classon, Australian Fishing Network

Bill Classon owns the media company the Australian Fishing Network and is currently the editor of Freshwater Fishing magazine as well as Sport Fishing magazine.  He has written various fishing books and hundreds of fishing articles.

He is also one of the presenters on the popular TV fishing show ‘The Fishing Show’ seen on the 7 Network nationally.

Bill has fished all around Australia and lives in Melbourne where his main passion are snapper, trout and just about anything else that swims!  Bill will be on stage at the Melbourne Boat Show along with his team Doug Phayer, Kristina Royter, and Danny Torgersen.

Paul Mercurio, TV Personality

Paul is a film and TV personality well known to audiences world wide and is appearing at this years Melbourne Boat Show.

The star of the movie Strictly Ballroom, host of his own long running cooking show Mecurio’s Menu, judge on Dancing with The Stars and member of the River to Reef team, these are just a few credits from a long list.

Paul will be Cooking all manner of seafood dishes in his own style live on stage at this year’s Melbourne Boat Show.

Ken Thompson, Navico

When it comes to boating and marine electronics, Ken Thompson is your man. 

Coming from the marine electronics experts, Navico, Ken knows all about the latest and greatest, as well as some tips and guides on using your marine electronics.

Patrick Dangerfield, AFL Footballer

Not only is he a talented AFL footballer and 2016 Brownlow Medal winner, but he’s also an avid fisherman and boatie!  Making an appearance at the Melbourne Boat Show stage is AFL star, Patrick Dangerfield!

He’ll be sharing his love of the sea, fishing and boating with the audiences, a love that started in Moggs Creek where Patrick is from.  Hear his exciting adventures both on the field and on the water at the Melbourne Boat Show!

Darren Finkelstein, The Boat Guy


Darren Finkelstein is “The Boat Guy” with over 35 years of boating experience to share.

Author of the award winning bestsellers, Honey, let's buy a BOAT! and Honely, let's sell the BOAT! and follow up sequel Honey, let's go BOATING! which highlights the BEST 101 places to go boating in Victoria. 

Considered by many as an industry expert, Darren can be heard on radio’s 3AW with his Beach N' Bay reports, seen on his video blogs, has written extensive articles on boating, and can be seen on the international stage at boat shows, corporate and lifestyle events. Listen to Darren on radio 3AW as he delivers his unique Beach N' Bay reports live each summer.  Darren is also an ambassador for "Life's Better With A Boat" campaign for the Boating Industry Association. 

Watch his weekly boating forecast from 

Merv Hughes, Cricket Legend

Merv Hughes is a big-hearted Aussie sporting legend, having had a successful Cricket career both on the national and international stage.

At the Melbourne Boat Show, Merv will share with audiences his passion for fishing, a passion that saw Merv release his first book in 2006, “Caught in the Deep.”  By his own admission, Merv believes that you don’t have to be a pro to enjoy fishing, all you need is a sense of adventure, a love of the outdoors and a willingness to learn from those who know!