The 19th Washington boat show opens one-week stand at 1 p.m. Saturday at the D.C. armory.

For an admission fee of $4.50 ($2.50 for children, under 12), boat fanciers get a look at the latest in motorboats, sailboats and marine equipment.

Some 500 boats will be on display, the big sail and power vessel under a veil of silver streamers on the main floor, the smaller powerboats scattered around the basement.

The purpose of the boat show is sales, which has always bewildered some regular visitors. "I still don't know why I pay $4.50 to have salesmen pitch their wares to me," said one.

but boatmen are a hungry bunch this time of year, and show organizers June Campbell and Peter Carroll say they expect record sales of about $2 1/2 million.

Clinics and exhibits are planned on insurance, loans, navigation, seamanship, licensing, government regulations and smallboat piloting.

The queen of the powerboat fleet this year is Bluewater 40, a combination planning trawler hull design especially aimed at fuel conservation. The biggest sailboat is a 38-foot Morgan family cruiser-racer designed by Ted Brewer.

The show will run through Feb. 24. Hours are 5-10 p.m. weekdays, 1-10 p.m. Birthday and 1-8 p.m. Feb. 24, the last day of the show.