For two consecutive weekends, the historic seaport of downtown Annapolis welcomed boaters and sailors from around the globe to enjoy the United States Powerboat Show and United States Sailboat Show presented by West Marine. Following the record soaring numbers achieved during the 2021 show year, this fall’s attendee numbers were close behind. This year, the Annapolis Boat Shows announced that Sunday of the Powerboat Show and Saturday of the Sailboat Show brought in record-setting attendance numbers.
No stranger to foul weather and in true Annapolis boat show fashion, both shows had their own taste of torrential rain. The Boat Shows operations team braved the remnants of Hurricane Ian during set up for the United States Powerboat Show, setting up tents and securing docks as high winds and downpours blurred their vision and weathered their bodies.
“It was amazing to see our team come together and push through the elements to keep the show on track,” said Sheila Jones, Annapolis Boat Shows general manager. “It was truly a team effort by all - staff, exhibitors, city officials, and our downtown partners.”
Opening day of the Sailboat Show also brought downpours, yet the line of attendees looked as if it was a clear day as show guests endured the weather to get to the show. The skies cleared and provided a beautiful backdrop for the remaining show days.
Premiering models such as the Grady-White Adventure 218 walkaround, Aicon Vivere 66-foot power yacht, Moon Yacht 6ty catamaran, Dufour 37 monohull, and Neel 43 trimaran were displayed alongside hundreds of other boats on the floating docks at City Dock where seasoned salts, families, novice boaters, and dreamers all gathered to climb aboard. Sold signs for manufacturers such as Pocket Yacht Company and Jeanneau continued to be hung throughout the weekends as new boat owners joined their new on the water family.
Stand-out land displays included FishTalk Magazine’s Fishing Spot during the Powerboat Show and the Sailing Channels Booth at the Sailboat Show. Attendees enjoyed free seminars from fishing experts from FishTalk Magazine and representatives from Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, new apparel from Under Armour, Catfish cakes from Chesapeake Culinary Center, and a virtual fishing simulator from Harvester with courtesy tackle box giveaways from FishTalk Magazine. The Sailing Channels Booth housed more than 40 content creators who manned the booth throughout the five-day event providing their followers a chance to meet them, snap a selfie, and learn about their adventures. Creators such as Sailing La Vagabonde, SV Delos, and Parlay Revival drew crowds that wrapped around the corner of Vacation Basin. Sailing La Vagabonde also provided show guests the opportunity to board their catamaran and enjoy surprise appearances by the duo throughout the long weekend.
As always, awards were presented to industry professionals and exhibitors. The Annapolis Boat Shows presented Melanie Sunshine Neale of Sunshine Cruising Yachts with the Sailing Industry Distinguished Service award and a clock provided by Weems and Plath. Young Cruisers’ Association spearheaded the first International Cruisers Awards with the help of Sailing La Vagabonde to highlight some of the up and coming content creators in the sailing industry. Kerry Gonzalez of AMG Insurance International also presented Good Samaritan Awards at the Boat Shows’ Cruisers University for Tara Flanagan, John Herlig, and Carolyn Shearlock.
Following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian, Annapolis sailor and SpinSheet/PropTalk contributing writer Craig Ligibel reached out to the Boat Shows to enlist their help in raising funds for four organizations providing hurricane relief in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Carolinas. Thanks to Craig and his volunteers, the Boat Shows, exhibitors, and attendees contributed over $50,000 to the relief efforts.
The fall shows return in 2023 with the United States Powerboat Show October 5 through 8 and the United States Sailboat Show presented by West Marine October 12 through 16.