Boaters from around the globe descended upon the city docks of Annapolis, MD, from October 7 through the 10th for the return of the United States Powerboat Show. Following a tumultuous period for boat shows worldwide, the powerboat show marked the first boat show Annapolis had seen since 2019.
Successfully meeting the rising anticipation of its attendees, the Boat Shows welcomed over 300 exhibitors for the four-day show. The docks and tents were full of boaters as the recent boom in boating was reflected by the increase in attendance of almost 20 percent over the 2019 show.
“After the success of our Bay Bridge Boat Show in April and the robust advance ticket sales for the Powerboat Show, we were cautiously optimistic there would be a great turn out,” said Sheila Jones, general manager of the Annapolis Boat Shows. “The long lines of attendees prior to our official show opening continued each day through the weekend. The boating community was ready and eager to get back out and see what our amazing exhibitors had to offer.”
The biggest story to come out of the show is that of the hard work and dedication displayed by the exhibitors. Though the pandemic presented challenges for show management teams to host in-person boat shows, it actually boosted business for the overall boating industry. Spending time on the water was a great outlet for those stuck at home during the pandemic, providing the perfect social distancing activity. Seasoned boaters upgraded their boats, and new boaters took to the water. With such a boom in business, inventory took a huge dip. The Annapolis Boat Shows team was amazed to witness the power in our exhibitors to bring out such quality vessels and products to this year’s show, despite the challenges they faced.
“People were genuinely excited to be back at the Annapolis show,” said Mark Schulstad, owner and managing director of Pocket Yacht Company. “I think people understood that there were more wait times due to increased demand. For Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats, the longer wait times did not seem to have a huge impact, as our sales were up 30 percent from the previous show in 2019.”
“Once again the United States Powerboat Show did not disappoint, said Melissa Buckland of Chessie Marine Sales. “It has provided multiple sales for our team, and the contacts made at the show will result in closed deals later on.”
Not slowing down, the Annapolis Boat Shows Team hosted the United States Sailboat Show exactly four days following the powerboat show. If these shows are any indication, the future is bright for the maritime industry.