The Bay Bridge Boat Show, for many boaters, marks the official start of the boating season. Sailors get their start the following weekend at the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, but for powerboaters and fishermen, this is the spring show. More than 350 powerboats up to 75 feet in length are expected, and more than 100 of those will be fishing boats from 30 different manufacturers. Getting excited yet? So are we. Get ready to break out the flip flops!
Dates, Times, Location, & More
Dates: April 21-23
Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Bay Bridge Marina, Stevensville, MD
Tickets: Adult One Day –$12
Adult Two Day Combo –$19
Children 12 and under free
Directions: Take the first exit, 37, after crossing the Bay Bridge and follow signs to Boat Show Parking.
Parking: Plenty of parking available on site for $3 donation, benefiting the Kent Island High School Athletic Boosters.
For more information and to purchase tickets, click to annapolisboatshows.com.
Purchase show tickets online to be automatically entered to win the Bay Bridge Boat Show Grand Prize, or register at the ticket office to win a “boatload of prizes.” Prizes include dock lines (from The Rope Store), Maui Jim sunglasses (Shades of the Bay), an SOS Distress Light (Weems & Plath), a one-year subscription to PropTalk (from yours truly), and many others.
Stop by the PropTalk booth, F32, and grab a free sticker to show your PropTalk pride!
The Bay Bridge Boat Show is used to celebrating the opening of the boating season on the Chesapeake by packing the docks full with new and used boats, from go-fast adrenaline dreams to bluewater cruising behemoths. But this year, the show is more than just full: they’re having to build new docks.
“We had to extend the promenade dock,” says Kelly Jackson, sales coordinator for the show. “Dealers are not only bringing in more boats, but they’re bringing in bigger boats.”
While the best advice we can give you is to poke around every dock, there are a few boats coming to the show that we’re particularly excited about.
Weaver Boatworks of Deale, MD, is known for its ocean yachts in the 70 to 95-foot range. But this year, he’s bringing a brand new, 43-foot, custom Bay-built to the show.
Weaver boats are known for their speed and aesthetic appeal, and the 43 will be no different. The boat’s top speed will hit 30 knots with only 480 horses under her, lightweight at 20,000 pounds and easily controlled by joystick.
As of our time of printing, the boat wasn’t even in the water yet. This is a brand new venture for Jim Weaver, and we could not be more excited to see what he’s created.
Hidden Harbour Marine will have the Weaver 43 in the water.
Looking for a big center console that doesn’t feel like a washing machine? Or a boat that can hunt fish as well as entertain the whole family? You might want to check out the Viking Billfish 37, set to attract entry-level boaters who are looking for more than a weather-dependent center console.
Viking purchased Ocean Yachts back in 2016, and has revamped the Billfish 37 to be simple yet attractive. The boat has an upper and lower helm, saloon seating for eight, a head with an enclosed shower, and a master forward cabin. Did we mention the 86-square foot cockpit that is ideal for both fish fighting and entertaining the inlaws?
Bluewater Yacht Sales will have the Billfish 37 at Dock B.
Buras Marine is the new dealer for NorthCoast Boats, and this year they’re bringing in the NorthCoast 21 and 24 in the Hardtop and center-console editions. The 21 is a little boat full of potential, for both fishing and entertaining, and allows you to extend your season in comfort.
You can find both boats on land, at B1. Head to the Demo Dock (C3) to check out the NorthCoast 27 Hardtop.
- Free Opening Night BBQ Bash – Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. when the show gates close for the day. Head on over to the pool bar for free Hemingway’s barbeque with all the fixings, complimentary Parfections Chocolates, live music from Sean Hetrick & the Leftovers, and cash bar.
- Free Seminars – Held daily Friday through Sunday. No pre-registration necessary but limited seating is available. Topics include: Docking and Line Handling, Boating with Tablets and Apps, How to Get Your Captains License, and Dock n’ Dine.
- Fly Fishing and Casting Lessons – Joe Cap and Bill O’Brien of Shore Tackle and Custom Rods will illustrate fly fishing techniques, explain the value of custom-built rods, and demonstrate how to cast a spinning rod.
- Grilled Oysters – Chef Bruce from Hemingway’s Restaurant will cook up a grilled oyster sampler each day. Find him at the pool bar.
- Interactive Children’s Area – Activities include a moon bounce and face painting.
- New Location for Cruisers University: At the Naval Academy Club on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. Classes run April 27-30 with options for one-to-four-day programs, ranging in price from $230 to $660. More than 60 classes are available to choose from.
- PropTalk-Sponsored Demo Dock – Try before you buy! Here you’ll find dealers ready to take you out on the open water and answer all of your questions. There will be pontoons, center consoles, bow riders, jet boats, catamaran deck boats, and more.
Activities Around Town
In town for the weekend? There’s plenty to see and do after a day walking the show.
Blackwater Distilling: Tour Maryland’s most awarded craft distillery. Featuring Sloop Betty Vodka and Picaroon Maryland Rum. Open 7 days a week, 12 to 5 p.m., with 45-minute tours each hour through 4 p.m. $5, includes a shot glass to take home.
Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center: Exhibits on local history, heritage, and culture, as well as work by local artisans. The Cross Island Trail circles the grounds, and the entrance to Ferry Point Park is located on the property.
Matapeake State Park: Public beach with family picnic area, hiking trails, and a separate dog beach.
Terrapin Nature Park: Hike the 3.25-mile trail through the woods and wetlands. There is also a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk along the beach.
The Point at Pintail: Sporting clays for novice and experienced shooters alike.
Queenstown Harbor Golf Course: Reasonable rates, open to the public.
Queenstown Premium Outlets: More than 60 stores with killer outlet deals. Need we say more?
Waterfront Eats (Outside the Show)
This show has a huge food court, as well as food and drinks at the pool bar, so plan on having lunch or at least a snack while you’re there. But if you’re looking to grab a cold one at a local dock bar, we’ve got you covered.
Big Owl Tiki Bar
3199 Kent Narrows Way South, Grasonville
321 Wells Cove Road, Grasonville
3116 Main Street, Grasonville
Harris Crab House
433 Kent Narrow Way North, Grasonville
357 Pier 1 Road, Stevensville
201 Wells Cove Road, Grasonville
910 Kentmorr Road, Stevenville
The Narrows Restaurant
3023 Kent Narrow Wat South, Grasonville