Nothing cures the winter blues quite like a boat show! Okay sure, going boating, preferably in a sunny, tropical climate might be better, but when that’s not possible, you’ll want to head indoors to be surrounded by boats and fellow boaters in a convivial setting. Here’s all the details you need to plan your visit to the third annual Chesapeake Bay Boat Show:

chesapeake bay boat show
The Chesapeake Bay Boat Show runs January 19-21 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. We hope to see you there!


Date: January 19-21, 2024

Times: Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: Maryland State Fairgrounds - 2200 York Road, Timonium, MD

Directions: The Maryland State Fairgrounds are located near the intersection of York and Timonium Roads. Vehicle access gates are located on York Road between Padonia and Timonium Roads and on Timonium Road about 1/4 mile east of Interstate 83 and just past the Light Rail tracks. Vehicles can enter using either of these gates without restrictions at Fairground events during most of the year.

Tickets: $10, ages 12 and under are free, military discount $7 with ID

Skip the line and purchase tickets online at

chesapeake bay boat show
The fishing simulator is one of many fun activities at the show.

The Chesapeake Bay Boat Show is produced by members of the Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County (MTABC). The Maryland State Fairgrounds location features over 150,000 square feet of exhibit space with the show all on one level, and there’s plenty of free parking. 

Over 30 Maryland boat dealers will be in attendance, showcasing new boats and marine equipment, including sportfishing boats, performance boats, ski boats, cruisers, pontoons, cabin cruisers, and more. Boats of every size and for every budget will be on display. Apart from new boats, the show features more than 100 exhibitors, fishing seminars, live music, a fishing simulator, food and drinks, and more. 

PropTalk and FishTalk will be there, and we hope to see all of you as well! Stop by and see us! We’ll be at booth C27, just inside the entrance behind the MTABC and next to CCA Maryland. 

chesapeake bay boat show
Don't forget to stop by the PropTalk/FishTalk booth!

Fishing and Boating Seminars


12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Suddenly in Command. Speaker: Tom Glassman, Vice Division Commander USCG. 

2 to 3 p.m. Dock and Dine on the Chesapeake Bay. Speaker: John Stefancik, Executive Director MTAM.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wintertime Maintenance, Spring Start Up, and Siren Marine. Speaker: Jesse Dayton, Yamaha Marine Service District Manager 13.

5 to 6 p.m. Recreational Boating - It's a Lifestyle! Speaker: Tiffany Lionetti, Freedom Boat Club.


11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Flounder Fishing in OC. Speaker: Scott Lenox, Fish in OC.

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Life Jacket Choices and Federal Regulations. Speaker: Pete Sarant, Flotilla Commander USCG.

2 to 3 p.m. Catch and Release Stripers in the Chesapeake Bay. Speaker: Lenny Rudow, FishTalk Magazine.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Salt Water Fly Fishing on the Chesapeake. Speaker: Tom Weaver, Fish with Weaver.

5 to 6 p.m. The History of Hart Miller Island. Speaker: Volunteers of Hart Miller Island. 


11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Dock and Dine on the Chesapeake Bay. Speaker: John Stefancik, Executive Director MTAM.

12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Fire Extinguisher Use. Speaker: Tim Welch, Division Commander USCG.

2 to 3 p.m. Marine Electronics Boat Systems and Accessories. Speaker: Amanda Funk, Seawide. 

Live Music Schedule 


  • Anton Tuvelman - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dwayne Wilson - 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Rob Fahey - 5 to 6 p.m.


  • Hunter Soth - 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Madisun Bailey - 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Chris Sachs - 5 to 8 p.m.


  • Darren O’Niell - 10:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Sky King - 2 to 5 p.m.

For a list of boat dealers and exhibitors, detailed directions, a link to purchase tickets, and more, visit

Boat Buying Tips

Buying a boat is a serious investment, so before you sign the dotted line, make sure you’ve done your due diligence. Keep these tips in mind while walking around the show. 

Ask yourself, how will you use the boat? If it will be a family boat, you’ll want to get their input as well. Do you plan to overnight on the boat or will it strictly be for daytrips? Will you spend most of your time fishing or do you want to be able to tow a wakeboard or tube?

chesapeake bay boat show
If you're boat shopping, don't just look at one boat. Be sure to check out a few models from a few manufacturers in your size and price range.

New or used? There’s a lot of peace of mind with buying a shiny, brand-new boat. But boats are also a big investment. Purchasing a previously owned vessel could get you more bang for your buck, or they could come with their own list of problems. Be realistic about your budget.

Research the other costs that come with boat ownership, such as insurance, registration, marina costs, and regular operating expenses such as fuel and maintenance. And again, be realistic about what you can afford.

Don’t just look at one boat. Once you’ve narrowed down the type of boat you want based on how you will use it, check out a few models from a few manufacturers in your size and price range. The more boats you evaluate, the better your decision-making process becomes. This is why attending boat shows is so helpful! Climb on a variety of boats, open hatches, inspect the berths, and talk to dealers about your must-have items. Also be aware that no boat is perfect. Make a list of must-haves, as well as items you would be willing to compromise on.

If a particular boat from a particular dealer has caught your eye, find out if you need to make an appointment at the boat show. Ask if there are any incentives for purchasing during the show. And make sure you are working with a salesperson you like and trust.

If you’re serious about buying a boat, talk to lenders ahead of time and get pre-approved for your maximum loan. Shop boat finance companies and banks (you may meet several at the boat show and find more in the pages of PropTalk). Expect to be offered better rates and options on newer boats.

Try and find someone or a community of people (Facebook groups are a great place to start) who own boats like the one you intend to buy. Ask them questions about the boat’s strengths and weaknesses. First-hand knowledge will be very helpful when it comes to narrowing down your options.

Go for it! Once you’ve completed the necessary research and have found that perfect boat, it’s time to sign the dotted line and let the adventures begin.

For a list of other boat shows and fishing expos coming up, check out our Winter Boat Shows article.