The big news to come out of the Annapolis Powerboat Show was that it was big. Show management announced that the show was sold out of exhibit space, Brokerage Cove was back, and staff members were already working on a plan to expand next year’s show. Some of the interesting events at this year’s show included the following stories.
John Stefancik, executive director of the Marine Trades of Maryland (MTAM), shares the following with us. “We already reported that Emily Decker has joined MTAM as the workforce development coordinator. She will work with marine industry employers and schools to place young people into six-week paid internships that feature on-the-job-training. Most of the time, at the completion of these internships, the workers are hired on a full or part-time basis. During the Annapolis Powerboat Show, MTAM hosted a happy hour for young marine professionals (the under-40 crowd) to network and foster camaraderie.”
Emily Decker reports on a great program from the first day of the show. “Twenty-two marine technology students from A.A. County Public Schools’ Center for Applied Technology South (CAT South) attended a Career Day at the 2023 Annapolis Powerboat Show, hosted by the Marine Trades Association of Maryland (MTAM).” Read more in the December issue at this link.
As an additional and new event, which was organized at the last minute, Annapolis Powerboat Show management and PropTalk Magazine organized and hosted panel discussion (moderated by Capt. Rick Franke and editor Kaylie Jasinski) titled: Maryland Boat Builders, Showing off Maryland Pride. The builders’ panel consisted of Jim Weaver of Weaver Boat Works (showing the Weaver 43), Rob Hardy of Composite Yacht (showing the CY34 and the CY46), and Spencer Mathews of Mathews Brothers Boat Works (showing the MathewsBros 18, the MathewsBros 40, and the MathewsBros 26). The event was informal with the builders fielding questions from the audience ranging from electric versus diesel power to describing the challenges today’s builders face, from uncertain supply delivery problems to manpower shortages. After about 40 minutes the group broke up to enjoy the happy hour supplies donated by Annapolis-based Forward Brewing, pretzels from Moore Crunch, and the adjacent Pusser’s cash bar. Just before adjourning, the audience was asked if the event should be repeated next year. The response was a resounding yes.
Andy Dize of Roudebush Yacht and Engine Works, located in Dundalk, MD, is busily stacking up winter storage and adding projects to its winter workbook. Andy further reports, “Refurbishment of a classic Bertram 25 fly bridge is at the top of the repair list. Work on this project includes removal of the inboard engines, adding a transom mount for two new 200-hp outboards, installation of new fuel tanks, repairs of the hull and deck, electrical upgrade, and a new canopy frame and hardtop. Another project recently started in the yard is for the transom replacement of a Grady White 25. Fiberglass repair is being done on the transom and bottom longitudinal members using COOSA (a fiberglass coring material that does not absorb water). Roudebush Yacht and Engine Works is a full-service yacht repair facility, providing new construction, fiberglass repair and painting, mechanical, electrical, and electronics repair, and total boat rehab services. Reach out to Andy Dize to discuss your future project or repair needs.”
Susan Campbell of Campbell’s Boatyard at Jack’s Point in Oxford, MD, reports that they have been busy completing yearly varnish, deck refurbish, and paint repairs on Nostalgia, a 1957 Chris-Craft Commander, before her winter’s nap.
Nancy Noyes from Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD, sends us this report. “In 2023 Chesapeake Light Craft introduced ‘Boat Shop Saturdays,’ a monthly program featuring hands-on boatbuilding seminars. In 2024, CLC’s Boat Shop Saturdays will lead off with ‘Introduction to Marine Epoxy’ on January 20, and ‘Hands-On Varnishing and Painting’ on February 17. Led by professional boat builders, and experienced instructors, these three-hour sessions let participants pull on a pair of gloves and ‘learn by doing’ in a small group setting. Tools and supplies are provided by CLC. For those who want to build a boat but have hesitations about working with epoxy and fiberglass, in January instructor Jay Hockenberry will cover epoxy safety, fillet techniques, applying fiberglass, wood lamination, and even some advanced boat carpentry. This class sold out quickly in 2023; registration is open now at clcboats.com/epoxy-class.
“In February, boat shop manager Andrew Schroeher will share a range of techniques for applying a professional-grade finish, covering proper preparation as well as painting and varnishing techniques. This class also sold out last spring; registration is open at clcboats.com/varnish-class. In April, CLC will reprise a session for those who want to build their own Greenland-style kayak paddles. Additional sessions are in the planning stages. The latest information on available boatbuilding classes at CLC’s Annapolis shop can be found at clcboats.com/classes. Closing out the calendar for 2023 is the CLC’s Holiday Bazaar, on Saturday morning, December 9. The Annapolis shop and showroom will be open for holiday fun and hospitality, with coffee and donuts and crafts for kids. Please join us!”
Rob Hardy from Composite Yacht in Trappe, MD, brings us up to date on what’s going on in his busy shop. “We’re busy. We’ve got repairs, restorations, and paint work scheduled into next summer. We’ve also got a lot under construction. We’ve got a 26 underway and a 17 to finish up, but that’s ours. It’s going to be a flats boat. We’ve got a 39 underway. We have a Markley 46 that we cut down to 42 and we’re putting outboards on. We have a CY 46 well along, and we have another one in the mold now that we’re selling as a kit; we still do that. We have a 50-footer underway. We have a contract to build a 42-footer off of someone else’s mold, and quite possibly it sounds as if we’re going to be building three or four of them to be shipped out to Hawaii. We have an interesting refit which was Burt Reynold’s old boat; we’re rehabbing that. We just finished a rehab on a 21 Sea Craft. So, we have a lot going on. We’re running about a year or 18 months out. Like everybody in the business, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, and just in case it does, it’s nice to have a backlog of orders.”
A phrase I heard a lot at the Powerboat Show was “cautiously optimistic.” I think Rob summed that up very well. Area boatshops seem to be anticipating a busy winter season. Let’s hope they are correct. That’s it for this month. Enjoy the last of the fall weather and be safe out there.