Nearly 10,000 people attended the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show on Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28 in Annapolis, Maryland. More than 50 sailboats were on display in the water for visitors to climb aboard, and several dozen smaller boats were shown on land.
In its 8th year of operation, the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show is the newest of the four annual Annapolis Boat Shows. Its sister show, the United States Sailboat Show, will hold its 50th annual show on Oct. 10-14, 2019.
“The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show went very well,” said Paul Jacobs, President and General Manager, Annapolis Boat Shows. “It was a bigger show than in previous years, despite the weather. We had a good crowd of people who came out despite rain on Friday and high winds throughout the weekend.”
With winds hovering in the teens and peaking at 22 mph on Saturday, Jacobs said the crew had to work diligently to secure the boats in the temporary marina built for the show. Anchors were down and fortunately there were no reports of damage.
Although the Spring show is smaller than the U.S. Sailboat Show in October, the focus in the Spring is on the entertainment value, including live music performances, wine tastings and activities, workshops and the educational component, according to Jacobs.
“In the Fall the manufacturers bring their complete line of products. In the Spring they have representation with a few boats, but not the entire line,” said Jacobs. “A lot of local regional dealers display in the Spring with more international manufacturers in the Fall.”
“In terms of event guests, in the past I would say the Fall show is more international and this one more focused on the Mid-Atlantic, but that has changed,” Jacobs commented. “This show has an increasingly broad geographic reach for attendees, including many guests from the Midwest and Canada.”
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“The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show is a great annual show. Good mix of new and brokerage sailboats,” said Bob O’Brien, of West Palm Beach, FL,” a 35-year veteran in the boat brokerage business. “It’s widely referred to as the unofficial launch to sailing season in that region.”
On display at the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show were new and brokerage boats, including multiple catamarans, monohulls, family cruisers, daysailers and blue water sailboats.
Several advanced luxury boats were on available to board at the show, including Oceanis 46.1, the first Beneteau sailboat built in the U.S. by the France-based company. On display was also the new Bavaria C 57, the largest model of Bavaria’s new performance cruisers line, designed by Maurizio Cossutti.
“Notable at this year’s show was the large number of catamarans, including a St. Francis 50, the newest boat by South Africa’s St. Francis Marine, which debuted in the U.S. at the Miami Boat Show in February before being shown in Annapolis,” Jacobs said. Other catamarans on display included a Bali 4.1; Seawind 1160 and 1260; Voyage 50; Fountaine Pajot Saona, Lucia and a 44; Gemini 35 Legacy; Nautitech 40; and Lagoon 42.
Vendors at the show displayed navigational equipment, electronics, boating accessories, gear and more. Charter businesses, fractional ownership and boating clubs were represented.
Free sailing seminars were also held each day. Throughout the weekend, classes and seminars were available to learn to sail or cruise.
First Sail Workshops were held to teach beginning sailors the fundamentals by attending a classroom session followed by instruction on the water with accredited instructors.
Cruisers University hosted more than 50 classes at the show for sailors and power boaters interested in learning about blue water cruising. More than 180 people attended Cruisers University during the weekend, according to Jacobs. Topics of instruction for boaters of all experience levels included: marine weather forecasting, navigational techniques, diesel maintenance, heavy weather sailing–and much more.
Throughout the weekend, event guests enjoyed entertainment, including continuous live music and wine tastings, and the stunning sunsets each evening over the marina.
Next up for sailors in Annapolis is the United States Sailboat Show on October 10-14. Find out more at: annapolisboatshows.com.