In its fourth year, the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show not only saw continued growth in exhibitors and attendance; its many interactive programs introduced beginners to the sport and prepared experienced sailors for the cruising lifestyle.
This year’s footprint was 15 percent larger than 2014 with more than 76 sailboats on display. Despite a chilly and windy weekend, attendance was up by two percent, and exhibitors reported that three Dufours, two Lagoons, a Beneteau, a Bavaria and several brokerage boats were sold during the three-day show. Many exhibitors claimed to have had one of their best spring boat shows ever.
“We had a hugely successful show, selling two boats and booking a bundle of charters,” said Erin Miner of Dream Yacht Charters.
“Much to our surprise we more than doubled our sales over previous years. Needless to say we are very pleased,” said Bill Griffin from Fawcett Boat Supply.
“By Sunday afternoon nothing was left,” said John Brit of NorBanks Sailing. “We sold everything we brought–all the dinghies and a Topaz.”
More than 200 people sailed from the show docks into Annapolis harbor with either Annapolis Community Boating, who offered free sailboat rides, or as part of a learn-to-sail workshop on Beneteau First 22’s provided by American Sailing Association, Beneteau, and Sail Time.
“We are so pleased by the success of our interactive sailing programs designed to attract new boaters that we are looking at ways to expand them in future shows,” said Paul Jacobs, president and general manager of the Annapolis Boat Shows.
A total of 146 cruisers from 24 states and three Canadian provinces attended Cruisers University, an educational program covering destinations, boat systems, navigation, procedures, and all things related to the cruising lifestyle. This year cruisers soaked up decades of knowledge taught by experts in their fields including Ralph Naranjo, Beth Leonard, John Martino, Kathy Parsons, Pam Wall, and Bob Williams.
“Cruisers University continues to flourish. This year we saw a 12 percent increase in registrations and people went away truly excited about the prospect of letting go the lines and going cruising,” said Jacobs.
The first-ever high school regatta, the Annapolis Junior Keelboat Regatta, consisting of one-design fleet racing aboard J-80’s took place during the spring show. South River High School came away the winner of the traveling cup–a beautiful half-hull plaque created by Weems and Plath. J World Annapolis and the Annapolis Boat Shows partnered to host the event.
“We are very happy with our 2015 spring shows. Both the Bay Bridge Boat Show held April 17-19 and the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show held April 24-26 grew in size by double digits and had slight increases in attendance. We are encouraged by the amount of business reported by our exhibitors during these events. The maritime economy has definitely turned the corner,” Jacobs added.
Preparations are underway for the Annapolis fall shows; United States Sailboat Show – October 8-12, and the United States Powerboat Show – October 15-18.