Another stellar sailboat show last weekend was reported by the Annapolis Boat Shows, the premier management company that produces four boat shows each year.
The three-day spring show represented a wide range of boats and promoted a festival-like atmosphere that brought attendees in large numbers to the fifth-annual Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, April 22-24, 2016.
A schedule of events designed to bring new and returning sailors into the fold, teach future cruisers and give them confidence to head out, and provide continuous entertainment proved to be a winning formula.
In addition, a nice mix of new and brokerage monohulls, catamarans, day sailors, inflatables, charter boats and paddle boards, along with accessories and sailing gear of all sorts, made for a valuable buying opportunity for sailors in attendance.
“We are only in our fifth year producing the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, but the show is growing and its many interesting features are contributing to our great progress,” reported Paul Jacobs, president and general manager of Annapolis Boat Shows.
“We saw a substantial 19.7% increase in paid attendance over our best year yet, and are more than thrilled with the registration figures for the special sailing programs. Other than rain on Saturday morning, the beautiful Annapolis weather didn’t hurt either. We could not be more pleased,” added Jacobs.
New sailors totaling 190 participated in the First Sail Workshops, co-sponsored by Beneteau, SailTime, ASA, and the Annapolis Boat Shows.
“This is the third time we have offered this workshop at an Annapolis sailboat show and we are so excited by its tremendous success. All together the First Sail Workshop has introduced or reintroduced sailing to more than 500 potential sailors,” said Todd Hess, chief executive officer and president of SailTime.
More than 120 new and prospective cruisers attended Cruiser’s University for four days of classes ranging from couples advice to navigation, weather, and diesel engine maintenance.
“In 2015 we expanded Cruisers University by offering our curriculum twice a year during the fall and spring shows. Being unsure of the impact of the move to two sessions per year on registrations, our expectations were blown out of the water. We continue to teach between 125 and 150 cruisers at each show,” said Nancy Grisham, director of Cruisers University.
“With mild weather, and an array of sparkling new Jeanneau and Fountaine Pajot models, Atlantic Cruising Yachts had unprecedented success at the sailboat show. Attendance at our booth and sales were up substantially over previous years,” said Kris Vereen, partner and business manager of Atlantic Cruising Yachts.
“The spring Annapolis show has proven to be the perfect venue to kick off the new season and ACY is proud to be one of its earliest and most ardent supporters,” added Vereen.
“We have been with the spring show since the beginning and each year it gets better. This year’s show was the best yet,” said Linda Mann, owner of Shades of the Bay.
“I noticed that people are spending more money this year compared to last year. There are more buyers here this year,” said Nic Stark of Annapolis Inflatables.
“This is our first show and what’s not to love,” said travel clothing designer Roxi Sugur as she pointed to the sky. “Plus the people are so gracious, so lovely and so friendly. Best of all we had lots of buyers.”
“Yacht sales were knee deep in customers all three days and we had plenty of conversations and prepared quotes for lots of potential charters,” sail Erin Minner of Dream Yacht Charters.
“This year was by far better than last year,” said Tim Wilbricht, president of Annapolis Yacht Sales. “Traffic was strong and consistent. We have half-a-dozen buyers that we hope to close next week.”
“This is a great event to be a part of for our store and the Helly Hansen brand. We have participated since the beginning and have observed continuous growth. Last year we had a 45 percent increase in sales compared to the 2014 show and this year, 2016 saw a 22 percent increase from 2015,” said Cameron Kennedy, store manager of Helly Hansen Annapolis. “I am looking forward to see where the show goes from here.”