Each fall, hundreds of exhibitors are committed to bringing boaters a multitude of shopping and learning opportunities. Boat builders, charter companies, local marine businesses, sailing schools, accessory and apparel manufacturers, yacht clubs and more will have booths at City Dock during the first two weeks of October.
Usually, the Sailboat Show is the first week of October followed immediately by the Powerboat Show but this year, that order has reversed—the Powerboat Show will be held first from October 3 to 6.
Besides abundant shopping opportunities, the BoatUS Foundation will offer three boat handing courses for $149 each. The classes include three hours of on-the-water instruction and are limited to 3-4 students per boat so personalized attention is assured. On Friday and Saturday, there will also be free seminars offered, which will focus on practical skills like docking, navigation and diesel basics. Registration opens at 9:00 am on the day of class at the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel.
Seemingly overnight, the city transforms itself from a power to a sail mecca. On October 10-14, sailors will gather for the 50th Anniversary of the United States Sailboat Show. This is an internationally acclaimed event, recognized as one of the world’s most comprehensive and prestigious sailboat shows. Hundreds of monohull and multihull sailboats will be on display along with acres of gear in land exhibits that span the entire downtown.
With so much interest in chartering, the show has dedicated a part of the venue to Vacation Basin, which brings together charter companies from around the world to showcase their bases in exotic locations. As a subset, Mediterranean Corner presents companies with dedicated fleets in Croatia, Greece, Italy and Turkey. Lucky boaters can win a weeklong charter in the Med, or a 6-night, 7-day charter in the British Virgin Islands aboard a Moorings 4800 with airfare covered by the British Virgin Islands tourism board.
Admission tickets for either show range from $18 to $35 depending on which day you attend. For a fee, exclusive VIP access is available and includes entry onto a floating lounge with catering and a choice of liquor, wine or beer for sampling. There’s also an option for reserved parking at a gate entrance.
Historic downtown Annapolis is a great host venue for all things boating-related with numerous seafood restaurants and Pusser’s famous Pain Killer cocktails. Stop by for happy hour and soon you’ll be making new friends as well as detailed cruising plans.
For more information, visit the official Annapolis Boat Shows website.
Photo Credit: Josh Davidson