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Annapolis sail show expands in scope

The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show will take place April 26-28 and feature more than 70 new and brokerage sailboats, an increase of nearly 50 percent from last year’s inaugural show.

Organizers said the show will feature a wider range of boat types, including catamarans, monohulls, daysailers, inflatables, a large motorsailor and even paddleboards.

"We're especially excited about the interest in this show from manufacturers," Paul Jacobs, general manager of United States Yacht Shows, the company that produces the show, said in a statement. "Some manufacturers are showing three or four models for the event and the Jeanneau 469 and the Bavaria Vision 42 are premiering at this show."

Visitors can peruse the offerings of more than 100 maritime exhibitors on land, take demo boats out on the water, meander around a MINI National display of its latest cars and indulge in a rum-tasting break at the Shellback Rum-Tasting Hut.

Cruisers University, a separate event held in conjunction with the sailboat show, will host more than 100 people during the same weekend, beginning April 25. Billed as "The Ultimate Aid to Navigation" and now in its third year, Cruisers University is an opportunity for those who are considering living aboard and exploring oceans and islands.

Participants learn cruising from experts who teach more than 120 hours of elective classes. One-, three- or four-day options are available, and the tuition includes instructors, cruising ambassadors, educational materials, breakfast and lunch, evening social hours and admission to the sailboat show.

Female sailors can opt for a two-day Cruising Women's program designed to build confidence and practical knowledge for women who want to learn more about the cruising lifestyle. Presenters Kathy Parsons, Pam Wall and Beth Leonard have decades of experience and wisdom on a range of topics regarding living aboard and traveling the world's oceans.

Among the door prizes donated by sponsors and exhibitors at the show is a two-hour private cruise for 48 people aboard the Annapolis schooner Woodwind, a $2,100 value. Marine services and boating accessories, plus two tickets to the United States Sailboat Show in October, also will be given away.

"Last year's show welcomed visitors from more than 30 states and around the globe," Jacobs said. "We are expecting as diverse a representation again this year, but in increasing numbers."

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