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Annapolis sailboat show starts Thursday

By the end of the day today, a 250-boat marina will be filled with new boats and tents on floats as the 43rd edition of the U.S. Sailboat Show prepares to open Thursday in Annapolis, Md.

Among the boats at the show, which annually attracts more than 50,000 people, will be three dozen multihulls, six boats for demonstration as part of the Take the Wheel program and 15 charter boats.

Additional show features such as free seminar programs by Cruising World and Chesapeake Bay magazines are scheduled for all five days of the show, which runs through Monday. Organizers say all floating docks have been rented and every land and booth space is filled.

"We are gratified by the enthusiastic support the industry has shown us again this year,” Ed Hartman, president of show producer U.S. Yacht Shows, said in a statement. “We expect large crowds and tremendous economic benefit to the community of Annapolis and the state of Maryland."

Sail America will host the Sailing Industry Breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday at the Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Annapolis and present an overview of its programs and plans for the years ahead. Best in Show awards will be presented to winners in six individual categories and there will be an overall grand prize for excellence in display presentation for 2012.

Information and tickets are available at www.usboat.com or by calling (410) 268-8828.

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