The fifth annual Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, which ran from April 21-23, saw attendance rise 12 percent, with ticket sales on the first day of the show setting a record with a 30 percent increase.
Organizers said sales on the following day also broke previous records, rising 19 percent from the previous year.
"Friday was phenomenal, and I love the new layout," said Tommy Smith of Sail Away Catamarans in a statement. "For a small regional boat show, we captured more qualified leads in three days here than we did in all five days in Miami."
Organizers said visitors and exhibitors liked the new show layout, which featured a complete temporary floating dock marina housing more than 50 boats from 29 to 82 feet.
"We have had a fantastic show so far," said Tim Wilbricht of Annapolis Yacht Sales. "Friday's traffic was the best I have seen, and Saturday traffic was strong. In fact, Friday was as good as Saturday! We met a lot of really good people. We sold three new Beneteau 48s. We are very, very happy with the results."
"This has become a real driving force for the early-season maritime economy in the Mid-Atlantic,” said Paul Jacobs, president and general manager of Annapolis Boat Shows. “We have worked through the growing pains, and it appears we have created a spring tradition in Annapolis. Not only is the show successful, but we have created a center for sailing and entertainment activity like none other in the area.”
“Our new-boater program called First Sail Workshop registered 192 people for a short classroom orientation and an hour-and-a-half on-board sailing introduction,” Jacobs said. “Cruisers University, in its new location in the Naval Academy Club at the United States Naval Academy, has become the premier cruising school in the country, having registered over 150 boaters this weekend to learn all about living aboard a boat to explore near and distant shores. These two programs are offered twice each year, serving over 500 and 300 people, respectively.”
Next year's sailboat show will take place April 20-22.