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Bay Bridge show sees attendance boost

The Bay Bridge Boat Show, held last weekend on Kent Island, Md., was considered a success by all who participated, according to event producer United States Yacht Shows.

Space sales increased slightly over 2009, with more than 200 boats on display.

Consumer attendance increased by nearly 10 percent, organizers report. Exact figures were unavailable.

"Last year, the story was the economy. This year, the story seems all about the recovery and improved business climate in the boating industry," said Paul Jacobs, general manager of USYS. "This show typically serves as a bellwether for the Mid-Atlantic marine industry season. We hope these reports indicate a good year ahead for our dealers and manufacturers."

The "Take the Wheel" program again proved to be an entertaining and effective introduction to boating for beginner and intermediate boaters.

Terry Feehley, of CYA Marine Canvas in Cambridge, Md., reported that he "got 20 leads with two jobs scheduled. I looked at six jobs yesterday and have an additional five to look at and quote tomorrow - just from the show," he said. "We're definitely coming back next year."

"I've been in the business for 27 years and in more than 30 boat shows, and this year's Bay Bridge show was the most productive," said Boats & Yachts general manager John Regan. "The honesty and quality of the attendees was really great. I found that buyers were looking for boats in the $125,000-or-below range due to the fact that they would rather pay cash than finance."

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