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Maryland in-water show reports attendance boost

Organizers said show attendance was up 25 percent.

The Bay Bridge Boat Show, an annual springtime in-water powerboat show that took place April 17-19 in Annapolis, Md., said it saw exhibitor space increase by 13 percent, with more than 270 boats on display, and ticket sales grow 3 percent from 2014.

Organizers said show attendance was up 25 percent.

"We are experiencing persistent growth across all categories in exhibitor space and ticket sales," Annapolis Boat Shows president and general manager Paul Jacobs said in a statement. "I am encouraged by increased sales in smaller boats under 35 feet, especially trailerable boats. This may indicate a return of the middle-income demographic to boating and boat buying, a group that has been missing over the past six years.”

Annapolis Yacht Sales president and principal Tim Wilbricht said he was impressed with the volume and the quality of visitors and saw an increased lead count from last year.

Exhibitors, including Formula, Beacon Light Marina, Arcadia Yacht Sales, Adirondack Guideboats, Bayside Jet Drive, Pocket Yachts and Annapolis Yacht Sales, reported selling one or more boats during the show.

Annapolis Boat Sales disclosed closing deals on a total of four boats ranging from 18 to 25 feet.

Ocean City, Md., exhibitor Bayside Jet Drive said visitors were definitely looking to buy. Bayside said it sold 11 personal watercraft — more than the past four years combined.

Mark Schulstad, of Pocket Yacht in Grasonville, Md., said his team had its best show in 10 years.

In a recent survey, 93 percent of show visitors reported a “very enjoyable” experience and 40 percent indicated that they purchased a powerboat they initially saw at an Annapolis Boat Show.

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