U.S. Powerboat Show opens today in Annapolis

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The 43rd United States Powerboat Show, which has grown about 7.5 percent in space this year, starts today in Annapolis and runs through Sunday.

“It continues to grow back to where it was,” Annapolis Boat Shows president and general manager Paul Jacobs told Trade Only Today.

Jacobs recalled that during the 2008 show the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed by 1,500 points.

“It really hurt the industry. Little by little, we’ve started growing again,” Jacobs said. “After 2009, it was in the 2 to 5 percent range. This year, we’ve had between 7 and 7.5 percent growth in space. We’re kind of getting it back to where it used to be.”

Many exhibitors are not only bringing more boats, but they’re also bringing larger boats, Jacobs said.

The show demonstrated a steady increase in exhibit space and attendance during each of the past five years. The 2014 pre-show ticket sales are stronger than usual and exhibit space has expanded by 7 percent.

One addition to this year’s show, a Luxury Pavilion, is in recognition of the improving economy and presented by The Boat Village, organizers said. It will feature yachts from Palm Beach, Hunton, Fairline and Grand Banks, as well as high-end products from companies such as Tesla Motors, Porsche of Annapolis, MarineMax Vacations, The Boat Village, Sotheby's International Realty, Gibbs Sport Amphibians and Sun n Fun Cruising.

Other attractions include:

• Demo docks–- For the first time this year, brokers and manufacturers will be conducting sea trials from inside the show at easy-to-access demonstration docks

• Premiering boats — Designs and models debuting at the show include: the 33 Eco-Trawler, by Trawlers Midwest; Princess 43, by Princess Yachts; Talaria 43, by Hinckley; True North 38, by True North Yachts; Ocean Yacht 64, by Makaira; and the 28 foot R280 and the 35-foot R350 by Fluid Watercraft

• Brokerage Cove — Sponsored by YachtWorld.com, the show will feature 63 used powerboats from 25 to 65 feet, presented by regional boat brokers. Electric land shuttles and water taxis will ferry visitors between the two sites

• Pussers Painkiller Barge Bar–- An Annapolis favorite, the rum-based Painkiller, on Pussers Painkiller Barge Bar

• Free boating seminars — Daily seminars presented by Chesapeake Bay Magazine and the Annapolis School of Seamanship

• Grand-prize drawing — Visitors can win a seven-day, six-night bareboat charter aboard a MarineMax 382 Power Catamaran in the British Virgin Islands. Donated by MarineMax Vacations

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