U.S. Powerboat Show reports boost in attendance

Attendance rose 5 percent at the U.S. Powerboat Show.

Attendance rose 5 percent at the U.S. Powerboat Show, which organizers said was the largest in terms of exhibit space and boats on display since the 2008 recession.

The Oct.13-16 show had more than 350 boats, including more than 100 center console fishing boats, 40 fishing boat manufacturers and 75 brokerage boats in Brokerage Cove. The exhibitor footprint at the show increased by more than 14.5 percent.

"The mood was positive, reflective of economic indicators all trending up — especially consumer confidence and household discretionary income. There seemed to be excitement everywhere in the show," Annapolis Boat Shows president and general manager Paul Jacobs said in a statement.

Organizers said boatbuilders reported strong sales, strong lead generation and a commitment to bring more boats next year.

"Grand Yachts International certainly feel it was the best U.S. Powerboat Show since before the recession. And since our company's position and product lineup continues to improve, we are fortunate that those factors dovetailed nicely into a hugely successful show," said Ned L. Dozier, II, owner and president of Grand Yachts International.

"During and after the show we sold a 50 Riviera, 44 Tiara, seven Pursuits from 23 to 35 feet and a 34 Chris-Craft. We expect double-digit sales as a direct result of the show.”

Organizers said Brokerage Cove was crowded all weekend. The three water taxis that were ferrying people back and forth between the main show and St. Mary's Cove were always at capacity, and many boats were reported to have sold.

"We had a successful boat show in Brokerage Cove 2016," said Marc Benvenuto, founder and president of Knot 10 Yacht Sales. "From the weather to happy customers and the well-run coordination of the show, it was a first-rate experience. We ended up so far with seven contracts, and I am expecting several more. This was certainly the best Brokerage Cove show we have ever had.”

Organizers said Rose Magness, of New Jersey, was the show’s grand prize Winner. She and her family won an EdgeWater 170CC Deep V center console fishing boat with a trailer and a 90-hp Yamaha engine. The prize was sponsored by Annapolis Boat Shows, Annapolis Yacht Sales and EdgeWater Power Boats to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the powerboat show.

The grand prize first runner up, Michelle Birdsong, of Virginia, won a seven-day and six-night charter vacation in the British Virgin Islands on a luxury power catamaran sponsored by MarineMax.

Organizers said plans are underway for a large and active spring powerboat show at Bay Bridge Marina on Kent Island. The Bay Bridge Boat Show will be held April 21-23 in Stevensville, Md.