Annapolis, Maryland- "This was the best year in a long while," said John Novak, director of Sunseeker Club, speaking about the United States Powerboat Show held in downtown Annapolis October 11-14. "The crowd was huge and very serious. Boating is back in Maryland."
Just one week after a successful turnout for the 43rd annual United States Sailboat Show, the superlatives flooded in on closing day of the sister powerboat event, also produced by United States Yacht Shows (USYS).
"Attendance numbers were strong, assisted by a 20% increase in traffic on Friday and beautiful fall weather throughout the weekend," confirmed Paul Jacobs, General Manager of USYS. "More importantly, the quality of consumers attending was impressive."
Jacobs commented that many exhibitors reported their best sales in a boat show since 2007, including excellent numbers from Beneteau, MarineMax, Yacht Group, Chessie Marine, Boston Whaler, Everglades, Grande Yachts, and MJM. Additionally, dozens of inflatables were sold over two weekends, and center console fishing boats were hot items for most manufacturers.
"We were very pleased with the show results," said David Baumgartner of Riverside Boats. "Many customers we spoke to at the last few shows became solid sales over the weekend, and we received a long list of leads requiring follow-up. It gave us a lot of momentum that should yield additional sales this fall."
"The buyers are back with enthusiasm," said Jacobs. "The trend began in earlier fall shows, gained momentum in Annapolis, and bodes well for the winter shows and the industry in general, both sail and power."
Strong sales were also reported in other areas of the show and throughout the city, including a sold-out VIP parking package, solid numbers in for-fee programs, and a banner weekend at Pusser's Caribbean Grille. USYS shows represent the second largest annual event in Maryland, producing an estimated $51 million economic impact.
Among the innovations for the 2012 edition of the sailboat show was the introduction of Vacation Basin, a new section devoted entirely to charter companies and resort destinations offering international travel opportunities. Many participating companies offered valuable prizes, and USYS is pleased to announce the winners:
- Don and Gail Brooks-a one-week bareboat charter in Greece from Kiriacoulis Mediterranean
- Kevin Beesley- a 3-day, 2-night charter from Florida Yacht Charters & Sales, Inc.
- Ian Farnsworth-a $1000 voucher for charter anywhere in the world from LateSail USA
- Meredith Harris-a 7-day, 6-night luxury bareboat charter in BVI from MarineMax Vacations
- Richard and Tammy Spoon-$1000 off the 2013 high season rate from Island Yacht Charters
- Bill Hunsinger-a day of expert instruction in Miami Beach from Couples Cruising Classes
- Linda Benson-a week's charter on catamaran in BVI from Dream Yacht Charters
- Peggy Howell- basic sailing class for one person from BaySail
Kathy Azuma of the Turkish company Vicem Yachts summed up the prevailing exhibitor sentiment by saying, "Best weather we've seen in years, and some of the best clients we've seen in years. The market is coming back and the Annapolis Show is helping lead the way."
Plans are underway for the spring 2013 boat shows produced by USYS. Bay Bridge Boat Show, held April 18-21, will feature a separate area for the Nautical Flea Market this year. The following weekend, April 26-28, the second annual Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show will be staged in an expanded footprint and include the educational program, Cruisers University. Registration for these events is underway. Information on all Annapolis area boat shows can be found on www.usboat.com.