Such a busy week. The U.S. Sailboat Show continues through tomorrow. The rockfishing season is just getting under way, and the U.S. Powerboat Show opens Thursday for its four-day run.
One of the more interesting sidelights of the Annapolis boat show week is the transformation from sailboat to powerboat show.
Tomorrow at 6 p.m. the horns will blow, and the boats will begin to depart. Not haphazardly, but in a professional, orderly procession that will see hundreds of sailboats move out and hundreds of powerboats move in in a matter of hours, not days.
Thursday's powerboat show will overwhelm the Annapolis City Dock and harbor with more than 600 new powerboats and hundreds of shore exhibits covering every facet of boating. The U.S. Powerboat Show, the largest in-water powerboat show in the world, is about to happen.
The show runs through next Sunday. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
every day but Sunday, when it closes at 6 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults (except Thursday), children under 12, including infants, $4. Pets are not permitted, and baby strollers are discouraged.
Thursday is designated Trade/Press/V.I.P. Day, and admission is $20.
Thursday is set aside for the serious buyers.
The crowds are minimal, and you can get all the attention you need from the dealers. If you are planning for a new boat, the extra admission fee could save you hundreds, maybe even thousands, later.
Friday is fairly crowded, and the weekend is like feeding time at the zoo, where the safest place to be is in your booth if you are an exhibitor.
The boats may be the drawing card for some, but personally I enjoy the shore exhibits. Some of the exhibitors have been doing this show for over 10 years, and it is like old home week when they come to town.
Some of the exhibitors that can be expected year in and year out include Tilley's Endurables, maker of the world's finest hat, the hat in my logo. I believe I hold the record for wearing out three Tilley's during the past 10 years.
Mark's Athletic Soles has a gimmick where he rebuilds worn boat and athletic shoes for a reasonable cost, and he also sells attractive boating clothes and shoes. Yours Truly sells monogrammed shirts and jackets, good stuff, reasonably priced which I have worn for years. Rova Products is an umbrella name for a dozen nifty products from the boat mops to folding carts.
A couple of recent entries deserve a word or two. Red Royal Knives produce the finest fillet and hunting knives I've ever used. I've featured their knives several times since last year's show. Another excellent knife company on hand is Spyderco. These are quality folding and kitchen knives that take a beating and continue to do their job.
These are but a few of the hundreds of exhibitors surrounding the 350 in-water boats and the more than 250 boats on shore.
And surrounding the shore exhibits is Annapolis itself, a marvelous place to have a boat show or just go for a snack.
Harold Madtes and I have been anchoring the Fishing Information Center at the U.S. Powerboat Show for the past 10 years. This year we will go out of our way to put you onto the rockfish and answer your questions on how to find and capture your trophy.
Time to sharpen some hooks. I'll be fishing early in the morning.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena.
His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.