Throwing a line to visitors

Annapolis puts on its best for two weeks of shows

October 13, 2002

The boat shows that folks in the marine industries speak of in reverential terms have arrived in Annapolis.

The back-to-back U.S. sailboat and powerboat shows draw upward of 50,000 visitors as well as an army of yacht brokers, dealers, vendors and suppliers.

The sailboat show, now in its 33rd year, and the 31st powerboat show have grown so over their three decades that they have taken over the entire dock area.

Annapolis hotels, bars, restaurants and shops are packed during the shows.

"It's a sea of humanity out there," says Bill Willin, the assistant general manager at McGarvey's, a popular downtown restaurant and bar. "We do a nice business as it is, but during October even an average weekday is like a Saturday."

Some 240 floating docks, which would stretch a mile if placed end-to-end, accommodate the boats that manufacturers bring with them.

Exhibitors are supplied with fresh water by a temporary water system that uses 1,400 feet of three-inch fire hose.

The shows feature the latest designs and models, with over 50 making their debut.

Hundreds of boats are on display both in the water and on shore. Cruising yachts, racing boats and performance cruisers are on display in the water. Trailerable models, one-design racers, dinghies and inflatables are shown ashore.

More than 200 tents, built on over 500 wooden-floor sections covering three-quarters of an acre, accommodate land exhibitors. Display tents are filled with nautical equipment, accessories and service information, including what is needed to commission a new boat.

Those shopping for a new boat will find marine finance companies, as well as insurance companies that provide customized service.

Show organizers direct traffic to the parking lots at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at the edge of town and run shuttles downtown to ease some of the inevitable traffic problems. Many visitors arrive by boat.

The shows, as well as other "big draw" events, have led to a cottage industry in house rentals. Annapolis residents head for the hills the weeks of the boat shows and rent their homes, usually to exhibitors and vendors, for enough to cover the costs of their vacations.

"Some go home to mama, others go to Europe or Disneyland, and some go stay on their boats," says Lyn Backe, who arranges rentals for Annapolis Accommodations. Rents range from $200 to $1000 a night, depending on the location and the number of places to sleep.

Boat shows at a glance

33rd United States Sailboat Show

Where: Annapolis City Dock (see map)

When: Trade/VIP day, Oct. 10; general admission, Oct. 11-14. Show opens at 10 a.m. daily.

Admission: $25 per person on Trade/VIP day; $15 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under on general admission days.

Parking: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Blvd (exit 24 off U.S. Route 50) with continual shuttle buses running to the show.

31st United States Powerboat Show

Where: Annapolis City Dock (see map)

When: Trade/VIP day, Oct. 17; general admission, Oct. 18-20. Show opens at 10 a.m. daily.

Admission: $25 per person on Trade/VIP day; $15 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under on general admission days.

Parking: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Blvd (exit 24 off U.S. Route 50) with continual shuttle buses running to the show.

New this year in sailboats

Beneteau 42 center cockpit cruiser and a "mystery boat" from Beneteau USA of Marion, S.C.

Centurion 45.8 from Wauquiez International of Paris.

Farr 63 and Farr 50, from Boat Sales International-CD of Annapolis.

Horizon Cat from Com-Pac yachts of Clearwater, Fla.

Hunter 426, from Hunter Marine, Alachua, Fla.

IMX-45 racer cruiser from X Yachts USA of Annapolis.

J 109, 35-foot racing cruiser from J-Boats Inc. of Newport, R.I.

Leopard 42 and 47 catamarans from Moorings Private Sales, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Prestige 38 and Broadblue 42 sailing catamarans from Advanced Yachts Inc. of Annapolis.

Rover RIB 2.60 and 3.10 from Avon Inflatables of Dafen, U.K.

59er Skiff, from Performance Sailcraft 2000 Inc. of Lasalle, Canada.

Southerly 135 Series Three from Northshore Yachts Ltd of Sussex, U.K.

Vangard Nomad from Vangard Sailboats, Portsmouth, R.I.

W-Class one design from W-Class Yacht Company, Lynnfield, Mass.

New this year in powerboats

Alcon 36 Motor Yacht from Alcon Yachts of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

55-foot Altima Pilothouse from North East Yacht Sales, of North East, Md.

Avalon 38 from Capital Yacht Sales of Annapolis.

54 Convertible from Hatteras Yachts of New Bern, N.C.

Custom Cruiser 37, from Campbell Boatyards, Oxford, Md.

DeFever 45 Pilothouse from Atlantic Coast Yacht Sales of Rock Hall, Md.

Gibson Classic Houseboat from Midlantic Marine Inc, of Stevensville, Md.

Grand Sturdy 380 from Clearwater Yacht Sales, Stamford, Conn.

Linssen DS 45 from Ensign Yachts Inc. of New Rochelle, N.Y.

Newport 26 - Bad Dog Model from Stanard Boat Works of Newport, R.I.

Nordhavn 47 from Nordhavn/Pacific Asian Enterprises of Dana Point, Calif.

43-foot Nova Scotia Pilothouse from Regatta Point Yacht Sales of Palmetto, Fla.

RIBCRAFT 4.8, rigid inflatable boats, from RIBCRAFT USA of Marblehead, Mass.

Rivolta 38 from Rivolta Marine, Sarasota, Fla.

Seaport Deluxe 490 from Avon Inflatables of Dafen, U.K.

Talaria 29C and Talaria 29R from Hinckley Yachts of Southwest Harbor, Maine.

Trawler Catamaran from Alwoplast Ltd of Valdivia, Chile.

Triton outboard fishing boats from Advance Marine Boat Sales, Shady Side, Md.

Western Ensign 6.85 Motor Launch from Spirit Yachts of Annapolis.

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