Sailors from around the world converged in Annapolis in the weekend just passed as the city hosted the 39th annual United States Sailboat Show, said to be the largest boatshow of its kind in the world.
More than 250 boats in the water, 200 boats on land and hundreds of exhibitors displaying everything from redesigned classic sailboats and sailing dinghies to binoculars and shoes, transformed Annapolis's City Dock and harbor into a city within a city through until Monday.
The show is the largest in-the-water show of exclusively new boats in the world, said Bonnie Seidelmann, spokeswoman for United States Yacht Shows Inc., the show’s producers. She said she expected at least 50,000 people to attend the event, which opened to the public Thursday, running until Monday.
For lucky attendees, it took time to browse the tents at the show. Some 250 tents of all sizes housed the latest in just about everything a boater needs, on the water or on shore - the hottest boat shoes, the latest foul-weather gear, electronics, engines and other hardware, all sorts of software and more.
Whether you were in the market for a vacation on sea or land, the show was a good place to check out resort offerings in the Caribbean and various cruise options.
For those who didn't get their fill of boats during the show, the Eastport Yacht Club was back to throw its annual Boat Show Bash Saturday night.
The party on the grounds of the yacht club featured a raffle with $8,000 in prizes, live music, hot sandwiches and sides, drinks and dancing.
“It was a tremendous success,” said Susan Nahmias, chairman of the EYC special events committee. “This was let your hair down, block party fun.”
Annapolis’s Tiki Barbarians and the Eastern Shore’s Sunny Isle Blues Band performed on the back lot. For those tired boaters who were looking for a quieter scene, Emmy award winning composer, singer and keyboardist Brian Comotto of Baltimore performed on the front side of the property.
The EYC Foundation also sponsored an online live auction with 18 bidding items retailing for a total of $25,000. Proceeds benefited the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s education program and the EYC Foundation.
Quite a bash, the 39th Show! However, it will be the judgement of the exhibitors, rather than the enjoyment of the attendees, which will indicate how much the currently dramatic economic crisis is affecting the fortunes of the participants - and the marine industry.