The United States Powerboat Show in Annapolis is always popular, for a whole lot of reasons. It’s easy to get to, it’s easy to see a lot of new boats and gear there, and it’s in Annapolis, the hub of the Chesapeake, a cruising mecca with boatyards and marinas and waterfront restaurants and watering holes all around. And then there’s the U.S. Naval Academy with grounds next to the show, historic Annapolis stretching up Main Street to the state capital, and Washington, D.C. is an easy drive away.
Centered around City Dock (also known as Ego Alley) in the middl9 of town, this year the show, the 48th annual, runs from Thursday, October 3, through Sunday, October 6, with about 600 new boats from 8 to 80 feet. The new boats include the Outer Reef 70, Serendipity 2, in its worldwide debut, a Nordhavn 63, Maritimo X50, Lagoon Sixty 7 power cat, Aspen C120, Sirena 58, and Helmsman 38E.
Hinckley and Hunt, Sabre and Back Cove, and Grand Banks and Palm Beach are all easy to find; they’re basically next to each other over by the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel. MJM is down the dock a bit, with its new 53z, just named Best New Powerboat Over 35 Feet at the Newport show earlier this month. Beneteau always has a big display of its fleet, including the popular Swift Trawlers. Pocket Yacht will be showing new Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats, while Burr Yacht Sales will display the latest Flemings.
In addition to the new boats, the show has tents full of displays of everything from new electronics to knife sharpeners. It also offers seminars from the Annapolis School of Seamanship, and it has Demo Docks where you can try out new boats, engines and stabilizing systems. If you get weary by the end of the day, you can stop by Pusser’s Painkiller Party Barge for some refreshment.
In conjunction with the new boat show, there’s also a Brokerage Cove display with used boats in St. Mary’s Cove on Spa Creek, just a five-minute walk from the show; you can get a water taxi from the main show to the brokerage docks.
For me, the Annapolis show is a great place to see new boats and accessories and to take in some crab cakes at McGarvey’s or the Boatyard. I also try to work in my annual show breakfast at Chick & Ruth’s Delly on Main Street just a few blocks up from the show, where everyone stands up and recites the Pledge of Allegiance at 8:30 a.m. For more: