Show offers exhibitors from U.S., 15 countries; Dinghies, catamarans, trimarans are on display


The United States Sailboat Show has more than 200 boats on display in the water, including what show organizers call the largest exhibit of catamarans and trimarans in the world.

Based on figures from last year's show, organizers and exhibitors said the stage is set for this year's exhibition to be the most successful ever.

Geoffrey McCord of Beneteau said the last show drew an exceptional number of potential clients and his company sold 20 boats in one morning.

"The entire weekend was fantastic," McCord said. "The people who attended definitely were here to buy."

Bentley Collins of Sabre Yachts said the show often is packed with good prospects and qualified buyers.

"And Annapolis has such national appeal, why would we do any other show?"

Jerry Wood, founder and owner of the Annapolis show, said the future seems bright.

"Although it may be premature to celebrate in the sailing industry as a whole, there certainly are indications that we are seeing the leading edge of a turnaround trend in sailboat sales," Wood said.

The annual fall show features exhibitors from the U.S. and 15 other countries and offers a complete array of dinghies, racers and cruisers from the Trinka 12 to the Dufour/Nemo 82, an enormous catamaran built to take up to 16 passengers in comfort anywhere in the world.

In between, there are vessels from the U.S., Japan, England, China, Taiwan, Canada, Germany, Italy, Australia, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Finland, South Africa, Mauritius and France.

New boats built in the U.S., include the Valiant 50 from Valiant Yachts in Texas, the Antrim 27 by Ultimate Sailboats, the Sabre 452 from Maine, the Catalina 319 and 470, Pacific Seacraft's 40 Pilothouse, and the Beneteau 411 and the First 47.7, which are built in South Carolina.

Major U.S. builders with multiple-boat displays include Catalina Yachts, Hunter, J/Boats, Jeanneau America, Endeavour Yachts, Hallbery-Rassey, Pacific Seacraft, Island Packet and Tartan.

Custom and semicustom builders also are well represented with man of the best names in the business, including Oyster, The Hinckley Company and the Alden Group.

This year, the show again has a special dockage area for catamarans and trimarans, including U.S. and foreign-built boats such as the Outremer 55, Privilege 51 and 465, Lagoon 47 and 41, Fountaine Pajot's 46-foot Bahia and 35-foot Tobago, Prout 46 and 38, Catana 43, Endeavour 36, PDQ 36 and the Gemini 105, which is built in Annapolis.

In all, show organizers said, there are more than 40 new multihulls on display.

Aside from the boats on display, the show features aisles of booths where financing, gear and equipment, novelties and charter trips can be shopped for. In fact, it is possible at the show to buy a boat and outfit it from ground tackle to masthead fly.

At a glance

What: 30th United States Sailboat Show

Where: City docks, Annapolis

When: Trade and VIP day Oct. 7; general admission Oct. 8, 9, 10, 11. Show opens at 10 a.m. daily.

Admission: $25 per person for VIP day; $12 for adults and $6 for all children 12 and under on general admission days.

Parking: Follow signs from Route 50, exit 24 (Rowe Blvd.) to lots. Free shuttle bus to show site.

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