United States Powerboat Show expected to draw another record crowd


It might be hard to top last year’s United States Powerboat Show, which saw nearly 600 boats, 500 exhibitors, 20 percent growth, and attendance numbers that eclipsed any show since 2007, but the 2018 United States Powerboat Show, Thursday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Oct. 14, is on pace to do just that.

“Can we match last year’s Saturday attendance which exploded into the largest Annapolis powerboat show day in recorded history? Maybe,” said Paul Jacobs president of the Annapolis Boat Shows. “By all accounts, the maritime economy is powering ahead, boaters are out on the water, and boat sales are alive and well. We expect the Annapolis Powerboat Show to have substantial growth and surpass the 2017 show.”

Preview Day, Thursday, Oct. 11, is a special day for the serious boater to take advantage of opening day specials. It is by far the best day to shop for new and previously owned powerboats and an ideal day to talk with exhibitors.

There are dozens of new boats and new models expected. At press time at least 700 boats are expected, and the exhibitor list will continue to grow right up until the show opens.

This year’s show has everything from luxurious motor and ocean-going yachts and “down east” trawlers to high-performance powerboats and offshore fishing machines. Boats of every style, from 8’ to 80’, will be on display including water toys of all types, express cruisers, inflatables, paddle boards, ski boats, trailerable powerboats, pontoons, and an extensive collection of center consoles.

“We are beaming with pride to be able to offer our consumers the opportunity to shop from 50 fishing boat manufacturers. Only at this show can you compare more than 150 fishing boats side by side,” Jacobs said.

New this year, unique and powerful Dutch-made Lekker boats will serve as water taxis during the show ferrying boat buyers between the main show docks in Ego Alley and nearby Brokerage Cove, home to scores of “previously loved” boats.

Brokerage Cove, a show within a show, will be overflowing with previously owned boats, presented by regional boat brokers and available for immediate delivery.

In its second year, the VIP Red Carpet Lounge, sponsored by LH Finance, will provide exclusive access to an elegant lounge with comfortable seating, top tier cuisine, and a choice of wine or cocktails. The Red Carpet Lounge is for the discriminating boat buyer looking for VIP treatment. An additional fee is required.

In addition to the vast selection of boats, visitors will explore acres of boating products and services, including the latest in navigational equipment, high-tech electronics, boating accessories, clothing, gear, and related services such as boating clubs, charter companies, insurance firms, and lending institutions.

Dealers and manufacturers will offer demonstrations and sea trials of new models, engines, and stabilizing systems at the Demo Dock.

This year’s Grand Prize is an exotic seven day and six night Caribbean charter vacation onboard a luxury MarineMax 362 Power Catamaran in the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Buy tickets online to be automatically entered to win.

Hospitality food and drink venues including free cocktail and wine tastings are available throughout the show.

Free daily seminars on boating are presented by the Chesapeake Bay Magazine and the Annapolis School of Seamanship.

Power cruisers might consider coming to Annapolis a day or two early and attend Cruisers University which offers a comprehensive curriculum on cruising and boat preparedness. The expert instructors will help plan a cruise as well as equip and maintain a boat. There are more than 50 courses offered over one to four days. Find out more at

Troy Petenbrink

Troy, also known as The Gay Traveler, is a well known travel and food writer. His has been a regular contributor to a variety of outlets including National Geographic, Travel Channel, DCRefined, CBS Local, and Metro Weekly. He also appears on local Washington news outlets as a travel expert.

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