The Chesapeake Bay Boat Show is a heated indoor wonderland of Maryland dealer boats for those dreaming of boating season. Handout photo.

Count Down to Boating Season at this Indoor Boat Show

While most of the country is freezing, the boating industry is heating things up with an indoor boat show to help you envision warmer months. This weekend’s third annual Chesapeake Bay Boat Show in Timonium kicks off the boat buying season with over 30 Maryland dealers showing off their latest and greatest in boats, personal watercraft, marine equipment, inflatables and more.

Chesapeake Bay Magazine is a proud media sponsor of the boat show again this year.

Starting Friday, Jan. 19, and running through Sunday, Jan. 21, nearly 10,000 guests are expected to stroll through the (heated) indoor exhibit halls at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Beyond the freshly waxed, shiny new boats, exhibitors and dealers will showcase gear, equipment and the latest technology. 

The show, presented by the Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County (MTABC), gives the industry a peek into the upcoming boating season. Tickets are reasonably priced (and free for kids), making it a great event for families and first-time boat show attendees.

“The industry is strong,” said show organizers Brian Schneider and Jason Baumgartner, both Marine Trades Association of Baltimore County leaders. 

Though the demand for boats post-pandemic has cooled, people still want to get out on the water. “There was a lot of fear folks were getting into boating … for lack of things to do and then back(ing) out, but many have found the boating lifestyle is a good way to disconnect from stresses of the world and enjoy time with family,” Baumgartner and Schneider said.

While January may seem an odd time for a boat show to some, the National Marine Manufacturers Association says winter is a traditionally strong selling season for the recreational boating industry. “Unlike auto shows, boat shows are not only a marketing venue but a major driver of retail sales for the year ahead with manufacturers and dealers debuting new product innovations and technologies,” the association reports.

“We have a show this time of year to assist manufacturers and buyers with lead times,” organizers say. “Customers can order boats during the winter and get factory discounts and rebates, and people can customize their boats instead of buying one in inventory.”

Visitors to the Chesapeake Bay Boat Show will notice an expanded fishing tackle and charter area, plus new seminars with boating and fishing experts. Boats on display include bass boats, center consoles, cabin cruisers, bowriders, skiffs, inflatables, pontoons and more. Each day also includes live music, a fishing simulator, a fishing tackle pier, and plenty of free parking. 

Tickets are $10 for adults, and kids under 12 are admitted free. For more information, visit thechesapeakebayboatshow.com.