The Bay Bridge Boat Show is typically powerboats only, but this year the view includes sailboats, too. Photo courtesy of Annapolis Boat Shows.

Largest Combined Spring Sail, Powerboat Show Kicks Off on Kent Island

Just like that, the boats (and boat shows) are back.

After more than a year without even one of our region’s favorite nautical events taking place (the 2020 Bay Bridge Boat Show, Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, U.S. Powerboat Show, U.S. Sailboat Show, and Baltimore Boat Show were all canceled due to the pandemic), a reimagined Bay Bridge Boat Show kicks off in Stevensville Md. this Thursday, April 15.

Combining its two spring shows in one, Annapolis Boat Shows claims that the new-look event will not only be one of the first boat shows in the country to be produced post-pandemic, but also the largest combined in-water sailboat and powerboat show in the Mid-Atlantic.

“2020 was a tough year for boat shows worldwide, and we are thrilled to kick off the boating season on the Chesapeake Bay with the rebirth of our spring shows,” said Paul Jacobs, President of Annapolis Boat Shows. “Our new, combined show will offer one complete four-day experience for all boaters—both sail and power.”

As always, the most essential element of this experience will be the display boats. From catamarans and
monohulls to racing boats and cruisers, hundreds of sailboats will join over 400 powerboats of all shapes and sizes in a marina of floating docks and on the shore. Show goers will have the opportunity to climb aboard and compare new, premiering, and brokerage power and sail models, with some of Jacobs’ must-sees including the Bluewater 56, Nimbus T8, Twin Vee 280CC GFX, Dauntless 220, and Fountaine Pajot. For a blast from the past, the Chesapeake Bay Antique & Classic Boat Society will be displaying classic wooden boats, vintage racers, and other antique boats from around the Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Media and our sister company, Annapolis School of Seamanship, are happy to join the show’s special offerings: our experts will host free, one-hour seminars on topics like Boat Buying 101, Docking & Line Handling, Weekends on the Chesapeake, and Sailing Annapolis to Bermuda.

Show visitors can also sea-trial more than two dozen boats at the demo dock, learn how to customize fishing rods, and take in a land display of classic cars, including the first car to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on its opening day in 1952, by the Kent Island Yacht Club.

As part of a partnership with Annapolis Green, showgoers can check out a Greenline Yachts hybrid boat, presented by Yacht Sales International, complete with solar panels. And anyone who attends Annapolis Green’s Kick Gas! Annapolis EV Showcase can enter a raffle to take a sunset cruise on the Greenline from the Bay Bridge Boat Show to Yacht Haven Marina in Eastport on Sunday, experiencing electric boating with a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Organizers say the spring show will strictly adhere to Queen Anne’s County Health Department guidelines and have added additional health and safety measures. Among them, all attendees will be required to wear proper face coverings on show grounds and on buses at all times, purchase tickets in advance, and practice social distancing when and where possible.

When: April 15, 12-6pm; April 16 & 17, 10am-6pm; April 18, 10am-5pm
Where: Bay Bridge Marina, 357 Pier One Road, Stevensville, MD 21666 (Exit 37 off Route 50
Admission: $10 Thursday, $15 Friday-Sunday, Children 12 & Under Free
Parking: Free at Target (formerly Kmart), with all-day bus service to the show, or on-site with a
$10 donation to the Kent Island High School Swim Team.
Tickets are available for advance purchase only on the Annapolis Boat Shows website.

Steve Adams