Clear next weekend's calendar for the Bay Bridge Boat Show.

Maritime Merriment at the Bay Bridge Boat Show

What could be more fun than spending a day at our region’s premier spring festival of fiberglass? Visiting a venue in the heart of Chesapeake Country with hundreds of powerboats to peruse? On top of all those boats, seeing hundreds of nautically natured products and services on display?

Boaters and the boat-curious will have a tough time finding better ways to entertain themselves from April 12 to 14 than by going to the Bay Bridge Boat Show.

You’ll leave the show with new nautical knowledge thanks to free seminars like this one from the Annapolis School of Seamanship. Photo: Ben Cushwa

Many people will be heading for the show, held at the Bay Bridge Marina in Stevensville, MD, to buy a boat. And don’t forget that the dealers and brokers have brought their boats here with the intention of making a deal—so there are some serious savings in store for boat-buyers who are ready to make a commitment.

But many other people will come here to see what’s hot and what’s new in the world of boats. Others will want to check out all the accessories, with everything from art to anchors on display. Some people will also visit the show to learn more about boating in general.

Thanks to an emphasis on providing educational opportunities at the show, attending is an excellent way to expand your nautical knowledge base. There will be a variety of free boating seminars covering topics like finding the best dock-and-dine opportunities on the Bay, how to pet-proof your boat, and more. You can also check out the fishing seminars on light tackle jigging for rockfish and fishing for snakeheads. Those who want more advanced instruction will be interested in the how-to and safety classes being put on by organizations like BoatUS and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, some of which even include on-water training.

Step aboard new boats and take advantage of sea trials, too. Photo: Ben Cushwa

Speaking of being on the water: if walking the docks and checking out boats in the shadow of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge isn’t enough for you, note that the Bay Bridge show is one of the few boat shows around that offers an opportunity like the PropTalk Demo Dock. There’s no better way to get to know a boat than to take it for a ride, and there will be center consoles, dual consoles, runabouts, and more available for sea trials to interested buyers.

Fishing games for the whole family in the Kids’ Fun Zone. Photo: Ben Cushwa

Anglers and people concerned about the Chesapeake Bay environment will also want to visit the Chesapeake Invasives Corner. Organizations like the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland and Fish & Hunt Maryland will be on hand to help educate the public about the challenges non-native species like blue catfish and snakeheads present to our native fish and crabs. You’ll find out how to catch those invasive fish, turn them into tasty meals, and help reduce their impact on our waterways. Be sure to bring the kids, too, because they’ll be handed plenty of giveaways and goodies in the Kids’ Fun Zone.

If going to the Bay Bridge Boat Show sounds like a day of awesome entertainment whether you plan to buy a new boat or not, well, that’s because it is. And better yet, this show is designed to be easy—and fu—to attend. There’s plenty of onsite parking and free offsite parking available. When you prepurchase your tickets online or sign up at the show you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win some very cool door prizes, and there’s plenty of good food and drinks available on-site.

Okay, it’s time to make a plan. Step one, visit the Bay Bridge Boat Show website. Step two, map out the highlights you don’t want to miss. Step three, get your tickets. Step four, prepare for a day of Chesapeake Bay boating fun. And to cap it all off maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the boat of your dreams at the Bay Bridge Boat Show.

Why not? It’s three days of fun at the Bay Bridge Boat Show. Photo: Ben Cushwa