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Fall boat shows to converge on Annapolis

The U.S. Sailboat and Powerboat shows, synonymous with the region and a staple for area boaters, return on consecutive weekends this fall to Annapolis, Md.

The annual one-two punch of sail and power return to the Annapolis waterfront in October.

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The 41st annual U.S. Sailboat Show will be held Oct. 7 -11, followed by the 39th annual U.S. Powerboat Show Oct. 14 -17.

Paul Jacobs, general manager of U.S. Yacht Shows, says a highlight this year will be "Take the Wheel" workshops at both shows. Attendees can experience a day-long seminar on how to sail/cruise and take an introductory demo ride on one of four major styles of sail or powerboats. The workshops will be taught by staff from the Annapolis School of Seamanship.

"We started this last year at the powerboat show and it was very successful, so now we are introducing it for the first time at our sailboat show," says Jacobs. "It is $150 per person or $200 for a couple, which includes admission to two days of the show."

Each workshop can accommodate up to 50 people. Those who select the workshop at the U.S. Sailboat Show can choose to demo a catamaran, bluewater sailboat, coastal cruiser over 40 feet or a weekend racer cruiser under 40 feet. Powerboat attendees can demo an express cruiser, displacement trawler, semi-displacement trawler, or a Down East-style boat.

"Both workshops include a continental breakfast, lunch and a wine-tasting social hour," says Jacobs. "It's a neat program - we get a lot of couples who meet other couples, who encourage one another."

Jacobs says there are plenty of spaces left, so people should feel free to sign up at

The U.S. Sailboat Show will feature all the major boat brands such as Beneteau, Catalina and Jeanneau, as well as an extensive catamaran section. The U.S. Powerboat Show will feature Boston Whaler, Chaparral, Hydra-Sports and Grand Banks, to name a few.

"Hacker-Craft will also be sponsoring the Antique and Classic Boat Society Chesapeake Bay Chapter, which will display 15 to 20 boats fully restored at the powerboat show," says Jacobs. "There will be old Chris-Craft models, among others, and lots of highly polished mahogany."

Jacobs says the two shows draw more than 90,000 people during the two-week period.

"We're still adding exhibitors and activities, so we encourage people to check our website often leading up to the event," says Jacobs.

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue.