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New owners take reins of Annapolis shows

Paul Jacobs, longtime general manager of the Annapolis Boat Shows, and his partners, a team of four local business professionals, assumed ownership of the shows Monday from C. Edward Hartman II.

“We are thrilled to carry on the tradition of hosting the most spectacular boat shows in the world, recognized by the international boating community as some of the most important events of the year,” Jacobs said in a statement. “Judging by the enthusiasm, sales and attendance at the recent 2013 sail and power boat shows, the boating industry is experiencing a recovery following the 2008 recession and I see nothing but strong growth ahead.”

Along with assuming the role of corporate president, Jacobs will continue his responsibilities as general manager and the management team and permanent staff will remain in place.

The new owners have deep roots in the community. They are Annapolis Boat Shows manager Sheila Jones, who has been with the company for 15 years; Peter Trogdon, owner of Weems and Plath, an international marine industry business based in Eastport; Bob Crain, owner of Applied Lighting; and Mary Ewenson, owner of SpinSheet and PropTalk magazines.

Many new boat show attractions have been established in Annapolis during the last several years, including Cruisers University; Annapolis Brokerage Show; Take the Wheel; Sailboat Show Launch Party; and Vacation Basin.

The new owners also announced the dates of the 2014 boat shows:

• The Bay Bridge Boat Show takes place April 11-13 in Stevensville, Md.

• The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, featuring Cruisers University, takes place April 25-27 in Annapolis

• The United States Sailboat Show, featuring the Annapolis Brokerage Show, takes place Oct. 9-13 in Annapolis.

• The United States Powerboat Show, featuring the Annapolis Brokerage Show, takes place Oct. 16-19 in Annapolis.

The owners said the Annapolis Boat Shows annually attract more than 100,000 visitors and have an economic impact on the regional economy of more than $60 million.