COVID-19 canceling fall boat shows

Published on August 20th, 2020

Annapolis, MD (August 20, 2020) – After the Annapolis Boat Shows worked hard creating safety protocols and meeting with health officials for its October 2020 shows at City Dock Annapolis, SpinSheet reports how the city announced today the shows would not take place in 2020.

“We thought we had made good progress. Our plans for safety had been accepted and we were working on enforcement, but they couldn’t get past us bringing large numbers of boaters to Annapolis,” said Paul Jacobs, president of Annapolis Boats, in a letter to exhibitors for the U.S. Powerboat Show (slated for October 1-4) and U.S. Sailboat Show (October 8-12).

Jacobs continued, “We have worked very hard to make this happen, but in the final analysis, our city, county, and state officials could not see their way clear to balance the health and economic issues.”

Scuttlebutt has been a regular attendee for the sailboat show as it was that one event where you could see everyone and everything. “This is a gut punch to the marine industry,” noted Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck. “At a time when we all need to connect, it is another defeat during this pandemic.”

The Capital Gazette reports how the two shows are major economic drivers for the city, generating an estimated $112 million in economic activity in the Annapolis annually, according to a 2014 economic impact study.

“This was a hard call. No one wanted to have boat shows in Annapolis more than I did,” said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “But our first obligation is to ensure the health and safety of city residents and visitors. We take that responsibility very seriously. We will enthusiastically welcome the boat shows in future years when it is safe.”

The 2020 Newport International Boat Show (Newport, RI), which was to precede the Annapolis shows on September 17-20, had already cancelled due to COVID-19. “We feel that it is the right thing to do for the safety of our exhibitors, sponsors, staff, and attendees,” explained the show management.

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