After a hiatus in 2020, the United States Boat Show in Annapolis, Maryland returned in full force last weekend. “Pent up demand” was the name of the game for visitors and exhibitors alike. Queues to get in each morning stretched around the block, and the docks were congested with visitors even on Thursday’s “preview” day. Part of this was a symptom of some manufacturer’s limits on how many people could be onboard at a time, in combination with slightly fewer boats than past years. But even so, attendance was high and enthusiasm higher. ”I’ve never seen it like this,” said charter editor and Best Boats panelist, Zuzana Prochazka. “It’s hard to even get around to see everything.”
Despite the crowds, or more likely because of them, exhibitors seemed excited to be back and optimistic about the future. Restrictions in the Caribbean have loosened, and in the show’s so-called “vacation basin,” charter companies were booking trip after trip. Their main problem? Having enough boats and captains to meet the demand. Similarly, many boat manufacturers were scheduling appointments to tour the boats in order to deal with the crowds and are already setting 2023 delivery dates for the boats being bought this year.
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