The United States Sailboat Show wraps up today in Annapolis, where the city dock was transformed into a 250-boat marina filled with new boats and tents on floats.
With nearly 30 new sailboats on display, the show could be an indicator that sales are bouncing back, according to the Capital News Gazette. This is the 43rd year for the show, which draws more than 50,000 spectators from around the world. The 2012 show is the largest since 2007, the year before the recession.
The show’s size and positive indicators from last month’s show in Newport, R.I., suggest that a turnaround could be in store for the marine industry.
“There’s a theory that consumers are tired of sitting on the sidelines and waiting for world peace, which isn’t going to happen,” U.S. Boat Shows general manager Paul Jacobs told the paper. “There’s that kind of pent-up demand feeling and it might be that people are ready to go out and start buying boats. That’s what we certainly hope.”
Earlier this year the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported that retail sales and boating participation have been on the rise. About 214,000 boats were sold last year in the United States, a 0.8 percent increase from 2010. Boating participation reached 83 million, a 10 percent increase. Previously, the industry had not had an increase in sales since 2006, officials said.