Sure, it snowed only a little more than a week ago here in Bay Country, but that isn’t stopping the local marine industry from assembling its wares and heading to the Bay Bridge Marina for a good, old-fashioned spring boat show. If you’re looking to shake off some of those vestigial winter blues, consider a trek to the Bay Bridge Boat Show, which kicks off this Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and runs through Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, and children 12 and under get in free.
The Bay Bridge Boat Show is traditionally a more powerboat-oriented affair, and a scan across the exhibitor list confirms this. If you’re hoping to look at cruising-oriented powerboats, here are some of the highlights in that category: Beneteau will exhibit its Swift Trawler 34 and 44, Gran Turismo 38, and its radically cool fishing boat, the Barracuda.
The Pocket Yacht Company will be well represented at the show, and you can stop in to check out its Cutwater 26, 28, and 30 models, as well as its Ranger Tug 21, 25, 29, and 31 offerings. Some high-end flybridge yachts from Prestige Yachts will also be on display, including the 450 and 550, and Nordic Tug will show of its 32-, 34-, and 37-foot models.
Among these fine cruising powerboats (and the funnel cakes and Sham Wows) you’ll find a sprawling display containing around 140 other boats of all shapes and sizes. There are also fishing and fly-fishing demonstrations, a demo dock, hundred of land exhibitors, and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s research vessel Rachel Carson, which will be open for tours.
If you make it to the first day of the show, stick around past closing time for the Bay Bridge Boat Show BBQ Bash, which is free for both attendees and exhibitors and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Yep, that’s not a typo—free. Along with the usual hot dogs, hamburgers, and other grill fare, a live band will kick the scene up a notch. Beers and cocktails will be available at a cash bar.
If you went to the show last year, you probably remember the entirely unpopular move by show management to move parking offsite and run attendees to the show on shuttle buses from a nearby school. Back this year are the smiling volunteers from the Kent Island High School Athletic Boosters, who will take a $3 donation in exchange for a full day of on-site (generally on-the-grass) parking.
The show is situated at the Bay Bridge Marina, on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Coming from either westbound or eastbound U.S. Route 50, take Exit 37 onto southbound state Route 8 (Romancoke Road). Next, make your first right onto Pier One Road, and then look for those aforementioned folks from the Kent Island High School Athletic Boosters, who will take a $3 donation, and then direct you right to your parking space.
For more information visit the Bay Bridge Boat Show website.