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Posted by on Oct 13, 2012 in Boat Show, Powerboating, US |

Annapolis Boat Show: Sun Shines on New Boats

New at the Annapolis Powerboat Show: Model introductions from Albemarle, Beneteau, Hobie, and Protector. And for once, great weather.

Sunshine and low winds greeted the beginning of the Annapolis Boat Show this week, putting dealers, manufacturers, and boat shoppers in a good mood. Usually this show is dogged by cold temperatures, rain, and otherwise lousy weather (including a storm surge one year which flooded out a significant number of displays), so for many attendees, this was a nice change of pace. I visited the show to find out what was new and interesting; here are some of the highlights.

Annapolis Powerboat Show Protector 30

One of the hot properties at the Annapolis Boat Show was the new Protector 30.

Protector was at Annapolis with two new 30’ models, a center console and a cabin boat. These are rugged but classy RIBs that can serve as commuters, rescue boats, or even fishboats. My favorite feature: max. power ratings of 600—rigged with a pair of 300 Verados, the cabin boat can break 50-mph and cruises in the 40s.

Albemarle introduced a new 36 Express with a full enclosure. The boat has some interesting design tweaks which go beyond the massive hard top-enclosed bridge, including a two-track Isinglass system which turns those clear curtains into a sliding “glass” door.

Hobie has been taking their new 12 foot fishing kayak around to the boat shows, and it’s a nifty little rig that light-tackle anglers will love. It’s expensive – starting price is over two grand and goes up quickly with options like rod holders and fish finder mounts – but it features a new seat that may be the most comfortable kayak seat I’ve ever sat upon.

Beneteau officially introduced their Barracuda 9, which we tested a while back upon its arrival in the USA. This is a unique boat with a mini-flybridge and a hybrid pilothouse/express/center console design. Check out our video review here.

The show runs through Sunday, so there’s still time to check out all the shiny new boats in person.

-Lenny Rudow