Annapolis Yacht Sales: A Brief History
Annapolis Yacht Sales was started in 1953 by Lawrence Hartge – the original premises were in a corner of Fawcett Boat Supplies downtown. It was sold in 1970 to Dodd and Marjorie Boyd, and then to their daughter Peggy and her husband John Burgreen in 1983. At that time the company moved from Spa Creek over to new premises on Back Creek at 7416 Edgewood Road. John Burgreen became an icon in the boating industry and was known for his uncompromising standards of excellence, as well as for fair and honest relationships with his customers. He and Peggy weathered the various sailboat manufacturing peaks and valleys, representing Pearson, O’Day, J-Boats, Freedom and Dehler at different times over this period, all the while gathering a team of excellent brokers and administrative staff. Dan Nardo joined AYS in 1984, with Vera Sohovich and Paul Rosen joining in 1990, all of whom are still with the company. In an industry where people tend to come and go, the Annapolis Yacht Sales family has remained a strong unit.
In the meantime, Garth Hichens had arrived in Annapolis from South Africa and set up a rigging and commissioning business at Bert Jabins Yacht Yard. His company was commissioning all the new boats for Annapolis Yacht Sales and Garth worked closely with John, the brokers and their customers, making sure that the boats were delivered to the highest possible standards. When John decided to retire in 1999, he sold Annapolis Yacht Sales to Garth and his wife Sue, who continue to run it as a family business with their daughter Kate joining them in January 2008.
At the end of 2003 Garth’s vision of combining the sales and service companies came to fruition when the company moved into new premises at Bert Jabins Yacht Yard, featuring a custom designed sales and workshop facility. 2005 saw the addition of our Deltaville, VA office to meet the growing needs of the boating community in the Southern Chesapeake Bay. In 2012 AYS added a Northern Bay office in Rock Hall, MD and also expanded our services to include a cleaning and detailing division for new and used boats on The Bay.
In November of 2012, after 13 years of dedication Garth and Sue Hichens were excited to hand over the tiller of AYS to a new leadership team ready to take the company to the next level! The new owners are Rob Taishoff, a longtime customer and friend of AYS who owns a Beneteau Oceanis 50 and a Beneteau Grand Turismo 42 powerboat; Tim Wilbricht who has been with AYS on the sales side for 14 years; and Chris Humphreys who has been with AYS on the service side for 17 years. The new team says 'We are determined to uphold the tradition of the Annapolis Yacht Sales name and everything this great company stands for. Our top focuses are our customers and the quality of service we bring them along with offering the best products on the market. Our customers - past, present and future - are a part of the AYS family and we want to thank them for continuing to make AYS the most successful dealership and brokerage house on The Bay.'
New staff have joined the team, and the original family remains intact, always striving to maintain John and Peggy’s mantra – to “let there be not one unhappy customer”. We have won Beneteau Dealer of the Year 10 times, Service Dealer of the Year 9 times, and in 2011 were named Beneteau USA's Dealer of the Decade. In addition to representing Beneteau Sail & Power, Sabre Yachts, Harbor Daysailers and Greenline Hybrid Motor Yachts, AYS brokers a wide variety of pre-owned yachts. The new leadership team looks forward to continued happy relationships with our customers.