& Our Yachts
Annapolis Yacht Sales was started in 1953 by Lawrence Hartge – the original offices were in a corner of Fawcett Boat Supplies in downtown Annapolis. 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. 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 continued 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 a larger office, still 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 expanded our services to include a cleaning and detailing division for new and used boats on The Bay.
Annapolis Yacht Sales
In November of 2012, after 13 years of dedication Garth and Sue Hichens were excited to hand over the helm of AYS to a new leadership team ready to take the company to the next level! The new owners became Rob Taishoff, Chris Humphreys, and Tim Wilbricht. The new ownership team led the company to new growth in both expanded offerings and new locations. Two new locations were opened in Kent Island, Maryland and Virginia Beach to focus on power boats.
Rob, a retired Navy Captain and JAG officer served for 22 years. During his time in the Navy, he was deployed in the Arabian Gulf during Operation Enduring Freedom. Rob took on many roles including Director of the Office of the JAG Appellate Government Division and Navy Counsel for the State Department representing the US on Iranian Claims Litigation. He was granted many military awards such as: The Legion of Merit, five Meritorious Service Medals Joint Commendation Medal and more. He was first introduced to AYS when he purchased a boat for him and his family. When the time came for him to retire, Garth and Sue were ready for a change and knew the AYS name was in good hands.
Chris was a long-time employee of Annapolis Yacht Sales before changing into the role of an owner. He spent 18 years as the Service Manager and collected many awards and accolades during that time. He has been awarded several ‘Service Dealer of the Year’ awards, was named Beneteau’s Top Gun in 2001 for his dedication to the brand and in 2008 was recognized as an ‘Outstanding Marine Wizard’ by the Eastport Yacht Club. His lifetime career in the marine industry gave Garth and Sue the confidence that the outstanding service and customer experience would continue at AYS when they retired. Chris became the COO and Principal in 2012 when he purchased the company with Rob & Tim.
Tim had been with AYS on the sales side for 14 years, taking on an ownership role as well as Sales Manager. In March 2018 Tim ended his role within the company in order to focus on spending time with his beloved family and to travel.
Rob and Chris say ‘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”. In 2011, we were named Beneteau USA’s Dealer of the Decade and in 2013 we won both Dealer of the Year and Service Dealer of the Year from Beneteau and our Brokers have won Beneteau Top Gun awards in 2013 and 2016. We have had the honor to win Beneteau Dealer of the Year 11 times and Service Dealer of the Year 10 times. Annapolis Yacht Sales proudly represents Beneteau Sail, Lagoon Catamarans, EdgeWater Boats, Cruisers Yachts, Coronado Boats, Century Boats and Candela. AYS also brokers a wide variety of quality pre-owned yachts. The new leadership team looks forward to continuing happy relationships with our customers.