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Old 23-03-2009, 11:11   #1
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Annapolis Boat Show

We have it marked on our calender. It will be our first boat show and I am looking for tips and tricks to maximize our time and enjoyment.

Specifically, if we plan to only check out catamarans, how much time (days) should we allocate?

We (me) are easily sidetracked. I'm happy checking out beautiful monohulls we have no intention (or means at the present) of buying. Will there be time to browse the monohulls?

So you don't have to look it up:

boat show">Annapolis Boat Show
9, 10 ,11 October 2009
$29 per adult (2 day tickets)
10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday

I am thinking we'll arrive the evening of 8 October (Thursday) and leave on 12 October (Monday). I am expecting attendance to not be as crowded on the Friday so was hoping to have less crowds. We will be flying from Ontario and are not sure if we should rent a car or just cab it from the airport to a hotel near the marina. The purpose of visiting this boat show is to get an idea of the liveaboard space of various sizes and models of cats. I know everything is brand new and it won't necessarily be very similar to the used market but I have to start somewhere. Besides by the time we're ready to buy (seven years) these will be the used cats. I have requested reading material from various builders but they just send me links to there websites.

Are there lineups to get on the boats?
Nice hotel within walking distance?
Restaurant not to be missed?
Is there a better boat show we should plan to attend instead of the Annapolis Boat Show?

This is my second post. This forum is fabulous! Thanks to all who responded to me that first day.
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Old 23-03-2009, 11:43   #2
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A day should be enough to "see" a half dozen (or less) catamarans.
See the website for exhibiters list, accommodations, and more.
United States Sailboat Show Boat List
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Old 23-03-2009, 11:54   #3
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We found it to be worth it to pay the extra charge to be there the first day without the huge crowds. It is much easier to get around and there are way fewer people on the boats.
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Old 23-03-2009, 11:58   #4
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The times that I've been, it's always crowded, no matter what the day, unless it's raining. Get there early and stay late in order to see everything. Wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on, and that are hard to get mixed up with someone else's. Try to beat the crowds to lunch to avoid waiting. If you haven't made hotel reservations, do it now. The hotels fill up early. It's a great boat show!
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Old 23-03-2009, 12:27   #5
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definately worth the extra money to go on the first day,far less crowded. USed boat brokers will be there with their listings. Best place to eat at the show is the fleet reserve club. Free electric taxis wander around downtown and eastport.to take you to the show. Restaurants not to be missed; Davis Pub, Boatyard bar and grill. For cougars, Rockfish. Japanese food, Joss.If there are a number of you coming up butlers wharf in Eastport has town houses for rent short term ( weekend) but they do fill up. Stay just outside Annapolis, or on the outskirts, there are a number of stabdard hotels by the mall. bring car to the navy stadium and ride the free shuttle to the show. for the full experience allow two days, one to check everything out and the second to step on board the boats you are interested in. If you cannot make the first day, then try and stay for the monday, two reasons, vendors of "stuff" will do deals so they dont have to take it away, and watching the take down of the show from the roof of Pussers is a wonderful thing. ( Try the #4 Painkillers, but dont drive after!)
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Old 24-03-2009, 09:59   #6
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Hotels are booked more than a year in advance. Rent a car, and drive in from 15 miles away to the Navy Stadium to park and ride the bus to the show. One lunch must be on the Porch at the Fleet Reserve, for a great roast beef sandwich, a cold something, a chair, and a restroom. There are toilet facilities hidden away in the recesses of the tents, which merit at least a half day to check out.

Almost all the multi-hulls will be in one central area, and there may be a ten minute wait to get on the biggest boats. But if they aren't in your budget, why bother? I wear crocks because they are comfortable for walking, slip off easy, and can be decorated for identification. Boat shoes get lost in the crowd of boat shoes. It better to board bare-footed than with soggy socks.

Carry a shoulder bag that can accommodate brochures, and bring a few return address labels and bottled water. have some rain gear with you if the forecast mentions the possibility; there will be fewer people out on the boats and the tents will be insufferable!

Saturday and Sunday are the peak days. Thursday, at $30 a head, is still a little crowded.

Bring some money for the irresistible trinkets that you probably won't use as much as you thought when you bought them, but....

Take lots of pictures of features that appeal to you, and try to make notes on those pix as soon after the show as you can. It will help you fill in the gaps on your ideal mental image so you have a standard to relate to any boat you see later. That will help you avoid falling in love with some little thing and ignoring the rest. While you are aboard, imagine yourself doing all the routine tasks; raising and furling sails, checking the engine over before each start, cooking, storing infrequently used items, etc.

If you are not a prospect for an immediate sale, tell the salesman. He will leave you alone.
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Old 24-03-2009, 10:42   #7
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The day after they have "multihull demo days" at the Gemini factory

However, it is not just Geminis that are available for demo sails; it is most of them.

I'm glad I went; if saved me from buying a Gemini! No, I am not Gemini bashing, but rather I meant to illustrate that there were things about the boat I did not like that just were not clear to me at the dock.

You would get information on that through Performance Cruising (Shows & Events). It apears the 2009 dates are not set, but I feel sure they are the day after.

Certainly a full day at the show should be enough to see the cats and a great deal more.
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Old 24-03-2009, 19:53   #8
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Most of the hotels on Riva Road, about 7-8 miles from the show, will have availability right up to the show, so don't worry about rooms not being available. They are far cheaper than staying downtown. We usually end up at the Hampton Inn for a good price, and they have a free breakfast. The hotels in downtown are pretty expensive during the show (last year the cheapest room at the Marriott Waterfront, right at the show, was $450/night), and there's absolutely no reason you need to be there (except for the parties, which are more for the show workers and "insiders").

For parking, don't bother with the Navy Stadium. If you cross the 6th street drawbridge over Spa Creek (south of the show), you can drive around the whole area and sometimes find free parking, or drive around and find an office complex or someone's lawn that is selling spots. Don't go for the up close $20 spots. You can get a spot for $5-$10 usually if you drive down Severn or Chesapeake, and the cross streets in between. If you park your car down there, you won't be at the mercy of the shuttles when the show opens and closes, and you can drop stuff you buy off during the day.

Skip eating at the show, and run up to Chick and Ruth's on Main St. for lunch. Good dinner spots are Joss Cafe for the best sushi and sukiyaki you'll ever find (including Seattle and LA), Cantler's Crab House (outside of town, but worth the trip - especially for their steamers, or soft shell clams as they call them) or even The Charthouse for a bit more upscale food and an excellent salad bar (make sure you make reservations far in advance for The Chart House). The buffet brunch at Buddy's on Sunday is awesome. The Boatyard Bar and Grill across the drawbridge and down Severn is a standard hang out bar for sailors - they also make a mean hot buttered rum.

As everyone said, the crowds will be there pretty much everyday. We usually set aside a day for checking out all of the booths, and then a day or two for the boats (although we've stopped checking those out these days). I tend to find Monday as the least crowded day. Bring your rain gear since it's rained most every year for the past several years (although the last two years have been nice). It clears out a lot when it rains, but you'd be surprised.

The past few years they have run multihull "demo days" after the show - they'll take you out for an hour or two on a cat to check it out. I'm not sure if they ran it last year or not, but, once again, you need to sign up in advance to get a spot.

I don't think you'll find a better sailboat show in the US. Strictly Sail in Miami this year was a joke, although the booths at the convention center were cool. I don't know what the left coast shows are like, but I can't see them being better than Annapolis. It's a great show, lots of fun, and lots of cool things to see and do. Enjoy!

Chris

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Old 24-03-2009, 22:08   #9
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boat show by water

been several times, best way, sailed in on Wednesday, dropped hook, took water taxi in and out of town. If your friends have boats, I highly recommend it.
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Old 24-03-2009, 22:42   #10
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Decktapper - you found a spot to drop the hook on Wednesday? I haven't done it yet, but I've heard that it's near impossible to find a safe spot to anchor past the Sunday before. Moorings are usually gone the week before from what I understand. Back Creek may be a bit different this year - I heard Port Annapolis Marina is expanding their docks so there may be less of an anchorage over there. If we're not in South America for the Summer/Fall, we'll probably head to Annapolis and anchor out for the show.

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Old 25-03-2009, 06:54   #11
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I love the show. I didn't think Miami was a joke but you sure can't compare it to Annapolis. Labatt, my new Passport 615 will have it's first show at Annapolis this year. Took longer then expected. Was supposed to be in Miami. Shipping in May. Hope to see you there.
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Old 25-03-2009, 07:46   #12
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Labatt
We arrived on Wednesday and anchored off the Naval Academy wall. It isn't as protected as being tucked into the creek but it wasn't bad. It was also a shorter trip by water taxi than some of the other locations.
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Old 25-03-2009, 09:29   #13
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Fabulous!
Thanks for all your great tips.

I have tried a few hotels and initially the staff seem confused when they say it is all booked up and they try their computer entry again ... 'til I remind them it is the Annapolis Boat Show....

I'll certainly know for next time. There are some nice hotels with good reviews still available (miles away from downtown). We'll change it to a long weekend getaway and tour around as well.

Lucky you who get to anchor there.

Thanks again for the great advice.
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Old 25-03-2009, 10:12   #14
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If you need help sailing that thing anywhere let me know! I'll take the next flight from the Bahamas to check it out! An early congratulations, and I'm looking forward to a personal tour at the show... Please send some pics from the sea trial when you do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael201 View Post
I love the show. I didn't think Miami was a joke but you sure can't compare it to Annapolis. Labatt, my new Passport 615 will have it's first show at Annapolis this year. Took longer then expected. Was supposed to be in Miami. Shipping in May. Hope to see you there.
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Old 25-03-2009, 12:14   #15
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There are a couple of cool anchorages within Annapolis that might also be worth trying;
at the very top end of back creek is a small cove, enough room for about 4 boats,
Weems creek usually has space available.
On the south river next to quiet waters park is Harness creek, wonderful spot. not exactly convinient, but within a 15 minute walk of the bus to down town.
The main anchorage on Back creek will be a lot smaller this year., but last year there were still enough spaces for a couple more boats.
hope this helps.
Rhosyn Mor will be on Back creek this year, at the aforementioned
cove. look forward to meeting some of you
www.rhosynmor.eu



Quote:
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Decktapper - you found a spot to drop the hook on Wednesday? I haven't done it yet, but I've heard that it's near impossible to find a safe spot to anchor past the Sunday before. Moorings are usually gone the week before from what I understand. Back Creek may be a bit different this year - I heard Port Annapolis Marina is expanding their docks so there may be less of an anchorage over there. If we're not in South America for the Summer/Fall, we'll probably head to Annapolis and anchor out for the show.

Chris
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s/v Pelican - Following A Dream
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