Sunday gave us fabulous weather
for going to the Annapolis
Sailboat show. I was so excited to get there. Got my wife up at 0530 to drive over there. Parked at the Navy Marine
stadium and took the first shuttle bus over to the Marriott. Only got there 1.5 hours before they opened the gates....always like to be early, but this was a little tooooo early... anyways...we took some time and walked around Annapolis
. Love that city... very historic and beautiful.
My wife and I had a plan... we wanted to look at and get on every sailboat between 32 and 39 feet. This is the size range we're interested in, so why muddy the waters by looking at bigger and 'flashier' boats.... So at 10 AM when they opened up, we went right in and started with the Jeanneau's, then moved over to the Beneteau's, then onto the Catalina's, then the Hunters and on and on and on... After the first two boats, we decided it was better to just leave our shoes off and walk barefoot for a while..having to take off your shoes (albeit understandable) is for the birds..... Next year will make sure we wear slip on shoes (maybe carry a pair of flip-flops in our bag for this purpose…).
At about 12:30, we had been around the docks and saw all the boats in our size range. We were tired and went out to find a bite to eat for lunch. While dining, we talked about all the boats we just went on and rated the ones that we liked with plans to go back and really look those over with a keener eye...
After lunch, we walked the miles of vendor booths. Must say for a first timer, this was a bit overwhelming. Kind of like a flea market / swap meet... but really informative. I never knew there were so many 1) boat loan companies 2) boat electronic companies & 3) boat hardware
distributors... They were everywhere... Looked like everyone had a 'boat show' special, so if you need something for your boat, this would be the time to get it....
When we tired of walking the vendor booths, we went back to take a second look at our boat picks. This time, I went below with thoughts of looking at every square inch I could. But I tell you, the lines had really gotten long by 3 in the afternoon to get on boats..but wait.. All those folks were waiting for the bigger flashier boats...the smaller ones that we were interested in didn't have any lines.... guess good things can happen!
I went below each one of them and stuck my head
into every hatch
, door, panel, looked under the mattresses, under the seats, sinks and anything else that could be opened. I wanted to see it all. At one point I was down on all fours opening the panels
on the floor to look down into the bilge
... oh it was exciting... On the second and third boat, my wife came below with me and when I started my detailed look, she just went up top to wait and chat with the folks who where on the boat with us.... It's like she was embarrassed or something…go figure...
I think being able to get a very thorough look into the boats really helped me understand the lay out of boats and solidify what I will be looking for when I get my first boat.
All in all, it was an amazing day. Saw everything I wanted to see, worth every penny I paid for admission. Met a lot of great folks and actually came home with a lot of reading material (and little trinkets the vendors where giving away)!