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Old 08-08-2010, 07:30   #1
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Okay to Bring a Baby to the U.S. Sailboat Show ?

My wife and I are expecting our first and for babies first road trip we're looking at going the 2010 U.S. Sailboat show in Annapolis. As we've never been, I was wondering about how "baby friendly" the event is. We by no means need to be in the lap of luxury. Any practical advice that can be afforded is much appreciated.

1. Shade. I know it's a marina, but can shade be found if hunted?

2. Infants on board. I'm assuming there are no age retractions as to how can tour the boats.

3. Time spent. I'm primarily interested in blue-water cruisers/catamarans, about how long would it it take to see most of these type of vessels (being that we'e anchored down with an infant).

4. Ticket type. My wife has never sailed, so I'm looking at the Take the Wheel option so she can stretch her sea legs. Is it safe to take baby on these? If not should I get the VIP ticket to just Gen Admi.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:54   #2
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I believe strollers are completely banned. As for shade, the marine equipt. vendors are all in large tents. You forgot to add rain, which it does every other year or so... and as for the "Take the wheel option", I've never heard of this. I do know most of the Cats are locked in a web of docks and docklines, etc. and cannot be moved until the show is broken down at the end. The show isnt just in a marina, it's huge and is surrounded by restaurants and shops. It's really easy to leave and re-enter as much as you want thru the multiple gates.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:39   #3
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I would just put the baby in a carrier that is strapped to the front of my chest and go about my business at the boat show. I would not make a big deal about having the baby with me, and I don't think any of the vendors would make a big deal either. It's the kids that are destructive that vendors want to watch like a hawk.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:55   #4
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There are always charters available, or vendors that will want to have a boat that is available nearby for a "test drive". Worst case scenario you might have a local sailor be happy to take your gang out on a 3 hour tour. (no relation to Gilligan's Island, LOL) I would be happy to take a group out if they had a show in New Orleans and I was in the area with my boat.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:09   #5
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Performance Cruising (Gemini and Telstar) always sponsor demonstrations of MANY cats (not just Geminis) at their docks a day or 2 after the show. I can't see that it is scheduled on the net, but call them. It's free and low pressure. I bought a different brand, but it was still a very nice event.

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Just touring the cats won't take so long--there are not that many--but there is a whole lot of show to see. However, it is not hard to leave the "show", cross a street to eat lunch and take a break, and to return. It is a very compact area in the core of the town. However, you will be taking a bus from a lot, so you will want to bring a stroller I think... just not into the show proper.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:53   #6
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-08-2010, 16:48   #7
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We've taken ours to shows. She loved it, and no one minded a bit. We were allowed to have a stroller, but ended up carrying her anyway because it was a hassle constantly putting her in & out - just makes her mad. Get a good carrier & you should be all set, especially if the LO's still very small.
Most people thought it was great we were "getting her into boats" so early.
As for safety, we had her on her first boat ride at 1 mo - we got an infant PFD, and she spent the whole ride strapped to me in the carrier. It was great - she thought so too! Don't expect the person holding the baby to do much else though. Infant seats, like the ones that fit into a base in the car, are not boat-appropriate - they don't float.
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Old 08-08-2010, 16:51   #8
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Note that the in-water show is a huge network of interlocking temporary floating docks. There are few if any handrails and the crowds can be pretty thick. Strollers--even if allowed, and I agree that I think they are banned--would be a bad idea. The strap-on carrier is probably the least-bad idea but I think a babe-in-arms is not suited for the Show. Your family, your choice.

The cats are usually out near the end so it is a long way to any of the gates. Lines at the nearby restaurants for a seat are long and tables are cramped.

Restrooms are porta-potties and sometimes a bathroom trailer. Finding a place to change diapers will be a challenge.
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Old 08-08-2010, 17:25   #9
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You will be fine with a baby. It can be cool in Annapolis in October, bring sweaters for all. There will be plenty of shade if you need it. You will get help finding a place to change a diaper - you are amongst sailors! Chest pack is the best idea, no one will care about a baby brought aboard that way. Strollers are "discouraged," not banned. But they are not a good idea given the docks, crowds, etc. See below _

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Old 08-08-2010, 19:00   #10
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Strollers are as bad as retractable leashes.....
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Old 08-08-2010, 19:07   #11
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What the heck is wrong with retractable leashes? I use 'm all the time. Come to think of it, the mutt behaves better on an extension cord, but I still don't get the protest on rectractables?........
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Old 08-08-2010, 19:17   #12
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I guess you have never had one wrap around your legs while pushing a tool cart.

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Originally Posted by Drew13440 View Post
What the heck is wrong with retractable leashes? I use 'm all the time. Come to think of it, the mutt behaves better on an extension cord, but I still don't get the protest on rectractables?........
And too many people just let their little darlings run right up to you....it is kind of like trolling with canine bait.
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Old 08-08-2010, 19:32   #13
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OK, so it's fear of dogs and not a behaviour issue? I think the OP will be fine at the boat show with a baby - lots of parents and sailors will help with any needs that come up. I leave the hound at home for the boat show, but can't believe how many middle aged men are afraid, or just dissaproving over her. To each his own....
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Old 08-08-2010, 20:47   #14
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I don't have any fear of dogs......Dogs are doing what dogs do......it is the owners who think that their pooches should be allowed to approach anyone they like.

I'll never forget the day that some fat broad was dragged down the dock by her slobbering behemoth...that jumped up on me....I was going to back off the pier when I realized I better stand my ground cuz that 'horse" could probably swim better than me.

She took offense, because I carried a ladyslipper with me the rest of the day.........not for the dog.......Heh-Heh

BTW I carry Milkbones in my truck as a peace offering......It makes you popular. Fo'Sho!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-08-2010, 20:53   #15
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Go on VIP day....The representatives are enthusiastic.....the crowd is less......parking is still a hassle in Nappytown......I think they might be running shuttles from Navy-Marine Corp Stadium....go across the bridge to "The Maritime Republic of Eastport".....That's where the real sailors are. Bring your passport as it is required to enter the Republic

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