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Old 05-02-2017, 05:34   #1
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Best sailboat show for newbies

My wife and I are planning on attending a boat show in the near future. We live in Arkansas and have little to zero experience on sailboats.

Which show is the best for sailboats? We are thinking about the Houston show in April because it's close enough to drive but I have enough frequent flyer miles that I could fly anywhere.

Is it worth the drive to Houston or should we fly to Miami or Annapolis???
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:05   #2
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

If you are looking at catamarans, Id say Miami. We are headed down in a Few weeks for the 3rd time for some serious shopping. They also have plenty of monohulls and a list of boats there may be on their webpage.

Annapolis also has tons of yachts but Oct up north does not sound as nice as Miami In Feb...lol

Good luck and enjoy wherever you go.
C
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:46   #3
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

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If you are looking at catamarans, Id say Miami. We are headed down in a Few weeks for the 3rd time for some serious shopping. They also have plenty of monohulls and a list of boats there may be on their webpage.



Annapolis also has tons of yachts but Oct up north does not sound as nice as Miami In Feb...lol



Good luck and enjoy wherever you go.

C


We don't know what we are looking for. I'd say we are still 3-4 years out from purchasing a boat. But I agree with Miami in February vs Maryland in October. Houston in April is nice too.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:40   #4
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

My wife and I area also researching boat shows to visit. According to what we've seen online the Houston boat show is pretty slim on sailboats.

Our big target is the Annapolis boat show, mostly because we have friends in the area and are going to also visit DC while we're there. But this is the 2016 October listing to give you an idea of what might be there in 2017 (be sure to switch to the Boat List).

Exhibitors in 2016 | Annapolis Boat Shows

What part of Arkansas are you from? I grew up in Conway, sailing on Greers Ferry Lake. We live in Austin, TX, now.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:09   #5
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

My wife and i went to annapolis Oct 2016. We only had two seasons of Lake sailing under our belt. This was our first chance to see multiple boats in a live aboard size.
The show was quite big and there were a lot of boats to check out. Mono and multi.
Someone mentioned the weather there. It was t shirt weather for us(from central canada) even with it raining all day on Saturday, it wasn't bad.
As a newb you will want a broad range of boats to help narrow down your likes. They are quite different in person than on the computer. Ideally you will want to view new and used as well.
Look at overhead shots of different shows, see what impresses you.
Wherever you go, pace yourself, take lots of pics with the boats brand and size,(they will all blend together in memory) and bring water.
Once you buy a boat, you will want to attend a show again. The accessories and outfitting tents offer great show pricing.
Have fun
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:22   #6
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

You are close enough to Houston to come to our show in april, but really I would come for any weekend where you can spend 1-2 days outside of the boat show and you can see over a hundred sailboats used. Also new we have Catalina yachts, Marlow Hunter and there are beneteau, lagoon, jeanneau dealers here as well. If you are looking used you can see more in that two days than in a month of looking online or attending any national boat show.

If you want the best sailboat show, by far Annapolis is hard to beat in the fall and it's a show and a destination to see. Miami (this month) is good but not a huge sailboat show but is nice to get out of the cold if you're interested.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:26   #7
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

Don't know the Houston show, but both Miami and Annapolis are great shows with an entirely different flavor. Miami is not a town I enjoy, but the show is huge and includes power boats and mega yachts and probably has the most boating "stuff" as in tents full of venders of gear. There are also jewelry and a lot of non-boating stuff with a bit of a carnival atmosphere. Annapolis is the grandaddy of them all, and will have in addition to the production yachts we are use to, northern builders of incredible yachts you won't see in Miami, but they are also not boats you are likely to buy. It's a more sedate, less pushy, more professional atmosphere and I just love the city. Make your hotel reservations early at either show or you will be traveling a long way to the show and have a great time!
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:36   #8
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

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We don't know what we are looking for. I'd say we are still 3-4 years out from purchasing a boat. But I agree with Miami in February vs Maryland in October. Houston in April is nice too.
If you never plan to leave the show venue, Miami or Houston might make sense, but if you're actually planning to spend time being in the place you are going, you should reflect that Maryland in October will be unimaginably gorgeous.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:22   #9
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

Noah -

I also live in Arkansas and would be glad to advise you. According to my research you are between LR and the City of Colleges. If that is correct, I live about 12 miles from you as the crow flies. Annapolis separates their boat shows into sail and power. It is the largest sailboat show in the world. I used to live in D.C. and went every year. I last went in 2015 and it is still good. (There are just not as many boat manufacturers as there used to be.) LOTS of tents with every accessory and gadget you can imagine. If you are looking for a new boat, it is undoubtedly the best. Still good for used boats as their are tons of brokers in the Chesapeake Bay area. I will try to contact you.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:33   #10
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

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... the City of Colleges ...
Is that Conway? I've never heard anyone refer to it by its slogan before - hah!
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:41   #11
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

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Is that Conway? I've never heard anyone refer to it by its slogan before - hah!


Yep. That's Conway. They put a sign on the interstate that says "city of colleges" but this is the first I've heard someone call it that in conversation.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:08   #12
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

If focused on sail Annapolis is best imho.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:01   #13
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

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Originally Posted by NoahTreat View Post
My wife and I are planning on attending a boat show in the near future. We live in Arkansas and have little to zero experience on sailboats.

Which show is the best for sailboats? We are thinking about the Houston show in April because it's close enough to drive but I have enough frequent flyer miles that I could fly anywhere.

Is it worth the drive to Houston or should we fly to Miami or Annapolis???
Any of them, just leave your check book at home with zero experience.
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Old 05-02-2017, 12:23   #14
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

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Any of them, just leave your check book at home with zero experience.


Check? Heck I can write a check. I thought it took real money to buy a boat.
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Old 05-02-2017, 13:31   #15
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Re: Best sailboat show for newbies

What is the consensus with the Annapolis show in April? Is it a good show to look at 40' live aboard sailboats. I want to show the wife what my newest idea looks like.
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