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Old 20-05-2013, 14:06   #1
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Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Hi all,

I have been a lurker, but I am finally reaching the "tire kicking" stage. My ultimate goal is to take my family on at least a 1-2 year cruising sabbatical (more, if I can convince my wife)

I am planning on attending the Annapolis show in October with my wife and possibly kids (4 daughters, ages 8,7, and 4 yo twins). Other than a couple of crewed charters, this is our first "toe dipping" and first large boat show.

First, should I even attempt to bring the girls? They are naturally inquisitive and love to touch things (especially expensive breakable things) Are they going to end up falling in the water at the docks? Is there anything for kids to do at these big shows, or would it make more sense to find someone to watch them here at home.

Second, I was thinking of possibly taking my wife to one of the Pardey or Cornell seminars/panel discussions, but I'm afraid of someone a bit "too salty" starting something like the following conversation: "I remember once, I was sitting on the plastic poop bucket which had partially melted from the sweltering heat when my hair caught fire from the oil lamp since the pirates had stolen all of our LED's at gunpoint when luckily enough a tropical storm knocked us down and partially flooded the boat putting out my hair. Then we had to recover the kids, who had all been washed overboard."

At which point, my wife will announce our impending divorce if I continue this semi-suicidal, spartan existence sailing idea.

Should I skip the seminars/panels and just take my wife to see the "pretty boats" first or are some of these talks actually good "recruiting" for "potential" cruisers? I want her first cruiser interaction/boat show to be a positive one.

Any advice from those who have been down this road or been to a lot of shows is most welcome. Sorry for the long-winded post.

Thanks!
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Old 20-05-2013, 14:24   #2
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Angry Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Hi, there, welcome aboard.

It seems to me that your wife would be able to focus attention on the boats better if your girls were at home, as well as being away from their influence.

While you are there, try to meet strangers who already have boats. Try to pre-locate people with the same size and ages family, so you can see how they go about things.

Remember in your consideration of boats that at some point, you need accommodation for 6 adults. This has to do with sleeping quarters, schooling materials, other stowage, and food stowage space allocations.

Possibly, the first and most important thing will be to get your wife onside with the plan; otherwise the trip's a waste of time and money. Unless you plan to share the burden, the home schooling takes up about half the daylight hours, and she'll have all the other things she wants to do, as well. Some families handle it just fine, but you should think about how you're going to handle it as a family. The other half day is all "special curriculum enrichment," and they'll all love it!

Cruiser kids are mainly superlative. Don't let anyone tell you it'll be detrimental to take them away, just not so! They develop an enviable maturity, openness, and responsibility.

Ann
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Old 20-05-2013, 14:39   #3
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Welcome aboard! Before going to the show, find out which manufacturers will be there. Of the list of boats showing, do a thorough internet search for 6-10 boats that look interesting to your family; length, roominess, keel's depth for the water that you'll be cruising, electronics, propulsion system, mast height, price comparison, electro-mechanical ease of servicing...you get the picture. When you are at the show, visit each boat on your list and test sail it! You'll have plenty of information to digest, before signing on any dotted line. If you can, take an old salt with you for his/her experience and a second set of eyes. Once you have come up with 2-3 finalists, go and charter each one of them for a week or so. By that time, you would have covered much of the finer points prior to signing on the dotted line. Let us know about your progress! (Take the wife with you, but leave the kids with relatives.) Good luck! Mauritz
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:17   #4
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THe weekend is really busy. Go Thursday or early Friday so you can get the attention you need.
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:43   #5
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Go to the boat show with just you and your wife and stay for 2 days.

Do your research before you go an pick 10 key boats you want to spend time on.

With 2 adults and 4 children you will need a boat close to 50 feet with a lot of upgrades.

Mast must be < 62 feet to travel inside the ICW.

With 2 adults, the boat will be short handed and will need electric winches.

Your wife may get overwhelmed very fast, so make sure you seek out other woman that are doing this to let you wife know it can be done.
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:44   #6
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

I've been to the boat show a bunch of times. Definitely take the whole family, or if you can manage it, get a babysitter for the twins and leave them behind.

Annapolis is huge fun, and there is no reason to look for a list of exhibitors because they are simply all there (within reason). There are hundreds of boats in the water for you and your family to paw through. It's lots of fun...your older kids will likely not stop saying "Whooah Dad look at THIS." as they discover something very cool about the boat you're on, usually in the interior. Your wife may be swayed as well.

The downside is expectation setting. New boats are seductive, at least when placidly sitting at the finger docks in well sheltered Annapolis harbor, and you're looking at the latest and greatest, perfectly staged to elicit that "oh wow" response. Beneteaus in particular fare well at boat shows...they are ginormous inside, with lots of neat little innovations, and heads the size of hotel bathrooms.

As far as the seminars go, they are trying to promote boating so they are not going to stray too far into the various inconveniences of it. That said, if one of your motives is to convince your wife that this is something you want to do as a family I think your time as a couple would be better spent elsewhere. The exception would be the presentations about cruising in far off destinations. Those are variously pretty good or boring as hell, depending entirely on the presenter.
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Old 20-05-2013, 18:53   #7
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Don't know if you are planning to use a stroller, but theoretically they aren't allowed in the show though I have seen one occasionally. Lots of walking for 4 year olds. The docks can get really crowded at times, with lots of things to trip over so you will have to spend a lot of time watching kids. Some boats don't allow kids onboard too. Having said that, many families manage.
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Old 20-05-2013, 20:45   #8
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

We took our kids to the boat shows because they were enthusiastic about going sailing. Boat shows stoked the fires of everyone in our family.

We never heard much doom and gloom at the boat shows. They are there to sell boats and boat gear, and the general tenor of the conversation was always more along the lines that if we can do it, anyone can do it.

Boat shows were always an upper for us. It let us see the yachts first hand so that we knew which ones we needed to try out on charter before purchase.
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Old 20-05-2013, 21:26   #9
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Pay the extra fee and go on Thursday. Do have her go to the seminars and especially if Pam Wall is presenting. Have her go to Women and Cruising on the web. In the meantime find some good blogs being written by those who are out cruising and read their experiences. We like to read Windtraveler. Also go to this site The INTERVIEW WITH A CRUISER Project If the question has not been asked it hasn't been thought of yet.
But you both need to be on the same page.
Good Luck
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Old 21-05-2013, 06:25   #10
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Reserve lodging early.

-Chris
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Old 21-05-2013, 06:28   #11
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Thanks for all the great input! Although there seems to be some disagreement about taking the kids.

I want the kids to be excited about the idea, but OTOH, if my wife is spending all of her time "herding cats", the show may become a drag for her. I think I am leaning toward a baby sitter. Additionally, if we try to attend on Thurs and Fri, the kids will be in school.

Dave, I have thoroughly enjoyed pouring over maxingout.com for the past year. Thanks for all the great work.

Regarding the seminars, it looks like they haven't posted what seminars will be available for this year. Instead, they posted last years. Not sure if I am missing something.
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Old 21-05-2013, 06:42   #12
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Cotemar, thanks for the input. I am pretty solidly in the catamaran mindset, although I have never chartered one. I think it would also be a much easier sell to the wife.

I have really zeroed in on the St. Francis 50, but want to look at the smaller cats as well to get a better feel for size: Lagoon 450, Leopard, etc. I know Dave would advocate smaller, but I'm not sure my wife would go for anything under 45' with 4 kids.

My main objective with this first show will be to try to get my wife excited or at least interested in my idea.
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Old 21-05-2013, 06:54   #13
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

I would definitely go with the whole family as all of them climbing over the boat will be the only way to assess f there is enough space for what you want to do.

The SF50 is a lovely boat, but there are inherent problems (as there are for just about every boat) recommend you discuss this design with a man who is a great advocate for the design, but will provide warnings on the way they are built - Forumadmin at multihulls4us dot com
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Old 21-05-2013, 07:10   #14
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatA View Post
Pay the extra fee and go on Thursday. Do have her go to the seminars and especially if Pam Wall is presenting. Have her go to Women and Cruising on the web. In the meantime find some good blogs being written by those who are out cruising and read their experiences. We like to read Windtraveler. Also go to this site The INTERVIEW WITH A CRUISER Project If the question has not been asked it hasn't been thought of yet.
But you both need to be on the same page.
Good Luck
I completely agree with this... my wife attended the "Cruising Women" classes at the spring show in Annapolis about a month ago... it was the best money we could have spent. She came out feeling a lot more confident about cruising and it was highly beneficial for both of us to spend time with other prospective cruisers.

I'm not sure they are offering the Women and Cruising classes this fall (it was two days of specific curriculum followed by two days of general cruising classes for both of us) but I believe you can find other classes that work.

Also - get a hotel NOW. They are usually sold out well ahead of time.
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Old 21-05-2013, 08:15   #15
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Re: Planning first Annapolis boat show-Need Advice

Talbot, thanks. I have read all of the information on his site about the SF50, so I am aware of potential problems. My time horizon is about 2-2.5 years away for a purchase, so I have plenty of time to look and investigate. Hopefully, the St. Francis problem was one of not having adequate onsite management and that Duncan will be able to rectify the problem.

Can anyone tell me where I can find the seminar schedule for this years show? I don't understand why they have last years schedule on the website.
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