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Old 03-10-2011, 09:02   #1
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Annapolis Sailboat Show

The hubby and I are new to sailing. We're planning to become liveaboards next year (hopefully) or the year after. We're old hands at camping and have come to the conclusion that living on a sailboat has a lot of similarities to living in a camper. When we bought our last camper, it was easy because we knew from experience what our wants/needs are. Buying a sailboat is a whole other story because we're starting from zero.

We're considering heading down to the Annapolis Sailboat Show this weekend. Does anyone have any opinion or reviews? Is it basically people in Sperry topsiders & polo shirts looking down their noses at us common folk or will we get some education and a chance to tour different boats? We know we won't be buying a new boat so I'm wondering how much relevance the boats at the Sailboat Show will have for us. Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:26   #2
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

Good idea to go to the show. Annapolis is the grand daddy of all the sailing shows. They will let you aboard to tour most any boat. Most people there will not be buying a new boat either. Also, there are many things to do besides tour sailboats such as gear and seminars which will educate you.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:28   #3
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

They wouldn't let Kathleen on the 74ish foot catamaran last year... Of course she just wanted to see how the other half lived...
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:34   #4
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

Checking out a mutitude of different boats before you buy is never a bad idea. It will help you determine what is important to you. This is my partial check list for when I went looking for a liveaboard sailboat.
- What is the smallest boat that I would be comfortable on and would suit my purposes? Bigger boat, more maintenance costs. I am 6'2'' and wanted standing headroom throughout and 6'4" berths. I'm not a millionaire. Saiboats are alot smaller than campers.
- Solid fiberglass hull. No balsa or foam cores to delaminate. You can't avoid cored coachroofs but have a watermeter test done on it.
- Skeg hung rudder or a full keel.
- Solid diesel engine in good repair with low hours. Having to replace an engine early on can be crippling on your refit budget.
- Shoal draft less than 5 feet.
If you have a solid hull and a good engine, everything else is fixable. Nothing lasts forever in a marine environment and equipment that is more than 10 years old will most likely require updating in the near future.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:21   #5
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

Avoid trying to see the boats on Saturday as there is usually a long wait. I don't think I ever got board any. You are looking at these boats in terms of creature comforts like a camper but there is more to it than that for a sailboat. There is rig, construction, power usage etc that must be considered. But it is fun to look. I always enjoy the new boat smell and look but my boat never looked like those. I don't know why?
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:32   #6
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

Thanks for the advice. We're at the stage where I've read as many books as I could find on cruising, we've taken the basic keelboat course (in NY harbor - and survived!) and we're taking an overpriced live-aboard course for a week next month. We figure the next logical step is to get a small boat to use on a nearby lake this summer to get as much experience as possible.

Determining our requirements for our liveaboard boat is going to take a lot more research. It sounds like the Sailboat Show is a good place to get started. And it can't hurt to dream about those beautiful new boats...
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:55   #7
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

It's worth coming to Annapolis to the show.

In my opinion you will get more information about your needs and how they map onto boats by doing some charters. Book a couple of weekend trips near home and then do a couple of separate, one-week trips somewhere lovely like the Bahamas or BVI.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:04   #8
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

That's how it worked for us with our camper - going camping ourselves, talking to other people who were camping and looking at other people's set-ups helped us decide what we would want/need for long-term camping. I'm assuming it will work the same way with sailing.

Our live-aboard course is in the BVI. We considered FL but the BVI just looked so pretty. If anyone's going to be in that neighborhood the first week of Nov and wants to let us poke around their boat, let me know!
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Old 03-10-2011, 13:52   #9
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

Also, attending the seminars at the show can be worth the price of admission.

By the way, weather is looking great this year for the show.
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Old 03-10-2011, 14:27   #10
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

My wife and I will be there. Great experience if you have a boat. Great experience if you don't.

Bob and Mona
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Old 04-10-2011, 21:37   #11
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

There are good seminars planned for this year as usual. We'll be presenting some, so will interesting folks like Beth Leonard, and there is a panel discusion on the Saturday that you should try to attend on steps towards long term planning for a first cruise. But, best thing about this show is, lots of folks will have time to chat with you in their booths, people like the editors of sailing magazines who have actually been off cruising/ try the folks at Good Old Boat, those at Cruising World and water sailing">Blue Water Sailing. If you catch them when they aren't too busy, you can get some good advise. And lots of the people who make and sell accessories for smaller cruising boats have actually been out cruising themselves. You can also look or the SSCA booth where cruisers gather to share information. So don't just limit your boatshow time to trying to get on board boats. We have only worked at the show three times but I definitely remember that Thursday, Friday morning and Monday were the least crowded times.

Good luck, choosing a cruising boat is far harder than choosing a camper.

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Old 10-10-2011, 20:24   #12
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Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show

We had a FABULOUS time at the 2011 US Sailboat show this year- our first! We are looking at setting up our next boat for blue water, warm weather, island hopping while the kids go off to college. The boat show was amazing, and you can't start reading and sailing soon enough! For myself, Lin and Larry's books stood out and we have read several including the Cost consious cruiser, Storm Tactics, Care and Feeding of crew, and Self sufficient sailor as a permanent part of our collection/reference. Cruiser's Forum is a great starting point when I have a question. Good luck, we have loved every minute of sailing!
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