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Old 20-03-2017, 17:43   #1
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Annapolis - Spring or Fall

Sorry if this has been asked, I tried using search and couldn't find answers to this question:

My wife and I are hoping to go to the boat show">Annapolis boat show either fall of this year or spring of 2018 to look at sailboats. Looking at the website, it's not clear if the spring show or fall show is bigger, or if they are about the same. Looking through some past threads, it seems like most discussion is about the fall show... but my sample size is not convincing to me.

So: Annapolis spring or fall, or doesn't it matter?
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Old 20-03-2017, 18:06   #2
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

Fall show is MUCH bigger (MUCH); it's the highlight of the Annapolis year, the spring show is a small afterthought. In 2017 the SSCA Annapolis Gam will be two (2) weeks before; it's a great time to visit the Bay!
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Old 20-03-2017, 19:46   #3
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

FALL. The show's much better, as is the weather. And in the Fall the weather's also a lot more reliably predictable. For example, Parent's Weekend at USNA (Annapolis) is at the same time. Which is a big event (fun too).
Make reservations months ahead of time, same for football tickets there.
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Old 20-03-2017, 20:26   #4
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

Fall - no question.

Scroll through the list of exhibitors at the two shows, and you'll quickly agree:

The list of exhibitors for last fall's show.

The list of exhibitors for this year's spring show.
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Old 20-03-2017, 21:58   #5
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

The Fall show is certainly larger in regards to the number of vendors and new boats on display but on the brokerage side you'll find the number of used boats about the same.
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Old 21-03-2017, 03:08   #6
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

I did the spring show last year. What a waste of time and money. 1/4 size of fall show. Very few manufacturers displays/reps. Fall show is one of the best, bar none.
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Old 21-03-2017, 06:46   #7
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

I have only been to the fall show. Stupid me, only went on the VIP day. Probably could spend 3 days there easy. 2 days looking at boats, 1 day looking at all the other cool stuff.

Humm, maybe I will go the the spring show. If it is truly 1/4th the size maybe I can wrap my head around it.

Adice, if you are looking for a certain size boat do not look at any boat larger as a bigger boat will always be nicer, and now docked side by side. It was too easy to step on the bigger boat...
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Old 21-03-2017, 09:26   #8
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

Fall Show is always bigger and better. Also, Fall show has a brokerage section. Good opportunity to see some nice used boats.
Don't try to do show in 1 day. The "tents" with new gear etc are always interesting. Do your boat researching before you arrive and use the time here to confirm or cancel Your interest. Of course, you'll always find some surprises in layouts, etc. Finally, don't wait until Sept to book accommodations.
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Old 21-03-2017, 09:54   #9
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

"Do the show in 1 day", are you kidding me, you couldn't do the show if you were there all day, every day, including those when the vendors are setting up & tearing down. It's that big, & that good.

Wear comfortable boat shoes that are easy to slip on & off, as on some boats they'll ask you to remove yours & put on surgical foot covers. Pack a day pack with a couple of layers, including a light weight rain jacket, like Marmot's Precip. Ball cap, & sun screen, Camelbak, spare camera batteries & memory cards, business cards, notepad... And if you can manage it, headset mounted camera with mic. linked to your phone or camera for hands free recording & audio note taking.

Anyone else have tips?

PS: Plan to have 20lbs of brochures & literature in your backpack by days end.
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Old 21-03-2017, 11:14   #10
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

Ten consecutive years in attendance. First timer should take at least three. Pay the price to park at Navy stadium and shuttle in
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Old 21-03-2017, 11:34   #11
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

You guys must be having tea and crumpets on every boat!

I suppose if you are actually there to buy a boat it might take you all day to see the ones there. At this point, I'm there to see what gear they have and get some ideas for interior upgrades. So I don't feel very good about holding up the line to ask questions if I'm just kicking the tires. I'm pretty much in and out. And as I live near here, I already know what boats are going to hold my interest, so I actually spend more time in the tents talking to equipment vendors. With that and a daughter who would rather shop around Annapolis, we are done with the boat show (yes even the Fall) in about 2-3 hours.

Its not what it was in the 80's. There were lots more boat manufacturers back then I suppose. So lots more boats. I actually went both days a few times back then. They would always include some mega-yachts with on board pools and things like that. Would make you feel like an Arab king for a few hours! They also had a lot more mid-sized boats in the 25-35 foot range. Those are pretty much gone as are the trailerable sailboats. Rhodes usually has a boat there and maybe Flying Scott, but that's about it other than dinghys.

Still, I go to one or the other pretty much every year. The town is worth the effort by itself. Good food and lots of history. The Naval Academy is literally right there, plus it is the capital of MD, so Annapolis alone will eat up your time should you be done cruising the boat show.
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Old 21-03-2017, 12:12   #12
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Re: Annapolis - Spring or Fall

We are local and go to the fall show and skip the spring show. Thursday and Friday are pretty calm, Saturday is pretty crowded and a party. Monday is pretty much pack up day.

We go with a shopping list, a marked up map and a plan. There are a lot of boat show specials with very good prices. Of course, plans need to have room for a chat with Lin Pardey, Paul and Sheryl Shard, Bob Bitchin, Carolyn & Dave Shearlock and other friendly sailors with tales and wisdom to share.


Cheers, RickG
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