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Old 11-10-2016, 09:45   #1
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US Sailboat Show - Annapolis 2016

We had a fantastic trip and spent way too much money. Here are some of our takeaways:

Annapolis is a beautiful little city. We really liked it there.

Thursday was the best boat show day. Smaller crowds, and vendors who were not yet jaded by hundreds of hours of repeating the same speech. If we were to come back next year, we'd fly in on Wednesday night and return home Saturday morning, having Thursday and Friday for the show.

It was truly fantastic to see so many non-boat vendors. This was a vastly more complete show than Miami. I got to fondle lots of cool stuff I'd only ever seen pictures of online.

Most modern boats mostly have no soul. All shiny plastic and thin, fake wood veneers and pale ghostly colours. Felt that way about the mono's and the multi's. Maybe I have poor taste. There were a few nice rides there. And even though we're unlikely to buy anything we saw, we still had a fantastic and educational time looking at them. Overall a great experience.

Missed Marlow-Hunter, Island Packet, and Seaward, among others.

My wife is religious about the Women Who Sail Facebook group, and managed to find others like her everywhere at the show.

Lin Pardey remains spry and cheerful and impressive. I enjoyed a brief chat with her, and I'm very happy for having done so.

Best crab cake I ever had was at Dock Street. Looks live a dive bar, but not priced liked one; and the crab cake was amazing.

Fantastic food at Harvest, bona fide chef action. Yes, the hand-made, homemade chicharrones were $8. They were astonishingly good. We ended up eating half the friggin' menu there. And unlike our other experience, here the mussels were most definitely fresh and most definitely delicious.

Great breakfast at Cafe Normandie. Fancy French eats. Yum.

Best place to just sit and drink: Castlebay Irish Pub. Mostly locals, boat show crowd mostly stayed away, dunno why.

Best (gourmet) pizza: The Fox's Den. We had a fine dinner here, and the pizza really was delicious.

Worst food: Pusser's. We got mussels. I don't believe they were fresh, they smelled and tasted like inter-tidal mud; we got crab balls, they tasted like batter and unseasoned rice. Best I can tell, they serve only frozen, manufactured products. You might have a better experience there than we did, but we will not return.

Biggest disappointment: Brokerage Cove. The promo literature for the show made it sound like there would be dozens of boats on display here. But I don't believe there was even one dozen. This was a real letdown for us. It was ameliorated a bit by there being an Amel 53 among the brokerage boats, along with Stealth Chicken, a Perry custom yacht. I spoke with a broker later and learned that it's quite expensive to put a boat in the show (> $3k) and the seller bears that cost. So I get it. But it was a letdown anyway.


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Old 11-10-2016, 10:47   #2
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Re: US Sailboat Show - Annapolis 2016

I remember brokerage cove the last two years (I think they started it in 2014) and it was about the same size as now. I just wish they would lower the price for sellers a bit; I would love to see some more ordinary sailboats, not just the superyachts.

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Old 11-10-2016, 12:46   #3
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Re: US Sailboat Show - Annapolis 2016

Glad you enjoyed our town!
No one goes to Pussers for the food.
Its been 3 1/2 years since I did Miami, but the convention center had a lot more vendors than Annapolis. There were just a few vendors in the Miami sailboat cove, and the bus was a PIA. Might be better at the new location.
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Old 13-10-2016, 05:35   #4
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Re: US Sailboat Show - Annapolis 2016

I too was disappointed in Broker's cove. I was really hoping there would have been a few older boats in the 30' - 36' range. Now that I see it costs thousands to bring a boat there this makes perfect sense.

Saturday's rain put a damper on our visit so we ended up leaving early and came back Sunday. Weather was perfect on Sunday and certainly seemed a lot less crowded.
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Old 13-10-2016, 06:06   #5
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Re: US Sailboat Show - Annapolis 2016

Thanks for starting the thread, Carib. We had a great time on Thursday and Friday, with fewer people. You're right, it's worth the extra day vacation and a little more money to see it on Thursday when everyone is fresh. Fully agree with your comments on the cool sailing city, and the poor buses as well. All things considered, we had a great time and look forward to doing this again.
John Trusty

Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." -- Eric Sevareid
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annapolis, boat show, sail, sailboat

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