Annapolis and the Boat Show

Two weeks following the SSCA Gam were spent kicking around in the general area of Annapolis.  This was mostly planned, because the Annapolis Sailboat Show is one of the best in the country and a Mecca for anyone that is even vaguely interested in sailing.  To people like us, it’s a little slice of marketing nirvana.  The stay around after the show wasn’t so much planned, but I’ll likely get into the why’s of that (rhymes with “generator oil leak”) in another post.

Annapolis Sailboat Show

One of the nicest things about the boat show in Annapolis is that it is sail only.  Many boat shows are ALL sorts of boats, but lets be honest – many of the things that sailors need (sails, for example) are of little interest to power boaters.  And the things that power boaters are there to see (booths and booths of fishing equipment and ginormous outboards that weigh more than our entire dinghy) aren’t so compelling for sailors. And the boats…it’s no secret that many sailors just aren’t interested in loud smelly powerboats.  If you have a finite amount of space for boats at a show and half of them are power boats that’s fewer boats for sailors to see, and vice-versa of course.  Someone shopping for a 40 foot cabin cruiser isn’t likely to climb aboard a monohull sailboat for a look around.   So all of the products and services at the show are tightly focused on the sail segment of the market.  Certainly there is overlap, we all need boat loans, insurance, marine sanitation, boat canvas and a variety of other things but the focus is nice.

We came to this show with an agenda, we has some issues to sort out and some things we needed to get sorted.  Our shopping list included:

  • A new propeller for the dinghy.  Two problems with the old one – we weren’t having good results getting on a plan, and there was only one of them.  A spare dinghy prop is a must since Yamaha designed these props to require a special fitting to be pressed if you break it…not easy to do in a remote location.
  • Water maker supplies; filters, o-rings, and so on to allow us to maintain and fix the water maker
  • Refrigeration spares & a better pump.
  • Spare dinghy running light…we broke ours the morning of the show and the supplier (AB Marine) was going to be at the show.
  • Better Boat Living whosit’s and whatsits – the boat show is always has a lot of interesting things that are targeted specifically for life on board.  Whether it’s ice trays with snap on plastic lids to kitchenware that nests, folds, and stores small there’s almost always something to solve a problem that is vexing us.
  • Birthday presents!  Kathy had always had the good fortune to have her birthday right around the Newport Boat Show when we lived in RI so I’ve always been able to double up taking in the show and shopping for a present; aren’t I a romantic?  With this show splitting the difference between our birthdays what better opportunity?
All and all a pretty non-sexy list.  As opposed to our son Will, whose primary objective was to get on and see every single boat that interested him at the show; he could (and did) skip most of the product tents.  We, on the other hand, didn’t set foot on a single sailboat.  Danielle’s objective seemed to be to have an early and pre-emptive Halloween, filling her swag bag with as many giveaways of candy and branded show gew-gaws as she could.
One other thing about the show that was good – catching up with friends, old and new.  There were a number of friends of mine from Rhode Island that work in the marine industry that were at the show,  it was fun to catch up with them.  Additionally at the show were a number of people I’d known on-line for years but never laid eyes on.  Meeting them was also fun, though Danielle was a little over wrought when at one point it seemed like I couldn’t move more than 15 feet without stopping to chat with someone else.
This was our first time at the show by boat, we’d never been there early and seen them set up.  It’s a very impressive engineering feet as the show uses many temporary floating docks that are installed just for the show over what is otherwise an open body of water and mooring field.  The speed they set them up and the stability of the docks and floats is quite a feat.
We left the show with orders for propellers and spare parts, a new light, my birthday present, a pile of literature, a handful of numbers to call for more information and some very sore feet from walking all day.

The Other Half of Annapolis

The other part of our Annapolis visit was to catch up with some family and friends.  My parents live only a couple of hours away, and Kathy’s brother also made the trip down.  So our visit to Annapolis was enlivened by having some welcome company to see some of the sights with.
In addition to our family we know some people in the area – both old face to face friends and on line friends we finally wanted to connect with.  So we took in the sights and went for some drinks and made some connections.  
All in all a good way to pass some of our time in town with family and friends.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *