Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis

--Blogpost written by Bob

For a sailor, the boat show is like Christmas always was as a kid.  I've been attending the Annapolis boat show every year since about 1974 (Geez, that's 40 years!)  This year, rain showers are in the forecast for every day of the show, except Thursday (VIP Day) and Monday.  Because of Maggie's work schedule, we attended the boat show on Saturday.  As it turned out, it rained everyday but Sunday. 


After a light breakfast at home, we drove into Eastport, parked at the Eastport Elementary School and
simply walked across the Eastport Bridge to the boat show.  It was overcast and raining.

Looking out at the many flags and banners on the exhibited sailboats.

One of my objectives for this year's boat show was to try out bluetooth headsets.
We had read very positive reviews on them and, after trying them, we 

purchased two headsets from Cruising Solutions at 
discounted price (Completed boat project #129).

A view from inside one of the many tents full of exhibits

One of the nicer big catamarans at the show.  Notice that the name of the vessel is "Rainmaker."

I really like the hard dodger on this well-equipped Tartan 4300.

One thing that caught Maggie's attention was a Sailrite sewing machine--I'm sure we will end up buying one before long.


Maggie and I (and a friend of ours, Bill) signed up for the all-day seminar "Secrets of the ICW Seminar with SAIL Magazine" which was held at the Westin (at the intersection of West Street and Taylor Avenue).  Since we will probably be spending two months each year traveling on the ICW, we want to make the most of it.

We started out the day with breakfast at Miss Shirley's Cafe (very close to the Westin and the very best place for breakfast/brunch in Annapolis).  

Wally Moran speaks with enthusiasm about his ICW experiences over many years. The seminar 
was attended by about 250 people, about half traveling down the ICW this fall.

Following is a brief description of the excellent SAIL-sponsored seminar we attended:

10 AM to 11 AM: "Plan the ICW Trip of a Lifetime" by Wally Moran
Wally Morgan certainly knows the ICW and he conveys his enthusiasm for the journey.

11 AM to 12 PM: "Couples Cruise the ICW" by Jeff Grossman & Jean Levine
Some useful things from this session included the difference in expectations between men and women and the effective use of hand signals for anchoring.

12 PM to 1 PM: Lunch catered by the Westin

This was an excellent lunch with different types of sandwiches and wraps and huge cookies.

1 PM to 2 PM: "Perfect Places to Plunk It" by Mark Doyle

An excellent session on good anchorages and low-cost marinas along the ICW!

2 PM to 3 PM: "Provisioning and Outfitting for the ICW" by Paul & Sheryl Shard

Since getting provisions along the ICW is not much of a problem, this session focused on taking along the things from home that you can't find along the way.  Another major point discussed was the need for appetizer items for frequent impromptu get togethers with other ICW travelers in the evening.

4 PM to 5 PM: Panel Discussion with a panel of ICW experts
A lot of different subjects were brought up in the panel discussion from the panel's favorite areas of the ICW, anchoring rights in Florida, and insects along the route (there aren't many during the time most people would be traveling the ICW).

Summary & Comments

I think this year's show was the one of the best boat show experiences of my life, despite the rain on Saturday.  I think the all-day seminar on Sunday made a huge difference in my boat show experience--it was very interesting and valuable.  Even though I have already traveled up and down the ICW once (twenty years ago), it added to the excitement about our future cruising plans.  I would highly recommend this seminar to anyone who intends to travel the IntraCoastal Waterway.

I recently changed the name of our blog (from "Sailing Into Retirement" to our boat's name) and added an image (for the masthead) of three Canada geese taking flight.   I hope you like it!  The Canada geese taking flight is a reminder about our (future) annual migration southward for the winter.  Our next blog post will describe our new jerry jug restraints that I have been constructing during the past few weeks.

Thanks for following our blog!!!

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