Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Wet Day Out at the Annapolis Sailboat Show

Saturday was the better day to go to the show but we had other commitments and so Sunday it was even though the forecast called for chilly, wet weather.  For us the boat show isn't so much about gawking at big tubs that we can't afford as it is about bumping into friends, looking at the small boats, revisiting what have become favorite vendors and finally, getting our annual roast beast sandwich--swimming with raw onions and horseradish at the Fleet Reserve Club.  So we piled into the trusty wagon and headed east on Route 50 for Rowe Boulevard and the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.

Wet, wet, wet.  We usually park at the stadium and take the shuttle buses downtown to the show.  Parking in downtown Annapolis during the boat show weeks is next to impossible.

The banners on the fencing leading to the ticket booth brightened the dull day.

The first stop for Diaristwoman was the somewhat bedraggled  Helly Hansen tent.

While she was over at HH, my attention was directed towards this nice Stuart Knockabout.

When I looked back, she was practically swooning over this new foul weather jacket.

Both she and the sales agent agreed that money had been satisfactorily spent.

After that we moved on to the small boats.  Chesapeake Light Craft had this pram on display.

Moving on the Mega Byte display we bumped into Tweezerman from the Earwigoagin blogspot.

Placid Boatworks had a pair of sleek looking composite canoes
Interesting kevlar-carbon fiber herringbone weave cloth capped the 'whales.  The interiors of each canoe featured kevlar cloth as well.  The stem cap is a piece of  laminated birch.
Several one-design classes had boats on display with knowledgeable class members on hand to answer inquiries.  The Comet class is celebrating its 80th year.
Like many of the older small one-design classes, the Comet class has recently voted to permit upgrades to the sail plan.  Cloth other than Dacron can now be used.  Main sails are now permitted to have loose foots and the jib shape has acquired a fat head as can be seen here.

The boat hanging up is an old woodie.  The class member whom I spoke with indicated that the older boats are still competitive against the new composite ones if upgraded to take advantage of the improved rigs.  I asked him how much it cost to have a spot at the boat show and he said $1500 for the space rent and roughly $800 for the display materials.  This is a fairly big commitment for a small association.  It's a shame the boat show organizers couldn't find a way to make things a bit more affordable for the small dinghy classes.  The displays from dozens of one-design classes would surely draw increased attendance from people like myself who will never buy the hugely expensive yachts which are the norm at typical boat shows.
Does a Benteau really make sense?  Not for this sailor.
And you'd need a Sugar Daddy to buy this cat.  Sugar Daddy makes a small dinghy like a Comet seem reasonable...
Further along, these models caught my eye.

Very nicely done.

The Hendrick's Gin barge was back again this year.  It's becoming one of our fav stops!

Woodwind II was at her usual dock.

Witchcraft dates to 1903.

What is old is new again.  This Hood 32 is new construction but features classic lines.
Zooming in on the Eastport side of the harbor, Severn Sailing Association's Thistle fleet was wrapping up their two day "Oyster Roast Invitational" regatta.

Further along the docks we spotted this interesting catamaran with what appears to be a dual sliding seat for the crew.

Back on land we looked at the Norse Boat offerings.

Old meets new:  a blending of traditional wood jaws on the gaff and a carbon fiber mast.
There was a crowd at the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating display.

The reason was the appearance of Matt Rutherford, the Annapolis sailor who single-handedly circumnavigated the Americas earlier this year.  We shook hands.  It was pleasant to meet him again.  He's raising money to go back to the Arctic, this time with a group of scientists to study global warming effects.  His original boat, the St. Brendan was on display complete with all the grunge from the voyage intact.  I told him that he ought to have her buffed up a bit!  After that it was high time for our annual date with a roast beast sandwich.  And so that's a wrap on another enjoyable Annapolis boat show.


  1. Okay, this post was more enjoyable for me with its one designs and such. I suppose I'd probably hang around those booths a bit more than the Sugar Daddy docks. And the Oyster Roast Invitational? My cup of tea. I'm not surprised the Hendricks Gin tent is popular.

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