1. When to Go:
Our advice is to get to the boat show early. If possible, try to arrive at the boat show venue shortly after the gates open. Crowds are generally much thinner in the morning. Chances are the lines to board and view all those in-water yachts that you’re anxious to see are going to be much shorter in the morning. Once the crowds pick up, take a break. Go grab some lunch and rest your feet for a bit. If you’re at a venue like the Annapolis Boat Show, where the event is close to restaurants, go ahead and leave the show for a few hours. If you time things just right, you can head back to the show after the afternoon rush has started to die down and enjoy a lovely evening shopping for boating gear or the yacht of your dreams.
2. Who to Take
Speaking of the yacht of your dreams, we recommend that you bring along a spouse, a friend, or any trusted advisor that you can use as a “cooler head.” Let’s face it, boat shows have a way of making us boat lovers go a little crazy. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and find yourself, inexplicably, standing over a contract for a whole lot more boat than you need with a pen in your hand. By all means, if you’re ready to buy a boat and you find a great deal at a boat show, go for it! But if you’ve just come to browse and you’re not ready to commit, bring along a friend who promises to talk you off the ledge if you’re about to make a decision you’ll regret.
3. What to Wear
By all means, dress for comfort and not for fashion. Yes, ladies, you look great in heels and tank tops, but if you’re going to walk up and down miles of dock, board boats, and be exposed to hours of direct sunlight, some sneakers, a UV shirt, and a hat might be more practical. And guys, we know you’d rather sizzle than apply sunscreen, but at least put a few drops on your face. The raccoon look isn’t the “hot” look this year.