Last week we attended the Annapolis Sailboat Show. The weather couldn’t have been more spectacular. Each day we enjoyed clear, sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s. While some folks said they thought there were fewer boat dealers represented than in previous years, we saw lots of boats and many, many businesses selling sailing gear and boating accessories. We had lots of opportunities to speak with marine business owners about the benefits of the BoaterRated.com Virtual Dockside for generating referrals and we received a ton of positive feedback about what we’re doing and some great ideas for improvement.
Of course, while we were at the show, we did some window shopping! For those at the show fortunate enough to be looking to purchase a new boat, there were a lot of really great models to choose from, from day sailors, to cruising yachts, to racing boats. One of our personal favorites was the J/108 with its sleek lines, standing headroom, and retractable centerboard for navigating skinny water. Another boat that we liked was the Summit 35 with dual steering wheels and a comfortable interior as well. The new Corsair Sprint 750 Mark II is also a great looking boat that’s sure to be a blast to sail. Of course, there were many sights and experiences that were inspiring too, such as the Beneteau maneuvering by joystick deep in the dock area, and the numerous experts and stars in the sailing world who gave us a few moments of their time. Truly, there was too much to do and see!
While we might have felt a tinge or two of envy from all those wonderful brand new shiny boats that are somewhat unreachable, it’s great to know that we have a trusty boat at home on which we enjoy many hours of sailing. There were lots of great accessories for boat owners looking to upgrade their vessels. We bought a clever wind scoop that works regardless of what direction the wind is coming from. We also tagged along with a friend who was outfitting her cruiser for a trip from Annapolis to the Bahamas. We got to listen to overviews of offshore safety equipment like life rafts and EPIRBs, and all manner of other gear.
Sailboats – heck, ALL boats – and the gear it takes to run them are expensive. But being at the nation’s largest sailboat show, surrounded by thousands of sailors, you can’t help but remember that sailing (and boating in general) is much more than just a hobby. It’s a passion and a way of life. We at BoaterRated are happy to be able to help sailors and boaters find the best businesses to keep their valuable investments in top shape and to help them spend more great hours on the water enjoying their passion.