Jan 9, 2020
While working we continually were told how good the fall Annapolis Boat sailboat show was. Upon retiring in 2013 we finally had time to go. WOW! Five days of new boats, used boats, vendors, seminars, charter opportunities and meeting up with friends in the small community of boaters and cruisers.
After that first year, when we had a shopping list for our new to us boat, we keep going back and always manage to find something to buy even though we may think “don’t need anything this year!”
For us it’s a fun mini vacation and driving through upstate New York and the mountains of Pennsylvania can be picturesque, especially if the trees are turning. We typically drive down a day or two before the show and use Airbnb to find somewhere to stay.
Annapolis is the capital of Maryland and a lovely city to walk through or take a tour of. The state building is well worth seeing as well as the older homes. Annapolis is also the home of the Naval Academy where you can easily spend half a day. If you’re there at midday you can watch the parade of hundreds of mid shipmen into the mess hall.
Thursday we drive into Annapolis and park at the Navy stadium and take the free shuttle to the show. Thursday is VIP day. The entrance fee that day is a little more expensive, however there are far fewer people and it’s easier to visit boat and booths. Friday has many more people and the weekend can be packed.
There are hundreds of boats large and small, monohull and multihull waiting to be boarded. What a great way to comparison shop! It’s always fun to see what new features manufacturers have come up with. They also have a brokerage cove with pre-loved boats for those not up for a new yacht.
If visiting new boats isn’t your thing, there are tents and tents full of vendors of all things boat related with neat new items being displayed every year. Some of the tents house charter companies where you can explore vacation options for chartering somewhere warm.
Just up Main Street from the show is Uncle Bob’s Fudge Shop where you can get cookies and fudge to die for.
Just watch out for high tides and storms offshore that push water inshore! Occasionally you get flooding and they have to put out raised walkways to get around the show.
The boating/cruising community is a small world and we keep running into friends at the show we’ve made elsewhere in our travels.
Maybe we’ll see you there!