2019 Annapolis Sailboat Show Review
We attended the 2019 Annapolis Sailboat Show for the first time on Friday and Saturday, October 11-12, 2019. We attend boats show looking for new products that we would feel comfortable offering to our Sea Dog Boating Solutions, LLC customers, and for products for our S/V Second Wind. The products have to be high quality and durable.
Our friends, Ken and Donna, live in Virginia, and they are sailor friends who moved from Vermont to Virginia two years ago. They made the offer if we came down to Virginia, we could all sail up to Annapolis on their sailboat to attend the show. We jumped at the opportunity since we have never sailed on the Chesapeake Bay. We made a fun trip out of going to the boat show, which included visiting, sailing, and being tourists. We encountered some rough weather on the Chesapeake, but that is a story for another blog at a later time.
We enjoyed being at the Annapolis Sailboat Show. The show is enormous, with many boats on the water and many boating accessory vendors as well. I got to meet some of my product suppliers in person at the show. I thought that the city of Annapolis did an outstanding job having boat show visitors park on the outside of town at the football stadium, and they provided free buses to bring everyone to the show. This way, you didn't waste time trying to find a parking spot near the show.
We found the following products at the show that were interesting:
- Glacier Stainless Toaster - a stainless steel toaster to be used with any heat source. We bought one for our boat
- Fendergrip - push button fender adjuster and storage device
- Line & Net Cutter System - we looked at the Spurs and Shaft Shark brands - Does anyone use either of these brands?
- Solar Panels - We looked at rigid and semi-rigid panels and are still deciding which is the best way to go for our boat and bimini setup
Sea Dog Boating Solutions, LLC ran an ad in the October 2019 Boat Show Issue of the SpinSheet magazine (bottom right corner of page 36). Please check it out.
We attended two seminar classes while we were at the show:
- Docking De-Stressed by Capt. Matt Benhoff (Annapolis School of Seamanship)
- Marine Diesel Basics by John Martino (Annapolis School of Seamanship)
Both classes were excellent, and the instructors had great charts and were very knowledgable. It was a good use of our time, and we did learn quite a bit of useful information. I would recommend attending any of these classes offered during the show. They are short, about 50 minutes, and are very interesting. We took pictures of the charts with our phone for future reference.
I did have a few concerns about the boat show, and I sent an email to the organizers of the show documenting my concerns, but have not received any feedback yet. Here were my concerns:
- Trouble Finding Vendors - large tents not labeled with the appropriate letter (ex. Tent "A")
- Wish they used one of the Boat Show Apps - allows the visitor to use their time more efficiently
- High Water Levels - King Tides
Trouble Finding Vendors:
The boat show handout contained a show map and a list of vendors so you could find the vendor location on the map. The problem was that the labels for the large tents were only on the map, but none of the actual tents had any marking on it to let you know which tent was which. The missing tent identifier made it challenging to find some of the vendor locations that we wanted to visit.
Boat Show Apps:
Other boat shows we have attended used a SmartPhone app that listed all of the vendors, seminars, and classes taught during the show. The app also contains an electronic map of the show. Unfortunately, the Annapolis Sailboat show does not use one of these phone apps. Please see my article called Navigating your Time Efficiently at a Boat Show. I hope that the Annapolis show organizers are planning to add a SmartPhone app in the future so visitors can make the best use of their time while at the show.
High Water Levels:
While we were at the show, the tides were very high due to something called the King Tides, along with a Full Moon. The combination of these two events caused very high water levels at high tide, flooding the streets around and at the show. The show organizers were putting down pallets to prevent people from getting their feet and pants wet, but they were just not able to keep up with the high water levels. Some of the vendors had some of their products ruined if they did not have them stored in waterproof bins. When we left the show on Saturday afternoon, we had to remove our shoes and socks and roll up our pants to walk around the show and then exit the show. I understand that this was Mother Nature throwing a curveball, and the show workers did a valiant job trying to keep up with the rising water levels.
Annapolis is a great city with many excellent restaurants, and we ate a lot of seafood while we were there and in the area. We took a tour of the United States Naval Academy, and it was well worth the time and money spent. We had an excellent tour guide who was a graduate of the Naval Academy ('67) who was very animated and went above and beyond and spent about an extra hour with us during the tour.
I would recommend going to the Annapolis Sailboat Show. There is so much to see and do at the boat show. The city of Annapolis has a lot to offer as well. We enjoyed our time at the show and visiting Annapolis.
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We would love to hear your feedback. Please email us at Steve@SeaDogBoatingSolutions.com.