Fresh off the Annapolis Sailboat Show, here are some tips.
1). Wear easy slip-on/slip-off shoes. Going from boat to boat is a lot easier when you don’t have to un-tie and re-tie shoes.
2). The Annapolis School of Seamanship seminars require registration at 9 am. Tickets are limited, so show up early the day of your seminar to grab a ticket. Then, seats are first come first serve, so get to the seminar room line early.
3). Food is readily available on Main Street in Annapolis, adjacent to the show. There is food in the show at Pusser’s and some food stands, but we found that sit down restaurants on Main Street had no wait.
4). Treat yourself to some sweets on Main Street too. There are lots of shops selling ice cream, cupcakes and fudge.
5). Make sure you have a game plan. Our number one priority was the boat, so we spent the first day touring every cat in our size and price range. We also got on some that were outside of our range just to make sure we weren’t missing out on anything. We wrapped up the first day by stopping off at our favorite boat one more time, to refresh our memories. We spent the evening talking about the boat and doing research. Day 2 was back to the booth with follow up questions. We also walked the show to look at accessories that interested us but mostly to get brochures to later research. Keep in mind that not all models will be there.
6). Buy your tickets in advance. The ticket booth was hectic. People didn’t know how to work the scanners or didn’t even have a scanner. However, it was the faster route. The ticket purchase line was significantly longer.
7). The VIP day is worth it. The weather was crummy so that deterred a lot of people, but the weather was also crummy the first open day and it was much more crowded. On the VIP day, we had a lot of time with our dealer and didn’t feel rushed.
8). Arrange your accommodations early. We did not stay at the Marriott, but we were walking distance to downtown and the show (20 minutes).
9). Weather prep. Just like a boat, come prepared for a variety. We had rain coats and an umbrella in our back pack. We also got tired of carrying the backpack (how did we do it all day in school???). In hind sight, I would have packed clean socks or galoshes because 2 days with 10 hours of each walking in soggy shoes = no fun. However, in past years weather has been beautiful or even snowy.
The show was a lot of fun and well worth the trip. We especially enjoyed the seminars we attended.