So, what do you do the weekend after your estate sale? Well, in our case, we headed out to the 2014 U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis Maryland. The biggest sailboat show only happens once a year and we hadn't been in over two years so it was time to go.
This time our focus was quite a bit different than the last show. If you recall, the goal of the last visit was to look at boats as we didn't yet own Rover. This time we are boat owners and are now looking for things that we need or want. My wife didn't have proper foul weather gear yet (waterproof gear that can take a wave isn't available in Colorado) and we could both use some decent sailing gloves. The laundry list of items that Rover needs (or we want her to have) keeps expanding too. Solar and maybe wind power, water maker, more eco-friendly bottom paint, various interior and exterior cushions, a dodger, a better anchor, baskets of hardware, and maybe some toys like a kayak or SUP are all of interest. I also wanted to see a friend who lives on the east coast and since our broker Pete was at the show, wanted to see him too.
If you are shopping for a variety of items for your boat, a show like this is a real time saver as you can see a lot all in one place. We were able to check out most of the items we were interested in. My wife was able to try on rain gear from several makers, and I was able to talk with several vendors about solar installs, bottom paints, etc. We found an interesting nesting cookware set for the galley that seemed to be decent qality. And we got to check out a few of the newer style anchors available today. You could easily spend a LOT of money at one of these shows, so while it is nice to see all the newest and latest things, you do want to hold onto your wallet.
We did end up buying a few things at the show. My wife now has some new Slam rain gear and we both have sailing gloves. Since Rover needs a new dodger set and interior and exterior cushions, we had the idea we could make our own and picked up a Sail-rite sewing machine. Sleeping at night is high on our desire list so we also bought a new Mantus anchor that we think will help when out on the hook. Most of the items will be shipped, so I will let you know more about them once we have a chance to play with them.
Here is an interesting thing we discovered at the show. We attended the last two days of the show this year. Our first day at the show was the third day (if you count the VIP day), and I think most of the people working the booths were getting a bit worn down by that point. We were having a bit of a hard time engaging some of the vendors to get information about their products. Or maybe it was because the Sunday was the only nice weather day at the show. Monday was the complete opposite. There are no seminars on the last day of the show and it was a bit rainy so there were no crowds. We found it much easier to talk with the vendors that day. Some vendors were even offering additional discounts (probably not wanting to lug unsold product back to their trucks). This was the day we made most of our purchases.
Overall, it was a good show for us. We acquired some stuff we needed as well as information we needed. And we might even have our first sponsor...we will see.