Tuesday, October 9, 2012

If you want to see a sailboat

It's no secret that we really don't know a lot about all the various live-aboard sailboats out there.  So, what do you do when you want to know about sailboats...you go to the largest sailboat show in the world*...the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis.  So, that is what we did this past weekend.
Not of the show itself...but Annapolis is a sailing town
It was quite an experience.  You can look at pictures and floor plans, but until you actually see them in person, walk the decks, stand (or hunch over) in the berths, climb around and generally experience them in person, you really never know.  You can find boats of all sizes and price ranges at the show, but with our limited amount of time we focused on the sizes and makers we thought would likely fit our needs.  On the monohull side, we looked at Beneteau, Catalina, Hunter, Island Packet and Jeanneau.  On the catamaran side, we looked at boats from Fountaine Pajot, Gemini, Lagoon, Tomcat.

Most of our first full day at the show was participating in their "Take The Wheel" workshop. This consisted of breakfast, presentations for new sailors on purchasing your first boat, lunch, taking two boats out for a demonstration sail, and a wine and cheese party.  The presentations contained a fair amount of information we recently learned in class but had some other good information. We got to take a Fountaine Pajot 41 and a Jenneau 379 out for a spin.  The catamaran was having some issues, so we motor-sailed it.  It was fairly maneuverable with the engines, but I don't know how she would be under sail alone.  The Jenneau on the other hand wasn't having problems and we had a real chance to see how it performed.  It was fun to sail and I could easily see sailing it just the two of us.  Despite the issues on the first boat, they were both good experiences and I would highly recommend taking this workshop for anyone new to sailing that would like to experience larger boats.

In my next post, I'll cover more details on the boats we saw at the show, and what we've determined so far about our future boat.  Stay tuned...

*this is a claim that was made at the show...no idea how true it is...but the show is pretty big.

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