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Old 10-08-2007
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Annapolis boat show impressions

My boat show observations....
Spent three days in Annapolis, attending for the first time. I really enjoyed it.

Thursday was VIP day with a $30 ticket (versus $16 for the other days). Crowds were smaller and made it easy to see more boats. I would recommend it.

My favorite boat was a Cherubini. I didn't know anything about these boats but wow. I think the boat they had on display was 17 years old and I believe was a 48. A really nautical boat...It's always the small details on bots like this...lots of fitted wood, classic skylights with vented dorades, a built in wooden boat hook on deck. Below, absolute luxury, but with great lines and incredible woodwork. Lots of innovative small things like the portals which open at the top and have a special tray as part of the casting on the bottom that collects any water coming in and drains it outside the cabin. This was an impressive boat.

The Oyster 56 was a great boat. Very modern lines. They seemed to have a little "security" approach to showing their boat. Almost as if they were allowing the "little people" to see the boat they could never afford. That may have been true, but the attitude was noticeable and a real turn off.

I experienced the same karma on the Freedom yacht display. An attractive lady with a less attractive demeanor knew nothing at all about the boat and stood guard to only allowing two people to board at a time. I can understand the nervousness of letting hundreds of people view a very expensive boat, but other managed the issue much better.

Cabo Rico had a beautiful 42? (I think) Pilot house. What a great looking boat - I think it was a Chuck Paine design. The most unique feature was the hidden workshop under the port lazarette seat in the Pilot house. They pushed a button and the seat opened up a full workshop with a vice and work cabinets etc. It was very James Bondish. The owner of the company Fraser Smith was on the boat and they were all super friendly. A really impressive company presence.

Walter Shultz (owner and designer) and Shannon were there with a 47 on display. Bill Ramos, Walters longtime #2 was there too - and enthusiastically answering questions. The Shannon people are really good people. The boat was great - I think it was 7 or 8 years old and looked like new. The woodwork and overall craftmanship is unbeatable. (I am biased). We also heard Latitudes and Attitudes publisher Bob Bitchin has sold his "Lost Soul" boat that he has been refitting and writing about and is buying a brand new Shannon 52'. That should give some good publicity for Shannon.

We went on Hunters, Island Packets, Beneteaus etc. All had great presentations. Also, I should say that the Tartan boats were very impressive. I would never buy one based on the customer relations and the problems they are apparently having with their boats. But to go on them and see how nice they are, and how well built they "appear" to be, I can see how they would appeal to a lot of people. I didn't see Tim Jackett - don't know if he was there to answer questions and shake hands or not, but the Tartans themselves were very nice displays.

I wanted to go on the Catalinas. For some reason they had a huckster presentation. They had a "security" person who wouldn't let anyone go on the Catalinas without wearing a Catalina sticker that would identify your "sales region" to the salesmen on the boats. They obviously were pushing a little too hard to sell boats, not just show them. I asked if I could go on the boats without a sticker since I didn't have any plans to buy one and was told by the lady at the desk that they had asked her to give a sticker to everyone so the salesman could know. So I moved on. Cruising Dad..maybe you should pass that on. It was more like a time-sharing sales approach.

Gozzards were there....GREAT boats. Morris boats are very impressive. We went on a couple of the daysailors. These are very expensive boats but beautiful and well made of course. I made another post about the interesting Pacific Seacraft presence. 3 weeks after the auctioning off of the company the new "owners of the company" were there as if nothing had changed. They had boats, flyers, brochures etc.

The boat show is lots of fun...
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