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Old 10-13-2012
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Our "Take The Wheel" experience at Annapolis Boat Show

After we made the reservations and before we left home, we were asked which two of six boats we'd like. We chose the Hylas 54 and asked them to put us on a catamaran as our other choice.

When we got there we were given the schedule. From 9-12 they had (3) 1 hour seminars that covered a lot of the things anyone looking to buy a boat might want to know.

From 12-1 they provided a lunch which consisted of sandwiches, chips, cookies, pop and water.

Sea trials started at 1PM. Our first sail was on a 40' Fountaine Pajot (for sale at $230K). I think it was a 2006. The captain, who I was told was the owner, never asked anyone if they wanted to take the wheel nor did I see anyone but him at the wheel.

The winds were about 5-8 knots. The boat hardly moved. The telltales told me either the captain wasn't paying attention to sailing or didn't know how to sail or the boat can't sail. If that's life aboard a cat, count me out. I couldn't wait to get back to shore.

Our next boat was the Hylas 54. It was a 2010 and a really beautiful boat. We felt it was a much better boat than the Hylas' at the boat show. I immediately asked if we would get the chance to take the wheel. The temporary captain said yes. We later found out a couple on board were the owners looking to sell.

When at the wheel I really liked how it cut through the water but thought the helm was very slow to respond. You had to anticipate your turns. Regardless, it was fun to sail and I spent most of my time away from the helm talking to the wife-owner. She was very nice.

For a sailing addict who hasn't had her fix in a while, being out on the water was wonderful. In hindsight though, I wish we chose one of the other monohulls for our first sail. I guess I'm not a cat person.

After the sea trials they had a wine and cheese event. We didn't make it though. We wanted to see some of the boats we missed and re-visit a few we really liked as we were leaving that night for DC.

For the $250/couple I thought it was a fair price. But that's coming from someone who needed her sailing fix.
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