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engineer_sailor 10-12-2013 11:49 AM

Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
The wife and I had a chance to go to the sailboat show on Friday. The weather was on and off rainy. Most boat vendors let you leave your shoes on. The Keens were perfect for on/off rain and easy on/off.

A few observations from the show:

1. The Gunboat 60 looks awesome. Didn't get a chance to go in but what a great looking catamaran.

2. The Blue Jacket 40 was really interesting and the craftsmanship was phenomenal. Three cabins in a 40 foot boat is rare. The tradeoff was only one head. The quoted price tag of $450k for a 40ft sailboat is way steep however.

3. The new Catalina 275 Sport is a confusing boat. I am biased as I have an 1985 Cat 27 but I can't imagine a cruising couple starting out in it and its not really a racing boat (like a J Boat) either. I am only 5'8" and I couldn't stand up completely down below. The $80k price tag seems like a steep entry price. Didn't see any really viable family boats below 30 feet. Sub-30 feet seems to be focused on racing.

4. The new Hunter 37 is totally different than the other Hunter boats. Sleeker, straighter lines, and the overall craftmanship (interior and exterior) seems to have stepped up a notch or two. Very clean and uncluttered deck.

5. Catalina looked like they were using solid teak in their interiors. Beneteau in contrast appeared to be using vaneer all over the place. I would be worried about how well vaneer holds up over time.

6. Many boats now have HUGE port holes some of them halfway down the hull on both port and starboard. Seems like a large water ingress point if the port hole fails (even if unlikely)

Favorite Boats: Catalina 355, Hylas 49, Hylas 56, Passport 47, and Blue Jacket 40

Should be fun to hear other thoughts on the show and boats.


emcentar 10-12-2013 03:45 PM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
I went on Friday as well - it was my first show. I spent most of my time climbing on the Alerions and the Tartans and was thrilled to see a West Wright Potter for the first time. I didn't realize they were still in production. My impression was a lot of very big boats, quite a few small daysailers, and almost nothing in between (25-40 feet).

Talking to the Tartan dealer, he said that the show was bigger and that more sales were happening than last year.

Quite a few deals around. Henri Lloyd in particular had a great sale, with many nice items selling for 50% of sticker price or less.

Resolute_ZS 10-12-2013 04:43 PM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
I thought the show had a good variation of boats. I actually liked the Beneteau First 25S.

Despite its sheer size, I wasn't impressed with the Swan 80 that was there. Sure, it's pretty, but that's about it. Thanks to the new owner, though, for bringing it along.

This was my first time seeing Seawards. I think they're much nicer inperson than photos led me to believe. The designer, Mr. Hake, was a nice gentleman too. I wouldn't mind getting one of those boats.

There were more swing keels in general this year. I'm glad it's more than just Seaward and Southerly making boats that can be dried out - pretty neat.

The crowds were very light on Friday, so I was glad I went on a rainy day instead of on the weekend. Sorry I missed all the SN people :(

benesailor 10-12-2013 06:02 PM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
Went both thursday and friday.

Despite its sheer size, I wasn't impressed with the Swan 80 that was there. Sure, it's pretty, but that's about it. Thanks to the new owner, though, for bringing it along.
i concur. Oh but the technology! Carbon, titanium.....super light! FAST
The owners section was SMALL.

My favorite of the production boats was the Dufour 41. Well built and great layout with ONE head. I thinks it's a waste to have two heads on a 40 foot boat. Especially for a couple. It had great storage above and below. Good rigging, solid. No wood in deck. The Bene 41 had a small v-berth and bad layout. The Bene 38 was interesting. My fave; the Outbound 46 and Antares 44 (not new this year)

I met an older couple that owned a 22' powerboat and was looking for a Catamaran to cruise the world on; no sail experience! That's mind blowing.

That Gunboat looked amazing.

RedHorizon 10-13-2013 08:55 AM

My wife and I went Friday and Saturday. We typically look at the 30-40 foot boats as those are the ones we may be able to buy one day.

The use of veneer in the Beneteau line dosent look like it will hold up well, I agree...and the huge windows in the side of the hulls definitely look like trouble in a few years.

Hunter has a hit with their 33...very nice boat and I agree they definitely look like they have stepped up their build quality. It was our hands down favorite of the production boats.

The Seawards do look decently made and a nice value for a trailerable 32 foot boat. We liked they actually had a rub rail down the side of the hull. We'd seen them before and liked them.

The blue jacket was a well built and a nice looking 40. You could see some of the Tartan design elements. Even with the single looks to be a great boat with a nice layout.

We had never seen a Rustler 36 before and it was our favorite boat of the show. Craftsmanship was outstanding and is exactly what we want...small issue on the $340k price tag.

On most boats, the anchor lockers and latches continued to be a source of amusement for us...the boats were clearly not designed for anchor handling. A few boats even had an opening hatch right underneath where you be handling chain...I'm sure that will stand up well over time.

The use of flush hatches wasn't a welcome sight as I think it looks they all had large No Step signs on them. The Gunboat 60 had two of its flush hatches sealed with duck stop leaks.

The Beneteau, Dufour, and Catalina cabin soles looked cheap...with exposed screw heads and poor joinery and gaps that would collect debris...add that to the flexing under my weight (220 lbs), and we weren't impressed.

Vendors had great pricing...I purchased a new Garhauer MT 1 traveller for $250!

4arch 10-13-2013 09:05 AM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
I'd be curious to hear what some of the other deals on products and gear people were finding?

Rhapsody-NS27 10-13-2013 09:18 AM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
Sat visit for me.

I mainly went to see vendor booths. Got there well before they opened and left around 4:30pm. By the time I went through the booths, I walked the docks for boats. The only one I stepped foot on was a Lagoon 450 out of curiosity. Nice layout. Beautiful but it didn't have the right "feel" for me. The wood finished looked cheap like something you'd get at Ikea. Much lighter in color than I like too. Just the exteriors of many boats didn't appeal to me either. I tend to like the lines on much older boats. I walked past an Orion catamaran. That thing is HUGE!

The main thing I did buy was a Galvanized 25lb Mantus anchor for $184, normally $230. They didn't have any more available so put in an order and no cost for shipping either. Good thing I saw in person. I was considering a 35lb but looking at the physical size, I thought it wouldn't fit on the bowsprit and went with 25lb. Even that size might be bigger than what I have now.

There was plenty of other things I could have bought but they can wait. I really did enjoy myself. This was my first time at the Annapolis show. There were a couple products I was looking at getting where I was considering one model but seeing in person, feel a different model would be a better fit. Example of this is a composting head. I've been looking at the Natures Head but after seeing that and the Airhead, I'm now leaning toward the Airhead because it is a little smaller and better for the space I have in my head.

Still, it was good to walk around and see what was out there. I may go again. Especially once I start doing refit work on my boat.

Maine Sail 10-13-2013 09:45 AM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
As one who works on boats every day I tend to look beyond the superfluous skin deep spit shine.

I saw some excellent craftsmanship and some stuff I just shake my head at.

* 7 figure boats with free floating cabin sole boards?

* Looking in every common sense quick location for seacocks and still not finding them...

* More than half the boats still not meeting the new ELCI AC main breaker standards

* 7 figure boats that would require a step ladder at the helm just to see where you are sailing.

* Stepping into galleys / cabins with zero hand holds

* 7 figure boats with water puddling issues on deck, one of them right over the fuel fill.

* 6 & 7 figure boats with deck leaks (one had a puddle under the v- berth mattress)

* Mid six figure 48+ foot boats with less holding, fuel and water tankage than our 36 footer....

* Bow chocks on mid six & seven figure boats angled only for dock ties.. Guess anchoring is an after thought....

* Vessels with flooded batteries improperly installed

* Inverter chargers installed in locations that will only serve to ensure they fail early to to lack of ventilation.

* A 12V windless wired with approx 60' round trip if 2GA wire..

* Batteries installed in engine compartments

* Half million dollar boats with a single $40.00 bilge pump.

* 7 figure boats with bare copper wire and open terminal crimps.

* boats still lacking proper over-current protection at the batteries.

* bilges full of water

* engine and generator access only suitable for a small toddler

I did see lots of beautiful craftsmanship.. My favs..

Alerion 41
Rustler 36
Atlantic 47 / Chris White Cat..(actually sailed to the show from So. Chile in the roaring 40's....)
Gunboat - amazing construction technology
Outbound 46
Blue Jacket 40 - No exterior teak..

xort 10-13-2013 10:52 AM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
Bought traveler and jib sheet controllers from garhauer.
Bought blue blades for our Air Breeze wind gen.
Bought some shock cord.
Bought some tea tree oil.
Bought CP from Raritan.
Bought a boatload of Painkillers at Pussers Fri.
Bought more Painkillers at Pussers Sat.
Had a great time so far.
Thanks Jeff H for the hospitality.

Faster 10-13-2013 11:05 AM

Re: Annapolis Sailboat Show Observations & Notes
Seems that rain at an outdoor/floating boat show is a good thing!... hard to believe that so many boats had leakage/pooling issues 'brand new'..

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