Annapolis boat show impressions - SailNet Community

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  #1  
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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Old 10-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamlicotraveler View Post
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.
Yeah, she was there on Saturday too. There were a couple of people on the bow but no one below when I went aboard, and she shot a me a look (that I picked up behind her sunglasses). Yes, I can't afford this toy, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it. I will say that putting a center-line double (not even) on that boat seemed a bit useless.
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Old 10-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamlicotraveler View Post
...

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....
That is interesting. That is probably more the local dealer than Catalina... my guess. I have crawled all over those boats, keemah, ft lauderdale, tampa, etc... and never had anyone give me a "sticker". THat has always been one of the selling points of the boats.

My bet is Frank, Gerry or Sharon had nothing to do with that. THat was a sales gimmick with the dealer in Annapolis.. my guess. Sorry you did not get to see the best boats in the show. Your loss (smile..HAHA, just kidding).

- CD
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Old 10-08-2007
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I want a Cross Current 33. Bad.

http://www.crosscurrentmarine.com/CC...c_Brochure.pdf

Truth be told, there were about 20 different boats I need to buy (when I win the lotto).

Last edited by TSteele65; 10-08-2007 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 10-08-2007
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Thats too bad about the Catalinas. In Oakland it looked like a party on the Catalinas, drew the biggest crowd, standing room only. The local dealer is very popular and friendly. Sounds like you had a lot more brands to choose from there than we did here. BTW, this coming weekend is an "open boat" weekend for the Alameda boat dealers. I know they never get sick of seeing me!!!!
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I don't know who was showing the Catalinas because I didn't go this year. However, two years ago, the Annapolis Catalina dealer, who also sells Bavarias, was showing them and another dealer was showing the Catalinas. I suppose I am a bit biased since I bought a new 350 from the Annapolis dealer in 2003 and have always had good relations and service.
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I do not know that dealer up there... not sure if I mentioned that.
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Old 10-09-2007
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Actually, they did the same thing with the stickers at the Strictly Sail show in Philadelphia in January. It's not a big deal, though. You tell the lady what state you live in and she gives a color coded sticker. I slapped it on my shirt and then went on a bunch of the Catalinas without a salesperson ever approaching me.

CD, a question for you. When did they start building the 309?
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Catalina does the same thing at Strictly Sail, Chicago as well. Not a big deal when you consider the drawing area of these shows. Accomplishes a few things. First, they can count stickers used and see where the show shoppers are drawn from. Helps them decide who best to man the shows. If they are not busy...and they usually are very busy....it does let a salesperson make contact with someone that they may have a shot at. If for some reason it bothers you to wear the sticker, you take it from the nice lady and pull it off going up the steps. Nobody will ask you where your sticker is. She is doing her job.

Oh, and these dealers don't go to the boat shows to just make nice nice. There is a lot of expense to get those boats to the show and to man the presentations. Don't sell boats...why go to the expense?

At Chicago more brands than just Catalina used the same approach. As long as I don't have to fill out forms with my data, and get on one more mailing list, I am fine with a sticker.
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Old 10-09-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyt View Post
Oh, and these dealers don't go to the boat shows to just make nice nice. There is a lot of expense to get those boats to the show and to man the presentations. Don't sell boats...why go to the expense?
Sure, the end goal is to do business - but not necessarily right then and there. The goal for a boat company having a presence at a boat show is to create demand by building the brand name and reputation. Catalina is a great brand. But after a couple of days at the boat show you don't want to have to engage with every salesperson, and wearing a color coded sticker so a salesman can identify you and try to sell you a boat takes energy. As CD mentioned, I think the deal here is that the boat broker probably ran the display. Their goals are more short-term oriented.

I may never buy a Cabo Rico, but they were proud of the boat they were displaying and were eager to talk about it. The people we went with had been on it earlier and had suggested we go see it. That's how you build excitement about a boat brand I think. They made you want to strive for a Cabo Rico.
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