Re: Annapolis Boat Show October!
I went Sunday. It seemed to be a pretty normal size crowd vs. prior years.
I was glad to see West Marine back at the show. Their new management seems to be aggressively working to get customers back. I don't know how good their "deals" were, but it's always good to have retailers there with lots of take-home stuff to buy. Maybe Defender will come back someday. I didn't buy anything there, but I'm going to check out the CrewWatcher system that they had on sale since it might be a good fit for MOB detection on inland waters. If anyone has comments, please share.
I talked to several sailmakers about resetting my mainsail's bolt rope. I've gotten sticker shock over getting a new mainsail due largely to the high cost of a new Dutchman system ($600 in addition to the cost of the sail). Resetting the bolt rope did a lot to help my mainsail shape on my prior boat, so I'll try it again. Unlike last year, the sailmakers were more willing to do this, whereas last year I just got hard-sell pitches to go with a new sail. It seemed odd the difference in tone I was getting from the same people I talked to last year.
I did my usual BoatUS renewal and also bought some Kanberra gel. We got "Cruzan Killers" (so named to avoid infringing the Pussers trademark) at Fleet Reserve Club, and cinnamon ice cream from Annapolis Ice Cream.
We got on more boats than normal just to start to scope out whether our current boat is truly as big as we want to go. In general, we came away thrilled with what our current boat has to offer vs. our needs. It will take a major change in lifestyle for us to need to go bigger.
Aside from the Morris, we just looked at production boats. As before, we hated the materials and finish on the Beneteau's and Jeanneau's. DuFour was a step up from those. We still liked Catalina above all the Euro production boats.
In addition to the lack of travelers (which most people didn't even notice, partly because the mainsheet tackle was hidden up on top of arches), I noticed a lot of self-tacking jibs. Trying to see the positive side, I can imagine people sailing on narrow rivers (like I used to do) liking this setup because with self-tacking jib you just tack back and forth all you want without anyone having to grind winches. In that situation, a traveler would just be set in the middle anyway. But for people on wider water who care about sail shape, a traveler would seem to be worth it, and sad to see manufacturers cutting those corners.
I also noticed a number of J's, B's, and DuFours with no backstay. All those boats have gone to swept-back spreaders with no forward lowers, which can be nice to eliminate obstructions to tacking a large genoa - however that benefit is gone with a self-tacking job. But several of the smaller boats went one step further by completely eliminating the backstay. One of the J's seemed to have the deep 120 degree spreader sweep (i.e., a classic B&R"tripod" rig like Hunter uses), but a couple of the boats seemed to have only slightly swept back spreaders despite having no backstay. I really wonder about the mast stability in a situation like that, since a heavy blow from behind, or even on a beat (which would tension the forestay), would seem to cause huge stress on the shrouds and maybe mast pumping.
Is it possible that the lack of Catamarans on display was because manufacturers are still maxed out on capacity due to replenishing the depleted BVI market since last year?
I attended the free Sunday seminar on Running Inlets, which was interesting. I also noticed that there had been a free seminar on Friday by Miss Lone Star, and was wondering if anyone saw it. I have real questions about her sailing skills, and the stupid risks she took sailing her derelict boat up to Massachusetts (among other things she collided with the Reedy Island Dike, which she still claims was an unmarked sunken container, and shredded her jib). It pains me to imagine her telling others, "You can sail around the world on a $1 boat. So I'm just curious whether he talk was helpful or dangerous.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, OUPV and 50 Ton Master
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Wing Keel Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
Last edited by TakeFive; 10-09-2018 at 10:44 AM.