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Best food is not near the dock. Try O"leary's and Carroll Creek in Eastport, Level on West St.
Make reservations.
Dozens of boats, countless vendors, lots of sale merch, good way to spend a day.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Lots of people have been lots of times. For food check the spreadsheet in my signature below or the Chesapeake Bay Eats thread here on SailNet. For good pub food I recommend Davis Pub or Boatyard Bar and Grill in Eastport. The best steakhouse we have is Lewnes, also in Eastport. All the restaurants along City Dock and Main Street are targeted at tourists - overpriced and under deliver.

If you are driving in the best deal in town is the Eastport Elementary School PTA parking on Compromise St - short walk across the bridge to the show. It's been $20 for years - not sure if the price will be the same this year.

Welcome to Annapolis. We're glad you are coming.
 

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Fleet Reserve Club (next to the Marriott) is open to the public during the boat show. Real good roast beef sandwiches, good for a quick lunch. Right in the heart of the action.
 
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s/v Tiger Lily
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Some better restaurants (less of a tourist trap) as you walk up Main St. To the Capitol building. Osteria, Joss, Level, Cafe Normandie.
 

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My husband and I are going to our first sail boat show in Annapolis and are so excited. Has anyone been before? Just curious what it is like overall.
I think I have been to 3 of them, and I would not go again. If you are serious about buying a boat, make an appointment with a broker, or contact individual owners. There are far better ways to educate yourself on boats, sailing, and different models available, but no better way to experience different aromas of B.O. aboard a small boat than the boat show.

Annapolis is a great town, well worth visiting, except during the boat show. There is little public parking so you will have to ride the bus or hoof it.

The show is crowded. The docks are crowded. The boats are crowded. Usually you will have to wait in line, and take off your shoes before boarding a boat. You can spend the time thinking about all the other things you gave up in order to do this, and why you are doing this. There is almost always some absolute dipshizzle, who by the looks of it has never before stepped foot on a boat, monopolizing the sales person, feigning interest in the boat and pretending to be able to afford it, so you will probably not be able to ask questions of the sales person unless you are willing to wait 20 minutes. The sales persons are usually bored out of their gourds after the first hour or two, but seem to put up with the environment. There will likely be 3 - 6 people aboard each boat you visit, so you will be in a close environment frequently - wear a nose plug or eat mints constantly. You might pretend to be a vendor giving away free deodorant if you want to carry a few sticks with you. You will definitely see an obese couple who go to the show for the sole purposes of rubbing up against other humans, and/or blocking every passageway for full claustrophobic effect. Enjoy the contact if you can!

If you tire of looking at boats, you can always check out the vendors, who are selling things you could find online much easier. There will be a large congregations of salty types, most suffering from extreme dorkiness. Beware of any one wearing a floppy hat and black socks. There is also a lot of crap no real sailor would ever buy. Plus, it is all overpriced.

The show can provide you with an important lesson about sailing: the image is sold much more easier than the reality. I suggest you forgo the show and rent a sailboat for the day, so you can enjoy the season and the weather.

After the show, you will want to start drinking heavily. I suggest you quickly find a way out of town to do this, as every establishment in town will be filled to the gills with the aforesaid salty types. Bon voyage!:D
 

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Old enough to know better
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I think I have been to 3 of them, and I would not go again. If you are serious about buying a boat, make an appointment with a broker, or contact individual owners. There are far better ways to educate yourself on boats, sailing, and different models available, but no better way to experience different aromas of B.O. aboard a small boat than the boat show.

Annapolis is a great town, well worth visiting, except during the boat show. There is little public parking so you will have to ride the bus or hoof it.

The show is crowded. The docks are crowded. The boats are crowded. Usually you will have to wait in line, and take off your shoes before boarding a boat. You can spend the time thinking about all the other things you gave up in order to do this, and why you are doing this. There is almost always some absolute dipshizzle, who by the looks of it has never before stepped foot on a boat, monopolizing the sales person, feigning interest in the boat and pretending to be able to afford it, so you will probably not be able to ask questions of the sales person unless you are willing to wait 20 minutes. The sales persons are usually bored out of their gourds after the first hour or two, but seem to put up with the environment. There will likely be 3 - 6 people aboard each boat you visit, so you will be in a close environment frequently - wear a nose plug or eat mints constantly. You might pretend to be a vendor giving away free deodorant if you want to carry a few sticks with you. You will definitely see an obese couple who go to the show for the sole purposes of rubbing up against other humans, and/or blocking every passageway for full claustrophobic effect. Enjoy the contact if you can!

If you tire of looking at boats, you can always check out the vendors, who are selling things you could find online much easier. There will be a large congregations of salty types, most suffering from extreme dorkiness. Beware of any one wearing a floppy hat and black socks. There is also a lot of crap no real sailor would ever buy. Plus, it is all overpriced.

The show can provide you with an important lesson about sailing: the image is sold much more easier than the reality. I suggest you forgo the show and rent a sailboat for the day, so you can enjoy the season and the weather.

After the show, you will want to start drinking heavily. I suggest you quickly find a way out of town to do this, as every establishment in town will be filled to the gills with the aforesaid salty types. Bon voyage!:D
And you went three times? You must be a slow learner!

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
 

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I went for the first time last year (my first year with the boat). I quite enjoyed myself. I think James is right that it's not a serious place to shop for a new boat, but the window shopping is hard to beat.

My favorite parts: The Adirondack Guideboat and Fatty Knees folks. Climbing on the Alerion 41, a beautiful boat. A *really* good sale at Henri Lloyd. Some guy selling canvas coolers lined with backyard pool materials (I still use mine constantly).

I don't know why people complain about the bus, it's much nicer than my bus to work and a lot more fun at the destination.

Research your restaurant choices ahead of time and make reservations if needed. Like a lot of places in this area, the restaurant quality varies widely in town.
 

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Senior Smart Aleck
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Some other reasons to go: would probably increase your chances of contracting Ebola (avoid the sweaty Ivory Coast sailor who seems to be swooning and spray everyone with Chlorax bleach), of becoming the victim of a terrorist attack, or of having a heart attack!!!:eek:

Make sure your life insurance coverage and will are up to date!

The funniest photos of the boat show are the ones where it is raining and everyone pretends to be having a good time...ha, ha, ha!
 

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I think (hope!) James' post is at least partly tongue-in-cheek. The boat show can be a nice way to spend a day if your expectations are reasonable. My wife looks forward to going every year.

There are times that you have to wait to get onto some boats, but we just move on to other boats and come back later. The crowds seem to go in waves to certain boats. We're mostly production boat people, and the large production builders have lots of specimens and lots of staff, so the waits are reasonable or none as long as you get on whichever boats are empty at the time.

I think we've gone three times. Twice we got to town very early and found on-street parking. Last year we arrived later and I didn't want to have to battle the traffic through town, so we parked at the stadium and took the shuttle bus. It was no problem.

I never noticed any BO, nor any fatties trying to rub up against me. I think James must just attract those people for some reason. :p :laugher
 

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美国华人, 帆船
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There is almost always some absolute dipshizzle, who by the looks of it has never before stepped foot on a boat, monopolizing the sales person, feigning interest in the boat and pretending to be able to afford it, so you will probably not be able to ask questions of the sales person unless you are willing to wait 20 minutes
Hahah.... I do the opposite.

When I sense that the sales person approaching toward me, I turn to my wife and say,

Me: Honey LOOK! I love the kitchen.
Wife: Where is the dishwasher? Let's go to check out the bathroom.

Then the sales person conveniently reaches for his phone and walks away.

Me: Good, let me take a good look behind the panel. :D
 

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Hahah.... I do the opposite.

When I sense that the sales person approaching toward me, I turn to my wife and say,

Me: Honey LOOK! I love the kitchen.
Wife: Where is the dishwasher? Let's go to check out the bathroom.

Then the sales person conveniently reaches for his phone and walks away.

Me: Good, let me take a good look behind the panel. :D
Classy as ever, crewboy. Acting like a grossly unqualified tire kicker to disguise the fact that you are a grossly unqualified tire kicker. Clever. But you get credit for not wasting the sales person's time.
 

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Tartan 37
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I don't go to the show much anymore to drool at boats I will likely never be able to afford, I go to whats new, see friends, drink a painkiller or three, and buy a few things here and there. I am looking at the latest in solar this year, two years ago it was engines, last year was just for fun. Yea, its neat to see a few boats here and there but that's not the best part if the show for me, the things already mentioned are, especially seeing friends from out of town, and the sessions when I can make them.
 
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