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Last year was the first year I went, and I mostly ogled - checking out $600,000 boats I can't afford, spending way too much time with the beautiful Adirondack pack boats that I can't store in the city and won't fit on my boat. Fantasizing about getting a West Wright Potter to put on the Potomac on the days I can't get down the Chesapeake and want to have an evening sail (because one sailboat isn't enough sailboat maintenance for me, apparently).

Not that there's anything wrong with ogling, but I think I want to be more strategic this year. So I'm curious who everyone else will be checking out at the boat show. Anyone have any specific plans for who they want to check out?

Erika
 

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I have skipped the show for the last 2 years. I didn't want to miss a nice weekend of sailing on my boat in the fall ( I had attended almost every year for 20 years prior)

I will attend this year. I usually pick up a few rolls of atomic tape.. I'm hoping the people who sold the Jalapeno Hot dogs outside the gate are back.

I'll be looking at Radar and AIS and probably a new Chart plotter this year. (anyone want to purchase a used Garmin 546? )

I might be retiring again ( 2nd time) ...and slipping the dock lines for an extended cruise next spring. I want to explore some solar power options. Thinking about a windless too.

Just received the guide in the mail with the Chesapeake Bay magazine..still working on my to see list...
 

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For some reason everyone but me seems to find the vendors with the free, unlimited shots. That's my goal this year.
 
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Ohhh, free shots, got to visit that booth.

If I go, I'll be looking for a super deal on a chartplotter/fishfinder that can handle radar, AIS and video inputs. I haven't given up on a vertical windlass.
And I'll be eating outside of the show.

Going there is a 8 hour drive but I do get free room and board with my daughter and get to visit the grandkids. Visiting the grandkids is worth the drive.
 

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Hmm, favorite vendors...

There's mimosas at Pusser's landing, samples at the Hendrick's booth, a visit to each of the Painkiller booths, the wine & beer party at the Catalina booth, the painkiller party at the Moorings booth...

Isn't there a boat show going on too? :D
 
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Daniel - Norsea 27
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Last year was the only time I have gone to the Annapolis show. I'd like to go again this year but figured I'd wait until I needed something.

When I went last year, I wanted to see for myself the Natures Head and Airhead toilets. I was originally going to go with NH, but after seeing them, I went with AH instead. Not much head space on my boat.

I walked around looking at all the vendors. Chatted with Good Old Boat, looked at Defender's deals, foul weather gear, etc. I only went on one new boat, a Lagoon, but wasn't too interested in looking at the big new boats. Other than a subscription and a couple shirts from Good Old Boat, I didn't buy anything at the show.
 

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With electronics the new models often get released at the Lauderdale or Miami shows with the previous year's models being clearanced between the fall and early spring. So not usually any killer electronics deals to be found at the Annapolis show and if there are they are older models. If you don't plan on using or installing the new gear until spring it's probably better to wait to buy so you're not warrantying something sitting in a box. Plus, the technology really does change quickly.

For solar most of the marine oriented solar vendors are crazy, crazy expensive. Panels, controllers, and connectors can be found much cheaper on sites selling primarily to off-gridders and RVers.

Most of the other vendors are hit or miss in terms of pricing. If you have a list of items you're in the market for, it's good to do a little research ahead of time. With some vendors the "show special" prices will beat the best deal you find and with others they are nothing special at all.
 

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Have not gone in two years. Was going to go this year but, decided to wait for the spring show since it's still a pretty nice sailing season here in the northeast. I'm in the market for a Sailrite Sewing machine but, it looks like they don't have any boat show specials from what I gather. Since I bought my current boat in 1995 I have never felt the need to look at another boat so I always skip those docks. Only vendor I might seek out is the Rescue (atomic) Tape booth. I also wanted to look at the new Porta Boat folding transom design. Had a few questions for the Samson folks about some of their products. But, I decided all these things can wait until the spring show.
 

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I love the Adirondack Guide Boats. Janet and I came very close to buying a Fishing Dory a few years ago. I even build a towing bracket that fits on my Weaver davits.

We visit the venders we are pleased with. We usually stop and chat with the Bottomsiders people, the custom boat sheet people (this year we are buying new sheets), Hydrovane, Galleyware, Yale rope, New England Rope, West Marine, and Fawcett. Of course we always spend time at the SSCA booth.

We manage to do a complete walk-through of all the venders watching for new products and technologies.

I also hit all the booths I have certifications or training from: Raymarine, Standard Horizon, Navico, KVH, D400, Icom, VacuFlush, ...
 
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