Excited to see boats available on the U.S. market, Sina an I find ourselves leaving Jersey City early last Saturday morning. The skyline of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty laying still at dawn; the sun slowly coming up. We are driving on the NJ Turnpike and later on merging onto different memorial highways and bridges towards Annapolis, Maryland. Only 3.5 hours away from our home. In U.S. terms – in the neighborhood.
The annual Annapolis Sail Boat Show is on. What’s the difference, what’s the same, what’s the news?
It’s October 10th. The sun has risen and is full of energy. Temperature in its 20s Celsius. Very nice, it’s an in-water show! We park our car at the Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. An original American school bus will shuttle us to the main entrance to the show; the City Dock downtown.
Wow – hustling and bustling. The exhibition seems huge and a little confusing. Our plan: check out some boats first, stop by Seascape later, attend one or two seminars, buy some apparel but most importantly enjoy this beautiful sunny day.
My best comparison of the show is the Hanseboot Ancora Boat Show but larger, very lively, and louder … a lot louder. Little bars here and there, live Reggae music by an authentic Band – a festival!
We circle around to find the 80 foot sailing yacht “Kiwi Spirit”. Custom made for a guy in his 70s. He planned to round the world on her. Singlehandedly. Very performance oriented but somehow dimensions seem out of place. One guy … that boat?!
Turns out he planned to use her for family cruising after his trip. Unfortunately, his two attempts ended somewhere off the coast of Africa, the exhibitor told us. Some breakage he couldn’t fix on his own. If you had 2.500.000 USD you could become the new owner.
The boat size is not attractive to us at all, guess we took that many pictures b/c we’ve never set foot on such a massive sailing yacht before.
Another and really attractive boat that sticks out is the Gunboat G4. Carbon multi hull with foiling and cruising capabilities; people may just start calling it a Foilingcruiser. Top speed so far 35 knots. Michael, their director of product development is confident they’ll break 40 knots with some more training soon.
We are looking for attributes of safe ocean crossings. The Outbound 46 scored in that matter. Impressive build quality, handle bars everywhere, very well thought through concepts throughout the boat. Multiple Diesel filters, simple but comprehensive electric, a small workshop on board, very endurable rig … . Circumnavigation made easy (if that’s even possible).
Another cool boat we are spending time on is a J122e. Long waterline, narrow in the hips, not a lot of headroom but still spacious for comfortable cruising. I really like the clear performance orientation the designers built into her. To live on board for a longer period of time, potentially as a family, a little more storage could come in handy though.
We are hoping to see at least one aluminum hull but no luck; the exhibition not that large after all. However, the big European brands take a large presence; Bavaria, Hanse, Beneteau, Jeanneau, … you name it. Quite surprising, I expected a lot more domestic boats.
After lots of walking and enjoying, we decide to attend the seminar “Power Management for Cruising Sailors”. Very interesting presentation; and good start into a world of alternators, battery types, safety and capacity considerations. Ironically though; the instructor, well educated on power management on boats, fails to succeed at land. In the first third of the presentation, his laptop shuts down – battery empty. A little later, his laser pointer stops working. You can’t have it all 😉
We are also spending a lot of time with Seascape, who had the 18 and 27 on display. I checked out changes on the newer builds, new options and of course discussing the question how to get our Seascape to the U.S. But Seascape news in the next post…