And while it may be a bit of a stretch to compare the United States Sailboat Show coming up in Annapolis from October 9-13 to the epic games those iconic teams played, I can’t deny the fact that after all these years (19 to be exact) that I’ve been kicking off the Fall season by reporting on the newest and most time-tested models the US boat industry has to offer, the excitement and anticipation I still feel before the Annapolis Boat Show is just a little bit like the pre-game excitement I felt way back then.
Maybe this is partly because I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun sailing—in places as far off as Sweden, Estonia, and St. Petersburg, Russia, and as down-home, apple-pie-preppie as Hyannis Port, Massachusetts—than I’ve had this year. And this refreshing excitement is also due to the fact that the fleet of new boats that will be at this year’s show will simply (and actually)…be exciting.
Sure there are tons of boat shows these days. And they all have something to offer. But the Annapolis Boat Show has been the undisputed biggest and most important show on the American calendar for decades. It’s more than just a “trade show.” It’s an event. It’s a happening. And it’s always worth the trip no matter if you’re traveling from Washington, DC, or Washington State.
And this year is no different. Actually it may be even more important as the big, lumbering ship that is the American economy has definitely turned back from the brink (at least for the time being anyway), and the boat builders that have survived are leaner, smarter, and better, and hungrier, and turning out better, more modern, more affordable boats than ever before. Needless to say it’s a good time to be in the market for a new boat. And here’s the first of several stories about what I’m excited to see in Annapolis and hopefully test sail after the show.