SHOWTIME: Annapolis Boat Show that is (part 1)

Anyone who’s experienced the excitement of Magic Johnson’s (and Pat Riley’s) Lakers and Larry Bird’s Celtics in the 1980s (note: my beloved Celtics during the dark and glorious high school days) knows what SHOWTIME was all about.

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.

Jeanneau Yachts

Of course Jeanneau Yachts is going to be pulling out all the stops this year with boats of all sizes—ranging from big and comfortable to bigger and comfortable-er—in the show.
Early reports are that Jeanneau will display 12 boats this year (although we’ll have to wait until next year to see the huge, and already hugely successful Jeanneau 64 here in the States).
But the Jeanneaus I’m really excited to see (and test sail) are the smaller ones like the sexy-fast Sunfast 3600 pictured above.
The 349 looks pretty sweet too. I hope to test both the 349 and 3600 after the show and do a longer-term test on the 3600 (like in a distance race or two) in the coming months.
Check back later for more on what will be in Annapolis. And be sure to stay tuned for regular updates from the show on Twitter, and on Facebook, and Instagram too.
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