Fall Boat Show Purchases

It’s been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks.

October is the month of the Annapolis Sailboat Show, more officially titled the United States Sailboat Show, and between my duties at the L&L Pardey Publications booth and time with my colleagues at the Good Old Boat booth, it was a hopping 6 days.

I love the boat show. I love almost everything about it, from the crazy number of people and boat and booths to the amazing whirlwind of social events to the town of Annapolis itself (not that I got a chance to see much of it, honestly; the furthest afield I got was Eastport and then Annapolis Landing Marina, and pretty much I wore a path between those areas and the show itself.)


The boat show is known for great deals on equipment, so I came armed with a list of what we wanted (specific models) as well as the going prices elsewhere. This time next year we ought to be finishing up a few of our projects; we better have equipment on hand! In between selling books and magazines and talking to Women Who Sail members, I zipped around to booths to check on availability and prices, sending mad texts to Jeremy as I unearthed information.

Specifically, we wanted a windlass (electric - no more double-handed action for me on the bow) and an AIS transponder. We’re getting older, with plans to head further afield, where the anchorages might be deeper and a little trickier; having an electric windlass might mean we re-anchor in marginal spots without thinking twice about it. The AIS is another good piece of safety gear, sending out information to other ships about our little boat. We’ve got a radar reflector, of course, but we also have a wooden mast and a very small radar image, so small it might even be squelched out by larger ships. We bought a receiver a while ago and love it. Now we’re adding a transponder (a signal putter-outer) to the nav instruments we have.

I talked to both the windlass people and the AIS people. Turns out in both cases, the boat show deals were not very good deals at all. Both times Defender, a mail order company that is no longer exhibiting at the show, beat even the “show prices” by a fair amount.

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But this wasn’t all the damage.

How about an anchor to go with the new windlass?

How about an anchor to go with the new windlass?

And a paddle board?

And a paddle board?

Going broke saving money, clearly. Tools and toys for the boat for the win!

You should see our living room. Windlass, anchor*, paddle board, AIS . . . there are a couple of smaller items (low-friction rings for jib sheets, the splicing kit, the electronic flare) too.

The shopping list and the project list continues to expand, but these are a couple of big items that are firmly and solidly in the BOUGHT column.

Now to get them in the INSTALLED column.

See you out there.

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