The United States Sailboat Show – Dreams in the Seaport City of Annapolis

Annapolis Sail Boat Show View from Pussers Deck

My love affair with boats began with a day sail around Mexico’s Isla Mujeres. A few months later, one of my new-found sailing friends emailed me about an upcoming Annapolis boat show. I expected the nautical version of a seafood festival – vendors with sailing- themed jewelry, clothing and artwork next to white tents set up over an array of legendary Maryland seafood. And of course, boats.

I could not have been more mistaken. This was the United States Sailboat Show – the big daddy of all sailboat shows.  I call it Fashion Week for serious boat-buyers, window-shoppers and dreamers.  From October 4 through 8, it sails into to the beautiful and historic seaport of Annapolis, Maryland. The grand nautical affair takes over the whole of Annapolis Harbor and everything in its immediate vicinity. If you’re a sailing enthusiast, there is no better place to be other than on your own boat.

On the dock, take off your shoes and step aboard for a tour of any vessel that strikes your fancy. Company representatives are only too happy to explain the joys (and the costs) of owning such a splendid water toy. If a sailing vacation has been a dream of yours, yacht charter companies are on hand to explain how you can sail arrange a boat charter to the Caribbean, the South Pacific or the Greek Isles. This year, in addition to the usual seminars, interactive workshops, nautical equipment and gear, a “Vacation Basin” has been added for travelers who want information on vacation planning.

If you’re not a sailor and catamaran, monohull, Hinckley, Hunter and Beneteau mean absolutely nothing to you, there’s still plenty to enjoy in Maryland’s capital city. On the main drag of West Street you’ll find fashionable boutiques, cafes, sidewalk and rooftop eateries, fresh made candy, souvenir shops, and Naval Academy midshipmen in their sparkling dress whites.  At the head of the city dock, take time to view the Alex Haley/Kunta Kinte Memorial. It commemorates the Annapolis arrival of Haley’s African ancestor.

Annapolis Sail Boat Show View from Pussers Deck s 240x300 The United States Sailboat Show   Dreams in the Seaport City of Annapolis

Annapolis Sail Boat Show View from Pussers Deck

At the show you’ll find a crowd made up of serious sailors, and those who have come simply to join in on the fun. Upstairs at Pusser’s Caribbean Grille enjoy the music – it’s often live and straight from the Caribbean. Be sure to try at least one British Virgin Islands Painkiller. This rum concoction is as tasty on a crisp fall day in Annapolis as it is on the islands themselves. Nearby the Fleet Reserve Club opens its buffet to visitors. From both spots the view is a boat show panorama –  the docks crowded with sailboats and colorful flags fluttering in the breeze, the tents, the crowds, and the Harbor Queen taking on a load of passengers for a narrated cruise near the banks of the Naval Academy.

If this total immersion into the boating world has whetted your appetite for more, come back the next weekend. From October 11-14 the Power Boats come to town. To learn more about both events, click US Boat Shows.

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