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October 14, 2007

Boat Show Baltimore

The sail boat show in Annapolis was great! Anna and I hung out with Dan all weekend and got to see some first class boats. We had never actually been on one of the posh catamarans, but there were plenty to climb aboard at the show. Every manufacturer was there, in fact we were all boated out after about half the show.

Baltimore harbor was extended with all these temporary docks as all the manufacturers brought in almost every boat in their lines. The show was cool because all the boats were in the water instead of suspended in some kind of display. The big manufacturers brought in new boats and had all kinds of screening for buyers with working the queues and everything. The smaller manufacturers asked owners to lend their boats to the show and let all those people climb around on their boats.

For some reason, we obviously weren't pegged as buyers even though we all dressed up for the show. Dan and I were in business casual with me in my boat shoes that I bought especially for the show and Anna was in her red dress covered in anchors, which was a big hit. Still maybe our age or something prevented all the sales staff on hand from "upping" us. I would have liked to have been seen as a buyer, but oh well.

The catamarans are the best. So roomy! We could definitely live on one of those beauties. Of course, some of them were 90 footers and who couldn't live on that? We're actually thinking of something a bit smaller, like in the 30 ft. range.

We climbed on a lot of boats, but two really stood out. The best boat we saw was the Gemini Performance Catamaran at 33'6". It's in the affordable range, which for boats is about $150,000 new. In the same price range is the Maine Cat 30, but it wasn't at the show. The Maine Cat 41 was there and it was great, but we don't know if the same qualities will transfer to the smaller boat. Those are our leading two boats, probably in the used market.

We went on so many catamarans that we were exhausted by the time we got to the monohulls. Well, some of us were tired: "I want ice cream", "It's so hot", "I need to sit down", "Bike trip, bike trip, bike trip", etc...

The thing about boats is that there are loads of sloops out there, monohulls in the 20-40 ft. range. Some really nice ones under $30,000. It's like cars a bit in that way, except they don't really die; the hulls are good forever, you only need replace the interior, sails and engine. If we want to live in the smallest possible conditions, we can do it for under $30,000, but if we want to live in something comfortable we might have to go with a new cat at around $150,000. Our house is worth more than that, but not by much...

I don't know what will happen in the end; it depends on a lot of things, grad school, graduation times, where we go, available funds, job stuff. Ideally we're on the water Summer 2009. I'll be 34 by then and there should be a new president.