Each fall, just before the leaves turn vibrant colors around the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, the entire U.S. sailing industry gathers at Annapolis, Maryland for the annual United States Sailboat Show. Here, you will find all the latest industry offerings—from both yacht builders and from equipment manufacturers—as well as hordes of enthusiastic sailors who arrive with their checkbooks and the dreams in hand. And based on the offering that I have seen so far, these customers will not walk away disappointed.
While we can all agree that cruising boats are beautiful, here at Sail-World.com we love things that go fast, that generate apparent wind and that stretch smiles as boatspeed peaks. Given this criterion, it’s not surprising that my eye was immediately drawn to two proud steeds from McConaghy Boats, the MC38 and the Ker 40. While the later was designed as an offshore contender (one has already completed the much-feared Sydney-Hobart), the former was designed as an all-out speedster for the day-racing crowd. Both, I assure you, are spectacular offerings that are sure to spin heads and win pickle dishes.
Interestingly, this year has also delivered some fine new offerings of the multihull variety, including the Motive 25R and the SeaRail 19, both of which look like they could help you taunt your local harbormaster with high-speed tomfoolery. Whether this influx of multi-hulls has been spurred by the (fairly) recent changes to the America’s Cup or simply by the general public’s greater awareness of boats with multiple hulls, U.S. sailors now have two more great options when considering a go-fast toy.
On the small-boat side of things, the story of this year’s Annapolis is one about the newly launched J/70 and the Farr-designed B/One. Both boats look to have plenty of wick and they both feature great aesthetics; it will be interesting to see where OD classes (geographically) take seed and which class attracts more critical mass. Stay tuned!
The equipment tents were also bursting with cool new kit, the list of which is too extensive to mention here (yet another reason to travel to Annapolis to see this show for yourself). Suffice it to say, some bits were carbon fibers, others aluminum, hydraulic, plastic (of various flavors) or even stainless, but all are designed to help you sail faster and to have more fun (read: win more).
The show continues through October 8 (Sunday) so there’s still time to rearrange your weekend’s plans. According to reports, the weather could get a touch patchy this weekend (but hopefully not), so be sure to pack your foulies. And if you forgot to pack your wet-weather kit, trust me, there are plenty of opportunities to make purchases here. I’d be seriously surprised if you can find a better selection of foulies—or any other equipment or boats—anywhere in North America this weekend!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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8:44 PM Thu 4 Oct 2012GMT
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