Last year Coastal Lifestyle Magazine started a boating section featuring many types of cruisers and recreational equipment, as well as racing boats, for our readers to learn from and enjoy. Features such as a stand up paddle boarding to a 92 foot Viking sport fishing yacht, and an array of beautiful sailboats, some of which crossed the Atlantic, were just some of the stories covered in our boating section.

In this issue, we wanted to spotlight the new and premiering sailboats which were being featured in one of the largest, oldest and most prestigious in the water sailboat show in North America, the 2016 United States Sailboat Show, in Annapolis, Maryland. Occurring on the first weekend of October, the first two days of the show had perfect fall weather, as the sailing industry kept a closed eye on hurricane Matthew. Fortunately Matthew did not come, however, heavy winds and significant splashes of rain did occur on Saturday, though that did not deter visitors from coming out to see a spectacular boat show.

Thankfully, the beautiful blue skies returned for the show’s final two days, which saw boat buyers out in large numbers, placing deposits on spectacular new cutting edge sailboats, purchasing many smaller boats which gave the sailing industry it's annual financial stimulus provided by this show. When taking in the show, I highly recommend wearing comfortable slip on shoes since there will be a lot of walking and visitors will be asked to take their shoes off during the touring of each new model sailboat you come aboard. Don’t let the sunny weather during the day fool you. Near the Annapolis harbor the weather can change quickly, so I recommend you bring a waterproof windbreaker and wear a baseball cap or visor, in the event you get caught in the rain, as my wife and I did on Saturday.

Whether you’re a first time buyer, or an experienced sailor coming to the show to learn what is new in the sailing world, or an industry expert ready to handle many new clients’ questions in a vendor’s booth, or simply a tire kicker dreaming one day to come back and purchase one of these sailboat beauties, the Annapolis Sailboat Show offers sailing enthusiasts an array of large and small, new and premiering racing and cruising sailboats to delight all your sailing needs.

As I told my wife that growing up in Maryland and learning how to sail from my father at just eight years old, was a great experience. At the time, my father was a racer and he raced a small sailboat model called the Penguin. Going into my teen years during the 70’s, my first sailboat I purchased was a small dingy with a large sail called the ‘Laser’. For a small sailboat, it could really go, and go it went. I ended up entering Laser races through out different parts of Maryland, as well as other parts of the U.S., including Pensacola, Florida. I had so much fun! I have long since sold it, and have gone onto to try many other aquatic endeavors since then, such as Windsurfing, Kite Boarding.

I’ve even had the pleasure of being part of a sailing crew aboard one of my friend’s sailboat. While crewing, I’ve learned that sailors and cruisers are a close-knit bunch. They share the good times, and help each other out in times of need. Seeing new places is also a huge part of the attraction of sailing. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to sail on some incredible boats with some wonderful sailor friends.

I’ve also learned that as your sailing skills improve, you’ll have more and more confidence and opportunity to explore new places, including all of the amazing places our Gulf Coast has to offer. Sailing is a great way to bring some adventure into your life, and I don’t mind saying that I like the romanticism sailing also brings. The feeling of wind in my hair, breathing in the salt air, and soaking up the sun, as we glide across the clear blue water, helps me feel renewed and invigorated.

If power boating is more your thing, the Annapolis Boat Show also provides a separate show held this between October 13th thru 17th, called the Annapolis Power Boat Show. Both events offers seminars and workshops to help enlighten you about the many aspects of boating life for beginners as well as experienced sailors. Going to visit the Annapolis Boat Show is well worth the time and expense, and it will leave you feeling well informed, enlightened and feeling the desire to come back again for more, because visiting the show once is not enough. For more information about the next Annapolis Boat Show, please check out their website on www.annapolisboatshows.com.

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