While the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis isn’t the massive thing it once was, it’s quite a bit more vibrant than last year’s recession-shocked version. There are plenty of spectators and perfect weather, piles of cool little boats, and even a bunch of exciting new stuff; a surprise in a market that’s been so beat up.
Yesterday we broadcasted Harken’s press conference live, where CEO Bill Goggins announced a brand new line of winches with a huge weight savings and much easier maintenance than the previous line at the same price. We also saw the new Gunboat spinoff, Pure Yachting, and their incredibly sexy all-carbon RIBs. The new Beneteau First 40 is damned good looking for a mass-market production offering, and we’ll be looking at the odd new Juan K sportboat and the Sensei sportboat today and tomorrow. The big disappointment so far was the atrocious finish quality of the new Summit 35 – it looked like it had been slapped together just for the show.
Our live talk show was a lot of fun too – we spent more than an hour with rigger Bam Miller, Mini builder Drew Wood, RTW stud Bruce Schwab, Beneteau marketeer and racer Dan Kimball, with sponsorship agent Beth Perry – laughing, and talking about solo sailing, the secret new 30′ Juan K sportboat coming from Beneteau, and much, much more. Check out the first clip here, and hit "next clip" when you’re done to see the rest.
And join us for a momentous show today at 4:00 EST/1:00 PST, with Bill O’Malley from Farr Yacht Sales, Nick Hayes, author of Saving Sailing, and many more great folks. Thanks again to Latis Yachting Solutions, Velocitek, and Point Loma Outfitting for bringing you the best at-large coverage of sailing’s big events.