As a sailor, I must say I felt a wee bit disappointed when I attended the Progressive Baltimore Boat Show this past weekend. The last time I went a few years ago, there was an entire section, albeit small, devoted to sailing and the latest creations from Beneteau and Catalina. This time however, aside from the occasional Hobie Cat or Walker Bay Sailing Dinghy, there wasn't much in the way of sailing represented. I suppose due to economic motivations the show seemed smaller than it had a few years ago, all in one exhibition hall, with a smaller selection of vendors and dealers.
It was a good time however, even for a salty sailor, and did much to help egg on the spring fever I've been having lately.
The highlight of the show for me was looking at some of the trawler/cruisers on display. My favorite was the Ranger Tug R-27, which was selling for a cool $159,000. It was roomy enough to live on, if only for extended vacations, I'm not sure I could handle it full time. With a draft of only 26 inches, a beam of 8 and a half feet, and weighing in at 6,200 pounds and a 100 gallon fuel tank and a 180hp Yanmar Diesel, it is a perfect bay cruiser, and looks sturdy enough to do some coastal cruising as well.
I also liked the Cutwater 26, a contemporary Downeast style cruiser that is trailerable, to bring even distant waterways within easy reach. It has similar specs to the Ranger, but is set up more in the sport boat realm and is $20,000 cheaper than the Ranger.
I also poked around a few of the smaller vessels, and vendors, a few of which I will highlight in my boating season products you may need article which is forthcoming.
Some of the special events at the show were well worth the trip as well. I attended a short seminar from "Fred's Shed," a DIY boat maintenance seminar, which focused on topics as far ranging as outboard maintenance to taking care of the hull of you boat, which is what the seminar I attended focused on. It was interesting on how they said it was easy to keep your hull looking brand new with only a non-degreasing cleanser and a few coats of Caranuba Wax.
I also checked out the Geico Racing boat, which is impressive to see up close and personal, as well as the Swampmaster Gator show, which was a thrill for the entire family, whereby Jeff Quattrocchi handles one large alligator and two small baby ones that he crowd can touch or get pictures with.
All in all it was a good way to spend a chilly, windy afternoon, inside with boating season on the brain. Mark your Calendars for next year, same time, same place.