Missing the Boat Shows: Keep the Sailing Dream Alive

What Will We Do the Week of the U.S. Sailboat Show?

I’m going to miss the flags the most. As an Annapolis sailor, it’s exciting every year to see the tents and the fence get built around Ego Alley before the U.S. Sailboat Show a week before Columbus Day. The local pros in the sailing industry are keenly aware of that fence being erected, since we all want good placement for our businesses’ banners and are willing to get up early to fight for a spot, much as we’d wait in line for good Jimmy Buffett tickets.

Flags flying are hallmarks of the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, which takes place the second week in October... except for this year. Photo by Larry French

But, oh, when the flags go up the masts of all of those shiny new boats and fill our beloved harbor with bright colors and that lovely flapping noise—fall breeze!—we know it’s show time. When the sailors get in line by the show gates and the gun goes off, the show begins…

Of course, I’ll miss more than the flags in this first and hopefully only non-boat-show season. I’ll miss all the hugs from sailing friends who fly in from all over the world, from San Diego, CA, to Newport, RI, from Portsmouth, England, to Sydney, Australia, and sitting on the wall by the SpinSheet booth catching up with their lives, their sailing, and their marine businesses. I’ll miss drinking Painkillers, eating a pit beef sandwich at the Fleet Reserve Club, and following it up with a homemade Nutty Buddy bought over the fence on the corner of Vacation Basin. I’ll miss all of it.

I’ll miss talking to SpinSheet readers. They mostly come to our longtime booth at F7 to tell us they love the magazine, but even more importantly, readers tell us which sections of the magazine they prefer, which could use some improvement, which ones we made errors in, and which advertisement made them run out and buy a boat, take a charter, or purchase some cool new equipment. We hear “I met my wife through the SpinSheet Crew Finder,” “I heard about that in SpinSheet,” or “Your editor’s note made me laugh.” Such reader encounters help us to evolve and thrive and bring us great joy.

Honestly, we can’t wait to have face time with SpinSheet readers again. If you have anything you wanted to tell us at the show, feel free to write anytime to [email protected]. We are still here, working in our safe little corners, still open to our readers’ feedback, story ideas, and photos.

With SpinSheet readers in mind, we’re keeping the Sailboat Show dream alive in 2020. In the magazine and on our website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages, you’ll find information about exciting new boats and products and virtual and by-appointment physical events.

Several of our advertisers are planning events to show you their new boats, and new events will pop up, so keep your eyes on our calendar, as well as on social media, where we will update them as they come in. We are also planning some video interviews of sailing experts to answer some of their most commonly asked questions at their show booths.

We’re going to have some fun with it, too, so please keep your eyes on spinsheet.com and follow us on social media. Let’s miss the boat shows together!