2012 ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW: Be Here See That

SAIL Booth at Annapolis

Me and everyone else at SAIL magazine have been running about like the proverbial headless chickens doing what we do here in Annapolis in early October. Most important news first: SAIL has a new location at the show, en plein air (we used to be buried in a tent), directly across from Catalina’s in-the-water boats, so be sure to stop by and pick up a pen and a hat and a calendar and subscribe (if you haven’t already) and sit in one of our comfy new chairs. The photo here depicts our own Sarah Johnston (with head recently reattached) setting up the new space just before the show opened Thursday.

The very first thing that caught my eye on arriving here was this boat:

St. Brendan

The Albin Vega, St. Brendan, that Matt Rutherford recently sailed solo nonstop around both Americas, looking not too none the worse for wear considering.

Failed solar panels

It seems it was the flexible solar panels that suffered most during the 309 days that Matt spent at sea. He told me they lasted little more than a month before failing.

Sampson post

This is the bulletproof sampson post he installed on the bow for streaming a sea anchor during gales.

Monitor windvane

And his faithful Monitor windvane, which steered him through the Northwest Passage and around Cape Horn and everywhere else in between.

I had assumed the boat belongs to Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating, the non-profit Matt sailed to raise money for, but in fact CRAB deeded the boat to Matt, without his knowledge, while he is in the Arctic, for insurance reasons. He might be willing to sell it now… presumably for not too much money, given the work it needs.

Those unwilling to suffer the privations of cruising in a little Vega no doubt will feel more comfortable in something like the new Leopard 58 (a.k.a. the Moorings 5800), a cat that may be as tall as it is wide.

Moorings 5800

I’ll confess I always thought putting a flybridge on a catamaran was a little ridiculous, but once you climb up to the bridge on this boat, you don’t really feel like leaving.

Catamaran flybridge

Indeed, if they put a head up here you wouldn’t have to. As far as sailing goes, all lines are in fact led to the helm station. And the line runs are reasonably short, except for the headsail furler…

Moorings 5800 controls

You see it way down there? I counted six right-angle turns from clutch to furler.

The really impressive thing about the boat are the two saloon-level double staterooms that open on to a private porch just behind the bow tramp. Didn’t get a shot of those, so you’ll have to come see for yourself.

If you prefer to sail at sea level, you might also want to check out this cool little proa…


…offered by Chesapeake Light Craft.

And, yes, they do have new monohulls here, including the new Hunter 40, which I’m told went from design to finished boat in just 7 weeks.

Hunter 40

What amazes me about this boat is that it is quite attractive in person, floating in the water…

Hunter 40 drawing

But is (how shall I say it?) almost butt-ugly on paper. If you think about it, you realize it takes a special sort of design skill to be able to do that.

Over amongst the traditional monohulls you’ll find this gem…

Racing yacht Elf (1888)

Elf is the oldest active racing yacht in the U.S., built in Boston in 1888 by George Lawley for William Wilkinson. She was restored and relaunched by the Classic Yacht Restoration Guild in 2008. She flies a maximum of 3,200 square feet of sail on a waterline of just under 29 feet!

Also… I’m proud to announce that I bought a boat yesterday.

Apex inflatable

A new tender for Lunacy. This all-Hypalon 9-foot Apex with a roll-up floor weighs 20 pounds less than my beloved but decrepit Avon… and it looks really cool, don’t you think??? I love the high-contrast details.

Gotta run now.

Note: I’ve been hailed by a few blog-followers here, which is very heartening. Thanks! I’m very sorry I haven’t had time to stop for conversations.

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