We’ve never been boat owners while attending a boat show before! So we were thrilled to be able to attend the St Pete boat show right in our own town. This show combined sail boats and motor boats, so there was something for everyone. And plenty of opportunities to spend money! We sat in on several seminars and picked up tips on cruising in The Bahamas and Cuba, and learned that we need to order The Explorer Chartbooks by Monty and Sara Lewis to really be confident cruising in the Bahamas and to finding our way around on shore.
Speaking of spending money, we bought our dinghy, Bug, at the boat show. We got a pretty good deal on a 2017 model Achilles HB-240AL. In plain English, that’s a 2.4 meter inflatable dinghy with an rigid aluminum floor. It’s a compromise between big enough to get us from boat to shore, and small enough to fit on the foredeck (with the staysail rigging in place) and light enough for two normal-sized people to load and unload. It’s going to be a slow ride though with our measly 5hp outboard!
The other big attraction of the boat show is the annual cruiser party hosted by Cruising Outpost magazine. Bob and Jody Bitchin (don’t you wish your name was “Bitchin”) bring in live music, kegs of beer, and lots and lots of pizzas and keep the party going after the boat show gates close on Saturday night. Our heads spinning, our wallets lighter, and our spirits encouraged by contact with the cruising community, we returned to the yard and to boat projects.