Last week we heard that the Annapolis sail and powerboat shows in October have been cancelled for 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This follows the cancellation of the Newport and Norwalk shows earlier this month. Also, the Cannes Yachting Festival in France has been canceled and we’re sure there are more shows this fall around the world that will be shuttered for the same reasons. For a lot of us, attending the fall boat shows is a long-standing tradition and attending them for business and pleasure gives us a chance to catch up on everything new in sailing and boating, to ogle the new boats even if we’re not in the market for one and, most importantly, to catch up with lots of old friends. We won’t be doing that this year so how are we going to get that unique boat show fix?
Its going to be a virtual boat show kind of year. Many boatbuilding companies and larger dealerships have put together their own boat shows online so they can promote their new and brokerage boats. Yachtworld is still the go-to site for boat browsing and during the pandemic it’s traffic has soared as the inventory of quality brokerage boats is being snapped up. Social media is playing an ever-larger role in keeping us connected with each other and engaged in our passion for sailing and cruising. Facebook pages like Blue Water Sailing, Cruising Compass and Cruising Odyssey sport regular posts and discussions. Facebook groups like Bluewater Sailing and Cruising, the Facebook Yacht Club and others are forums where you can discuss anything you like about boats, sailing and the boating lifestyle. You’ll find that many publishers of boating magazines, newsletters and blogs are planning on hosting webinars this fall and the Annapolis boat show group is still planning on hosting Cruisers’ University virtually in October. So, like so much else in this crazy world, we’ll be getting our boat show fix this year from home. And we’ll be spending more time out sailing where the virus can’t find us.