US Sailboat Show & St. Michaels Maryland

‘ “What?” cried the Rat, open mouthed. “Never been in a — you never — well, I — what have you been doing, then?” ‘ (From The Wind in the Willows, the part about Rat and Mole on the river bank where Mole admits his having never been in a boat)

Sunday, 5pm, St. Michaels, Maryland, 60’s clear, wind from the North at 20-30mph.  Writing this post about 40 miles from Annapolis where we are relaxing after a fairly busy time at the 2016 Annapolis Sailboat Show.


Website photo of The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels. Beautiful hotel with a small marina out in front.



Fun to be in a sailing community where every wall is decorated with nautical items and art. Boatyard restaurant in Annapolis



Our view from the “back porch” while staying aboard “Love Knot” at Annapolis



O’Leary’s restaurant in Annapolis, just off the starboard bow of the boat. Decorated with original nautical art… and lovely female customers.

Whitecaps on the bay outside out hotel room this afternoon.  Staying at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels Maryland for a few nights & are apparently in the hotel where scenes from the Wedding Crasher were filmed.  Great week in Annapolis aboard “Love Knot” a Fountain Pajot Lucia 40 owned by Steve and Luz Clausen.  Staying onboard the 40′ catamaran gave us not only a beautiful view of the bay and boat show, but also the opportunity to get a feel for living onboard a cat of that size.  Steve and Luz had set us up with a bottle of French champagne and some Maryland beer in the fridge as a welcome.  Their boat was very nicely decorated and comfortable to stay on board.  The location was perfect in that is was far enough from the busyness of the boat show, but still surrounded by great restaurants (of which we sampled many).  The Charthouse was right next door, Oleary’s about 50 yards, Boatyard Grill another block, Lots of crabcakes and seafood was sampled for sure. Thanks to Lauren at the Multihull company, we had complimentary tickets to the show for Friday and Saturday.  The weather was beautiful on Friday, raining on Saturday, and dry but very windy on Sunday (due to Hurricane Mathew).  We focused on our top 3 manufactures (Fountaine Pajot, Leopard & Lagoon) as well as a few others at the show (like Bali and Nautitech… not Gunboat 🙂  Our main goal was to get a sense for the size of cat that might work for us & the show was a great opportunity for that.  Phil’s thoughts on the Lagoon fit, finish and space seemed spot on & we found that Lagoon seemed to really have done a great job providing a comfortable live aboard boat. Specifically the Lagoon 42 and the new Lagoon 45 were the most attractive to us.  There was also a Lagoon 52 there & it just seemed way too big.  FP and Leopard were nice, but seemed to have less well designed interior spaces.  Keep in mind we are just interested in general impressions of the size of the boats at this point, not getting into specifics of each model & pros/cons.

Friday evening we visited with Phil Berman and his team at their rent home off 2nd street.  This was a nice quiet get together of staff, suppliers, past clients and future clients and a good mix of people to talk with and get advice from.  Met a guy named Shelby and his wife Mary who had just recently sold their business and were looking for a similar catamaran.  I think I’ll try to reach out to him and follow their search if possible.  Another couple who had recently purchased a Leopard 40 suggested trying to get a U shaped kitchen so there was support in the galley while underway.  Loved their story about buying the boat and then shortly after setting out for the Bermuda’s with little sailing experience.


John and Amanda Neal along with Stella the Clawson’s boat dog.


Steve and Luz Clawson, owners of Love Knot. This is one of our favorite things about sailing… visiting with friends onboard.

Saturday was raining most of the day & we went back and took a 2nd look at the Lagoon 42 and 45, as well as the Bavaria Nautitech 40 and 46.  Still liked the space, value and finish of the Lagoons & anticipate we will begin now to search for used boats for sale in that size range.  Saturday late afternoon we visited with John and Amanda Neal onboard Love Knot along with Steve and Luz (the owners).  We love spending time with other couples & hearing their stories & this was a good time to do that.  John also added a piece of good advice about checking to make sure we could get insurance coverage with our sailing experience (many new sailors might not be able to get this coverage… but I think we would be OK since we have a fair amount of experience with our previous Catalina 42).


Beautiful view from Room 16, balcony facing the marina with several very nice sailboats. Maryland State Flag under the US flag.



St. Michaels is a very old town….this sign was for a small Bed and Breakfast dating to 1665. Known for its romantic charm, you see many couples strolling hand in hand… as it should be.



Beautiful spire and architecture of Christ Church.



Just something about gates… loved this one leading into the graveyard of the church.



Took a river tour with “Captain John” onboard The Patriot. The captain invited us into the wheelhouse where we enjoyed hearing his story of working in software development for Oracle and other companies before retiring to St. Michaels. His wife told him he needed to find something to do & he saw The Patriot sailing in the bay & said “I think I’ll buy that boat”… and so he did.



Beautiful bay outside the hotel, beautiful lady by my side. Would love to come back in a boat and anchor here for a few days.



The St. Michael’s maritime museum was a delightful way to spend the day (while Cindy shopped!). Really top notch museum that was alive with current boat restoration, tours, bells etc.  Note: also dock space available at the museum.

While at the maritime museum you hear a bell ringing each 30 minutes to signal the passing of the hours of watch onboard a vessel.  As explained by the plaque, each watch was divided into 4 hour shifts and the bell would ring each 30 minutes… one bell, two bells, three… and so on, until reaching the end of the watch… eight bells.

This has been a long post & we are sitting in the Baltimore airport waiting to catch our Southwest flight back to San Antonio, so I think I’ll call it “eight bells” and press the “Publish” button.


  • Carol Jennings October 12, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Your mom and I enjoyed the pictures and dialogue regarding your recent trip. Thanks for the effort in posting it.

    • rexjennings October 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks Carol, really appreciate your showing that to her. She has kept a diary for so many years & set a great example to follow. In addition to a diary being a way to look back on what were doing, it reminds me to be grateful for what I have along the way.

  • Annette October 12, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for sharing, like to keep up with our Texas family

    • rexjennings October 13, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Thanks Annette! Glad you found the site.

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