We’re stuck at home, and so is everyone else. That wasn’t so bad in the beginning since we like spending time together as a family, but our plans to learn about and practice sailing had to be put on hold, and our ability to look at boats in person was thwarted as well. Fortunately, just as our frustration level reached its peak, we received an invitation to a virtual boat show! That’s right – we were going to attend a boat show like the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis but over the Internet.
At first I thought, “How can we realize even a fraction of the benefit we would get at a real boat show?” but then the announcements started to show up in our inboxes: experts to talk about lots of topics, virtual tours of boats, and even a trivia session.
We looked forward to to seeing what it would be like, especially since we hadn’t been to an event, virtual or otherwise, in weeks.
We wouldn’t be able to take time off during this time of year to attend a boat show anyway, but since this was a virtual event, we were able to attend much of it. We found it extremely valuable to hear the “local” vendors and professionals in various related fields discuss how the cruising and boating worlds benefit from their products and skills.
From our couch in Colorado, we learned shipyards and their processes, different boat configurations, and services like legal, loan, taxes, boatyards and marinas. We got to ask questions of experts in the industry, and tour boats that we wouldn’t have otherwise, and even got a cooking lesson from within the galley of a harbormaster’s monohull home. And on top of all that, they gave away prizes throughout the show!
Even in these crazy times, there are so many opportunities out there to connect with those with similar interests, to learn, and to move forward with plans. They may not look like expected, but that doesn’t mean they are not valuable or even less valuable. In many cases, the new approach works very well – it opens up opportunities to attend events without spending the time and money, or taking the risk to travel.
Thank you, Atomic Tuna and Farallone Yachts for hosting the virtual boat show. We would rather be out there in San Francisco in person, but this event really helped us get our cruising fix, and learn a tremendous amount in the process. Now if we could just work on adding some virtual reality sailing next time it would be perfect!