Annapolis Sailboat Show

The Ultimate 20 was on display in the water on October 9th through 13th at the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis.  Owner of the newest U20 hull #226, Bruce Smith, unselfishly allowed his beautiful new boat to be shown.  This boat was truly a knockout with a white hull, light gray waterline stripe and matching light gray deck, the first one ever built in this color combination.  Show organizers placed the U20 in a one-design section along with the Open 5.70 & 6.50, Laser SB3, Melges 32, 24 & 20 and the Viper 640.  All the boats seemed to get a lot of attention with the U20 getting its share from the “it looks like a sailboat should look” and “I like the cabin idea” crowd.  It was amazing that after being in production for fourteen years how many people had never heard of the U20 and in contrast how many had followed the boat for years and knew much of the history.  Hopefully we’ll generate enough sales from the show to start some mid Atlantic activity for the U20.

We had seven previous owners of Ultimate 20s drop by to see the new boat and touch base, all of whom still have great affection for this terrific little boat.

The weather for the show could not have been more perfect although the economy was weathering some very stormy conditions.  The fact that few of today’s keelboats can be campaigned with a six cylinder vehicle and maybe one new sail per year could be a real plus in today’s environment. 

Even though shows such as this give the boat a lot of exposure, the class continues to be the best marketing effort.  Participating in one-design regattas shows the strength of the class and competing in handicap racing shows the competitiveness of the boat.  As an owner, sharing your experiences on the boat with others really sells the boat.

Many thanks to Bruce & Elaine Smith, Emerson Smith, Andrew Smith and Jeff Canepa for their efforts in making the show a success.

Written by Don Corey