Winter is a great time to gain more knowledge about how your boat works. A good place to learn about your boat’s systems is the Annapolis School of Seamanship. The school’s list of available courses includes “Marine Electrical Systems Basics” February 20-21. The two-day course for mariners offers a better understanding of marine electrical systems as well as practical skills such as troubleshooting and installing simple circuitry. The course format includes both lecture and hands-on instruction using multimeters and electrical circuitry developed for the course.

Boat shows
Show-goers will find some 350 boats at this year’s 33rd Annual OC Seaside Boat Show in Ocean City, Maryland, February 12-14. Each year, the show benefits the charitable work of the Ocean City/Berlin Optimist Club. All proceeds go to area youth, and all the Optimists are volunteers. Cruisers, center consoles, sportfishing, performance boats, and others are featured along with vendors displaying electronics, boat lifts, canvas, fishing tackle, paddle boards, and much more at the Ocean City Convention Center. The show will also give away an 18-foot Sweetwater pontoon boat with a 40-hp motor donated by North Bay Marina.

North Carolina mariners and anglers have a pair of boat shows to choose from this month: the Mid-Atlantic Boat Show February 11-14 at the Charlotte Convention Center and the Central Carolina Boat & Fishing Expo February 26-28 at the Greensboro Coliseum. Folks in Virginia can find plenty of boats and gear at the Richmond Boat Show, February 19-21.

Tackle on the cheap
February is a fine time to fish for low-priced gear. Two events in the mid-Chesapeake area are just a couple of the many opportunities around the region. The Pasadena Sportfishing Group’s annual Fishing Expo and flea market always draws a big crowd. This year’s show at the Earleigh Heights Maryland Fire Station is February 13-14 from 8AM-2PM. They’ll have new and quality used rods, tackle and boats. You can also gear up for the spring season at the Fisherman’s Flea Market hosted by Tri-State Marine in Deale, Maryland, on February 20th from 7:30AM-2PM.

Annapolis Yacht Club fire
People gathering to watch the annual December boat parade in Annapolis instead witnessed the Annapolis Yacht Club burning. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, but no civilians were hurt. The fire severely damaged the second and third floors of the main clubhouse and smoke damaged the rest of the building. Extensive repairs or a complete rebuilding will be necessary. Many trophies and artwork were destroyed, although some were recovered.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Mayor Mike Pantelides, and County Executive Steve Schuh joined club leaders for a tour of the damaged building on Compromise Street and started work on finding employment for the club’s 150 employees who were suddenly out of work.

Leaders of the club issued a statement thanking staff members and first-responders for their efforts in preventing serious injuries and which stated their intentions to rebuild: “AYC is more than a bricks and mortar clubhouse; it is a community. The Board of Governors is committed to rebuilding the clubhouse in the current location.” The former Fawcett Boat Supplies property and several other sites were offered as temporary locations for the club, which has 1,600 members

By Christopher Knauss – Southern Boating Magazine February 2016

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