Following on the heels of the arrival of autumn here on the Chesapeake are the Annapolis Boat Shows. In September, Weems & Plath is normally full swing into prepping for this major event that is all consuming until the finish of the shows mid-October.
This year we were distracted by the potential arrival of Hurricane Florence: getting our building prepped for flooding because we are across the street from Back Creek, one of the many feeders into the Chesapeake Bay.
The last time our building flooded was in the aftermath of Isabel in 2003. It was a perfectly calm sunny Saturday when Peter and I decided to go for a drive to see how our fair town managed during the high winds and rain. It didn’t occur to us that we weren’t out of the woods yet. When we drove into Eastport, we quickly realized that all was not well.
Our building was completely surrounded by water on three sides and a yellow kayak paddled by our front door.
We reached out to several employees who dropped what they were doing to help us move inventory to higher shelves in the warehouse. The water continued to rise until it reached the hurricane vents meant to keep buildings from falling during high winds caused by hurricanes. Ironically, these very vents are what ended up causing a big problem for us. Seawater poured through them and onto the floor causing the water level in the warehouse to rise very quickly over a period of several hours. We were able to salvage a good deal of product, but the forklift and pallets with heavy product that were unmovable by hand were damaged irreparably.
This year we moved everything to higher shelves as Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast. The predictions for a high tidal surge didn’t come to pass, but regardless, we prepared for the worst. We learned our lesson 15 years ago.
I intended this post to share tips about navigating the boat shows, and instead I’ve focused on the weather. Fortunately, there’s another source with expert advice on how to make the most of the boat shows.
Check out Spinsheet Magazine’s September issue with 10 tips to planning your visit to the shows: https://spinsheet.com/annapolis-sailboat-show/10-expert-tips-sailboat-show-goers
I would add two more tips to this list:
- Weems & Plath offers a free shuttle service to and from the boat shows. We operate long hours covering times before opening and after closing. If you park in Eastport, our shuttle is the best thing going.
- Before you ride the shuttle or on return from the shows visit our 27th Annual Tent Sale to take advantage of huge savings on discontinued, overstock and sample Weems & Plath items.
Written by Cathie Trogdon