Coast Navigation will hold its 11th annual product preview and tent sale Friday and Saturday at its store on Legion Avenue, one block off West Street in Annapolis.
The event is important for area boaters because it provides a one-stop opportunity to investigate products from major marine electronics, safety gear and equipment manufacturers, much like a boat show without the boats.
More than 70 major marine manufacturers, many of whom traditionally use this event to introduce their newest products and offer demonstrations of the latest technological advances, will be on hand for this year's product preview/tent sale.
In addition to providing an extensive selection of electronics and safety equipment under one roof, other highlights are an outstanding series of seminars presented by industry experts.
On Friday, "Tech Talks" include safety afloat at 1 p.m.; radar-safe navigation at 2:30 p.m.; GPS at 5 p.m.; and 12-volt systems at 6:30 p.m..
Saturday's topics include West System epoxy at 10 a.m.; radar at 11:30 a.m.; GPS at 1 p.m.; and Grant and Astaar Breining's exposition of the liveaboard lifestyle in "This Side of the Dream" at 3 p.m.
All presentations are open to the public and free of charge, but reservations are a must for the Breinings' presentation, and no one will be seated after the program begins.
Manufacturers planning to attend the Coast Navigation event include Apelco, Raytheon, ICOM, Standard, Autohelm, Schaefer Marine, Avon, Switlik, ACR, Navico, Newmar and Simpson Lawrence.
A trade and media preview also is scheduled for tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission to the preview is by invitation or presentation of trade or media credentials.
Refreshments will be available Friday and Saturday, with proceeds donated to the Draketail Maritime Project.
For more information or reservations for the Saturday afternoon liveaboard seminar, call Coast Navigation at (410) 268-3120.
Other boating equipment outlets in the area are continuing their respective series of winter seminars and special events through March.
At Fawcett Boat Supplies on City Dock in Annapolis, this month's topics include DC systems, electrolysis and corrosion Tuesday, followed by a look at Raritan waste systems March 16 and Groco waste systems and pumps March 23.
The month's schedule concludes with a discussion of Woolsey and ZSpar paints March 30, and Interlux reps will explain their paint systems April 6.
Fawcett's seminars start at 5:30 p.m.
The West Marine store, in the Hillsmere Shopping Center at Bay Ridge Road and Forest Drive in Annapolis, continues its seminar series on Thursday evenings at 7.
West's March series will start tomorrow with Paul Barielle of The Better Boat Company on radar operations and will continue next Thursday with Whitbread Round-the-World racer John Jourdane and his presentation on the Whitbread.
In a departure from the standard Thursday schedule, West Marine will be the site Sunday for Suzanne Pogell of Womanship to make presentations at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on safe and fun family cruising.
These presentations are hands-on demonstrations of equipment and techniques, including personal flotation devices, harnesses and safety lines and man-overboard recovery systems.
Future seminars will be announced soon.
At the BOAT/US store in Glen Burnie, in the shopping center next to the Motor Vehicle Administration at Route 2 and Ordnance Road, there will be a special GPS seminar at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
The store's annual wine-and-cheese buffet will be March 27. This event, which begins at noon, is part of a storewide sale from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will also be factory reps on hand from such diverse companies as Panasonic, Hummingbird, Richie, New England Ropes, Forespar and Titan winch handles.
For seminar reservations or information on a store's schedule of seminars and special events, call Fawcett's, (410) 267-8681; West Marine, (410) 268-0129; or BOAT/US, (410) 761-5901.
All seminars and special events at the stores are open to the public and free of charge, so stop by and get sailing gear and boat preparation questions answered by an expert.
* Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.: DC systems, electrolysis and corrosion; Ed Morris & Bob Campbell.
* March 16, 5:30 p.m.: Raritan Waste Treatment Systems; Don Beck, factory rep.
* March 23, 5:30 p.m.: Groco Waste Treatment Systems & Pumps; Don Gross, manufacturer.
* March 30, 5:30 p.m.: Woolsey & ZSPAR Paints; Adna Munford, factory rep.
West Marine schedule
* Tomorrow, 7 p.m., Basic Radar Operation, Paul Barielle, The Better Boat Company.
* March 11, 7 p.m., The Whitbread Round-The-World Race, John Jourdane, Whitbread racer.
* Tomorrow, 7 p.m.: GPS seminar; reps from Garmin.
* March 27, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.: storewide sale with reps from Panasonic, Hummingbird, Richie, New England Ropes, Forespar, Titan winch handles. Annual wine-and-cheese buffet, noon.