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U.S. Sailboat Show opens Thursday as hurricane fears fade

The show is on schedule to start Thursday because weather forecasters have predicted that Hurricane Joaquin will stay far offshore.

The 46th annual U.S. Sailboat Show is on schedule to start Thursday because weather forecasters have predicted that Hurricane Joaquin will stay far offshore.

Media reports had predicted the arrival of Joaquin at precisely the time the show in Annapolis, Md., was to be built, with boats moving into a huge temporary marina consisting of 60 temporary pilings, a mile and a half of floating docks, 6 miles of electrical cable, a temporary water system, fire equipment and an entire city of tents.

In most years this equipment does not move into Ego Alley until the weekend before the show opens. This year, anticipating a hurricane, show producers implemented contingency plans to ensure that the move-in schedule would stay on track by moving in all floating docks, temporary pilings and infrastructure several days early.

Weather reports and storm-tracking models now have the hurricane moving northeast and heading out to sea in 90 percent of the scenarios. Show organizers were encouraging the first boats to move in on Sunday afternoon.

This morning at 7 a.m., pile driving was to begin as scheduled and all boats are expected to arrive on schedule. The move-in schedule is on the Annapolis Boat Shows website under "For Exhibitors." Each year the entire show is custom-built, with all exhibitors in place in just three days.

This year's show is expected to be one of the largest in the event’s history, with all land spaces sold out weeks ago and docks filled with sailing platforms. Family cruisers, racing sleds, inflatables, daysailers, offshore cruising vessels and a large collection of multihulls will be available for viewing.

Special events include the Premier Launch Party, First Sail Workshops, Take the Wheel Workshop, Cruisers University, an open seminar series and a grand prize drawing for a Beneteau First 22.

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