The Sydney International Boat Show is certainly the place to be if you want to buy or drool over new yachts, see all the latest technology at work, or solve that knotty problem on your own boat. But it's also the place to find all the latest sailing books (maybe have your purchase signed by the author), take a free 'on-the-hour' tour of Sydney Harbour with your entrance ticket, or relax and listen to the sailing stars at the Better Boating Lounge.
Boat Books will be exhibiting a range of marine books covering all things nautical from kayaks to superyachts, Australian Hydro charts at boat show prices!, navigational equipment and some special prices on nautical gifts.
They have a new line of waterproof carryalls including waterproof smart phone pouches, camera cases and laptop waterproof and padded bags all at very affordable prices.
With the growing use of laptops on vessels their PC based charting packages are now regularly used as a back up navigation system to charts and chart plotters, and they will be demonstrating Quick Charts and Endeavour on the stand.
Among authors there to sign books will be:
Ian Thomson, who currently holds the record as the fastest solo circumnavigator of Australia, with his motivational book 'Dare to Dream'
Nancy Knudsen with her book 'Shooting Stars and Flying Fish', the story of what happens when you cancel life as you know it to step into the void and take on a cruising lifestyle. Nancy will be appearing with her husband and skipper Ted Nobbs to describe just how difficult it is to live in a 46ft boat for five years.
Linda Flylink Anderson with her book 'Sailing in my Sarong' the story of Linda and her husband’s two year circumnavigation in a home built boat, and
Sean Smith with his book 'The Fat Paddler' with his extraordinary tale of his recovery from physical and mental trauma.
If appearing on the Better Boating Lounge stage, authors will come to the Boat Books stand immediately afterwards to sign books.
...and speaking of the Better Boating Lounge, here are some of the attractions where you can grab a coffee, find a seat, relax and be entertained:
SIBS Picnik collage
12.00noon every day: NSW Maritime, 'Boating Safety':
If you are sailing within New South Wales, this is a very informative session about the ins and outs of how NSW Maritime seeks to keep our coastal and inland waters safe.
It applies to powerboats as well as sailing boats, so hear what they have to say and ask your toughest questions.
2.00pm every day: Nancy Knudsen, 'Preparing a cruising yacht for a longer journey':
Nancy Knudsen, cruising editor of Sail-World, and her husband Ted Nobbs left their familiar world of competitive sailing behind when they embarked on a cruising circumnavigation.
Learn from Ted and Nancy on stage what it's like to survive in the tiny confines of a boat together for six years, and the most important things they discovered in their steep learning curve to become cruising sailors. I got a clue about how they survived when I spoke to them last week.
'We thought we knew it all,' said Ted, who has a string of Hobarts, a Fastnet, an Admiral's Cup and a Horn rounding to his credit.
'No,' smiled Nancy quick as a flash, 'YOU thought you knew it all - then you tried to teach me.'
'Turns out neither of us knew much, but we finally did learn a little,' grinned Ted.
While divulging some of the humour and cockpit disputes of their extended journey in Nancy's just published book Shooting Stars and Flying Fish, they also will give out their most important tips in getting ready for a longer cruising voyage.
2.30pm every day: Musto Fashion Extravaganza, 'Have you danced with Musto?':
See the latest in what the well-dressed yachtie is wearing!
Prepare to be dazzled with dancing, music and lights as you see the latest in recreational boating, social and competitive sailing apparel and accessories.
This year visitors will see a special performance project managed by the students of ICMS.
Take the weight off your feet with a cup of coffee, grab a seat and relax to watch the show!
3.30pm every day: Ian Thomson, 'Save our Seas':
In 2010, Ian Thomson, set a new world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of Australia when he took, amazingly, more than 26 days off the standing record.
You can hear from Ian personally what it's like to circumnavigate Australia solo, the challenges, the difficulties, the high points and the low, and ask questions.
Ian was also the founder of Save Our Seas in 2010 to raise awareness of the damage to our environment through the use of plastics and plastic bags.
4.00pm Friday to Sunday: Linda Frylink, 'Built in the backyard, sailed around the world':
Linda will talk about her voyage of 30,000 nautical miles that began with a single step, and with building their boat from scratch in their back-yard.
A single dream of two people - a 30-year dream to sail around the world. Linda has also just released her first book titled ‘Sailing In My Sarong’ which is an honest account of their two-year circumnavigation visiting 30 countries.
6.30pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday: Donna Morris, 'Working on Superyachts around the world': This will be an excellent session for those who wonder whether they should take the plunge and go sailing professionally in the world of the superyacht.
Now why not print out this article to plan your visit to the show, to be held at the Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. The Better Boating Lounge can be found in Hall 2.
For more information about all aspects of the Sydney International Boat Show, 28th Julyt to the 1st August, click here