There were 300 people waiting for the 1 p.m. opening. The place was filled by 2 p.m. and an hour later you had to wait almost 30 minutes to go aboard the queens of this year's Washington International Boat Show at D.C. Armory yesterday.
The longest line formed at the 50-foot Gulfstar auxiliary sailboat and 44-foot cruiser. One of the first aboard the cruiser was Lloyd Needle, a builder from Potomac who owns a 33-foot cruiser. He said he was impressed with the craft's spacious interior and quality. "It's worth the $165,000 it costs. I'd like one eventually. Who wouldn't."
Carl Hye-Knudsen and wife, Melba, of Arlington had kind things to say about the $150,000 sailboat. Mrs. Hye-Knudsen said, "it's well made . . . a very nice boat . . . it's the kind of boat we might buy if we wanted to use it as a charter boat in the Caribbean."
Mrs. June Mitkoff of Silver Spring said the 20-foot boat she and her husband had bought lazy year was yet to be put in the water. "Maybe we'll trade up to this Gibson 42 Houseboad ($39,500). It could be nicer for the kids and I could also use it for catered cocktail parties."
Cynthia Riggs of Capitol Hills said she had just gotten into boating. She liked it so much she had decided to "B/ something big enough to sail around the world two years from now. So far, the Westerly Medward 36:152000 appeals to me most. I'm six-feet tall and I can stand up to it."
The youngsters gathered mostly around the metal-flaked speedboats. Mark Hannan, 13, of Rockville seemed smitten with a good looking Polynesian 21 sport runabout, painted two shades of blue the priced at $6,525. Bob Buckus of Landover Hills described the 18 1/2-foot Sanger skiboat, with 450-hp Chevy V-8 engine ($9,500) as "beautiful."
While most people did not seem ready to buy a boat on the first of the show's nine days, there was brisk business at the accessory booths. Terry Owen Provence of Alexandria was pleased to find a hatch-cover coffee table at Sub-Sea Artifacts. it was five-feet long and cost $348.
"Our house is full of nautical things," said Provence, who sails a Catalina 22. "This will be another great addition. The hatch cover is authentic . . . it came off the Zane Gray, a 1943 Liberty Ship."
Mrs. Thelma Scott of Arlington said she had been coming to the boat show for years and always bought a piece of jewelry from Dottie's Duffle Bag. Yesterday she selected a gold anchor and chain ($9.40).
More practical was Tom Moore of Laurel, an owner of a 24-foot offshore cruiser. He opted for a Kendo mop that can hold a quart of water plus two mopheads. "It cost me $18, which is a lot for a mop. But this one is worth it."
The show will continue daily through next Sunday. Show hours are 1 to 8 p.m. today; 1 to 10 p.m. Monday; 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, the final day.
Tickets are $3.50 for adults. Children 12 and under pay $1.50.