Come join AGLCA for the annual Spring Rendezvous in Norfolk, VA this spring!
Spring Rendezvous Tips
If you are attending the Rendezvous, these tips will help you get the most out of your Rendezvous experience.
The Spring Rendezvous includes more than 20 seminars split into two tracks. The Route Briefing track includes more than 10 hours of seminars covering the portion of the Great Loop Route from the Chesapeake to the Tennessee River, including Canada. Speakers will lead you through these waterways, pointing out favorite marinas, anchorages, things to see and do, and navigational information along the way.
Route Briefing Track includes:
- Chesapeake Bay – Foster Schucker & Susan Wilson
- C&D Canal through New Jersey – Tim Konkus
- New York Harbor to Waterford – Kathy & Brian Donovan
- Waterford to Kingston – Shane Mahar
- Trent-Severn Waterway – Chad Buchner
- Georgian Bay – Dale Anderson
- North Channel - Tsali & Jacque Bentley
- Lake Michigan (Michigan Side) – Laura & Ben Stein
- Lake Michigan (Wisconsin Side) – Tony & Karen Long
- Chicago to Joe Wheeler State Park (TN River) – Dave & Claudia Fuller
The second track is our Looping 101 track. This encompasses more general Looping information, such as finding the perfect Great Loop boat, weather, marine electronics, and more. The Looping 101 track agenda was finalized by polling registrants about topics of interest shortly after registration opened.
Attendees are free to move between the two tracks at will. You are not required to pre-register for individual seminars.
All seminars and meals will take place at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. The meeting facility is a very short walk from Waterside Marina for those staying there and for those staying at the Tidewater Yacht Marina, you can ferry over using the Waterside Ferry Stop.
As of Friday, February 17th at 10:00 am, Waterside is now sold out. If you register for the Rendezvous, you will have opportunity to add your boat to the waiting list for a slip at Waterside; otherwise, you can follow the directions below for making a reservation a Tidewater.
To accommodate all of the expected Loopers who will come by boat, Waterside Marina is the "official" Rendezvous marina in Norfolk and Tidewater Yacht Marina across the river in Portsmouth will serve as the overflow marina.
Waterside Marina is in the middle of the action at the Waterside District, which features live (and sometimes loud and late) entertainment and several dining choices. It's also a short walk to meeting facility. We'll be holding three Looper Crawls at Waterside Marina. Rates at Waterside for our group are $1.80/ft. (or $2.25/ft. for beams 20ft. or greater). Electrical is $7.50/day for 30 amp or $15/day for 50 amp.
Please ensure you register for the Rendezvous promptly and select Waterside as your marina choice to get your slip preference for the arrival and departure dates of choice. Rendezvous slips usually sell out within a few days of registration opening. While AGLCA slip reservations take priority over local reservations, the Spring Wine Festival is scheduled for May 6th and 7th in Norfolk and the marina anticipates a high volume of local reservations for the end of Rendezvous week.
Tidewater Yacht Marina, the overflow facility, is a quieter option in the quaint town of Portsmouth. It is a short walk from there to the North Landing Ferry Stop, and then a short and inexpensive ferry ride to the meeting site. Rates at Tidewater for our group are $2.00/ft + $7/day for 30 amp or $12/day for 50 amp. Catamarans and boats with wide beams are encouraged to stay at Tidewater. To make a reservation at Tidewater, you can visit their listing on dockwa.com. Just put "AGLCA Spring Rendezvous" in the notes section when making your online reservation.
Slip Reservation Instructions: You will not be able to book a slip at Waterside Marina until you have processed a paid registration for the Rendezvous. During the registration process, you will be asked details about your boat. AGLCA will collect that information and forward it to Waterside Marina as paid registrations are processed. The marina staff will then call you to confirm. Please be sure to follow this process to help us ensure registration goes smoothly. Waterside will not accept your slip reservation unless you are on AGLCA's registration list.
A room block has been arranged at the Sheraton with a group rate of $139/night plus tax and the deadline to reserve a room at the group rate is April 3rd, or when the room block sells out. We expect high demand for hotel rooms at the very attractive group rate so please don't delay in making your hotel reservation after registering for the Rendezvous. The reservation cancellation policy is 48 hours prior to arrival and a deposit is not taken at the time of the reservation. A link to make your reservation will be included in your registration confirmation email. Parking is available at the Dominion Tower Parking Garage for $15/day for self parking and $30/day for valet parking.
For a list of alternative hotels in the area, click here.
Always a highlight of the Rendezvous, Looper Crawls take place in the afternoons where the activity moves from the meeting rooms to the docks. Many of your fellow Loopers who are tied up at the marina will open their boats for others to tour. It's a great opportunity to see many different Loop-capable boats in one place and get some great ideas for features you'd like to see in your own boat, if you're in the market. It's also a fun social time! Looper Crawls are included in Rendezvous registration and are taking place three days at Waterside Marina (Monday, May 1st - Wednesday, May 3rd). The Crawls will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. each of the three afternoons. Boats staying at Waterside will also have opportunity to sign up for Vessel Safety Checks taking place the same afternoons as the Looper Crawls.
Looper Crawl passes will be available for members not registered for the Rendezvous. Passes will be $25/day and will be available for purchase each day in the Ship's Store until 3:30 pm, which will be located in Monticello on the lobby level inside the Sheraton. Only checks and credit cards will be accepted, no cash.
The registration deadline is Sunday, April 23rd or when the event reaches capacity, whichever comes first.
Fees: Rendezvous Registration is $415 per person and includes all seminars, three Looper Crawls, three lunches, two dinners, and two cash bar receptions. Attendees also have the opportunity to extend their AGLCA membership for one, two, or three additional years, or to upgrade to a lifetime membership, at 50% off regular rates, for a savings of up to $337. These savings are only available on-site for registered attendees. Registration is only open to AGLCA members. If you wish to join AGLCA in order to register, use this link.
Cancellation Policy: Please note the cancellation policy for the Rendezvous. Should you need to cancel, we will refund your registration fees less a cancellation penalty as follows, based on your cancellation date:
Now – February 28: $50
March 1-31 : $100
April 1-23: $200
After April 23: No refund
PRE/POST RENDEZVOUS ADD-ON SESSIONS
We are offering these optional add-ons to your Rendezvous registration:
- Pre-Rendezvous Session: Marine Electronics Presented by Ben Stein - Sunday, April 30th
You're Looping in the digital age! There is more information at your finger tips than Loopers could have dreamed of 20 years ago. But how do you know what components work together? Is an upgrade to your boat's electronics mandatory, or can you make do with what you have? What are the marine electronics "must haves" vs. the "luxuries"? How do you stay "connected while Looping? In this full-day, in-depth seminar, Gold Looper Ben Stein of Panbo.com will walk you through everything you need to know about marine electronics.
The cost for this all-day session is $200 per person. Doors open at 8:30 am and the session begins at 9:00 am and wraps up around 4:00 pm with a 90-minute mid-day break for lunch on your own. You will have opportunity to select this seminar during the Spring Rendezvous registration process. This seminar is only open to registered Rendezvous attendees In addition to a general overview of marine electronics, the seminar will cover these topics, tailored for the Loop:
- Outfitting Your Looping Boat with Installed Equipment-You'll determine whether your boat's current equipment will work or whether you'll need an upgrade to get ready for the Loop.
- Safety Equipment for the Loop-Learn what equipment options are available and what makes sense on the Loop to keep you safe.
- Mobile Apps-Some of the most popular apps available for navigating, consulting weather, tracking other Loopers and communicating with family and friends will be reviewed.
- Internet Connectivity-Strategies for getting internet connectivity to your boat and distributing it throughout your boat will be discussed as well as TV and entertainment aboard.
- Pre-Rendezvous Session: Basic Boating Safety - Sunday, April 30th
Boat America is a boating certificate class that offers an in-depth and interesting boating safety course, and provides the knowledge needed to obtain a NASBLA-approved boating certificate, which is a requirement for some areas of the Great Loop.
The cost for this all-day session is $70 per person and the registration includes course materials and lunch. Doors open at 8:00 am and the session begins at 8:30 am and wraps up around 5:30 pm. You will have opportunity to select this seminar during the Spring Rendezvous registration process. This seminar is only open to registered Rendezvous attendees. Topics include:
- Introduction to Boating - Types of power boats, boating vocabulary, sailboats, paddle boats, powering boats, and engine types.
- Boating Law – Boat registration, regulations, hull identification numbers, required safety equipment, Federal boating law, state boating law, and reporting accidents.
- Safety Equipment – Life jackets, fire extinguishers, sound-producing devices, visual distress signals, anchors, and other safety equipment.
- Safe Operation and Navigation – Buoys and beacons, aids to navigation, navigation rules, docking, and the dangers of alcohol on the water.
- Boating Emergencies – Hypothermia, boating accidents, man overboard, capsizing, emergency radio calls, carbon monoxide dangers, and weather.
- Trailering – Types of trailers, lights, hitches, towing a trailer.
- Sports and Boating – Water-skiing, hunting and hunting gear, PWC operation, and other boating tips.
- Post-Rendezvous Session: DIY Maintenance Presented by Jay Kraft - Friday, May 5th
Join us for one of these extended DIY Maintenance sessions. Each session is a hands-on class limited to 20 people per session. Please choose your preferred time during registration: Session 1--8:00 am-11:30 am or Session 2--1:00 pm - 4:30 pm. Fee is $100 per person. This seminar is only open to registered Rendezvous attendees.
Understanding and performing routine maintenance on intimidating marine systems and engines is not complex. Get outside your comfort zone and Do It Yourself! You can save time. You can become familiar with your vessel’s engine components, and you can save money. Get an idea of what spare parts to carry, tools that aid in installing those spare parts and why it’s important.
Engine Cooling Systems – Become familiar with your closed and open cooling systems, how they work and what to look for to keep them operating at peak efficiency. We will cover all you need to know to maintain these systems yourself.
Lubrication – Oil is as oil does. Lubricity is a major element in a properly running engine. Motor oil is said to be the “blood” of an engine. Checking, changing, choosing, and testing are fundamental to the life blood of your engine. Get familiar with these choices and how to change and test basics.
Fuel System - Without a well-maintained fuel system, cooling and lubricity will not matter. While the most imperative system on your vessel has many components to it, filtration is by far the most important. A high percentage of engine failure is fue-related. Clean fuel makes for a happy engine. Learn to identify, where to find, how to change primary and secondary filters. How your fuel makes its way to the injectors and methods of fuel cleaning and polishing.
Spare Parts and Tools – The right tool for the job is everything, especially on a boat. Many tools go hand-in-hand with specific parts and service procedures onboard. Is two of everything really necessary? Discover what to take, what to leave and what should be in your tool arsenal.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Overall Event Times: The event begins Monday, May 1st at 12:30 p.m., but please plan to pick up your name badge and welcome materials any time between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. that day. The Rendezvous ends when the Thursday afternoon sessions wrap up at 3:30 p.m.
Elizabeth River Ferry: If you're "commuting" from Portsmouth for the Rendezvous sessions, the Elizabeth River Ferry makes it an easy and inexpensive trip. The ferry leaves North Landing in Portsmouth (the stop closest to Tidewater) every 30 minutes from 5:35 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. From Waterside, the ferry leaves every thirty minutes from 5:45 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. Expect the ride from Portsmouth to Waterside to take less than 10 minutes. Expect the ride from Waterside to Portsmouth to take about 20 minutes. Fares for the ferry are $2 each way (or $1 if you're over 65) or multi-day passes are available.
Nearest Airport: The Norfolk International Airport (ORF) is about 10 miles away from the event site.
Event Emails: Please be sure to add [email protected] to your contact list or safe senders list in your email account. Your registration confirmation email, and other important emails leading up to the Rendezvous, will come from this address. We'd hate for you to miss something because our emails land in your spam folder.
Other helpful tips:
- For the comfort of all attendees and per the facility's rules, no pets are allowed in the Rendezvous meal and seminar spaces. Service animals are of course welcome.
- Meeting rooms are often chilly. Please consider dressing in layers.
- The dress for all parts of the Rendezvous, including dinners, is very casual.
Meet Our Speakers