Discover Sailing programs set for St. Petersburg show

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Discover Sailing will offer several programs designed to get attendees at this year's St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show out on the water.

The show, which opens Thursday and continues through Sunday, will provide 45-minute sailboat cruises and seminars, both on the water and at the dock, from the show’s Discover Sailing Dock.

A free introduction to sailing will be available aboard a Hunter 36 provided by Sail Time Tampa; a Bay Hunter 50, Beneteau 40 and a Leopard 44 cruising catamaran provided by Sailing Florida Charters; a Potter 19 provided by International Marine; and a J/Boats sportboat provided by Cross Current Marine.

The free 45-minute cruises are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; and from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

"A Taste of Sailing" on-the-water sailing seminars will offer two- to three-hour introduction cruises and provide information similar to what a person would receive in a basic keelboat class. Classes are taught by licensed and certified instructors from Sailing Florida Charters aboard a Hunter 31 and a Catalina 350.

Space is limited to four people per class and two to three classes a day, depending on the day. Preregistration is required and classes are $95 a person during scheduled time slots.

Free one-hour at-the-dock seminars will be hosted by industry experts and highlight new sailing gear, equipment and techniques. Confirmed topics include New England Ropes (use of synthetic rigging and life lines) and Forespar (downwind sailing options or new valve/thru-hull technology). Preregistration is required, and the limit is 10 guests per seminar. Times and further information are available at www.sailamerica.com.

The show, now in its 36th year, will be held at the Progress Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park.

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