New Jersey show seeks to draw enthusiastic buyers

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Mark Allen, the manager of this weekend’s Strictly Boaters Boat Show in Cape May, N.J., says the show is about bringing together three groups of people: people who are selling a boat, people who are buying a boat and people who are looking to upgrade.

The Cape May show goes light on spectacle and long on synergy, Allen told Trade Only Today. The three-day show, which opens Friday at the South Jersey Marina, is hosted by the marina, the home base of South Jersey Yacht Sales, but includes many other dealers from the region.

South Jersey Yacht Sales puts on the show and invites other dealers to attend.

“We started this boat show during the recession as a new way to reach people who were really interested in boating,” Allen said. “This show is about getting boat sellers to boat buyers. The Atlantic City Boat Show is a great boat show, but the Cape May show is not about the funnel cakes.”

New to the show this year will be the 37 Seahunter, represented by Comstock Yacht Sales. The Seahunter has always been factory-direct, Allen said. This will be the first time it will be represented by a dealer at the show. Pier 47 will be bringing its World Cat, and Allen said he expects a lot of center console boats from Stone Harbor Yacht Sales, Contender, Viking, MarineMax and others. New boats include the 30 and 34 Jupiters.

As part of the Strictly Boaters show’s commitment to being an event by and for boaters, exhibitors are offering two free tickets to everyone holding either a New Jersey boating safety certificate or a Sea Tow membership card.

A number of the local businesses on Schellenger’s Landing, including the Cape May Marlin and Tuna Club, have organized events and sales for the weekend to coincide with the show.

Former Soundings writer Doug Campbell will be at the show on Friday to sign copies of his new book, “Rescue of the Bounty.” It details the circumstances that led to the loss of Bounty — the tall ship built for the 1962 Marlon Brando film “Mutiny on the Bounty” — after the ship sailed into Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He will be signing books at the Saltwater Cafe at South Jersey Marina, beginning at noon.

Information about the show is available by calling 609-884-1600 or by going to