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St. Petersburg show opens Thursday

The St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show will feature nearly 400 powerboats and sailboats in the water and on land.

The St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show will feature nearly 400 powerboats and sailboats in the water and on land.

The 40th annual St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts-Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park.

The show will feature nearly 400 powerboats and sailboats in the water and on land, including family cruisers, runabouts, fishing boats, sailing yachts and personal watercraft, in addition to a 40,000-square-foot exhibit tent housing all types of marine gear.

A sampling of the new boats includes the Marlow Marine 85, 55 and 35 outboard; Four Winns Vista 375; Chaparral 337SSX; Everglades 325 CC; Cutwater 24; and the Ranger Tug R-23, among many other new and brokerage powerboats, in addition to sailboat brands such as Catalina, Hunter, Jeanneau, Fountaine-Pajot, Gemini and Beneteau.

A complete list of boats and products can be found on the show's website.

"We've enjoyed being a part of the St. Pete boating community for 40 years," said Andrew Doole of Informa Exhibitions, the company that owns and produces the event, in a statement. "Due to increasing demand for boats of all sizes and all the new marine gear that supports the boating lifestyle, we have added another 4,000 square feet of exhibit space to the show's footprint and 50 more boats than last year."

Sail America will offer free and for-fee seminars at four show locations.

Experts will host their own series on a variety of topics, including sailing destinations, weather, tides, cruising on a budget, sail trim, voyage planning, electronics, cruising for couples, catamaran cruising, and storm strategies.

A Sail America Discover Sailing series will help visitors learn new skills or improve abilities with on-the-water, hands-on clinics. Classes include docking, anchoring and catamaran sailing by Sailing Florida Charters and the American Sailing Association.

The International Game Fish Association's School of Sportfishing will host free onsite seminars during the show.

Each seminar will touch upon different angling topics and will include one-on-one questions with the area's top professional captains. Topics include master the flats for redfish, snook and trout; targeting gamefish on nearshore wrecks and reefs; bluewater pelagics off Florida's West Coast; and pro tips for Tampa tarpon.

On Dec. 2-3, Hook the Future Kids’ Fishing Clinics will be offered free to children ages 4-16. Captain Don Dingman will take kids through various educational stations where they will win prizes while learning basic fishing techniques. Sessions are at noon and 2 p.m. each day

The annual Cruisers' Party, presented by Cruising Outpost Magazine, will take place on the Gosling's & Budweiser Floating Cocktail Lounge inside the show on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

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