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St. Petersburg show reports attendance gain

Attendance at the 38th annual St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show, which ran from Thursday through Sunday, was up 6 percent and 25 percent more boats were on display than last year.

St. Petersburg 2015 Show

The largest increase was in the display of new boats in the water, which was up 45 percent, organizers said. The Florida show’s footprint was the largest it has ever been and the event has begun to attract larger boats than ever before.

Galati Yacht Sales brought a 125-foot Hargrave, the largest yacht the show has ever exhibited.

“Galati Yacht Sales entered our largest display ever at the St. Petersburg Show, with 21 yachts on display, including the 125-foot Hargrave GiGi 2,” Darren Plymale of Galati Yacht Sales told Trade Only Today. “We were pleased with attendance resulting in a few yacht sales; however, we maximized our opportunity to present all our brands we offer to everyone that attended.”

One of the largest privately held yacht dealerships in the world, Galati included the Viking, Princess, Tiara, Prestige, Cruisers and Maritimo yacht brands in its display.

“We are excited with the activity that has resulted from our investment in the show,” Plymale said. “We noted many new customers coming out to see the products and gain a keener understanding of all the available models.”

There was diverse traffic at the MarineMax Clearwater display, which also was larger this year than last, said general manager Jack Ezzell. Great weather helped draw strong crowds, he said.

“There was a broad interest in all the brands we brought to the show,” Ezzell said. “It was a large lineup. Boston Whaler had two newer models that certainly drew interest —the 330 Outrage, as well as the 32 Vantage. Though not as new as the 330 Outrage, we’ve only delivered one 32 into our market, so having the boats there certainly was nice for our customers.”

The sailboat portion of the show also had good traffic, according to Show Management, the company that produces the show. (Show Management and Trade Only are part of Active Interest Media.)

Sailing seminars organized by show sponsor Sail America drew enthusiastic crowds. A few couples enjoyed private sunset cruises, champagne toasts and a night at the Vinoy Marina through Discover Sailing’s new Lap of Luxury Package experience, which was introduced at the show.

“It is great being a part of the team that produced the largest boat show on the Gulf Coast, and it is even greater when our clients have an outstanding show with record sales,” Chris Fleming of Show Management said in a statement.

“Show Management has done a great job with marketing the event, and I believe we saw a great response for the local and regional community attending,” Plymale said.

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