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Strictly Sail Pacific reports attendance gain

Organizers of the April 9-12 Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show at Oakland, Calif.’s Jack London Square said attendance was up more than 2 percent and sales were strong.

Exhibitors said nearly 20 sailboats were sold on site at this year’s West Coast all-sailboat show, which featured new sailboats, gear, accessories, hardware, more than 90 free seminars, hands-on workshops and free sailboat rides. Sail America produces the show.

“The sun was shining, and people were buying at this year’s Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show,” Peter Durant, Sail America general manager and producer of the boat show, said in a statement.

“Jack London Square was filled with the latest the industry has to offer, creating the perfect environment for interested buyers,” Durant added. “Discover Sailing’s in-the-water demos were extremely popular this year, reporting a 22 percent increase in participation, so more people than ever were getting on the water. There was great energy at the show with exhibitors and attendees — a win-win for everyone.”

For the first time this year, a life jacket exchange program provided hundreds of free new Type III personal flotation devices to boaters who brought in their old jackets. The program is a partnership with GetMyBoat, Summer Sailstice and the Coast Guard.

Organizers said more than 90 seminars, ranging from storm tactics to cruising to Australia, were crowded with visitors.

“The perfect weather brought a steady stream of quality people to the show all four days, making it a big success,” Jeanneau America commercial product specialist Jeff Jorgensen said. “Not only did we make contact with several potential buyers, but we also sold several boats on site and through the follow-up process. We found the leads were far-reaching, with potential clients coming in from Seattle, as well.”

The Dehler 46 made its North American debut at the show; the Hanse 455 made its West Coast debut at the show.

“Huge crowds, great quality, wonderful weather … buyers are back,” JK3 Nautical Enterprises president Jeff Brown said. “We had huge crowds every day that surpassed last year’s crowds by a big margin. We contracted with several boats at the show, and follow-up has been exceptional. We have tons of follow-up scheduled, as well as test sails set for the next three weeks. The reaction to the new Dehler 46 and Hanse 455 was extremely pleasing, with several boats sold in the past week.”

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