Thousands attended this year’s Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show, held April 11-14 in Oakland, Calif., and 5,500 people participated in 110 free and paid seminars and hands-on workshops.
“The combination of increased attendance and exhibitor sales exceeded our expectations for this event and the seminars had their best year ever,” Sail America association manager Peter Durant said in a statement. “Even the VIP event on board the USS Potomac doubled in registrations, and many exhibitors reported the readiness of this year’s participant to buy was higher, demonstrating great momentum for the sailing industry.”
"This is the best boat show we've had in years,” Pat Garfield, of Farallone Yachts/Catalina/Tartan C&C, said in a statement. "We wrote on-the-spot contracts, booked sea trials and signed up several interested customers for a Tartan C&C factory tour.”
Sailboats of every size and budget filled the grounds of Jack London Square, in and out of the water, including racers, catamarans, luxury yachts and dinghies.
“The quality of the attendee at this year’s Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show was superb,” Debbie Reynolds, of Passage Yachts/Beneteau, said in a statement. “Dealers, manufacturers and brokers reported that many boats were sold at the show. This was decidedly an upturn for the boating market. People were much more willing to pull the trigger on big-ticket purchases. There was a much greater sense of consumer confidence. We wrote six contracts at the show and have booked many upcoming sea trials. This hasn’t happened in years.”
Because 2013 is the year of the America's Cup, the America’s Cup Pavilion proved to be a popular spot. Enthusiasts enjoyed presentations about the Summer of Racing from America’s Cup race officials, meet-and-greet-opportunities with Oracle Team USA and Artemis Racing team members, presentations by American Youth Sailing Force members challenging for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup and an up-close look at the trophy.
America’s Cup ambassadors talked about race viewing, seating and public events at America's Cup Park (Piers 27/29) and America's Cup Village (Marina Green). Advance VIP seating tickets were available for purchase.
The Strictly Sail show is produced by Sail America, which is the trade association for the U.S. sailing industry and is dedicated to promoting the health and growth of sailing.