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A Celebration of Both Sail and Power

All this writer wants for Christmas is a rowing/sailing gaffer from Gig Harbor Boat Works. Sweet! 

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With the recent announcement that Sail America’s annual Bay Area boat show will include powerboats this year, some sailors dissed the idea as an unwelcome dilution of what had always been an exclusively sail-focused event. The name even had to be changed from Strictly Sail Pacific to the Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show.

But having just spent the weekend touring the massive Seattle Boat Show, we can see that there may be some distinct advantages to melding the two styles of boating in a single event. For starters, it’s reasonable to assume that some manufacturers of various types of gear and accessories will be more inclined to exhibit if they can reach a larger, more diverse audience. And it’s also likely that some boating neophytes will attend with the intention of checking out powerboats but will become converts to sail after being exposed to the magic of harnessing the wind — perhaps via a free boat ride — and the warm, friendly sailing community that continues to grow here in the Bay Area. 

The Seattle Boat Show seems to be extremely well organized, including free shuttles between the exhibit hall and the in-the-water show at Lake Union.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Yes, that’s definitely putting a positive spin on the situation, but after walking the docks of Seattle’s Lake Union and the exhibit hall at CenturyLink Field, we’re convinced that the combo boat-show concept is a winner. And we have high hopes for our upcoming show’s success.

In addition to both sail and powerboat sellers, exhibitors were on hand to promote a wide variety of products and services, including Salish Sea charter companies and waterside resorts in Alaska. 

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This year’s exhibitors will be housed in Richmond’s historic Craneway Pavilion, with in-the-water boat viewing at the adjacent docks of Marina Bay Yacht Harbor. Dates are April 6-9, and complete info can be found here. If you come to the show, we invite you to drop by the Latitude booth and say hello — even if you are a powerboater! Our annual booth party, by the way, will be Friday, April 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. See you there. (The Seattle show ends next weekend.)

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