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Inaugural Yacht Fest Makes Big Splash

Whoa! Where did all those shiny new yachts come from? As they say in the real estate biz, sellers were definitely ‘motivated.’

latitude/John A.
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

"I think Yacht Fest was fantastic!" said Joan Burleigh of Trident Funding this morning. "In fact, I’m completing some business from the show as we speak."

Joan Burleigh and other yacht financing experts want potential buyers to know that lenders still have plenty of money for yacht purchases.

latitude/John A.
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Trident was one of roughly 25 vendors who exhibited their wares at the four-day boat show and trade fair, held last week at Alameda’s Marina Village Yacht Harbor. Adding an educational component to the show, a half-dozen seminars —  on topics ranging from SSB installation to inside-the-Bay cruising — were also very well attended. By all accounts, the show was a huge success — especially for a first-time event — and there’s a wide consensus among exhibitors that it should become an annual, if not biannual, affair.

As national economic news has grown increasingly gloomy, marine sector sales have plummeted. But as some politicians have been pointing out lately, with an economic downturn comes new opportunities. For boaters, that translates to killer deals on boats and gear that will likely disappear when the economy rebounds. Shoppers at Yacht Fest seemed to get this concept, as a number of big boats were sold — at extremely attractive prices.

With free admission and plenty of free parking, boaters of all stripes were inspired to peruse the show.

latitude/John A.
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Other exhibitors included financing companies, insurance firms, yacht clubs, sailing schools and dinghy retailers. Our hats are off to Debbie Reynolds of Passage Yachts and Alan Weaver of Marina Village for shouldering the heaviest organizational burdens. Alan and his staff somehow managed to shoehorn about 125 boats into the show basin. Ben Oldham of Passage estimates that 2,000 boaters attended the Thursday-to-Sunday show!

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A little pirate and his mum got splattered with confetti as they walked in front of one of the colorful music troops.
Intrepid photographer Peter Lyons captured Sunday’s action, rain be damned. © Peter Lyons Constant, heavy rain on Sunday wasn’t enough to deter over 60% of the Corinthian YC Midwinters fleet from showing up for the final day of the series.