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Strictly Sail Pacific Impressions

Looking back at last week’s Strictly Sail Pacific boat show, which was staged for the first time at Richmond’s historic Craneway Pavilion, we thought we’d share a few thoughts. 

With dozens of new and late-model boats on display, the docks at Richmond’s Marina Bay Yacht Harbor looked festive last week. 

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First, from what we could tell, the event’s organizer, Sail America, did a fine job of adapting the show to this new location, having been forced to move it from its longtime former venue at Oakland’s Jack London Square due to ongoing development there. The vintage glass-walled Craneway building — originally part of a Ford assembly plant — has a nice, bright feel to it, especially since it’s perched right along the entry channel to Marina Bay Yacht Harbor, where the in-the-water portion of the show took place.

Although there weren’t as many vendors as in years past — some apparently taking a wait-and-see attitude — most exhibitors seemed genuinely engaged with customers as we perused the show. We don’t know if any new boats were sold, but we saw plenty of sailors heading home with armloads of purchases. As always, vendors were offering deep discounts on deals closed at the show, making this an ideal time to bite the bullet and make major purchases. 

Future cruisers Sarah Carter and Charlie Patterson check out high-tech upgrades at the Swedish Marine booth.

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We gave several seminars, and thought the seminar spaces were adequate, but not great, as only a curtain separated our audience from the neighboring presenter. But that is often the case at such events. One thing we really appreciated, though, was that a bona fide techie was on-site before each seminar to insure that our computer’s media output synced up with the HD TV screen provided — that service was a first, which all presenters undoubtedly appreciated. Each seminar space had a mic and PA system, which was also a big plus. 

Interested in the latest electronic gizmos? You could find them at the Raymarine booth and elsewhere. 

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Overall, we’d give the newly configured show a big thumbs-up. We heard few complaints, and showgoers seemed pleased with the freeway-close location of the show and the ease of parking. But we’d like to hear your impressions: How did you like the new location? And did the lineup of vendors meet your needs? Drop us a note here with your thoughts.


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After a slow start, the Stan Honey-navigated Comanche started to roll the 100-ft Wally/Centro Galateia off the southeast corner of the island.