Strictly Sail St. Pete . . . Enthusiastic Crowd

“As far as boat shows go, this one was exceptional,” reported Tim Stodola.
In the foreground, Island Packet's product line in one warm location.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (November 13, 2006) On the first weekend of November, which dawned warm and windy, sailors visiting this year’s Strictly Sail® St. Pete Boat Show on Florida’s Gulf Coast felt right at home. The show offered an exciting lineup of new sailboats, the latest sailing gear and accessories, special events and seminars for sailors of all ages and festive parties. Not just for sailors anymore, trawlers and power cruisers were part of the scene this year.

            “It was a very enthusiastic crowd, reported Dave Johnson, who handles outside sales for JSI, a marine superstore specializing in canvas, rigging and all types of marine hardware. “People were at the show to shop and buy. I’d say it’s the best St. Pete show we’ve had in the last three years.”

            “One of the most positive things I noticed about this year’s show,” reported Ed Massey of Massey Yacht Sales, “is that most people were not bothered by hurricanes or fuel prices. People were at ease and traffic was good. The crowd seemed greater than in years past and sported good, positive attitudes,” he said.
Lines were manageable and not too long.

       In reference to this year being the first with trawlers and power cruisers, Massey reported, “The salesmen were quite impressed with the level of inquiries they received. Attendees seemed to really like this section. Some sailors are beginning to spend due diligence in researching the possibility of trawler ownership,” he said. “There’s a clear connection between sailors that want to sail and older sailors who want to stay in yachting but move to the next level of a vessel that’s easier to handle.” Ed Massey is the founder of Strictly Sail St. Pete, which debuted in 1993.

    “As far as boat shows go, this one was exceptional,” reported Tim Stodola, sales manager for Doyle Sails. “From a sales standpoint, it’s one of the best shows we’ve had in many years.” Doyle Sails is the largest local sailmaker in the Tampa Bay area.

   “Attendance was up about 2% over last year,” reported Kevin Murphy, national show manager for Sail America. The inclusion of trawlers at this show gave visitors something else to look at, and the more there is to see, the better the crowds are,” he said. FOX 13 came out Friday and shot three segments which aired during the morning show. All and all, a good show,” he said.

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