Strictly Sail Pacific Sailboat Show Hailed ‘A Great Success’ by Exhibitors, Show Producer

April 20, 2010, Middletown, RI – The combination of strong crowds, jam-packed seminars, great weather and resulting uptick in the sales of boats, gear and accessories, led Strictly Sail exhibitors and show producer Sail America alike to characterize this year’s Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show, held April 15-18, 2010 at Oakland’s Jack London Square, “a great success.”

“Our cash registers haven’t stopped ringing,” said Chandlery Manager James Morgan of Svendsen’s Marine. “Our foot traffic was more than expected and it looks like we are ahead this year in terms of sales, and not in a small way. It looks like people are ready to spend money again.”

Added Sausalito-based West Marine Manager David Forbes, “We are definitely seeing an increase in sales.” Said District Sales Manager Galen Piltz, “Generally, people had an optimistic view about the economy and boat sales. Our traffic was definitely up and people seemed interested in our products and pleased with the (new) exhibit location.”

Strictly Sail Pacific had reduced its previous five-day show format down to four, yet matched the same attendance figures. According to Sail America Executive Director Jonathan Banks, the news couldn’t be better for the sailing industry.

“The show was really a great success,” said Banks. “Attendance was brisk, the new show layout worked really well, seminar participation was through the roof with 63 speakers and 86 topics, and boats and gear were sold. Of course, having the America’s Cup and the BMW ORACLE Racing Team on site to launch our event on the opening day was a huge coup for the show. We were also lucky to have Hull & Humber and California, two of the boats competing in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race, visit the show on Thursday and Friday, respectively. Show attendees met with crew members and heard firsthand about California’s mid-Pacific knock down.”

In addition, Sail America’s popular Discover Sailing program set new records, with more than 500 new sailors taking a free sailboat ride, while the Heart of Sailing organization hosted free rides for more than 50 families with special needs children.

“Our sales have definitely increased this year,” said Pineapple Sails owners Sally and Kame Richards. “This was a better show, business-wise, than last year, and it looks like the economy is definitely picking up.”

Beneteau Vice President Mike Lecholop agreed. “The traffic and crowds this year have been wonderful … the best in four years.” Debbie Reynolds, vice president of Beneteau dealer Passage Yachts added, “Sales have been excellent and the level of interest in sailing seems to have been renewed.”

Banks concluded, “Based on the feedback from our exhibitors, coupled with the buying attitude and activities of our show-goers, I really don’t think we could have asked for a better show. Overall, everyone seemed to be very upbeat and positive. Strictly Sail Pacific ultimately served to promote sales and enthusiasm for sailing on the West Coast, and hopefully serves as a bellwether indicating a reversing trend, with better days ahead for the industry.”