We took the day and traveled to Chicago for the sailboat show. It's a six-hour drive each way for us. We have been doing Strictly Sail for about a decade, sometimes every year, sometimes we skip a year. Our impresions:
Compared to the last three shows we saw more vendors and more attendees. Less empty space around the floor. Many of the vendors were selling out of their 'show special' deals. The seminars were packed. Lots of foot traffic through the new boats on the floor. Like the looks of the Blue Jacket. Never seen it before, but I've read about it.
We hit Pam Wall's talk on cruising the Bahamas
and Bob Williams' talk on cruising The Keys. Excellent stuff and well done.
Standing around the rail around the upper level watching the crowd we saw that the people were very animated and chatty. Good mood all around. We noticed a LOT more kids
this year, too.
We spent some quality time at the Sail Rite booth. Took up too much of Eric and Billy's time, but we wanted to get good advice for our upcoming salon
had a large display area and it was crowded. We managed to bag the new Magma grill
for the rail at a good price
. Picked up some coupons that will be handy when it comes time to buy more bottom paint
Cruising Outpost had a booth. Seemed like the same place that we used to see Atts and Lats. Hmm. Bob Bitchin was holding forth as usual. I only had a chance to shake his hand and wish him well. He seems to be upright and facing forward again. Nice to see.