Strictly Sail Miami reports increase in attendance and sales

MIAMI – Attendance at Strictly Sail Miami, the sail portion of the 2003 Miami International Boat Show, increased 4 percent over last year, organizer Sail America reported in a statement today.

The attendance upswing followed the trend of successful earlier winter boat shows, the sailing industry association said.

The event, which was held Feb. 12-17 at the Miamarina, showcased mono- and multihull sailboats from around the globe, as well as electronics and gear.

Strictly Sail organizers said exhibit space increased in 2004 with an additional tent to accommodate the demand, while exhibitors reported customer interest and sales leads were either even or up from last year.

“We were pleased with the traffic and the qualified buyers attending the show,” said Kevin Murphy, national show manager. “Of course, that’s in tandem with the current low interest rates and what seems to be an improvement in consumer confidence since last year. Our Discover Sailing program continues to be a blockbuster attraction; this year we took almost 500 potential sailors to enjoy a demo ride on beautiful Biscayne Bay.

“This was our best Strictly Sail Miami show in four years, with more boats sold and deals closed, plus good leads,” said Eric Macklin of Hunter Marine Corp., a double winner of the Innovation Award and Best of Show Boat Display. “Traffic was excellent quality so we had really good exposure for our new SailTime program.”

The 2005 show is scheduled to be a week later and a day shorter, running from Thursday, Feb. 17 through Monday, Feb. 21.

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