Newly merged show to be held at bigger venue

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Through the merger of the St. Petersburg Boat Show and Strictly Sail St. Petersburg, a new “super show” has been developed that serves as the Gulf Coast’s largest boat show, according to a statement from organizers.

Boater’s World presents The St. Petersburg Boat Show and Strictly Sail, sponsored by Mercedes Benz and co-sponsored by Marina Pez Vela, Dec. 4-7 at the Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park. It features significantly bigger waterfront and land displays, along with several new show additions, organizers reported.

About 25,000 boaters and sailors from throughout the Gulf Coast and Southeast are expected to attend the four-day boating event. Show producers Show Management of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and Sail America of Middletown, R.I. stated that manufacturers will display and debut a variety of boats, including cruisers, yachts, fishing boats, sailboats, sportsboats, runabouts and personal watercraft.

The new, expanded show venue adds 50 new sailboats to the customized floating docks, joining the current roster of 200 plus powerboats. The Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin also will host an additional new on-land sailboat display, plus debut a new seminar program for sailors and power boaters. In three air-conditioned seminar tents, world cruisers, marine experts and boating authors will share stories and provide need-to-know info on navigation, safety, software, marine equipment and accessories, according to organizers.

The expanded Accessories Tent will house more than 200 exhibitors showcasing marine-related gear, equipment and services; the tent will also be air conditioned – another show first, organizers pointed out.

Show events include Hook the Future-Kids – free fishing clinics during Saturday and Sunday shows with giveaways of free fishing rods and reels as long as supplies last; Discover Sailing – the introduction-to-sailing program will give attendees a chance to enjoy a 30-minute sail with an expert skipper on a beautiful sailing yacht, sponsored by Hunter Marine; and the Latitudes and Attitudes Cruiser’s Bash – a party on Saturday evening from 6-8 p.m. at which pizza and beer will be served.

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