Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Miami Strictly Sail boat show


GunboatRecently Seth and I flew to Miami for the International Boat Show, particularly the Strictly Sail show.  I’d been invited to give seminars at it, and both of us were excited to participate in our first boat show!

Strictly Sail took place over five days—February 12-16—and was well attended despite its location across the water from the main Boat Show on Miami Beach.  The big tent showcased a lot of great vendors and organizations, including our supporter Yanmar and the Seven Seas Cruising Association which we promptly joined!

Katadyn/Spectra booth, photo thanks to Katadyn

Katadyn/Spectra booth, photo thanks to Katadyn

We were especially excited to meet up with our sponsors Katadyn, OCENS, and Mantus Anchors.  Katadyn recently acquired Spectra Watermakers, so the Spectra booth not only showcased its familiar larger desalinators but also our small footprint PowerSurvivor 40E.  They’d brought along some AlpineAire food, which was quite popular despite being better known in the hiking/trekking market.  It was great to meet the Katadyn and Spectra people in person—we had a lot of fun with Annie of Spectra one evening over nachos and mojitos chatting about cruising the Pacific.

Our sponsors at OCENS quickly became friends—wonderful people we’re excited to see more of either out in Washington State or at more boat shows!  Dinner with them, seminar organizer Patty, and Blue Water Sailing editor George was another big highlight for us.

Ellen and seminar organizer Patty at a ceviche dinner!

Ellen and seminar organizer Patty check out the overwhelming menu at a great ceviche place!

Things were so busy at Strictly Sail that we only got a chance to head over to the main show on the last day to see our sponsor Mantus Anchors, meet the crew there, and also meet two more of their ambassadors.  The Mantus people are pretty amazing—she’s an engineer for NASA and he’s an emergency room physician when they’re not building and selling anchors!

Mantus Booth

Ellen and Greg of Mantus at the booth

Seminar Schedule for Tent B. Photo by Judith Jacobson.

Seminar Schedule for Tent B. Photo by Judith Jacobson.

My seminars were a lot of fun.  I gave two on Sailing Alaska from Juan de Fuca Strait (Washington State/British Columbia) up to Ketchikan and the Inside Passage, across the Gulf of Alaska to Prince William Sound, and then all the way out the Alaska Peninsula to the Aleutian Islands.  I had tips on general routes, where to anchor, where to get supplies or potentially leave your boat for the winter, where to see wildlife and how to behave around the animals, as well as showcasing some of our best photographs.  My first audience was already quite knowledgeable about Alaska, which I’ll admit surprised me a little in Miami but which was great!  My second audience had a whole bunch of really good questions which is always super fun!

Sailing Alaska seminar

Sailing Alaska seminar-2

I also gave a seminar on outfitting for offshore cruising and especially the higher latitudes.  I put forth my experiences with avoiding and dealing with severe weather, qualities to look for in sailboats (stability, windward ability, hull strength, etc.), important cruising gear, essential safety gear, staying warm and well-fed, and navigating electronically and on paper.

High Latitude Outfitting seminar

Before the panel

Before the panel. Photo thanks to Judith Jacobson.

Last but definitely not least, I served on a high latitude adventure panel moderated by Blue Water Sailing magazine’s editor George Day.  (BWS sponsored the seminars.)  With me on the panel were Jimmy Cornell (well known in the sailing world for organizing numerous rallies, sailing over 200,000 miles all over the world including to Antarctica and the Canadian Arctic, and writing World Cruising Routes, found on almost all offshore cruising boats) and Judith Jacobson (a Danish sailor who recently completed a 2-month cruise around Svalbard and up to 80° N).  We had a great time relating our various experiences sailing, outfitting, and choosing our boats, and George had excellent questions, as did the audience.

Panel with Jimmy Cornell and Judith Jacobson

Panel with Jimmy Cornell and Judith Jacobson. Photo thanks to Judith.


Panel. Photo thanks to Judith Jacobson

Panel. Photo thanks to Judith Jacobson

At the speaker's party! Liza Copeland, Ellen, Seth, Judith, George Day of BWS magazine

At the speaker’s party! Liza Copeland, Ellen, Seth, Judith, and George Day of BWS magazine. Photo by Hayden Cochran.

My favorite part of the show was meeting all these great people.  As well as George, Jimmy, Judith and her husband Haakon, our sponsors, and the tireless and wonderful seminar organizer Patty, we met lots of great people in our audiences, including Hayden and Radeen (friends of Judith),  a couple more magazine editors including Mark of Cruising World and Bob of Cruising Outpost (see party picture below!), and many of the other speakers, including Mark and Diana Doyle (of Birding Aboard and On the Water Chart Guides) and Pam Wall, with whom we quickly became fast friends and with whom we went to our first Cruising Club of America lunch since being elected members!

Judith, Seth, Ellen, Haakon. Photo thanks to Hayden Cochran.

Judith, Seth, Ellen, Haakon. Photo by Hayden Cochran.

Boat show docks

We also really enjoyed walking the docks and checking out all the great boats on display.  We particularly liked seeing Jimmy Cornell’s new Aventura, the Garcia Exploration 45.  And the Gunboat 55 catamaran (see lead photo), which debuted at the Miami show, was really stunning!  But if we could have any of them, we’d go for the little Corsair trimaran for pure fun on the water 🙂Jimmy Cornell's boat

Corsair tri

Cruising Outpost magazine party!

Cruising Outpost magazine party!

17 thoughts on “Miami Strictly Sail boat show

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  2. Wonderful read! Well done – presenting is such a buzz isn’t it! 🙂 Wish we could have been there!

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  6. Thanks so much for presenting! Your seminars are interesting, informative and fun. I really enjoyed meeting you and Seth. Patty

  7. Well done guys, you are stars! Chris & Wade

  8. Well done guys – you are stars! Chris & Wade

  9. fantastic post and wonderful reading… I could imagine your experience would be very welcome at the Hamburg or Dusseldorf boatshow – we would just need to brush up your German a bit 😉 Unless, of course, you are doing that already in Switzerland (seem to have read that somewhere on your website).
    Great reading your lines, and I will scan your archive for more info on boat readiness for nordic adventures.

    • Thanks, Hubert! Sadly I don’t think my German would be up to presenting at Hamburg or Dusseldorf…. I actually live in the French part of Switzerland 🙂

  10. We had a wonderful time getting to know the two of you that week as well. Honestly, I think Jeff’s fears I was a little obsessed with your adventures as well as adventurous spirits. We certainly hope to see more of you both! The sooner the better!

  11. Looks like a brilliant show! I wish you were coming to the Sydney Boat Show. Andrew and I are heading over this year. It will be different for us this time, as at most Boat shows we have been to in the past we have just been browsing around, but this time we will be on a mission to shop around as many display boats as possible.
    I’ll be checking out who the speakers are now too!
    Viki 🙂

    • Thanks Viki! Have fun at the Sydney show and hope you find a boat you like! And definitely check out the speakers—I loved listening to some of the other talks—interesting and you learn a lot 🙂