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Sail and power boat shows combine for megaevent in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG

Bo Brown doesn't get excited about many things, but when he called about the new Hanse 430, I knew he must have found something special. "This boat is all the rage in Europe," the yacht broker said. "This thing really flies." Built by Hanse Yachts in Greifswald, Germany, and designed by the team of Judel/Vrolijk, which has worked with some of the world's top racing teams, including the America's Cup-winning Alinghi syndicate, the Hanse 430 can hit 9 knots on a good point of sail. Brown, who has spent the past 14 years delivering boats all around Florida, called the Hanse 430 a sailor's sailboat. "This is definitely performance-oriented," he said. "I think it will turn some heads."

Sailors are a discerning crowd. Sisters and brothers of the wind, their ranks include day-trippers, coastal cruisers, hard-core racers and open-ocean warriors.

Some may stop by and take a peek at the Hanse 430 at this weekend's Strictly Sail show. Others may pass by and opt for something a little less intimidating, but that is the great thing about Strictly Sail, everything you need to harness the wind, all together in one spot.

Organizers expect more than 50 sailboats to share the docks with the more than 200 powerboats expected at this year's St. Petersburg Boat Show. This is the first year that producers Show Management of Fort Lauderdale and Sail America of Middletown, R.I., have joined forces to bring a "Super Show" to the Tampa Bay area.

In addition to the latest watercraft and marine accessories and electronics, this year's show will feature an impressive array of more than 70 seminars for sailors and power boaters.

Spotlighted seminars

There are a variety of talks covering various topics, but these are especially intriguing (times subject to change):

A Family Sails Around the World: Have you ever thought of packing everything up and taking off over the horizon? Pam Wall did just that. The global adventurer grabbed her husband and two small children and followed her dream of seeing the world from the deck of a 39-foot sloop. Follow her journey at 11:45 a.m. today. Wall will also give additional presentations: Good ideas for offshore equipment, 1 p.m. Saturday; Cruising the Bahamas, 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Sunk and Stranded, How Two Women Saved Their Boat on a Remote Atoll: Sailors Leslie Brown, 48, and Joy Smith, 66, survived the unthinkable when their boat hit a reef off Papua New Guinea and sank in five minutes. Hear how, in just four days, they managed to patch the hull, kedge her off the reef and refloat the boat. Times: 3:30 p.m. today; 6 p.m. Saturday; 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

Sea Realism: John Otterbacher, author of the book Sailing Grace, shares seven years of lessons learned at sea. Two years into preparing for an ocean voyage, Otterbacher felt what he described as an "elephant stepping on the center" of his chest. Diagnosed with severe coronary disease, Otterbacher and his family decided to continue on with their Atlantic crossing in a sailboat. Times: 6 p.m. today; 4:45 p.m. Saturday; 11:45 a.m. Sunday.

Special events

Hook the Future: Free kids fishing clinics Saturday and Sunday, with free rods and reels to participants as long as supplies last. Children who attend the clinics get free admission to the show. Registration required.

Discover Sailing: This national introduction to sailing program gives show attendees a chance to take a free 30-minute sail with an experienced skipper.

Latitudes and Attitudes Cruiser's Bash: All the Nautical Wheelers get together Saturday evening at 7 p.m. for a pizza and beer fest.

FAST FACTS

St. Petersburg

Boat Show

and Strictly Sail

Where: Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg

When: Today through Sunday

Hours: Today and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets: $8 for adults when bought online, $10 at the gate; $3 for children ages 6-15 online, $5 at the gate; children under 5 free. For tickets, go to www.showmanagement.com.

Sail and power boat shows combine for megaevent in St. Petersburg 12/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 4, 2008 3:31am]
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