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  #1  
Old 02-10-2008
msl msl is offline
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Strictly Sail - Miami Boat Show

Any tips, suggestions about visiting the Miami Boat Show/Strictly Sail event next week? First opportunity to visit a major US boating event - have tickets for Thursday and Friday.
Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2008
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I'd break up the days into boats and booths. If you want to go aboard boats, go on Thursday, as that day will typically have smaller crowds than Friday. When it gets real busy, trying to see everything on a boat that has 12 other people crawling all over can be annoying (I call it the "Boat Show Slam Dance"). Plus, the salespeople are inundated if you want to talk to them.

The set Friday aside as the day to walk the tents and check out all the booths/gear. And, since you can go through the booths faster than all the boats, you can revisit your favorite boats Friday afternoon or get to those you didn't see on Thursday.

And don't forget to stop by the Latitudes & Attitudes booth and say hi!
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Old 02-11-2008
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Thank you, Moonfish. Sounds like a good plan. There are also a couple seminars I'd like to attend.
All in all, we're looking forward to enjoying some nice weather and a great boat show (Kansas had terrible weather last night: Thunderstorms, lightning and heavy rain - dropping through 21 degree temperatures - sleet, hail, freezing rain... Miami is going to be a real treat).

Thanks again.
Mark L.
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Old 02-12-2008
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How does the Miami event compare to Annapolis in terms of booths and seminars (not boats)?
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Old 02-12-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msl View Post
Any tips, suggestions about visiting the Miami Boat Show/Strictly Sail event next week? First opportunity to visit a major US boating event - have tickets for Thursday and Friday.
Thanks.
You don't say if your staying in a hotel near Convention Center or driving in. Assuming your driving in, don't worry about parking. The Strictly Sail is on the mainland side. If there's no parking there (I've never parked there,) hop the bridge and go to the Convention Center (skip the small lots in between.) If the 5 story parking lot across from the center is full (will be by 10am,) continue to ocean side and head north. All day parking around 70th street is $5-8 while SS is $8-10.

There are buses (all free) running SS to CC, Mariot to CC, CC to lots beachside up to mega-yacht show and MYS to 110th street lots. Remember what street you parked near.

Buses drop off passengers at the CC on the East side and pick up on the West side (go to the middle of the tent.)

Also remember to get a wrist strap before leaving SS or CC (I get mine immediately after entering the door,) so you can get inside the other and back.

The CC is 3 times bigger than Annapolis and the whole show is 5 times bigger then the CC.
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While it's true that the entire Miami Int'l Boat Show (which includes all venues) is one of the largest boat shows in the world, the "Strictly Sail" portion is actually smaller than Annapolis. The Annapolis Sailboat Show is the biggest sail-only show in this country, in terms of overall vendors. I'm not sure, but Strictly Sail Miami might have close to the same number of boats in the water. However, for booths/gear/exhibitors, Annapolis is definitely bigger.

There is a parking garage at Miamarina Bayside, which is where the sailboats are. Don't know how crowded that gets. The Convention Center gets the most attendance, so I know parking in that vicinity gets full very early.
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Old 02-12-2008
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And don't forget - Saturday night is the Free Latitudes & Attitudes Cruiser's Party. You only need to be in the gates before the show closes to attend (though last year they did relent and let a guy in after 6:00 who had driven in that day from Toronto just for the party!).

Free pizza, beer, and music by the Eric Stone band. It's a family event, so bring everyone. Lot's of door prizes, too. The grand prize being a one-week charter with Sunsail in the Caribbean...
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Old 02-12-2008
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Been to the Miami show a few times. I second Moonfish's observations. The parking at Bayside is generally available throughout the show as it is a big garage. I noticed a couple of years ago that they have valet parking as well. One thing to be careful of: while there are a lot of great vendors at the Strictly Sail site, it is not as big or as varied as Newport. I went one year to Miami and wanted to get new vinyl lettering for my boat, as well as a hat or shirt with my boat's name; neither were available at Strictly Sail. I went on line later and saw that there were multiple vendors for both, but they were all at the Miami Beach Convention Center location. My advice: if you are going to the show to buy electronics, geegaws, clothing or anything that could also be used by a powerboater, go to the Convention Center. Many more options to be had. Free shuttle buses run all day between all of the locations. Some great deals to be had at the Strictly Sail location too; I picked up a soft Garhauer vang in Miami a few years ago at a really great price.
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Old 02-12-2008
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cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough cardiacpaul is a jewel in the rough
thecuban and I will be a-meandering the convention center and the strictly sail show.
You've been forwarned.
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Old 02-16-2008
msl msl is offline
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Thanks to all for your helpful and valuable suggestions - I had a great two days at the show. I found some unique tools to buy and got a couple nice bargains on sailing hardware.
There were some gorgeous sailboats: Morris, Sabre, Friendship and at the convention center: an Italian wood/fiberglass speedboat, Hacker Craft too and if the Mercury Cigarette racing team boats didn't create any interest - the lovely models who staffed their display surely would have caught your attention (CardioPaul - cuidado amigo! :-)

I attended two seminars: Liz Copeland's Eastern Caribbean Cruising and Electric Marine Propulsion (diesel-hybrid) - I've read about this for years and am more convinced than ever about the viability of this technology for sailing vessels. I toured an electric powered Catamaran, going below to the engine room where a 25Kw generator was purring quietly - above, on deck, no one was even aware that an engine was running. Every livaboard convenience one could want, could be powered while "on the hook".

So, for the future - what would one find at Annapolis that might have been missing here?

Thanks again.
msl
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