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Old 01-19-2013
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Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

Has anyone been to previous sail shows in Chicago? The 2013 show is coming up next week. From the website I can't get a sense of how many actual boats will be on display.

From past experience, is this a show that I should go to if I want to look at a lot of different boat (sizes and manufacturers)? Can you climb on and in the boats that are on display?


Thank you.
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Old 01-19-2013
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Boats at strictly sail

Yes, plenty of them. It is best to get there when the show opens to avoid lines at certain boats.
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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

It depends on your expectations. If you expect it to be like the Annapolis Sailboat Show, you'll be disappointed. There is a nice selection of boats from the more popular manufacturers, and it's really nice that it is indoors, but it isn't as big as Annapolis. I attended the Chicago Strictly Sail for about 6 years, but my main interest wasn't in looking at the boats. I liked to attend many of the free seminars, and stop by the booths, such as the Lewmar and Garmin and Yanmar and the various sailmakers' booths, and probe the experts for answers to questions and solutions to problems that I was experiencing. A lot of expert knowledge is available there, and it's all free. There's a lot more than just boats at the boat shows. I usually spent one day at the Chicago show, but sometimes went back for a second day, if there were a lot of seminars that interested me.
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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

We've gone to Strictly Sail each of the past three years and will be going again next weekend.

For an indoor venue there are plenty of boats of all sizes to check out and climb around in and on. There has been a steady decline in the number of manufacturers of the larger boats and total number of larger boats displayed that we have noticed each year. That said, it looks as if there will be a reasonably good line up again this year.

You can see what boats are being displayed by exploring the drop down menus on the website.

Way more to see and do than just boats. Lots of good deals from gear and equipment manufacturers and vendors. Also lots of seminars.

My theory - Lines have become increasingly longer to get on the boats on any given day and time because the crowd is dispersed across less boats.

Thursday or Friday will be way less crowded than Saturday or Sunday.

Our routine: We come down from Minnesota on Thursday evening, go to the show all day Friday, hit another attraction downtown on Saturday (this year it will be the Shedd Aquarium) and then head home on Sunday. A really nice "mini vacation" we have come to look forward to each year.

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Old 01-19-2013
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Re: Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

I agree with Sailormon. It's a good size, probably about 30 boats that you can climb in and look at. Mostly Hunters, Catalinas, Beneteaus, Jeanneaus, and Island Packets. Definitely not as big as Annapolis, but still a fairly good size. There's also lots of booths and free seminars. I've been about three times and have exhausted myself on it now, but it's something that's fun to go to at least once.
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Re: Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

Used to be more like 30 larger boats but my quick count the other day looking at the website was to expect around 15 this year. Some manufacturers aren't coming. Others are still coming but bringing less and/or smaller models.

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Re: Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

Thanks, everyone. I'm just in the kicking tires stages and am mainly interested in the small trailerable sailboats for daysailing for short weekends.

Anyway, it sounds like a fun event to take the family to during these cold winter months!
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Re: Strictly Sail Chicago Show Question

I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Lots to do.
If your looking at small boats, there are usually a few including a nice shiny Flying Scott.
Make sure you stop by and say hello at the Poor Man's Yacht Club booth. Welcome to the Poor Man's Yacht Club
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