It’s boat show time of year once again. These events are an opportunity for any sailor, experienced or non- exhibitor or attendee, to learn. Exhibitors take advantage of these shows as an opportunity to communicate directly with the public and other exhibitors. They obtain first hand knowledge of the general sailor’s interests and needs, while gaining exposure to the newest in technologies and brands. The show attendee benefits from this knowledge base, as it is constantly growing and changing.
With that in mind, do not be afraid to ask questions. Questions are the catalyst for progress. Exhibitors are a wealth of knowledge and they are there to attend to your questions and needs. What an exhibitor does not have an answer for, you will find they will likely seek one out. As each and every boat is different, and each and every sailor’s needs are different, it is likely that your question will suit your situation specifically. Be sure to point out specifications, as this will affect the answers provided. An exhibitor’s answers are as good as the information provided him/her. Don’t forget businesses exhibiting are volunteering their time, they want to interact with you.
Strictly Sail Chicago, held at Navy Pier on Thursday, January 31, 2008 through Sunday, February 3, 2008, is the area’s premier sailboat show. It is second only to the Annapolis In the Water Boat Show for new boats on display as well as vendor displays promoting deck hardware, rigging, painting, and repowering (one of Torresen Marine’s specialties). Other interests covered are chartering, yacht clubs, and racing groups. At the Torresen Marine booth, you will find displays for our sailing school, brokerage boats, diesel engines for repowering your existing boat and several of our expert service technicians to help you solve your boating needs.
Here are a few tips to make your experience at Strictly Sail Chicago the best one possible.
1. Parking – It is a big help to go on-line and visit the boat show web site www.strictlysail.com to get directions to the best parking. Navy Pier also has a parking coupon available for use after 5:00 p.m.
2. Choose Your Day Wisely – While Thursday and Friday have lighter crowds and shorter waits for displays, Saturday usually has “bumper to bumper traffic” from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Arrive at opening time and pick your favorite four or five boats to inspect before the rush and then wait until the middle of the afternoon to check out some of the other popular models.
3. Tickets & Seminars – Tickets can be purchased on-line. You will find children 15 years of age and under are admitted for no charge. Take the kids because there is plenty for them to do. Also check out the seminars and special events that will be taking place during the course of the show on-line.
4. Hotel Accommodations – While you are on-line you can check out the best hotel rates in town and get the same rates the exhibitors receive. There is often a free shuttle from the hotel to the show at the appropriate times.
5. Plan Your Day – As with most trips, it is best to have a plan in mind as how to cover the features of the show that have the most interest. Serious boat buyers often come on Thursday or Friday when the crowds are not distracting. The same could be true if you intend to research some new deck hardware or maybe repowering. To fill out your day, you may want to go on line to www.navypier.com and check out the restaurants and other fun things going on right there on Navy Pier.
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