Strictly Sail – Getting Here
Making it to the Miami International Boat Show (and Strictly Sail) was something of a feat in itself. Â Originally the plan was to only attend the Blue Wild Expo in Fort Lauderdale. But finding out that Strictly Sail (and MIBS) were the weekend before got me thinking… It would be a hell of a week if I could get down to Strictly Sail, bunk up with a friend for the week, work remotely, and then go to the Blue Wild the following weekend.
But I needed a place to stay. Â So I put out a blast on social media and tagged a couple of my friends from Florida. Â Those particular friends said no, but another spearfisherman said he might be able to help out (thanks Andrew, that was really cool man). Â Fast forward a few days: Â I was trying to confirm that I had a place to stay, and it was looking promising. Â So I booked my flights. Â It was a gamble though, as I’d never really met the person whose house I’d be occupying. Â Since gambling is fun, I was willing to take a shot.
I’m glad I did too – I’m writing this now, and I can see the saltwater (not the ocean, but beggars can’t be choosers). Â Just smelling the saltwater was enough to energize me again – I’ve been so busy I haven’t had the time to chase down trips offshore this year yet. Â Anyways, I made it, I’m staying in a big, private house, for free. Â My only real complaint is that it doesn’t have WiFi and is far enough removed from coffee shops that I’m having to use my phone’s hotspot (which is pretty damn expensive).
Sailboats and (Much) More
Strictly Sail is a (relatively) small part of the larger Miami International Boat Show. Â It is certainly the part I’m most interested in, for obvious reasons – I’m in the sailing/cruising catamaran market. Â In fact, while sitting at the airport waiting on a connection, I called my boat broker – and as chance would have it we were both going to be at Strictly Sail at the same time. Â That’s nice.
Getting to Strictly Sail was a bit of a challenge as it was at MiaMarina which is tucked into one corner of (theÂ very busy) Bayside shopping/food hub of Miami. Â After being pointed in the wrong direction, and hiring another cab to drive me in circles – I made it. Â The sailboats were absolutely beautiful. Â And wayÂ more than I could ever afford to put into a boat. Â Check out the 60+ foot Catana:
I won’t even show the Gunboat, it was so amazing and outrageous that I can’t justify giving it any attention. Â Something between a work of art, a feat of engineering, and a boat. Â Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it. I won’t show it though – it’s too painful to think about the price tag.
Fountaine Pajot Sailing Catamaran
Of interest were the newer Foutaine Pajot, Leopard, and Lagoon sailing catamarans. Â The Fountaine Pajot weren’t my favorite, but on the used boat market they’re remarkably affordable so they’re worth considering.
Lagoon 39 Sailing Catamaran
Next up was the Lagoon 39, and I have to say it was my favorite of the smaller sailing catamarans. Â It had space, an excellent 3-cabin layout, and ample space in the galley. Â The helm position was raised, and I can’t tell whether I’d like it or not. Â The view is nice, but climbing up and down wouldn’t be my favorite exercise.
Leopard 39 Sailing Catamaran
The Leopard 39 is a bit smaller in beam, length, and in interior volume than the Lagoon 39, and though it is more than enough for my purposes – the difference is perceptible. Â Don’t get me wrong though – this is a fine sailing catamaran. Â And it starts at a remarkably affordable price, the one I looked at being just over $300K. Â Yes, this is considered affordable for any brand-new sailing catamaran over 36 feet.
Equally interesting was the amount of tangential products being offered – it wasn’t just about sailing catamarans apparently… Everything from motors to fridge/freezers to aloe creams were being sold in the booths scattered about Strictly Sail. Â I went through them more than once and even found a booth of old salts selling books on their adventures. Â Of course, this prompted the question: Â can you actually subsidize sailing with books? Â Admittedly, an uneducated question – it always depends on the quality of the product and the marketing tactics. Â Some sailing books have been successful, most not. Â The overall impression that I got was: Â it’s a way to supplement your trip, and you have to be prepared to market your book as well as write/edit it. Â There are probably more profitable ways to spend one’s time (which I’m reminded of as I pay ridiculously high prices for wireless access, to write this very post).
All The Pretty Horses
I did visit the other parts of the Miami International Boat Show. Â I admittedly still love powerboats and horsepower – so here are some pictures from that end of the spectrum.
Finally – I spent some time in the Marine Electronics section of the boat show. Â I’m a technology nut, that became clear pretty quickly. Â The electronics – navigation, communication, lighting, fish-finding, maps, overlays, and solar/wind power actually were more interesting than even the sailing catamarans at Strictly Sail. Â After all – I couldn’t afford any of the sailing catamarans at Strictly Sail, but I could afford someÂ of the electronic gizmos in the Marine Electronics room.
All in all – great experience, top notch show, but one for those looking for new boats, the latest in products, and deep pockets. Â I don’t really fall into those categories – but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Â I’m definitely looking forward to the main reason for being in South Florida – The Blue Wild Expo.Â
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