Show time on the docks of Oakland's Jack London Square.

Show time on the docks of Oakland's Jack London Square.

Call it a long overdue business proposition, a marriage of convenience, or a sign of the economic times, the news that two boat show organizers, Sail America and the Northern California Marine Association, are merging their spring boat shows next month should be a win-win-win for boaters in the Bay area as well as the two trade associations.

Scheduled for April 15 to 19, Sail America's "Strictly Sail Pacific"  will now include NCMA's "Pacific Power Boat Expo," with boats of each flavor filling the docks in adjacent basins. Sailors can take their powerboating friends along for the weekend, visit their own type of boat separately, enjoy lunch together in the redeveloped Jack London Square, and then hit the tent exhibits to outfit their boats. Hopefully they'll bring their kids along; then they can send them out for demo sails, while they get advice on eco-friendly products and practices in the Green Boating Zone.

I'm a member of Sail America's Board of Directors, and I attended Strictly Sail Pacific last year. I had a great time at the show and even made a video about a spin around the Alameda basin as part of the show's Discover Sailing promotion. The video's still posted at the Cruising World website. (It's right after the 7 Galapagos videos I mentioned in an earlier post.) So, if that looks to you like a nice place to jump into a spring in-water boat show, put the new Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo on your calendar. The full press release including times and ticket prices follows.

—John Burnham

New models exhibit at a recent Powerboat Expo.

New models exhibit at a recent Powerboat Expo.

Land exhibits at Powerboat Expo

Land exhibits at Powerboat Expo



Strictly Sail® Pacific & Power Boat Expo™ to be held April 15 – 19, 2009

Middletown, RI (March 17, 2009) -- Sail America, the national trade association for the sailing industry, today announced the merger of Strictly Sail Pacific with the Northern California Marine Association’s (NCMA) Pacific Power Boat Expo. The new show, Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo™, will take place April 15-19, 2009 at the newly remodeled Jack London Square in Oakland, California.

Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo will bring together more than 300 exhibitors from around the world, including a massive in-water fleet of both sail and power boats and hundreds of on-land exhibits. More than 15,000 boating enthusiasts are expected to attend the five-day event to check out the latest boats, gear and accessories, participate in hundreds of educational seminars, and take part in special events ranging from demo sails for kids to the Green Boating Zone featuring the latest eco-friendly boating products and best practices.

According to Sail America Executive Director, Jonathan Banks, talks of the proposed merger came about following the completion of the newly remodeled Jack London Square. “For the first time, Jack London Square has the space and facilities to accommodate a combined show. The original plan was to wait until 2010 but there was such a strong case to combine the shows we pulled out all the stops to make it happen this year. The decision to combine the shows has the unanimous support of the Sail America Board of Directors and NCMA’s Board of Directors,” said Banks.

“The merger is great news for the Northern California boating industry, and we anticipate a positive response from both our exhibitors and our boat show customers,” said Jorgen Bateman, director of sales, NCMA. “There is a large cross over market in the region and combining the shows will draw a much larger crowd who now can enjoy the very best in both power and sail in one location.”

“Now more than ever, boat show producers need to work together and we believe combining the two shows is a winning proposition for all involved,” said Banks. “Sail America and NCMA will benefit from sharing various costs, and the combined marketing budget will achieve far greater reach. The result will be a bigger, more exciting event that will draw additional patrons interested in both sail and power and will provide tremendous value to our exhibitors.”

The new and expanded show venue will have one marina basin dedicated to sailboats and another basin dedicated to power boats, with a connecting dock between the two basins. The on-land exhibitors will be located throughout Jack London Square with a large tented area at the recently remodeled east end of the Square.

Many show exhibitors have reacted positively to the merger. “Combining Strictly Sail Pacific and Power Boat Expo is a terrific idea. It brings all of our customers to one show and creates great cross-marketing opportunities,” said Jim Hancock, general manager of Club Nautique, San Francisco Bay’s premier sailing and powerboat school and yacht charter company.

The remaining available space at the new combined show is expected to sell quickly. Any company that is interested in exhibiting at Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Boat Expo should contact either Lori Gleason at or 312-240-6802, or Jorgen Bateman at or 916-372-4239.

Show Details:

§  Location:

On San Francisco Bay at Jack London Square in Oakland, California. Just across the Bay from downtown San Francisco, with easy access from around the Bay Area by ferry, BART or bus.

§  Hours:

Wednesday April 15:                                            12 pm–7 pm

Thursday and Friday April 16-17:                                    11 am–7 pm

Saturday April 18:                                                10 am–7 pm

Sunday April 19:                                                  10 am–5 pm

§  Admission:

$12 – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Adults)
$15 – Saturday and Sunday (Adults)
$24 – Two-Day Adult Pass
$50 – Five-Day Pass (Available Online Only)
FREE – Children 15 years and under (when accompanied by a paid adult)

About Sail America:

Sail America is the national trade association for the sailing industry – a powerful group of sailing-related companies dedicated to promoting sailing. More information can be found at

About NCMA:

The Northern California Marine Association, a non-profit trade association representing the recreational marine industry in Northern California, was founded in 1972. The NCMA's promotes the recreational marine industry and the interest of its members, by providing promotional and educational programs, legislative action, and member services. NCMA produced boat shows are designed to promote the boating lifestyle and to make recreational boating products available to the general public. More information can be found at