So we rolled up to San Francisco in early April to see my brother and family and visit the Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show,,,,here’s the first of three posts about the trip. The Pacific Sail and Power Boat Show was held at Craneway Pavilion and Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond California from April 6th to the 9th 2017 and LF2SF was there. I’ll be writing three different posts about our two days there, because it seemed to be very different experiences depending on what portion of the event we were at.
Yep, we were up there for only two days but there were very different portions of the same event that stuck out. First, there was the indoor “booth” portion of the show at Craneway Pavilion that was the largest one I’ve ever been to because of the venue. Thankfully, we were indoors for most of the two days, because it was gray, overcast and raining throughout the two days. The night before we arrived, there had been a big blow through Marina Bay Yacht Harbor,,,,which folks were talking about when we arrived at the show. Several boats had been damaged (one holed) and at least one of the temporary docks had come loose and sailed away. There was still residual wind, rain and overcast skies.
Craneway Pavilion is a massive conference center (several city blocks long and one city block wide) that used to be the largest Ford Manufacturing Plants on the West Coast of the United States. Although on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s been repurposed to support businesses that include Mountain Hardware, various other tenants and the outstanding Assemble Restaurant. The “booth” portion of the boat show was held in the very western end of the building, taking up the entire north south space of the building and allowing room for multiple larger areas and booths.
This was an impressive show, the largest collection of Marine related products and services I’ve ever been to and impressive in itself. This portion of the show wasn’t just about selling to customers like me, it was obvious that certain portions of the marine industry had shown up in force and were there to see and be seen and show off their wares. In addition to the on-water show and the booth show, there were multiple expert sessions and seminars on the second floor you could sign up for and sit through,,,,but our kids never would have made it so we had to skip those. Every evening, there were multiple industry cocktail hours, bands and various parties,,,but since we were visiting relatives in the area, we skipped those too. And, the kids never would have made it through the entire day at the boat show then an evening out. Would have been nice, but time with family is better.
While walking around the show, we decided to look the first day and buy the second, but only found a few things we wanted. First, I wanted a great knife I could use on the boat that won’t affect my compass headings and already knew I wanted to look at the Boye Knives brand. I was pretty impressed. The knife blades are made of cobalt, which doesn’t affect your compass at all. The owner of the Company was there in person and made sure I looked at a couple of the “seconds” they brought (which means they were less expensive), I was still impressed because they were basically perfect. Second, while walking around we could not walk away from the consummate showman at the ATN booth, who just wanted us to watch him climb ropes. He turned out to be Etienne Giroire himself,,,,the owner of ATN, Inc-
Other things of note that stood out as we walked around the show are below:
I thought we would see all types of anchors, anchor manufacturers and distributors but we only found two of note: Mantus and Ultra Anchors. I was bummed that I didn’t find my own anchor represented or find other anchor folks there, but I think it’s because they are mostly sold by distributors, not direct to customers. Sooo, we had a great time at the Ultra Anchor sand pits, testing mini-anchors. Anytime we find that sand pit at any boat show, me and the girls are entranced. Check out the pics below:
I also found a larger retailer of metal and fiberglass portholes (including some that fit Hunter 460’s) Newfound Metals.
Although it looks a bit weird and I’m not sure about the durability of the product in direct sunlight on a sailboat or with a Great Dane in it, we spend some time looking carefully at the Porta-Bote, getting a complete demonstration from the energetic sales manager, Mr Greg Marlow. Plus, the boats are made right here in California, USA and I would have gotten a hell of a deal if I had purchased at the show,,,,but sadly funds would not allow such a thing.
Satisfying my own curiosity and a request from one of the readers of this blog (and a good friend who was one of my first followers), I spent quite a bit of time looking at, into and through the portable fresh water Rainman System. One of the actual owners or managers of the company has sometimes come up on Cruisers Forum and I was so interested in the system I was temped to contact him but refrained. I like the system because it’s portable and doesn’t involve holes in my boat. My boat currently has a water maker which I don’t trust because of the engineering on it and the various low quality fittings I’ve found. Using a Rainman system would allow me to close up one through-hull and be able to watch water go into my tanks, instead of hoping that the current system is clean and water’s going in the tanks instead of leaking into the bilge. I could also take the Rainman system off the boat if we sold it,,,,,or sell it with the boat,,,,but at least I would have an option.
As a Boy Scout in my youth and having been in the outdoors environments most of my life, so I’ve a big fan of having some kind of planned backup systems for most everything, (even if it’s just knowing the plan). Like every other Hunter 460, Tulum IV has a Spade Rudder. This kind of rudder on a sailboat has plenty of detractors and myths and legends about it, but the truth is it’s still a large rudder sticking off the end of your sailboat with no skeg or other method to protect it, so I prefer to have a backup of some kind if something were to go wrong. While I could rig a warp or some other ad hoc method to deal with an emergency, I prefer to just have an emergency rudder on the boat for peace of mind and insurance. So, Tulum IV has a large enough “SOS Rudder” from Scanmar International to handle the boat if something bad happens to the primary rudder. This gives me peace of mind and it’s a very nice piece of gear to have on the boat,,,and fairly expensive too. Scanmar was at the boat show with a full booth and I was able to let them know ahead of time I was coming, what boat I had and that I was interested in talking to them about the possibility of purchasing a Windvane for my boat, which they have installed on other Hunter 460’s in the past. Their website has the pictures to prove it and I was interested in discussing which product would be right for Tulum IV. I was pretty impressed when we walked up with two small children interested in everything else but wind vanes and one of the gentlemen broke away from an obvious industry conversation to ask me if he could assist. On introduction, he knew right away who I was and that I owned a Hunter 460. He already had the specs from installs on other Hunters and suggested a servo-pendulum mounted Monitor Windvane on a SwingGate system so we could still use the back swim ladder on Tulum. How impressed was I, especially since the gentlemen took 15-20 minutes to discuss the Monitor with us and understood when the kids became too rowdy for us to stay longer. More impressive was when he gave me his card and told me to call and discuss with one of his managers when I was ready for installation. The gentlemen who broke away from his conversation and talked with me and my wife was Mr. Mike Scheck, President and CEO of Scanmar International, based in San Leandro, California, USA.
We spent the rest of the first day walking throughout various clothing booths, sail manufacturers and distributors and any other sort of sailing or power boating parts you could probably think of. Check out the pics below:
Rounding out the day,,,,Mountain Hardware Store, SS Red Oak Victory and Riggers Loft Wine Company,,,,,next Post.
This is our review of the Pacific Sail and Powerboat Show. We’re also working on our post about the Newport Boat Show and we’re going to the San Diego International Boat Show next weekend for Father’s Day.
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