The 43rd annual St. Petersburg Power and Sailboat Show took place on January 14-17 at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park. Our Downtown was jammed with visitors strolling around the waterfront with big grins of anticipation.
Young couples with toddlers, and older retirees, all dreaming of life on the water. They wandered, asked questions and explored an extraordinary selection of 400 powerboats, and sailboats, in water and on land, including a large tent housing many types of marine gear as well as 250 exhibitors.
Escaping the pandemic blues with an out-of-town vacation is difficult right now, so hundreds of sea-loving visitors long to be the captain of their own ship.
As a broker, exhibitor Captain Richard Fachtmann said, “I don’t care that it’s freezing, raining and windy because the people that did bother to drive here, park the car, walk to the show, get their temperature checked and mask up are serious buyers.”
Hendrik Bisanz said he is happy to show off the beautiful Florida west coast for charters aboard his SEASALT Sailing 40-foot catamaran with the services of private Chef Bridget through her SALT & SEA Coastal Cuisine.
As the owner of SEASALT Properties, Hendrik reflected on how lucky Tampa Bay area residents are to live in paradise.
“Our agents will help you buy a house overlooking the water and you can pretend like you’re living at sea year-round,” he said.
An impressive lineup of new boats, marine gear and accessories were on display keeping safety, and social distancing, in mind for both exhibitors and the public, said Chris Fleming, show director and director of business development for Informa Markets.
“We worked closely with the City of St. Petersburg to address the needs of downtown business owners, and residents, requesting that masks be worn and implementing extensive sanitizing of all handrails, seating and areas of embarkation around the boats,” Fleming said. “We worked on creating a safe environment to allow people to go out, and social distance, and not live in fear but be respectful of COVID and able to work with it.”
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