We were able to attend the show Thursday through Saturday. We got in late Thursday afternoon and had a look around to identify where everything was situated and get the lay of the land. We had dinner at Kincaid's. Highly recommend the place if you're near Jack London Square. Thursday was fairly uneventful. After dinner we went back to the hotel had a nightcap and relaxed by the water.
Friday started with a 3 hour cruise and intro to catamaran sailing. This was instructed by the Tradewinds sailing club based out of San Francisco. The instructors were great and easy to get along with. It was an extremely condensed ASA 114 course. They also teach the full ASA 114 if you are in the area and are interested. The class was given on a Seawind 1160 "Caprice". It was a great boat and Lisa and I along with 4 other students got a chance at the helm working the two engines to get a feel for how the boat maneuvers under power. After everyone had their hand at the controls we put up the main and jib to cruise around the harbor for about an hour. Then it was back for some docking practice.
After the intro to catamarans it was time to go take a closer look at the catamarans they had at the show. Unfortunately the Leopard didn't make it for the show so we were unable to check that one out. They did have a Lagoon 400 and a Fountaine Pajot 44 Helia. There are countless reviews online so I won't go too in depth here. It was good to get aboard both vessels to get a sense of the size. Both were lovely boats and with only the extra 4 feet in length the Helia felt so much larger. The one thing I didn't appreciate on both boats was the raised helm. I'm looking at more of a protected helm for those times when you're not sailing in paradise. I keep coming back to the Antares 44i for a multitude of options but notably the more protected helm position.
Saturday at the show was another great day. We sat in on a full day seminar from John and Amanda Neal, the crew of Mahina Tiare III. They provide 10-14 day excursions as they sail around the world. When they're not on the water teaching future sailors the skills and adventure of offshore passage making they're conducting seminars at boat shows across the globe. They are a great couple that seem to really enjoy sailing and teaching people the joys of sailing. Their class covers almost everything from how to buy and prepare your meals aboard to how to conduct routine engine maintenance. It was a great class and I recommend it if you have thoughts of offshore passage making or want to learn about a great couple and their high seas adventures.
Lisa and I had a wonderful get away weekend in Oakland and loved checking out all the new boats and sitting in on John and Amanda's seminar as well as the free seminars we were able to attend. If you're thinking about day sailing or sailing around the world you should check out one of the Strictly Sail shows around your area. They are a great opportunity to meet other sailors, see new equipment and boats. You can also get in a short class or two while you're there.