Since he became Executive Director in July of 2006, Jonathan Banks has been busy with a whirlwind schedule of Sail America events, including the General Members meeting in Annapolis and his first Strictly Sail® show in St. Petersburg. He shares with you answers to some of the questions he has dealt with from members and encourages you to e-mail him at email@example.com with your thoughts and comments.
1. Have there been any surprises during your first five months as Executive Director?
“There have been plenty of surprises. Fortunately, most of them have been good. Overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the great work that has been accomplished by Sail America over the years. For that, I would like to thank current and former Sail America staff, as well as the many Board members, committees and volunteers that form the backbone of Sail America. On the flip side, I’m surprised that we don’t have more members. Considering everything that Sail America does to support the growth of the sailing industry, I would have hoped that many more companies in the sailing industry would be supporting our efforts. I plan to address this issue by offering more value to our members and doing a better job at communicating the advantages of membership.”
2. What were your impressions of the sailboat shows you've attended so far at Newport and Annapolis and of course, Strictly Sail St. Petersburg?
“Without doubt, the sailboat shows are one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of my role as executive director. The shows provide me with a chance to meet existing and prospective members, identify industry trends, measure the health of the market, and compare our Strictly Sail shows with other shows. The mood at all the shows I’ve attended so far has been extremely positive, and many in the sailing industry are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for 2007. I was genuinely impressed with Strictly Sail St. Pete. There was a great deal of buzz and excitement at the show. Exhibitors reported a successful show, and attendees seemed to have a great time.”
3. How would you describe your vision for the overall marketing plan for Sail America in the coming year? What are some of the priorities for Sail America?
“My vision is to create an organization that will become an essential sales and marketing resource for any company involved in the sailing market. Going forward, we need to focus on promoting the sailing lifestyle, introducing new people to sailing, increasing participation in sailing, and improving the sailboat buying and sailboat ownership experience. My immediate priorities for Sail America include redefining our organization to better support our mission and the industry, and getting Sail America moving in exciting new directions.”
4. What do you see as the biggest opportunities Sail America should take advantage of to grow sailing?
“I would say that the Grow Boating Initiative is probably the single biggest opportunity we have to grow sailing. Grow Boating’s mission to promote the boating lifestyle and improve the boating experience will undoubtedly help to increase participation in sailing and increase the sales of sailboat-related products and services. We are working closely with the Grow Boating team to ensure that sailing is well represented in all Grow Boating programs.
In addition to our involvement with Grow Boating, Sail America will continue to promote the sailing lifestyle through our various marketing programs and the Strictly Sail Boat Shows.”
5. How can members become more active in Sail America? How can their opinions be heard?
“Members are encouraged to join working committees to contribute to Sail America's success and to bring fresh ideas to the ongoing efforts to grow the sailing industry. There are currently three committees (Shows, Association, and Marketing), and I am also looking into establishing new committees to represent specific segments of the sailing industry (e.g. sailmakers, fractional sailing, dealers, etc.). I encourage you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate in any of the existing committees or if you are interested in forming a new committee to represent your specific industry segment.”
Strictly Sail® Returns to Philadelphia for Exciting 2007 Show
Strictly Sail returns to the City of Brotherly Love for 2007, opening from Jan. 18-21 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The only “all-sail” indoor boat show on the East Coast features the latest sailboats, accessories, gear and charter information from more than 250 exhibitors.
The 2nd Strictly Sail Philadelphia Show promises to be one of the best shows ever, and is expected to attract upwards of 15,000 attendees from throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Some of the biggest names in sailing will be presenting a full schedule of daily seminars and special events for sailors of all ages and abilities.
Kevin Murphy, national show manager for Sail America, said: “We looked carefully at what worked in 2005 and what didn’t, and we listened to feedback from exhibitors and attendees. As a result, we believe we’re creating one of the most exciting shows of the year. Strictly Sail Philadelphia will appeal to sailing enthusiasts, as well as offer an unforgettable experience to new visitors.”
This year’s show will offer an exciting lineup of sailboats ranging in size from sailing dinghies to 50-foot luxury cruisers, plus all the latest sailing gear, accessories and equipment to outfit a boat.
Strictly Sail shows have become a resource for learning and fun, putting “edutainment” at the forefront of the planning, said Murphy, by adding more interactive exhibits and providing an opportunity for new sailors to learn about sailing. For the more experienced sailor, the show includes more activities to improve their skills and become more confident at the helm.
Events Planned for the Show Include:
SEMINARS ~ World adventure cruisers, authors, experts in navigation software, and sailing equipment specialists will share their stories and knowledge through the show's extensive seminar program.
AUTHOR’S CORNER ~ Some of the greatest adventurers of our time will be on hand to share their sailing experiences.
JACK KLANG’S CHART BLANKET ~ Visitors can stop by the 9 by 12 foot navigation chart and learn new techniques about sailing, boat handling, safety, and cruising under sail.
THE HARKEN WINCH GRINDER ~ Visitors can compare to the top America’s Cup grinders and win great prizes provided by Harken for setting the best times.
REGATTAS ~ Family and friends can go head to head around the race course at the indoor pond. For the first time in Philadelphia, visitors will have a chance to sail indoors
New Product and Boat Debut Area, Kids Boatbuilding Programs, Indoor Sailing Pond, Live Entertainment, the Eric Stone Band, Nightly Parties and more fun than ever before.
For more information, please visit www.strictlysail.com or call Sail America at (800) 817-SAIL.
Strictly Sail® Chicago Opens Feb 1-4 for Largest Indoor U.S. Sailboat Show
More than 20,000 sailors will come in from the cold to fuel their passion at Strictly Sail Chicago--the largest indoor, all-sail show in the nation. Now an established tradition in its 12th year, Strictly Sail Chicago from Feb. 1-4 at the Navy Pier attracts sailing enthusiasts who love to check out the latest new sailboats, gear and accessories while they discuss the upcoming season.
With a mix of entertainment and education, Strictly Sail Chicago is a family friendly show geared to sailors of every age and skill level. With comprehensive seminars, interactive displays and special events, novice sailors can learn the basics while seasoned seafarers can ratchet up their skills. Sailing adventure cruisers, authors and world-class experts will share their experiences and knowledge during the popular seminar program.
Children are encouraged to attend the show and enjoy the Kids Club, where junior sailors will build their own sailboat models, design and draw “sailboats of the future” and race boats on a makeshift “lake” on the show floor.
For more information for exhibitors and visitors, please contact StrictlySailChicago.com or Kevin Murphy at (401) 841-0900 ext. 28.
The World’s Greatest Boat Show to Return to South Florida, Feb. 15-19
The 66th Miami International Boat Show and 22nd Strictly Sail Miami will anchor in South Florida for a five-day run, Feb. 15-19 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center and Miamarina at Bayside.
The annual celebration of the boating lifestyle brings together more than 2,200 exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest in powerboats, sailboats, engines, personal watercraft and marine accessories before an audience of more than 145,000 national and international visitors. The show also offers boating enthusiasts the opportunity to test drive watercraft, participate in interactive seminars and gain access to a wealth of resources for enhancing time spent on the water.
“The Miami show is truly the world’s greatest because it offers something for everyone,” said Cathy Johnston, vice president of Southern Shows for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which produces the show. “Exhibitors use the Miami show to introduce new products for the upcoming season, while consumers find a one-stop source for all of their boating needs as well as a venue for getting the best deals on every product imaginable.”
Added Kevin Murphy, show manager for Strictly Sail Miami: “The Miami show sets the barometer for new boat sales in the U.S. Moreover, it marks the busiest weekend in South Florida and brings tremendous economic benefits to the state, including $817.8 million in gross sales and wages.”
Highlights of the 2007 Strictly Sail Miami will include:
For more information about Strictly Sail Miami, call Sail America at (800) 817-SAIL or visit www.strictlysail.com.
- Discover Sailing Center
Visitors of all ages can experience the thrill of sailing under the supervision of an experienced sailor at the Discover Sailing Center, located on a floating dock between Piers A and B at Miamarina. These free half-hour lessons will introduce those unaccustomed to the sailing experience to the pleasure and joys of the sport while remaining in a controlled environment.
- Sailing Seminar Series
Visitors can hone their skills and receive tips for enhancing their sailing experiences through a daily series of free seminars led by renowned experts.
- Kids Aboard Boat Building Program
Children ages six and older can participate in free boat building workshops from noon to 6 p.m., Friday through Monday. Under the supervision of bilingual, U.S.-certified instructors, children will create two 10-foot wooden sailing yachts that will be launched into Biscayne Bay on Monday.
Attendance Increases at Strictly Sail® St. Petersburg
Strictly Sail St. Petersburg’s 2006 attendance increased over last year, buoyed by consumer optimism and the inclusion of trawlers and power cruisers in the show for the first time.
“The inclusion of trawlers at this show gave visitors something else to look at and the more there is to see, the better the crowds are,” said Kevin Murphy, Sail America’s national show manager.
Exhibitors were pleased by the upbeat, buying mood of the crowd and the sales inquiries generated at the show. Said Tim Stodola, sales manager for Doyle Sails, the largest local sailmaker in the Tampa Bay area: “As far as boat shows go, this one was exceptional. From a sales standpoint, it’s one of the best shows we’ve had in many years.”
“It was a very enthusiastic crowd,” noted Dave Johnson, who handles outside sales for JSI, a St. Petersburg marine superstore specializing in canvas, rigging and all types of marine hardware. “People were at the show to shop and buy. I’d say it’s the best St. Pete show we’ve had in the last three years.” Bill Wright of JSI concurred, saying JSI nearly doubled its show sales from the year before.
Ed Massey of Massey Yacht Sales said, “One of the most positive things I noticed about this year’s show is that most people were not bothered by hurricanes or fuel prices. People were at ease and the traffic was good. The crowd seemed greater than in years past and sported good, positive attitudes.”
The Trawler and Cruiser Expo sponsored by Power Cruising magazine, and a lineup of new sailboats, sailing gear, special event and seminars, all contributed to increased attendance. In reference to the debut of the Trawler and Cruiser Expo, Massey reported: “The salesmen were quite impressed with the level of inquiries they received. Attendees really seemed to like this section. There’s a clear connection between sailors that want to sail and older sailors who want to stay in yachting but move to the next level of vessel that’s easier to handle.”
Bo Brown, sales manager for Yacht Sales Florida in St. Petersburg, said his company had three venues at the show--a brokerage booth, the North American debut of the new Hanse 540, which he said “got tremendous activity,” and a new Ocean Alexander 48C trawler in the new Trawler and Power Cruiser Expo that also “got some good activity.”
“I think having trawlers in the show was a good idea—the show definitely needs to be built up,” Brown said, noting the show was a good one for his company.
Jim Stoup, broker for Island Packet Yachts, said Strictly Sail St. Petersburg was “a wonderful show. We sold two boats there. We had the new SP Cruiser-- a brand-new Island Packet model and it got rave reviews and was one of the show’s stars. It was an exciting show for us--we had a lot of folks come by that were either in the market for a sailboat now or down the road will be looking for a sailboat.”
Travis Blain, president of Mack Sails of Stuart, FL, said the company set a new sales record at the St. Petersburg show, selling $45,000 worth of sails, rigging and hardware. “It went great,” he said, noting about 25% of his St. Pete show customers were current customers who stopped by to meet him, while the other 75% were new customers.
Harken Inc. promotes Sail America Board Member Bill Goggins
Bill Goggins, Sail America board member and vice president of the marketing committee, has been promoted from his position as marketing manager at Harken Inc., to the role of commercial manager, effective immediately.
Goggins first joined Harken, a U.S. manufacturer of sailboat hardware and accessories, in 1998. He will now be responsible for Harken's newly formed global OEM, Aftermarket, Grand-Prix and Custom sales divisions. He will also continue to manage Harken's international marketing team.
Lewmar Launches OneTouch Winch Handle and Wins the Top DAME Award at METS
Lewmar’s innovative OneTouch Winch Handle won the top DAME award at METS, the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam, which was held from Nov. 14-16. The OneTouch won “best of show” out of 166 products from 136 companies worldwide.
||The “Best of Show” DAME award was given to Peter O'Connell, Lewmar Managing Director, during a Breakfast Briefing at METS to honor Lewmar’s OneTouch Winch Handle.
The DAME Award is the most globally competitive prize for marine equipment.
In what has been described as the “Oscars” of the marine equipment industry, the DAME Award jury chose the OneTouch for its “extremely clever rethinking of a piece of equipment whose formulaic design most people take for granted,” said Kim Hollamby, chairman of the jury of the DAME Award. Winning the overall Dame Award is considered a prestigious statement of Lewmar’s excellence in all facets of design.
|| Lewmar’s award-winning OneTouch Winch Handle is available in three versions: Single Grip, Power Grip and Double Grip; all fit any manufacturer’s winch (www.lewmar.com).
“Elegant in concept, aesthetically pleasing, strong on detail design, well executed, effective and a great step forward – Lewmar’s OneTouch Winch Handle ticked all the essential DAME boxes and is therefore a very worthy winner,” Hollamby said.
Lewmar’s new OneTouch winch handle, with its patented “one touch” lock-in mechanism, provides sailors with a stylish, powerful and easy-to-use handle that offers rapid and simple winch entry and exit. To insert, simply squeeze the handle and place it into the winch. To remove, squeeze and remove it all in one motion. Both operations can be performed one-handed.
Edson’s Pump Out Nozzle with Splash Guard is DAME Award Winner
||Edson Pump Out Nozzle is a METS category award-winner for its unique design.
Edson’s Pump Out Nozzle with Splash Guard was named a category winner in the 2006 METS DAME Award competition. The Pump Out Nozzle incorporates a unique splash guard flange that secures a 4” area around the nozzle and creates an air tight hose-to-waste deck fitting connection.
For more information on Gil North America visit www.gillna.com
According to the DAME Jury Report, the Edson Pump Out Nozzle (www.edsonintl.com) is “a great example of how design effort can improve established equipment.”
Gill North America is the Official Gear Sponsor for Sail America
Gill North America is now the official gear sponsor for Sail America, contributing a package of gear valued at over $10,000. Through Gill’s contribution, the Strictly Sail® team will be outfitted in world-class sailing gear for the fall, winter and spring shows.
“We are pleased to contribute Sail America’s efforts to grow the sport of sailing,” said Gill North America President David Pritchard. “We know our apparel and luggage will support Sail America’s Strictly Sail shows that consistently work to expand the national market for sailing.”
Included in the contribution are Gill’s Coast Lite and Coast Warm jackets and waist pants, Infinity shelled vests; i2 men and women’s crew necks and long-sleeved base layers, i3 Beanie hats, i4 Fleece jackets, Oxford and golf shirts, plus Tall Yachting Boots, Cargo Bags and Tarp Barrel Bags.
“Gill North America is already well-known as a generous contributor to support sailing and Sail America is enormously grateful for the company’s support,” said Jonathan Banks, Sail America’s executive director. “We know our team will be outfitted in first-class style with Gill’s high-performance apparel and luggage.”
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season and Prosperous New Year!