by Des Ryan
Seminars have always been a small feature of Boat Shows, but now, round the world, organisers are seeing their ticket numbers grow as they introduce more and more seminars into their boat show mix. Sometimes there are so many seminars one wonders when you would have time to look at the boats and equipment.
Seminars by a huge range of technical experts prove very popular with boat shows all over the world
Take the Seattle Boat Show, just about to take place in January. This particular super successful boat show is now offering hundreds of seminars - many of them free, and a few of them - the less commercial ones - at a small ($40 per session) fee.
The show opens Jan. 24 and has just released their packed seminar schedule, including everything from destiations to boat buying to maintenance and electronics.
Boat Show University is offering the paid seminars. They are offering 18 seminars to help make cruising safe and fun. With courses on weather, cruising to Alaska and new technologies, the education program features well-known nautical experts such as Lee Chesneau, Linda Lewis, Mike Beemer and Mark Bunzel. There will be three-hour nautical training and full-day seminars.
New this year will be classes by Steve D’Antonio. With nearly 25 years of experience as a marine mechanic, electrician, consultant and boatyard manager, D’Antonio is one of the most knowledgeable boating experts in the country, said show organizers. He is presenting an all-day course and two three-hour courses.
The three-hour programs are $39 with a special package including four courses and boat show admission for $149. All-day sessions are $195. All courses are available for advanced registration on the show website.
The free seminars run the gamut: Beginner topics include introduction to marine radar, docking techniques and anchoring basics; advanced topics include use of the asymmetric spinnaker and how to get your captain’s license.
There are plenty of options for sailors planning an offshore cruise or just dreaming of cruising. For those who prefer to stay close to home, seminars include cruising South Puget Sound, the marine parks of the San Juan Islands, the central and north coast of British Columbia, and traveling to Alaska. For those with goals of going farther, seminars include the Coho Ho Ho or Baja Ha-Ha rallies, cruising from Mexico to Australia, and cruising in the tropics.
Among seminars that are new for 2014 are sessions on cruising with kids, paperwork requirements for cruising Mexico, cruising to Fitz Hugh Sound, tools to observe and forecast weather patterns, and using the iPad and tablets for marine weather and navigation.
Seminars: The complete schedule of seminars can be viewed at www.seattleboatshow.com/seminars.