Port Credit & Southampton Boat Shows 2009 - seminars | Distant Shores Sailing Newsletters

Port Credit & Southampton Boat Shows 2009 - seminars

One of the pleasures of the cruising lifestyle is the opportunity to get together with fellow boaters and share stories, information and experience. This can take place informally aboard one another’s boats, at the yacht club, over a drink at a local sailor’s bar in some foreign port. More formally it occurs through books and websites, podcasts, DVDs, television programs like Distant Shores, or - like the last few weekends where we spoke at the Port Credit Boat Show in Canada and Southampton Boat Show in England - at boat show seminars.

I enjoy seminars since they are such a nice mix of formal and informal exchange of information. The classroom setting and style means a lot of information can be shared but the live interaction between seminar leader and seminar participants makes the whole thing casual and friendly, at least when the topic is about boating!

Paul and I have been cruising internationally now for 20 years and have 76,000 nm under our keels. We set sail from Toronto on September 21, 1989, on our first cruise, a 3-year Atlantic Circle aboard our self-built Classic 37 sailboat, Two-Step, that took us to the Bahamas, transatlantic to the Mediterranean, south to the Canary Islands and Brazil, then home to Canada via the Caribbean. The adventures have continued ever since with further travels in to the Mediterranean and countries of the Middle East and Caribbean. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to pass on what we’ve learned so that others may experience the joys of navigating to interesting places by boat too.

August 28,29, and 30th was the 19th Annual Port Credit Boat Show in Mississauga, Canada, just west of Toronto on Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. While Paul worked in the studio completing post-production on new episodes of the Distant Shores TV series, I attended the boat show and each day conducted seminars about cruising in the Bahamas and Caribbean. We’ve now made 8 cruises through the Bahamas and 3 through the islands of the Caribbean. The turn-out for the seminar was excellent with standing room only despite the cool windy weather on a couple of afternoons. Thanks everyone for coming out and for your input!

With the help of our parents and office manager, Jill Schaffner, who looks after our office and fulfills book and DVD orders, I also manned a booth alongside fellow authors and filmmakers and had a great weekend talking to boaters, both power and sail, about the cruising lifestyle.

September 11, 12, and 13 Paul and I were in England for the first weekend of the Southampton Boat Show where we were invited to participate in the world premiere ceremonies of the new Southerly 49 along with yacht designer Rob Humphries and 2-times world circumnavigator, Dee Caffari. The ceremony and press call was on the Friday morning.

For the rest of the weekend we were at the Southerly stand to speak to visitors and cruising sailors about their upcoming plans for long-distance voyages.

The Southerly 49 on display at the Southampton show, which runs until September 20th, is hull #1 and is headed for Australia. Our new Southerly 49 is hull #2 and is well under construction. It was fun to be at the show and get familiar with the 49 there by showing people around the boat.

There was a large fleet of Southerly yachts on display at the boat show from the 32 up to the 49 and with the beautiful summer weather that weekend, many people came out to see or try out the boats.

We also enjoyed meeting many fans of the Distant Shores TV series, which airs in the UK and 50 other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa on Travel Channel here. Northshore had set up a nice area where we could sit and talk to those people that dropped by to say hello and ask questions about outfitting a boat for long-distance cruising. It’s a two-way exchange since these sessions always raise interesting topics and give us new ideas to share with others through our magazine articles and TV programs as well the newsletters and New Boat Blog on our website.

Another great thing about boat shows is the chance to meet up with manufacturers and suppliers of equipment we have depended on over the years. Friday night we had dinner with the team from Pantaenius Yacht Insurance who has looked after us throughout years of adventure under sail. We have always dealt with the UK office but they recently opened an office in the US for those of you that are interested.

On the Saturday night we gave a presentation at the Southerly Owners Dinner at the Royal Southern Yacht Club a beautiful club in the picturesque village of Hamble on the Hamble River and had a chance to meet and converse with many knowledgeable Southerly owners. Most had never cruised in the Bahamas so using excerpts from the Distant Shores Season 5: The Med to the Caribbean and Bahamas DVD we showed them what a perfect place the Bahamas is for shallow-draft cruising.

All and all it has been a great start to the boat show season! Next stop is the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis MD from October 8-12 where we and our Southerly 42, Distant Shores, will be at the Southerly America booth on Dock D. January 8-12 we’ll see you at the London Boat Show where our new Southerly 49 will be on display and then we’ll be in Toronto for the end of the Toronto Boat Show January 14-17.

There are lots of great new products and innovations on the market to make life aboard more comfortable, safe and pleasurable. As boats are hauled out and winter sets in planning next year’s adventures by doing research, taking a course, attending boat shows, reading a good book are all ways to deal with cold weather and keep the cruising dream alive until spring launch. Paul will be discussing the new gear we are considering for our new Southerly 49 in his New Boat Blog so we invite you to drop by the Distant Shores website regularly to take a look.
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