When Sail America, the trade association for the U.S. sailing industry, moved their West Coast boat show from Oakland to Richmond, Richmond embraced the challenge. In its first year, even though extremely bad weather hit Richmond, the show was a hit. Last year the show was amazing and this year it’s shaping up to give us, at Visit Richmond, even more to be excited about! If you’re local or traveling to the show, we hope you can visit at least two out of the four show days, April 4-7 2019, to take in all that one of the West Coast’s largest celebrations of marine sports, the Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show, has to offer. Whether you’re new to sailing or a weathered sea captain, the show has plenty to see and do!
Be sure to stop and chat – we’re at booth E8 in the Craneway Pavilion this year. We’d love to meet you and help you get the most out of the show and your stay in Richmond. Pick up a Richmond Trail Guide and the popular free pass to the Columbia Sportswear Employee Store, right around the building from Craneway.
Traveling here for the show?
If you’re planning a trip to Richmond for the show, remember area hotels book up early. If you plan to stay near the show, or if you’re looking for a dog friendly hotel, call us for recommendations and be sure to make your reservations well in advance. Here’s our list of Richmond Hotels.
Getting to the show
The Craneway Pavillion is a beautiful venue at the tip of Ford Point. From the Craneway you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Marin, and of course the San Francisco Bay and its beautiful sunsets. And like all good things, getting there can be confusing the first time, but well worth it. If you’re driving from S.F., you’ll exit the 580 on South Harbour and drive through gates into the shipbuilding yards, then follow the signs to the show. Ample free parking is adjacent to the Craneway. Of course, if you’re taking the ferry from San Francisco, you’ll disembark right at the door to the show – it doesn’t get any easier than that! For ferry schedules visit https://sanfranciscobayferry.com/richmond-sched
Getting around at the show
Exhibits are in two locations: in the Craneway’s indoor hall, and outdoor at the Marina. The indoor exhibits include all manner of boating equipment, new high tech gear and the latest technology, including the super cool new SiOnyx Night Vision Camera, The outdoor in-water displays at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor include boat tours of the latest models and an opportunity to talk with the experts, plus demos that let you play skipper and take the wheel!
Shuttles run every 20 minutes the short distance to the in-water displays, but we highly recommend you bring walking shoes and taking a little stroll – the pathway is charming, the views are incredible, and it’s a great chance to relax and unwind.
Making a day of it
If you’re making the boat show part of a bigger excursion, there are plenty of nearby restaurants, including Ahn’s Vietnamese Kitchen just steps from the in-water exhibits. Enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine and Richmond’s East Brother beer out on their patio overlooking the water, then head over to Rigger’s Loft for a great selection of local wines. And if you visit on a Friday night, you’ll usually find live jazz and a lively crowd, and some truly beautiful nighttime bridge views.
Richmond has great eateries for breakfast or lunch before the show – from coffeehouses to pub grub to food trucks to fine dining. Pick up a Trail Guide at our booth to find some local favorites, or visit VisitRichmondCA.com to explore.
It’s a party!
The gathering area outside the pavilion holds a small bandstand with live music. Gourmet food trucks and ample seating make it the perfect place to break for some fun and gab. Next door, Assemble Restaurant has beers on tap and serves re-tooled American Classics, including a great clam chowder.
And if you’re taking the ferry back to San Francisco, enjoy a cocktail on board!
Last year Friday and Saturday night parties were packed! Latitude 38 will once again host a Friday night party at Assemble Restaurant offering small bites and Richmond’s East Brother Beer Co. beer on tap. Partnering with Latitude 38, Twin Marine Insurance will provide excellent wine, as they did last year.
Cruising Outpost will host their party Saturday at 6pm in the bandstand patio area adjacent to the Craneway Pavillion. The Eric Stone Band will play, and expect lots of giveaways including a one-week charter in the British Virgin Islands! Proceeds go to help the Call of the Sea, which works with The Educational Tall Ship Foundation that is building the Mathew Turner Tall Ship in Sausalito, CA.
Learning at the Boat Show, and the perils of the bay
Be sure to sign up for a seminar or two – many are free. Over 50 seminars are offered on topics ranging from Understanding and Troubleshooting Boat Electrical Systems by well known expert Nigel Calder, to Planning Your Cruise Around the World: One Destination at a Time, to Reading the Weather. And did you know the San Francisco Bay is one of the most challenging places to sail in the world? We want you to stay safe out there, especially those new to sailing.
Young people have a great time learning at the show! Exhibitors love to answer questions and hear what our young folks are thinking about boating and boats. Free kayaking and Stand Up Paddling lessons are especially fun for the younger crowd. And for the kid in all of us, racing the battery operated model yachts from the docks is a blast.
The show is a great opportunity for students to learn about science and technology. Groundwork Richmond, a group training our next generation of environmental stewards, offers STEAM based learning as they restore the local environment. You can meet them when you take your free kayaking lesson. Call us for youth group rates, ticket giveaways or if you are looking for other ways to get youth involved in the water, water sports, and sailing. Richmond is a great place to celebrate the environment!
On Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm you can watch an actual U.S. Coastguard Helicopter Search & Rescue demo out on the shoreline park. Last year it was amazing to watch the helicopter land!
Bay Area trip planning
If the show is part of your larger San Francisco Bay Area trip, you might also want to check out these happenings: The US Olympic Sailing Team will be training on Treasure Island and the U.S. SailGP team will be out on the San Francisco Bay practicing for the upcoming competition on their F50 wingsailed catamarans — with hydrofoils speeds of over 50 knots!
If you’re an annual visitor to the show, be sure to get in touch and subscribe. We’ll keep you in the loop with show press releases, area guides, new things to do, special rates and deals, and anything else we can provide to make it a great trip.
See you at the show!
Matt & Desiree (And Frangi! Dogs aren’t allowed at the show, but she’ll be waiting to hear all about it from Matt afterward at one of our many dog-friendly restaurants and parks!)
Visit Richmond CA
Visit Richmond CA
Visit Richmond CA