505s At SAILEXPO '96

SAILEXPO ended at 5:00 pm Sunday, after 9 days; we packed up the boat and stand, and made it home in record time.

Once again, we had representatives from other class associations telling us we had the best class association stand - by far - at the show (I believe we not only looked better and more organized than the other class associations, but we out did many of the builders and agents as well!)

505 Class Stand photos from the SAILEXPO 1996 Show

Some people visited the 505 stand 5 times or more to look at more video, discuss boats on the boats for sale list, and ask more questions. LOTS of interest, we have names of many people who are interested in a ride on a 505, are looking for used boats, are interested in crewing, are fixing up older boats and need some assistance, and so on.

On the first Saturday, every college sailor at SAILEXPO must have spent time in the 505 stand, thanks to Ryan, Tyler, Mike, and other ex college sailors they knew!

We were across the aisle from Sunfish/Laser; most of their staff manged to find the time to watch some of our videos and our computerized slide show, and review the literature we were handing out. After nine days of the Sunfish/Laser "escape" video, the entire Sunfish/Laser staff (OK, may be I am exagerating, just the ones I spoke to) was happy when we cranked up the Rolling Stones "flight 505" on the boom box to drown out their soundtrack - we had at least one person dancing in our stand.

The show included three of the new twin wire asymmetric boats, the 49er from Sunfish/Laser, the Jet from Nautivela, and the Boss from Topper. All three looked cool, with the Jet being more of a "boat", the 49er more of a "skiff", and the Boss in between. Despite being a forty year old design, the 505 still looks cool and exciting against the latest stuff; John Westell really did get it right the first time! We also have active fleets in 18 countries on 5 continents, and well over hundred boat turnouts in major events and series. The survivors of the coming twin wire, asymmetric spinnaker duel hope to someday be as strong as the 505 class.

Last year, we sometimes heard comments like; "i didn't know the 505s" were still around." this year, no one said that; it is clear from" comments from show attendees, and from people in the industry, that people are much more aware of the 505 than they were a short time ago.

We have had a great year in North America, selling 30 505s from our used boats list, and having 4 new boats ordered in the last 8 weeks (with one or two more imminent). Based on responses at SAILEXPO, we can expect an even better year to come.

Thanks to everyone who helped us do SAILEXPO '96 so well.

We used the stand that Larry Tuttle designed and built for us last year.

This stand is available for use at other shows in the US!

We have great photographs, more high quality video - we had 505 footage in the overall SAILEXPO video - very good literature packages, new Tank Talks, a demo of the 505 home page, a computerized slide show about the 505 class, and lots more.

Thanks to Lauren Binn for the use of her Cherokee, new TV, and VCR. Thanks to Terry Neff and Bobby Noyes for the use of their Waterat 505 in the stand. Thanks to MCI and Monty Schumpert for the borrowed computer monitors and laptop computer. Thanks to Waterat Sailing Equipment (Larry Tuttle) for the stand, updated literature, financial support, and constant support in organizing the stand. Thanks to Rondar Raceboats (Colin Merrett) for manning the stand for four days, and financial support. Thanks to North, Ullman/Danger, and The Spinnaker Shop for their financial support. Thanks to Mike Zani, Chris Museler and Tyler Moore for assistance with stand setup (I would have been there all night without their help!) and support through the week, to Peter Mignerey for the use of his spinnaker (we draw a crowd every time we hoist or douse the chute!) and for manning the stand, to Peter Alarie, John Fry, Dave Dyson, Neal Fowler, Mike Mills, Mark Freedman, George Saunders, and Monty Schumpert for manning the stand (special thanks to George and Monty for helping with knockdown - so, what was the Saturday/Sunday crew doing way past the left layline on 295 North? If they'd gone any further they would have run into the statue of Liberty!).

Most important thanks to everyone who stopped by to look at the boat and talk to us, new prospects, current 505 sailors, and those who stopped by to reminisce about when they raced 505s.

SAIL FAST! TURN LEFT!


Ali Meller
VP, 505 Class American Section (and SAILEXPO 505 stand organizer)
alimeller@aol.com