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Floating show is one big sea trial

The Finnish Marine Industries Federation - better known as Finnboat - has been producing the Finnboat Floating Show since 1972. The biannual event brings together member manufacturers and the international marine press for three days of sea trials in the Turku archipelago of Western Finland.

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This year, 51 journalists from Europe, Japan and the United States gathered in Nauvo to test 53 new power- and sailboats from 17 Finnish boatbuilders. Powerboat testing was split into seven legs each day, from June 17-19, for a total of 21 separate sea trial opportunities. Sailboats amassed three legs per day, taking a slightly different route but meeting the powerboats for lunch and afternoon coffee, which made hopping between power and sail possible.

Soundings sea-trialed 21 powerboats. In addition, four sailboat builders offered six models from 28 feet to 49 feet for sea trial.

Finnboat offered an online boat-test booking system to journalists both to limit the number signing up for each boat on each leg and so that everyone was accounted for at all times. "Only so you don't get left on some remote island in the archipelago," explained Jouko Huju, managing director of Finnboat, at a briefing meeting the night before the show opened.

Indeed, the flotilla of journalists and manufacturers left the docks at Nauvo each morning not to return until evening, exploring the thousands of islands and awesome natural beauty of the Archipelago Sea. "Sorry," Huju said at the briefing, "it's a full day's work."

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This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue.