The seventh annual festival at the Shelter Island Marina/Island Palms Hotel, 2051 Shelter Island Drive, will feature more than 30 yachts with a close-up look at the comfort and luxury enjoyed by the more affluent strata of society. This year's event includes boats ranging from 60 to 130 feet long, including the impressive 157-foot Barchetta with its six cabins, five crew cabins, 13 heads and abundance of tasteful amenities. Also featured will be the brand new Azimut, a 116-foot, state-of-the-art colossus of comfort with nine bedrooms, marble floors, hot tub and flat screen TVs throughout. These super-yachts are priced up to $12.5 million.
"It's definitely "˜Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,'" San Diego Yachfest spokeswoman Jean Walcher said. "There are a lot of people who can appreciate the pristine engines almost like works of art."
San Diego Yachfest is the place for new and experienced yacht enthusiasts to buy, sell, charter or marvel at these polished seafaring mansions, Walcher said. Additionally, the event will feature seminars to aid interested parties in adopting the yachting lifestyle, including the free seminar called "Your Career in Yachting "“ A Ticket Around the World" on Sunday, Sept. 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. The class will cover becoming part of a yacht's crew, running the day-to-day operations, finding and securing employment, safety standards and what it takes to work out at sea, Walcher said. There will also be opportunities to meet with captains, crewmembers and engineers to discuss their experiences on the yachts.
On Friday, Sept. 15, a fashion fund-raiser will benefit San Diego Armed Services YMCA. For $75, attendees can enjoy the fashion show and gain premium access to the featured yachts.
Yachtfest will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily general admission costs $32. A Preferred Access Badge for $68 provides priority boarding; a two-day preferred access badge for $82 expands the yachting experience for a bargain. Children under 14 are free with paying adults; active duty and retired military receive a 50 percent discount with identification. For more information, visit www.yachtfest.com. n