SPECIAL REPORT: Fort Lauderdale Show, Plus Our Reviews of 34 New Boats You Can See There
By Peter A. Janssen
With new owners, new docks, new signs to help you get around and more boats than ever before, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will open at a new time this year, starting on Wednesday, Nov. 1 and running through Sunday, Nov. 5. And you need to put on your walking shoes. This year the show will have 1,500 boats at seven different locations, although the main event is still centered at the Bahia Mar Resort and Yachting Center, where the docks will stretch for 1.6 miles along the Waterway.
The Lauderdale show, an icon in the industry, was started in 1959. In the past year, Show Management sold the show to Informa, a London-based show and events producer, which has made a significant investment to improve the show’s infrastructure, with the new docks, new tents and new 8- and 12-foot totems with information and maps to help you get around. The new owners even promise to upgrade the food on the cocktail barges (including oysters and stone crabs from Coconut’s, just up the street).
The show’s primary attraction, of course, is the introduction of new boats, everything from megayachts to jet skis, plus such other yachting accoutrements as helicopters, Ferraris and submarines. On a more manageable scale, new boats being introduced at the show include the Doug Zurn-designed MJM 43z, with three Mercury Verado outboards, the Fountaine Pajot MY 44, Sunreef 68 power cat, Vicem 58 Classic, Prestige 520, Adler Suprema Hybrid, and many more.
All told, the show will include 1,000 exhibitors from 30 countries, displaying about $4 billion worth of boats, engines, electronics and boating gear. If you want to beat the crowds, you can buy a VIP ticket for $225 a day, which includes access to an air-conditioned lounge at the Hall of Fame Marina with gourmet food, an open bar and concierge.
Totally aside from the show, Lauderdale is a boater’s mecca, with 165 miles of canals (the city is often called the Venice of America), sprawling waterfront homes, the historic New River in the heart of downtown, the charming Las Olas shopping and dining area, and the massive Port Everglades, which leads out to the Atlantic. And great waterfront restaurants and bars.
For more about the show: http://www.flibs.com
HERE ARE OUR REVIEWS OF 34 NEW BOATS YOU CAN SEE AT THE SHOW