Countdown to Miami
I can’t say, or more accurately, I don’t want to say, how many Miami boat shows I’ve been to over the years. Let’s just say, a lot. I do remember vividly the first one; it opened my eyes, and blew my mind. I know it started with dinner with the president of Hatteras and moved on to boat tests in Government Cut and raft-ups in Stiltsville. I previously had been a writer and editor at Time and Newsweek, sitting in corporate offices in New York. Now I was the editor of a boating magazine, taking off on boats, boats and more boats in February in Miami. Holy smoke, I thought; I had died and gone to heaven.
Many years after that I had my own boat, a Grand Banks 36, in the show at the Marriott Marina. I had just bought it in Fort Myers and had not yet brought it north to Connecticut. Two days before the show, as the other boats were coming in to the marina, I was standing on the bridge of my boat with the president of one of the largest boating conglomerates in the world. He looked around as several of his own companies’ boats, and their competitors, started to tie up. “They all look the same, don’t they,” he said.
How things have changed. Take a look at the new boats at the two Miami shows, starting Feb. 16, this year. We have write-ups of 36 of them on our website under the Boat Show tab, and we’re dealing just with cruising boats. But none of them look the same. A Hinckley looks like a Hinckley, a Palm Beach like a Palm Beach, an MJM like an MJM, a Nordhavn like a Nordhavn, a Sabre like a Sabre, a Ranger Tug like a Ranger Tug, a Kadey-Krogen like a Kadey-Krogen, and so on. No Clorox bottles there.
Instead, all those different looks, all those different boats, speak to the strength and breadth of the cruising boat market, plus the creativity of today’s boat designers. Take your pick, you won’t go wrong with any of these. And their looks, although individually distinct, are all classic in the sense they will please the eye 20 years from now just as much as they do today. And that’s something to look forward to.
Hope to see you at the Miami show – both of them.