The massive Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest in-the-water show in the world, opens on Wednesday, Oct. 27, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 31.
Last year, the show was only half its usual size, because of the Covid pandemic, but this year it’s back with everything from superyachts to SUPs, on the docks, in tents and on land exhibits. In 2019, the last pre-Covid year, the show attracted more than 100,000 people.
This year, that number is expected again, with the show in multiple locations, centered at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center and Las Olas Marina, as well as at Pier 66 Marina, SuperYacht Village at Pier 66, South Hall of Fame Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
The show, the 62nd annual, is riding a rising tide of boat sales. Indeed, a new report from the National Marine Manufacturers Association says that 310,000 new powerboats were sold in 2020, the highest number since the 2008 recession. The NMMA also says that 55 percent of marine industry CEOs expect business to improve over the next six months, but more than half reported considerably slower deliveries earlier this year because of supply-chain problems.
Fort Lauderdale enjoys its reputation as the yachting capital of the U.S, and it attracts an international crowd, both of exhibitors and visitors. It has more U.S. debuts of new yachts than any other show in the nation.
This year, for example, the Turkish-built Sirena 68 (pictured above), with a semi-displacement hull by Germán Frers, will be at the show. So will the Slovenian-built Greenline 68 Oceanclass Hybrid, the largest production hybrid yet, and the Windy SR44 luxury sport cruiser from Sweden. On the domestic front, the new Cruisers Yachts 34 GLS with twin outboards will make its debut; it’s the first Cruisers model since the Wisconsin company was purchased by MarineMax in May. You can read our stories about all these boats on our website: https://cruisingodyssey.com
The show is produced by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, and Informa Markets, a global exhibition company based in London. It is definitely an economic driver for the city and the state, with an economic impact of $1.3 billion in 2019, with more than $714 million in products sold that year.
This year, the show will observe the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and you can find the Covid policies at the show’s website at the bottom of this story. Because of the Covid restrictions, no tickets will be sold at the show. You have to buy them in advance on the website.
Show times: Wednesday, Oct. 27, prime-time preview day: noon to 7 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets cost $57 for Wednesday, and then $37 each day after that for adults and $15 for children ages 6 to 15. A two-day adult ticket, good for Thursday through Sunday, costs $63.
If you want to get away from the crowds, you can buy a $300 Windward VIP Experience Ticket, giving you entry to the Windward VIP club where a concierge can book private appointments on various yachts for you, and you can enjoy an open bar, food and complimentary access to the water taxi. Read more: