I hopped down to West Palm Beach recently for the debut of the Rio Yachts Granturismo 56 on the docks at Palm Harbor Marina. In a nutshell, the whole thing was very Palm Beach-y. A light breeze off the ocean, beautiful women in cocktail dresses, older guys wearing blazers and watches that could pay my rent for a year, and a live band jamming with tasteful restraint as the champagne flowed like water. But the star of the show was the boat, a fully customizable express cruiser from Rio Yachts, a newcomer to the market. She’s a flat-out showstopper, with a wide-open layout and a master stateroom fit for a king (or sheik).
As Rio proprietor Marc-Udo Broich wheeled her through the marina to do a pirouette for the crowd it was like an A-list celebrity had popped in for some bubbly. Bulbs popped, iPhones were whipped out, the Palm Beach elite pointed and whispered.
As the party wound down and the women began to wobble in their heels and the men started cracking jokes they might not have made earlier in the evening, I slid up to Broich and asked him when I might get on the boat in the morning—I was hoping for an early start. Broich glanced over at the boat, which was crawling with well-heeled prospective customers. “Let’s do 9:30,” he said, leaning in conspiratorially, “it’s going to be a late night.”
Video: The Granturismo 56 easily brushes off the breeze and current to spin for the admiring crowd.