Welcome to the Show
Get ready Ft. Lauderdale—here comes the greatest show on earth.
It’s that special time of year when everyone leaves a bowl of candy (or apples if you like eggs on your house) out for the trick-or-treaters two days early and heads to sunny Florida for the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. And quite frankly we couldn’t be more excited. The progress of new boats being designed and launched and the capability of cutting-edge electronics being released has been staggering since the boating industry nosed its way out of The Great Recession and into a market that looks poised to produce some of the most interesting boats we’ve seen hit the water in a very long time. Innovation is the name of the game, with builders looking to new construction materials, redesigned hulls, and retooled building facilities. And the way we see it, what folks are saying is new is actually new for real, and in most cases pretty darn exciting. Here we bring you some of the newest launches that will line the docks this year. Whether you’re looking for a sleek express cruiser, a hot new runabout, a boat to cross the world’s oceans, or what very well may be the largest sportfisherman you’ll ever see, we’ve got you covered.
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Show Debut: Sea Ray’s L580 Fly is the latest addition to the luxury L-Class and one of 11 new launches the company will make to end this year.
Show Debut: The Azimut Magellano 53 is an environmentally conscious long-range cruiser with Italian style and surprising speed.
Show Debut: The shimmering Riva 122 Mythos represents an evolution from mahogany to aluminum that still captures the spirit of this iconic builder.
Show Debut: Discover a new level of efficient cruising in the Arcadia 85, where clean design makes the most of a glass superstructure and spacious accommodations.
Show Debut: The Viking 75 Motor Yacht signals a return to the company’s cruising glory with a Michael Peters design you won’t want to miss.
Show Debut: The Wider 32 is a sporty little runabout that’s sure to attract big-time attention thanks to her head-turning lines and eye-popping forward-thinking design.
Show Debut: Twin Volvo Penta IPS 950s power the versatile and seaworthy Riviera 6000 Sport Yacht.
Show Debut: The Benetti Veloce 140 sports a groundbreaking D2P (displacement to planing) hull, but that may be the least exciting aspect of this elegant and innovative world premiere.
Show Debut: The company’s largest boat to date, the Everglades 435 CC is a beastly center console that could take the company in a new direction.
For this year, there will be about 1,500 boats on display at the show across seven different locations, and there will be approximately 1,000 exhibitors. The total price tag for what is on display at the show tops $4 billion, and the total area of the exhibitor space over the show’s seven locations is more than three million square feet.
There’s an App for that
Make sure you download the MyBoatShow app, the Show Management app that has everything you need to know to make the most of your time at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, in addition to the information you’ll need for the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach and the Palm Beach International Boat Show. The app can help you find everything from the location of the nearest express cruiser to the nearest restroom. You can locate boats by size, make, or builder, and the same goes for your favorite equipment manufacturer. It will also keep you up to date with real-time show announcements and boating news. Our editors have used it for years and can tell you from experience it’s a huge help when trying to efficiently navigate the myriad boats and vendors at the show.
Fort Lauderdale Today, or the Show Daily, as it’s called by the writers and editors who produce it, is published twice during the five-day show. The first issue comes out the opening Thursday and the second one is at the gates first thing Saturday morning. The 56-page color tabloid carries all the news, highlights, and new boat launches and product introductions that take place at the largest in-water boat show in the world. A team comprising a half-dozen writers and photographers race from event to launch party to capture the latest news and then assemble the magazine in a makeshift situation room in a hotel overlooking the show.
“It’s fun and challenging and, at times, it’s a little bit of controlled chaos,” says Bill Sisson, editor-in-chief of Soundings and Soundings Trade Only, who manages the tabloid. “Especially as the deadline looms and you’re trying to squeeze in those last couple of stories. The Ft. Lauderdale show is a great, festive week for boat lovers of all stripes and we do our best to capture it as it unfolds.”
What I Do at the Boat Show
Do The Numbers: At the 2012 Ft. Lauderdale Show, show-goers went through: 4,105 lb. of hot dogs (or, can you believe, just over two tons!)
I Survived the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show
Westport 112 has a fresh interior layout with a main-deck master stateroom that takes this proven Jack Sarin-designed hull in new directions. Check it out!
Do The Numbers:
This year’s Lauderdale showgoers can be expected to drink appoximately 6,300 gallons of beer and about 3,900 gallons of water. Makes sense to us.
Capt. Bill’s Boat Show Regime
Headed to the Tents
Worth a look: You’d be hard-pressed to find a boat at the show under 50 feet with more deck space than the Aquila 48.
The Brokerage Scene
We spoke to three major players on the yacht brokerage scene and discovered that there’s plenty going on in the market now and into the fall. Here’s what they have to say about the upcoming fall boat-show season. ▶
This article originally appeared in the November 2014 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.