Whether you’re in the market for a new boat or simply want to see the latest in boats and boating accessories, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has everything you’re looking for.
The 59th annual show is Wednesday through Nov. 4 at seven locations — the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Marina, the Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale Hilton Marina, Sails Marina and the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel and Marina.
The show has more than $4 billion in boats, engines, electronics, fishing tackle, clothing and artwork. Tickets, which are $51 for Wednesday’s Prime Time Preview and $33 per day thereafter, are available at www.flibs.com.
There are 1,200 boats ranging from inflatables to superyachts (boats 100 feet or longer) on display in the water and on land. Among the biggest, most impressive vessels are the 244-foot Elandess, which can accommodate 14 guests in seven cabins and up to 24 crew members, and the $54.7 million, 196-foot Elysian.
Smaller boats that are generating buzz include the HCB Yachts 65 Estrella, which is making its world premiere at the show. Billed as the world’s largest luxury center-console, the 65-footer is powered by five 7Marine outboard motors for a total of 3,135 horsepower and is represented by Staten Island Yacht Sales.
SI Yachts also is representing the new Princess R35, which is ideal for day cruising in South Florida and can reach speeds of 50 knots, as well as the Viking Yachts 58 Convertible, which is the new second generation of the sportfisherman that was first sold from 1991-2000.
The new GT59 Convertible from Hatteras Yachts, represented by United Yacht Sales, will be at C Dock at Bahia Mar. Nimbus Boats of Sweden is premiering three new models, the Weekender 9, the Tender 9 and the Commuter 9.
Nautical Ventures Marine of Dania Beach has several boats that are debuting at the show: The Blackfin 332 and 272 dual console, the Axopar BRABUS 800 Shadow and the Beneteau Antares.
The Blackfin 33-footer, which is the Williston-based builder’s biggest boat to date, and the 27-foot dual console are in the convention center at booth 2054, along with the Blackfin 212, 242 and 272 center-consoles. The latter three also will be on display in the water in slips 823-833 at H Dock at Bahia Mar.
The BRABUS 800 Shadow also is in the convention center, at booth 2021, along with a Mercedes BRABUS G Wagon. One of only 20 being built worldwide and one of only two that will be sold in North America — Nautical Ventures will also get the second one — the 37-footer powered by twin Mercury Racing 400-horsepower outboards has all of the amenities that you could think of according to Frank Ferraro.
“It is tricked out with all the latest electronics,” Ferraro said, adding that the boat has a 40-inch entertainment center in the cabin and a state-of-the-art sound system, as well as a Mercury joystick control and Mercury’s Skyhook virtual anchoring system. “Everything is controlled by a Garmin digital watch.”
The boat is listed at $549,000. Axopar also has a 28-foot cabin model and a 37 Sun-Top BRABUS trim model on display on land at booths 1033 and 1034 at Bahia Mar.
Beneteau’s new Antares is a trailerable, outboard-powered pilothouse model built in Michigan.
It is in the water in slips 7-9 along G/H Dock at Bahia Mar. Century’s 24-, 26- and 29-foot center-consoles are also at G/H dock, along with Glastron’s 18-, 20-, 22- and 25-footers.
If you’re looking for a rigid inflatable, Highfield has eight models on land at Bahia Mar, F-Rib has six of its folding inflatables and Novurania has at least eight of its inflatables on display.
Nautical Ventures, in coordination with the boat show, also has the Aquazone for the fifth year in the Sailfish Pavilion in front of the convention center. The 40,000-gallon pool features demonstrations of products such as Hov Pod’s two-person hovercraft and Bixpy’s battery-powered propulsion products for standup paddleboards, kayaks and diving.
The Hobie Eclipse SUP, the new Hobie Compass kayak and the Hobie Outback kayak, which Ferraro said has been redesigned to make it more fishing friendly, also are at the Aquazone. Show-goers can register to win a Hobie Compass in a live drawing on Facebook Live held after the show. The Aquazone also has Crystal Kayak’s clear two-seater, which Ferraro said is “the epitome of a see-through boat. You really feel like you’re swimming with the fishes.”
Latham Marine, a Fort Lauderdale high-performance after-market parts manufacturer, has its spacer kits for outboard motors that keep multiple-engine configurations all running at the right level at its Bahia Mar booth. Latham also is displaying its Variable Speed Steering Pump, which prevents the pump from drawing excessive electrical power at idle and provides power on demand thanks to a microprocessor that varies the amount of power going to the pump based on how fast the steering wheel is turned.
The Blue Wild Watersports and Marine Art Expo at the convention center has free seminars on spearfishing, underwater photography and diving, along with displays from a number of artists. The IGFA School of Sportfishing has free seminars by local captains on fishing for dolphin, sailfish, wahoo, tarpon and snook Thursday through Sunday. Also at the convention center are free kids fishing clinics for ages 4-16. Two clinics per day are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
New this year is a Yacht Chef Competition at Pier 66 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday. The event, which is $175 for spectators, includes a premium open bar and samples of the dishes prepared by the chefs.