The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show opens today; what you should know
The five-day financial goldmine that is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show kicks off Wednesday as the industry expects sales to hold up amid geopolitical turmoil and economic uncertainty.
The 63rd annual is scheduled to open on both sides of the Intracoastal Waterway, with the debut of 30 new ships and exhibits from more than 800 exhibitors.
In addition to boats for sale, the show will serve as a launching pad for sea-related campaigns ranging from an artificial reef off Hollywood to an industry protest against proposed federal regulations to expand a slow-moving zone. at sea to protect the whales. Real estate developers will also launch new high-end homes and marinas in Florida and island hideaways.
Earlier this year, a study by Thomas J. Murray & Associates concluded that the 2021 show injected $1.79 billion into the Florida economy, with $899 million in direct sales over the course of the year. five day event. These sales generated $85.4 million in sales taxes for the state, including $24.5 million for Broward County alone.
“Since the show’s inception, it has grown year over year and today helps sustain more than 149,000 marine industry jobs in the tri-county area,” said Phil Purcell, CEO and President. of the Marine Industries of South Florida Association, which owns the show, said in a statement released ahead of the show. “This show does not leave our community after its five days; it also has a resounding impact on the other 360 days.
Andrew Doole, president of the US Boat Shows division of London-based Informa Markets, which produces the show, says he expects strong attendance as demand appears strong.
“Our exhibitor bookings are up from previous years,” he said. “All of our European exhibitors are back.”
Previously, travel to and from Europe was restricted by strict COVID-19 regulations imposed by governments and airlines.
“We’re expecting a solid show,” Doole said. “We have a huge amount of product here, new and used.”
Hoteliers in the Fort Lauderdale area are expecting a week of full rooms.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase over last year from a booking perspective,” said Nils Bergman, general manager of the 171-room AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach. “The city is definitely busier with participants. Last year we saw a lot of groups working on the boat show. There is definitely more leisure [travelers].”
Global political and economic factors such as the war in Ukraine, inflation and supply chain issues don’t appear to have deterred potential buyers, Doole said. Earlier this month, the National Marine Manufacturers Association spoke of a slowdown in powerboat sales compared to 2021, but yacht brokers said the North American market remained robust.
“It didn’t seem to slow down people buying boats that much,” Doole said. “We still have a lot of business going on. Boats sell out before entering the show. It’s still an active market.
MarineMax South district president Christian Gonzalez said residents moving from New York, Texas and California “really helped the yacht boom.”
“We’ve never been busier,” he said.
Gonzalez expects significant replacement activity generated by Hurricane Ian, which wiped out countless ships on Florida’s southwest coast. Many concerned owners, he said, are not waiting for insurance checks to be processed before looking for new vessels.
“I see an increase in business to replace boats damaged by the storm,” he said.
Large luxury yachts moored along the Intracoastal Waterway, a longtime spectacle staple, can be seen by motorists and pedestrians passing over the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge. Similar views are available from the 17th Street Causeway Bridge.
“We have a lot of super yachts along Bahia Mar to the Las Olas Bridge,” Doole said. “You look to the right [while traveling east] and it’s an incredible view of the Intracoastal.”
Among the notable world premieres at the show’s Superyacht Village: the 163ft Mangusta Ocenao 50, which can accommodate up to 12 guests in five cabins and 11 crew, and the 109ft Tri-Deck FD110 with five cabins and high windows.
Dan Zenz, vice president of sales for Wisconsin-based Cruisers Yachts, said his company is launching its 52-foot-50 GLS, or high-luxury sport model. It sells for just under $2.2 million.
He said he was seeing a shift in buyer preferences for boats with shorter journeys.
“We’ve seen the trend of people wanting a fast boat, and more space for entertainment and daytime use than a two-week vacation for a race in the Bahamas or a race along the coast,” said said Zenz. “Maybe it’s more of a three or four day trip than a two week trip, and more entertaining for friends and family.”
Charter operators expect strong interest in hiring boats and crews and attend shows like the one in Fort Lauderdale for their monetary clienteles, said Paolo Casani, CEO of Camper & Nicholsons Group, a company 240 years old based in the UK.
Responding to emailed questions, Casani said he was “very positive” that the boat show will generate a good level of business for the rest of this year and next.
“With the increase in sales during and after the Cannes Yachting Festival and the Monaco Yacht Show, we [expect] to generate more business by the end of 2022, [and the] early 2023,” he said.
Some shows “are important windows into the market”, he said, but there are “too many yacht shows” in the business at the moment and his company participates in those that “are very good for lead generation”.
Typical rates for a one-week or 10-day captain-and-crew cruise range from $250,000 to $450,000 per week, he said, “plus 30% expenses.”
“But it depends on the size of the yacht, the areas and many other factors,” he added.
The show will offer multiple venues from the Pier Sixty-Six neighborhood and the Broward County Convention Center north to the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge.
The home base is the Bahia Mar Yachting Center on the A1A national road in front of the municipal beach. From there, yachts are moored all the way along the Intracoastal Waterway, past the nearby Hall of Fame Marina to the temporary floating docks south of the Las Olas Boulevard Bridge. There is no activity north of the boulevard because the Las Olas Marina is being renovated, Doole said.
The Pier Sixty-Six Marina on the Intracoastal and a superyacht village at Pier Sixty-Six South, both at the east end of the 17th Street Causeway, will house some of the world’s largest luxury vessels.
The Broward County Convention Center, west of the waterway on the south side of the causeway, is where visitors will find smaller boats, fishing gear, accessories and live exhibits.
Besides the Superyacht Village, key attractions include the Windward VIP Club at Bahia Mar’s Captain’s Lounge with an upscale open bar and gourmet cuisine. Others include The Aqua Zone by Nautical Ventures, a marine and electronics tent, educational seminars, and a “kids corner.”
Boats are not the only thrown objects. A number of events, real estate projects and a wide range of products are added to the seriousness of the show.
On Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m., the city of Hollywood led by Mayor Josh Levy will show up at the convention center to preview the city’s artificial reef project.
Real estate developers are launching residential and mixed-use projects both offshore and around Florida.
One of them is The Residences at Montage Cay in the Abacos in the Bahamas. Scheduled for completion in 2024, the 53-acre private island will feature a 47-dock marina and 47 beachfront residences.
“We have approximately $60 million worth of residences under contract,” said Tina Necrason, executive vice president, residential, for Montage International. The island, the marina and the villas, she said, “blend very well with the boating community to what we offer”.
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Pier Sixty-Six, which is undergoing a massive redevelopment project by its owner Tavistock, offers 62 luxury condominiums starting at $3 million in its development on 17th Street Causeway.
The Bahamas is once again presenting itself as a location of choice for the maritime sector. Its Department of Tourism has a group of “boating ambassadors” to discuss marine industry opportunities with builders, designers and accessory manufacturers.
Daily operating schedule from October 26 to 30:
- Wednesday, noon to 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Adults: $39 (standard daily ticket, taxes included); $66 (two-day ticket, taxes included)
- Children: $15 (daily ticket, taxes included)
- Note: All tickets are digital and must be purchased online. Tickets will be scanned when you enter the show. There is no box office on site, according to the show’s website.
The sponsors want to keep as many cars away from the barrier island as possible because parking is limited. According to the show’s website, the Broward County Convention Center is used as a transportation hub, and visitors are encouraged to park at one of 18 participating city garages and then use shuttles or boats -taxis to get to the place. Parking garage locations can be found by visiting https://www.flibs.com/en/attend/parking.html