This February 13th to 17th marked the 73rd anniversary for the Miami International Boat Show. It first started back in 1941 with just 50 exhibitors, and it was held under a tent in Miami Bayside Park. The boat show has always been with in the month of February. Now, it is the number one boat show in the world, with more than 2,000 companies, and more than 3,000 vessels. It covers a 2.5 million square foot area, and is show cased in three different locations. The show is held in the Miami Beach Convention Center, at Sea Isle Marina, and at the Miamarina at Bayside.
Although there was a decline in attendance compared to the 2013 boat show by 6%, 94,980 people still attended. It is thought that the attendance was declined due to bad weather. Even with the decline in attendance it is said to still be one of the best turn outs in years with acquiring quality buyers. There were even many more qualified boat buyers than in previous years. The boat show generates a trickle-down economic impact of approximately $600 million for Miami and surrounding cities, on a yearly basis.
Every year there is a large variety of boats that come to the show. You can find personal water craft, performance boats, sport fishing boats, mega yachts, and other power boats, along with sail boats. This year there were 60 mega yachts and luxury vessels acceding 155' in length. Some of the top boats at the show were the Gunboat 60, the Lagoon 52, the S2 Yacht's Tiara 50 coupe, and the Riva's 86 Domino. Sun Seeker International was said to be the star with the most sought after models. Along with Sun Seeker's, there were several other repeated boat manufacturers, and even a few new ones too. Anthony Kalil at Barracuda Boats said, "This is my first time here and I picked up 7 dealers, and sold 8 boats." The story was close to the same with many other new dealers and manufacturers.
But that is not all that you will find. You can also find companies that sell engines, marine electronics, marine accessories and gear, clothing, and gifts. They also provide nautical services. You could also take your marine gear in and get it inspected. There's even several hundred free 60 minute informative seminars throughout the 4 days.
If you wanted a change in pace, you could go to the Big Game Room. It's the host of the world’s largest blu water fishing expo. Here you watch seminars, learn about improving rigging techniques. You can even go to the Marlin Bar and have a drink or two. Next door is the Rings and tackle room where you will find Florida Sportsman's Brats. In there you can check out the latest products for the fishing world, and find out about the best fishing destinations. Between the two rooms, you could visit with the Wicked Tuna Crew and take photos with a fake, large tuna. Or you can visit with the men from OCEARCH on History's and A&E's 'Shark Wranglers'. Even the Miami Marlins showed up for autographs and photos. There were several exhibition contests, games, and prizes in both rooms like the Fight Chair Challenge.
What makes a boat a 'top boat' for the show? Well, there are several luxuries to help put the boat on the 'over the top' list. Boats like the Gunboat 60 are made of a carbon fiber that makes it the fastest, lightest, strongest, and most impact resistant of any other boats. They also have four staterooms with queen size beds, and a crew quarter area with two twin beds. You can choose between cherry, makore, or sapele wood for inside the boat. Pair this with lush upholstery and you've got yourself a world-class boat. Boats like the S2 Yachts' Tiara 50 Coupe have all the engine info, navigation, and mechanical info on a touch screen in the cockpit. Plus it has twin Volvo Diesel engines in the choice of 625 horse power or 725 horse power, and can easily go 30 knots mph.
The 2014 Miami International Boat Show won 13 innovation awards from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, (NMMA). There were a total of 7 panel judges this year named; Prochazka, Nigel Calder, Alan Jones, Ann Dermody, Lenny Rudow, Alan Wendt, and Roger McAfee. The hours of operation from February 14th through the 16th were from 10am until 8pm. The 13th and the 17th the boat show was open from 10am until 6pm. Water taxi services are provided from 10am until 6pm every day.
How much does it cost to go to one of the key boat sector trade shows in the US? You can get 1 day passes for $20 or you can by a pass for the whole 5 days for $85. The premiere day only pass it is $35. You can also get a 2 day pass for $35. It takes only one pass to get in at all 3 locations: Miami Beach Convention Center at 1901convention center Drive, Sea Isle Marine - where the yachts and power boats are is at 1635 N. Bayshore Drive, and Miamarina at Bayside -- which is where the sail boats are, is located at 400 Biscayne Blvd. You can take the free shuttle and water taxi between locations. You can add a pass to the Coconut Grove Arts Festival for $24. A $6 discount for going to both is also offered.