As the yachting capital of America—with its central location, expansive marina, yacht brokers, repair yards, and variety of marine-related business—Fort Lauderdale hosts its namesake boat show each fall. As the largest boat show in the world, it’s known for featuring a wide arrange of yachts, yacht accessories, and boats of all sizes.
“Where Monaco is just for big boats, we represent all of the marine industry, so we have everything from paddleboards to super yachts,” says Andrew Doole, president of U.S. boat shows for Informa, the company behind the Fort Lauderdale and Miami shows. “Every facet of the boating business is represented.”
To that end, this year’s show, held October 30 to November 3, exhibited all of the key elements it has become noted for, including yacht furnishings and accessories, a separate pavilion just for electronics, and all the biggest names in yachting: Feadship, Heesen, Benetti, Abeking & Rasmussen, Burgess, and more. Plus the new Superyacht Village at Pier 66 South, designed for boats of 300+ feet.
“It [was] an entirely new concept where we moved these big names to their own luxury yacht village, along with exhibitors like Airbus and Ferrari,” explains Doole. “It’s a different ambiance, where you’re meant to linger for a while.” There was also a bar and restaurant, and events that were hosted there throughout the show.
Fort Lauderdale’s mayor, Dean Trantalis, hosted an opening-night cocktail party, while a November 1 chef’s competition featured chefs from the top local yachts.
Also new for this year, the VIP section was moved to the waterfront and included new watch debuts from Ulysses Nardin and displays from Delta Private Jets.
When it comes to show-stopping yachts, there were numerous debuts this year. Among the highlights: Excellence from Abeking & Rasmussen, a 262-foot, futuristic ship by Winch Design; the 180-foot Vida from Heesen, featuring nearly 1,200 square feet of sundecks and designed to be environmentally sensitive; Majesty 140, a 140-foot superyacht from Gulf Craft, a first-time exhibitor; Marquis Lexus 65, a 65-foot yacht from Marquis-Larson and car manufacturer Lexus; and 48 Wallytender, the first collaboration between Wally and Ferretti Group, built by Ferretti and designed by Wally. flibs.com