“Another glorious day in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, right?” mayor Dean Trantalis said yesterday at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the opening of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The ceremony included Informa Markets president of U.S. Boat Shows Andrew Doole, Broward County mayor Dale Holness and Marine Industries Association of South Florida president and CEO Phil Purcell, who also were on hand to ring in the first FLIBS since 2019 with docks at full capacity.
Show organizers and other businesses with an economic stake in the area are hoping for a return to 2019’s solid show, which generated $1.3 billion in economic output for Florida.
“We had an outstanding kickoff to the 62nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, welcoming thousands of guests on the first day,” Doole told Trade Only Today. “With strong ticket sales and a sold out Windward VIP experience for the remainder of the week, we expect to do even better in the coming days and look forward to welcoming boating enthusiasts to the largest in-water boat show in the world.”
Show organizer Informa Markets said it will implement the same safety protocols as its previous in-person events, including deep cleaning before, during and after each day of the show. There also are more entrances and exits to ease pedestrian traffic. More than 80 percent of FLIBS takes place in open-air locations.
“As guests plan their visit, it is extremely important that they remember to buy tickets online, as there is no box office on-site to create a quick and contactless check-in experience,” Doole said.
A significant number of boats debuted on the first day of the five-day show, which closes Oct. 31.
With one of the largest displays at FLIBS, Viking debuted the 64 Convertible, and the Valhalla V-46 made its first appearance at the show, having launched earlier this year.
The New Jersey-based builder also showed renderings of its new 90-foot flagship, which will be available in Open Bridge, Enclosed Bridge and Sky Bridge versions — all with six-stateroom layouts. The sportfish, which falls under pending International Maritime Organization emissions regulations that call for selective catalytic reduction, replaces the builder’s 92 Convertible.
“We’ve taken all the incredible qualities of the 92 … and merged them with greater performance, technology and versatility,” Viking president and CEO Pat Healey said in a statement. “The 92 was the Bentley. This is the Ferrari.”
After it shuttered Seven Marine last year, Volvo Penta said it would focus its efforts on developing inboards and sterndrives. The company, in a partnership with Solace Boats, unveiled a 415CS center console with twin Aquamatic DPI diesel sterndrives.
“The twin D6-440 diesel Aquamatic DPI package includes our trademark counter-rotating DuoProp propellers, delivering superior torque, maneuverability and precision at low speeds, making for easier docking or working a fish,” Jens Bering, Volvo Penta of the Americas vice president of marine sales, said in a statement.
Bering said the sterndrive setup reduces fuel consumption by up to 42 percent and increases range by 50 percent, compared with an outboard boat with similar power.
Solace president Todd Albrecht said the 415CS has a range of 490 miles with the standard 444-gallon fuel tank.
“We wanted to solve some commonly seen missed opportunities within the center console market, like increased versatility with the transom, extended range, less fueling time at the dock, quieter cruise, improved maneuverability and more,” said Albrecht, who expects the 415CS to be an option as a superyacht tender, and sees it as a boat for anglers looking for extended range and versatility.
Click here for more on the Volvo Penta and Solace collaboration.
Invincible Boats showed renderings of its 46 Pilothouse. “We’re staying true to our roots,” Warbird CEO John Dorton said as he introduced the boat. “It’s going to bring a lot of people out of the big sportfish boats who like the stability, economy and the fishability of our catamarans.”
Click here for more on the 46 Pilothouse.
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