MIAMI 2014: Superyacht showcase coming in 2015

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MIAMI — Show Management, organizer of the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, plans to bring Superyacht Miami, featuring superyachts over 150 feet, to the Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina as part of the 2015 Yacht & Brokerage Show.

The marina, on Watson Island between Miami and Miami Beach, will dock 35 to 75 yachts from 80 to 480 feet, Show Management CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III said Friday during the Yacht & Brokerage Show. “Island Gardens is a world-class development. When it’s competed as planned it will have one of the only marinas in North America designed specifically for superyachts.”

A fleet of water taxis operating from the marina will offer service to primary destinations on Biscayne Bay and access to South Beach, Fisher Island and other prestigious waterfront locations, Zimbalist said.

The billion-dollar, 6.5-acre Island Gardens project will include the marina, two hotels — a five-star luxury hotel and a four-star lifestyle hotel — a public access promenade, at least seven restaurants, perhaps a fish market, time shares and lavish landscaping, said Bahar Bayraktar, communications director for the Flagstone Property Group, a development company owned by her father, Mehmet.

She said the project should be completed by 2016. The marina, if not finished by next February, will be far enough along to allow a “modified rollout” of the superyacht event, perhaps on floating docks, Zimbalist said.

The development is on Watson Island, an 86-acre island accessible by car via the MacArthur Causeway. Show Management plans to provide complimentary transportation for show attendees between Island Gardens and the Yacht & Brokerage Show’s main location on Indian Creek along Collins Avenue.

Show Management co-owns, organizes and produces the show. The Florida Yacht Brokers Association co-owns and sponsors it.

Zimbalist said the 2014 show is the “biggest Yacht and Brokerage Show ever,” surpassing the show’s high-water mark in 2008. The number of boats at the show is up 9 percent, he said. New boats at the show are up 54 percent, but brokerage boats are down 17 percent because of a shrinking inventory of used boats.

He said the number of boats under 50 feet has grown by 42 percent. “We’re thrilled to see the smaller boats coming back to the show,” he said.

Total exhibits are up 4 percent, from 168 to 174, and powerboats up from 465 to 507.

“We’re thrilled with that and happy to be part of the growth of the marine industry and the resurgence of it,” he said.