Palm Beach show grows 'in size and appeal'

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The Palm Beach International Boat Show continued to grow, attracting more than $1 billion worth of yachts, boats and accessories this year.

The 28th annual show, which took place March 21-24, saw attendance rise 3.7 percent. In-water boat displays were up 27.7 percent and the land display area increased by 21.8 percent, including an expansion of the south end of the show to Okeechobee Boulevard, organizers said. The show is owned and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and is managed and produced by Show Management.

"The Palm Beach International Boat Show continues to grow in size and appeal year after year," Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management and Active Interest Media, said in a statement. Active Interest Media also owns Soundings Trade Only. "It has become an economic driver in the global marine industry and the state of Florida, as well as a lifestyle event that more people enjoy attending every year."

Hundreds of boats and watercraft were on display, including yacht toys, tenders, personal watercraft, center consoles, cruisers, fishing boats, sailboats and superyachts over 200 feet, such as the 223-foot Kismet, built by Lurssen.

The largest yacht ever to exhibit at the show, Kismet was on display with Moran Yacht & Ship and drew a tremendous amount of attention from serious clients and dreamers alike, including part-time Palm Beach resident Donald Trump and his wife, Melania.

"This was the most positive atmosphere during a boat show in the past five years," Kevin Callahan of Moran Yacht & Ship said in a statement. "We met a number of very qualified clients who appreciate the wonders of the yachting lifestyle."

HMY Yachts had 61 boats on display that ranged in size from 32 to 162 feet and said that having the largest display at the show helped to produce results.

"We were proud to have had the largest display of any exhibitor, and sales results were strong in both new and pre-owned offerings,” Steve Moynihan, owner of HMY Yachts, said in a statement. "Sold signs were evident on over a dozen yachts, and the follow-up results are even better. All indicators from traffic, contracts, offers and inquiries point to a banner spring season."

Exhibiting for the first time at the Palm Beach show, Paragon displayed its 94-foot motoryacht.

"This was the first of many Palm Beach boat shows for us," Paragon vice president of sales and marketing Jace Kizzier said in a statement. "We now consider this show a must-do event for our company."

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