On the heels of a successful Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, the 27th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show opens Thursday with hundreds of boats, including 8-foot dinghies, runabouts, fishing boats and megayachts exceeding 150 feet.
The show is on track to sell out all exhibit space, according to Show Management, which manages and produces it. "This is looking to be a very strong show," Show Management senior vice president and COO Dane Graziano said in a statement. "Exhibitor feedback from the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach was very positive and we expect Palm Beach to follow suit."
The number of exhibitors and boats on display were both up 9 percent from 2011 at the show in Miami Beach. These builders reported strong sales activity: Fairline, Viking, Ferretti, Hatteras, Westport and Marquis; brokerages that did so include Allied Marine, HMY and Merle Wood.
The Palm Beach show, one of the top 10 boat shows in the nation, features more than $350 million worth of boats, yachts and accessories.
More megayachts will be on display this year because 40 in-water slips were added at Palm Harbor Marina at the show's north end. Show-goers also can expect a larger number of smaller boats in the expanded land display area.
From A to Z, all of the big-name boatbuilders will be represented, including Azimut, Cabo, Chris-Craft, Fairline, Hatteras, Regulator, Sea Ray, Tiara, Viking and Zodiac. Dealers include Denison Yacht Sales, HMY Yacht Sales and Marine Max.
Also new this year is MyBoatShow, the show's new smart-phone app. The free app, available on iPhone, iPad and Android platforms, is designed to help users navigate the docks, land areas and tents. Attendees can access show maps and search for exhibitors, manufacturers, product categories and boats by specifications and size. The app also provides the show schedule, seminar information, maps, food and drink locations, restroom locations and emergency services.
In addition to a wide selection of watercraft, marine accessories, refreshments and live musical entertainment, the show offers special events and educational activities for boaters of all ages. The International Game Fish Association School of Sportfishing will present “mini-sessions” throughout the show with some of the area's best captains and professional anglers, who will share sportfishing tips and tricks. Hook The Future's Kids Fishing Clinics, for little anglers ages 4 to 16, takes place on Saturday and Sunday.
The show will run from Thursday through Sunday on Flagler Drive. Gates are open from noon on Thursday until 7 p.m. Show times are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $14 at the gate and $12 online; children ages 6-15 are $5 at the gate and $3 online. Children under $6 are admitted free.
The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County owns and sponsors the show.
— Chris Landry