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Yacht show takes a super stride

The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach is expected to draw more and bigger boats in 2016 with the addition of a second venue — a brand-new superyacht marina on Watson Island — and a planned expansion north along its Collins Avenue site.
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The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach is expected to draw more and bigger boats in 2016 with the addition of a second venue — a brand-new superyacht marina on Watson Island — and a planned expansion north along its Collins Avenue site.

“This will allow us to spread our wings a bit and allow more exhibitors to participate,” says Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, which manages and produces the show for the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.

Flagstone Property Group’s 50-slip Island Gardens Deep Harbour on Watson Island will open the show to a whole new genre of boats — superyachts as large as 550 feet, Zimbalist says. Yachts on exhibit along Collins Avenue are restricted to about 135 feet because of draft limitations on Indian Creek. “We’ve had requests from much larger boats to exhibit at the show, and we’ve accommodated them at one location or another [not on Collins], but now we have a marina built specifically for superyachts,” Zimbalist says. “It’s the only facility of its type that we know of in this country that can take boats of that size.”

Slips inside the harbor will accommodate an 18-foot draft, those outside it 25 feet, says Andrew Doole, Show Management’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. He says Deep Harbour also has no air draft limitations, so it can berth superyacht sailboats with spars exceeding the 65-foot limitation that Miami’s MacArthur Causeway imposes. “That is a huge gain for us,” he says.

Deep Harbour is scheduled for completion in time for Miami Beach’s Dec. 3-6 Art Basel exhibition. The marina is the first stage of a billion-dollar yachting resort project that includes two hotel towers, 105 fractional living units, 18 restaurants, cafes and nightclubs, and 60-plus shops. For the Feb. 11-15 Yacht & Brokerage Show, Deep Harbour will have full dockside marina service; a pop-up restaurant, reception center and restrooms under tents; space for exhibitors catering to a superyacht clientele; continuous transportation between Watson Island and Collins Avenue; and onsite parking.

The expansion north on Collins, pending permit approvals, will allow the show to grow beyond its 41st to 54th Street footprint and add more boats. The display space will be restructured so new boats will be at the north and south ends and brokerage boats in between, Doole says. Show Management also is working to freshen its show branding, entertainment and VIP packages for 2016, says Brett Keating, the company’s vice president of consumer marketing.

Zimbalist says the addition of Island Gardens is important to the show’s future because more big-boat owners want to showcase their superyachts for sale or charter at Miami Beach. “We know we’ll have room for 50 of them now,” he says. “We’re going to do everything we can to fill as many of those slips as possible.”

Show Management’s owner, Active Interest Media, also owns Soundings Trade Only.

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