Yacht & Brokerage Show adds more bang

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TrawlerPort will debut at the Miami Beach event, which is expected to sell out of exhibitor space

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The 24th annual Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach is set to make a splash Feb. 16-20, featuring more than 500 new and used yachts and megayachts valued at more than $1 billion.

The show, which is owned and sponsored by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, covers more than 1.2 million square feet over a mile-long strip of the Indian Creek Waterway in the heart of Miami Beach along Collins Avenue from 41st to 51st Streets, across from the landmark Fontainebleau, Eden Roc and Miami Beach Resort and Spa hotels, among others.

The Yacht & Brokerage Show is free and open to the public. It runs on the same dates as the Miami International Boat Show, and free shuttle bus service is offered between the venues. “There’s more new boats, a lot of new product — more than last year — and on the brokerage side the boats that are coming to the show are probably getting larger,” says Andrew Doole, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Show Management, which manages and produces the Yacht & Brokerage Show. “We’re optimistic, enthusiastic.”

Speaking in early January, Doole said the show was about 90 percent sold out. “We will certainly, by show time, have a sold-out show,” he says. “We’re, at this point, probably 90 percent of the way to doing that. So we’re looking for a successful event. There are larger boats than last year, two of them notably larger. We’ve got a 200-foot Benetti and a 191-foot Trinity that we’ll be bringing in.”

Prior to this year, Doole says, the largest boat in the show had been about 170 feet. And although the number of boats remains about the same as last year, many exhibitors are asking for more space and bringing more boats. “Azimut’s increased, Benetti’s increased, Princess has increased, the Beneteau Group has increased,” Doole notes. “On the home-grown side, Marquis’ increased, International Yacht Collection has a much larger display than last year.”

In addition to the yachts that take center stage, this year’s show also features PassageMaker magazine’s TrawlerPort — a show within a show catering to trawler enthusiasts. Located at the north end of the show, TrawlerPort will offer a display of long-range cruisers from 35 to 90 feet. Doole estimates that about 20 boats will be on display from the major trawler builders.

Inside TrawlerPort, attendees will find the floating Trawler Island, where seminars, presented by PassageMaker magazine, will focus on topics that include destination cruising and navigation. TrawlerPort is designed to help trawler enthusiasts and prospective buyers easily navigate the products and services that cater to the passagemaking lifestyle.

The Yacht Equipment Pavilion and Sportfishing Pavilion offer show-goers access to gear, sportfishing equipment and electronics, as well as seminars by the International Game Fish Association.

Doole says Show Management’s free MyBoatShow mobile device app, which launched at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, will be available for the Yacht & Brokerage Show. The app, available on iPhone and Android platforms, is designed to help users navigate the show’s docks, land areas and tents. Users will be able to access maps and search for exhibitors, manufacturers, product categories and boats by specifications and size. The app also provides the show schedule, seminar information, transportation schedules and maps, food and drink locations, restroom locations and emergency services. It can be downloaded at www.showmanagement.com.

Doole says that from what he’s hearing, people seem to be feeling optimistic with the start of a new year. “Several of the people we’re dealing with seem very active,” he says. “I think that they anticipate that things are getting better or financing is becoming a little easier, and I think that some of the European brands are really looking to the U.S. more, especially now with what’s happening with the euro dropping and dropping.”

This article originally appeared in the February 2012 issue.

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