Floating Finery

Superyachts are one of the main attractions at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Perhaps you'd like to buy a boat. But you're curious -- could any floating accommodations really suit your Bill Gatesian standard of living?

Say hello to Patricia.

In this oceangoing plaything from the Italian company Benetti, you'll step across a marble floor in the lobby to an elevator that connects three decks.

This 206-foot behemoth is the largest yacht 
at the show — and, at $25 million, one of the most expensive
This 206-foot behemoth is the largest yacht at the show — and, at $25 million, one of the most expensive


10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, October 31, through Sunday, November 3, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, November 4. Admission on Thursday is $28. Admission Friday to Sunday is $14 for adults and $4 for children ages 6 to 12. Two-day passes are $22, and five-day passes are $55. Call 954-764-7642 or 800-940-7642, or visit www.showmanagement.com.
The six boat-show locations are all in Fort Lauderdale -- Bahia Mar Yachting Center, 801 Seabreeze Blvd.; Hall of Fame Marina, 435 Seabreeze Blvd.; Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd.; Las Olas Marina, 240 Las Olas Cir.; Marriott Portside Marina, 1875 SE 17th St. Cswy.; and Pier 66 Hotel & Marina, 2301 SE 17th St. Cswy.

In the master suite, lie back on a rotating king-size bed that allows you to choose the best position for enjoying the scenery through a curved-glass window that spans 180 degrees. The master suite also includes separate his and hers bathrooms, a private outdoor whirlpool spa, and an entertainment center.

At 145 feet, the privately owned Patricia is a superyacht. She and dozens of her peers are on display during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Superyachts are at least 80 feet long and generally offer an array of extravagances such as plush décor, private terraces with Jacuzzis, and plenty of on-board water toys.

This show includes about 200 superyachts, most of which are at least 100 feet long and are available either for sale or charter, including such impressive vessels as the 130-foot Victoria of Strathearn, which offers a salon with a skylight, an owner's cabin, and two guest suites.

You can admire the awesome superyachts from the docks, but tours of the interiors are generally by appointment only, so look like you burn Benjamins for warmth if you hope to get onboard.

Water lovers with simpler tastes can also find suitable boats at this 43rd-annual show sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. On display are products from around the world, including family cruisers, high-performance racers, sailboats, pontoons, personal watercraft, kayaks, and canoes.

Boaters who prefer to skip the hassle of hauling trailers can take a gander at the Porta-Bote display. These are portable, fold-up boats that can be packed atop a car like a surfboard.

With more than 1,600 boats and the various accessories, the exhibit is estimated to encompass about $1.6 billion worth of nautical necessities and knickknacks. But spectators eager to browse all six locations don't need to do a lot of driving and parking. The show admission includes transportation from showplace to showplace -- on land and sea. In addition to bus shuttles, there's a riverboat and water-taxi rides. All shuttles, except the water taxi, are free for those with tickets.

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