The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will be kicking off its 55th year this week and, as always, will bring in thousands of marine enthusiasts and boat lovers to gawk at superyachts, fishing boats, and seafaring vessels of every kind.
It's a time for people to head on out to take a look at all kinds of boats, from small vessels to superyachts. The event is expected to bring in about half a billion dollars for the city. It is also expected to bring in all kinds of folks from all walks of life here in the "Yachting Capital of the World."
With that in mind, here are the five reasons the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is the best.
5. Because Fort Lauderdale Is the Best Place for This Kind of Thing This is Fort Lauderdale! The Yachting Capital of the World! The Venice of America! WE LOVE BOATS AND WATER AND THE NAUTICAL LIFE.
So, yeah, go ahead and try to find a better place to host an international boat show. How many other places can offer what Fort Lauderdale does? The answer is none. None places.
4. The Food Is Awesome You've got the Pelican Landing at Pier 66 Marina, Grille 66 & Bar, G&B Oyster Bar, Hughe's Culinary, Nanking Asian Grill, and so much more.
Basically, there's no shortage of amazeballs places to get your eatery and drinkery on as you spend the day gawking at yachts and boats. There aren't many better things to do than looking at boats and then chowing down on seafood.
3. It's HUGE To accommodate the thousands of visitors, the boat show spreads out to seven locations connected by land and water, from the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center to the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Pier 66 Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. That's friggin huge.
Pier 66 itself went through a $20 million renovation to make the boat show even more amazing than it's been. Included in the renovation for the 127-slip, deep-water marina was a yacht basin and face dock. Among the other major parts of the makeover are accommodations for up to 16 yachts 150 feet in length. The marina used to be able to accommodate only ten yachts before the renovations.
Among the other renovations to Pier 66 will be new bulkheads, a new Marinetek floating dock, and a new electrical infrastructure equaling more than 3,600 linear feet of parallel dockage and fixed docks. The old electrical system was being replaced with new power distribution.
2. There Are Things Here Other Than Boats There's food. There's people-watching. There's yachties in their double-breasted navy jackets and polo shirts. The boat show also has other things to gawk at, such as exotic cars and water toys. There are personal submarines to look at, as well as live music and cocktail lounges to enjoy.
1. The Boats Drinks, great. Food, wonderful. Music, fantastic. But at the end of the day, the boat show really comes down to one thing and one thing only: THE BOATS.
Particularly, the yachts. People are here to look at luxury vessels they can only dream will one day be theirs and live vicariously through the people who own these floating castles of awesome.
There's the Baton Rouge, with its 39.7-foot beam, accommodating 12 guests and a crew of 16. The Baton Rouge by Icon runs on Twin 2480hp MTU engines with a top speed at 14.5 knots. Special features include a gym, quantum zero speed stabilizers, forward observation lounge with access to a foredeck, two double/twin convertible cabins and two double cabins on the lower deck. Or the the Cakewalk, which is a whopping 284-foot megayacht with a 46.92-foot beam that tops off at a maximum speed of 17 knots with a cruising speed of 15 knots. This beauty accommodates 14 guests with a crew of up to 24. With one master, four doubles, and two twin, it costs only $250 million.