As a good part of the country heads into months of shorter, darker, colder days, our thoughts turn to boat shows-and with good reason. For the boating-addicted of colder climes, they provide a jolt of sunshine, sea, and just the fix we need to keep the dream alive until we're back in the water again. And more important, nothing makes the off-season shorter (or the summer longer!) than using this down time to plan and prepare for next season. So, if you've been spending your free time postponing your winterizing and pretending that watching football is more fun than cruising, put down the remote, and head to the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show.
FLIBS, the world's largest boat show, which runs between October 29 and November 2, 2009, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. With $3 billion dollars worth of yachts and boating goodies that cover 3 million square feet of in water and on land exhibition space, spread across six locations, there's plenty to see and do.
The Bahia Mar Yachting Center is ground zero for sportfishers, trawlers, inflatables, electronics, and accessories. Superyachts from the world's finest builders are on display here, as is the "Queen of the Show," the 214-foot Feadship Trident.
The Yacht Builders & Designers Tent at Bahia Mar houses top yacht builders, designers, architects, decorators, engine manufacturers and yacht accessories and is divided into two sections-one dedicated to builders and shipyards; the other to designers, engineers, accessories vendors, electronics and engine manufacturers, and international trade groups. The Face Dock is lined with superyachts from 80 to 200 feet. The North Side Docks showcase powerboats, high performance boats, family cruisers, and brokerage boats. The South Side Docks display motoryachts, sportfishers, trawlers, picnic boats, express cruisers, and brokerage yachts. You'll also find lots of RIBS, trailerable boats, and personal watercraft to explore nearby.
At the adjacent Hall of Fame Marina, show goers can visit Westport, Moran Yacht & Ship, Merle Wood and other brokerage's yachts, as well as an exotic car showcase. Las Olas Marina hosts more brokerage yachts and if you're serious about a new boat, FLIBS is the place to finally nail down that big decision-Pier 66 will host about 40 boats that are available for demos. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina site offers more superyachts, including Heesen's 161-foot Man of Steele and the 141-foot At Last. And the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center will be choc-a-block with family cruisers, runabouts, flats boats, center consoles, jet boats, engines and fishing equipment.
Update your electronics, move up to a larger yacht (or even down to a smaller one), attend a fishing or yacht charter seminar, or just daydream about next season-there are at least 50 good reasons to get off the sofa and join the party at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show.
For more information on FLIBS, visit www.showmanagement.com or call (954) 764-7642 or 800-940-7642.