Welcome to Miami

With 12 new boats leading the pack, this month's Miami International Boat Show should dazzle-and satisfy your every yachting desire.

Maybe the weather outside is frightful. Maybe your accountant just called with some good news. But whatever the reason, you need to go to Miami real soon-because the waters around Miami are heating up as yachts of every kind go on display from Feb. 17th to the 21st. From tenders to dayboats, from battlewagons to world-girdling cruisers, the Miami International Boat Show is sure to have a yacht on display that satisfies your soul. And just to get you started, here's our preview of some of the newest models that you won't want to miss.

Sea Ray 48 Sundancer: Fans of Sea Ray's Sundancer line of express sport yachts will have plenty to cheer about at this year's Miami show. Viewed from the dock, the brand-new 48 Sundancer combines sweeping lines and a stylish hardtop with a wide-open cockpit designed to please and entertain a crowd-or a couple-with equal ease. The ergonomics of navigation and boat handling come together flawlessly at the helm, which is set apart from the normal flow of traffic, for safe operation. Twin 483 hp Cummins QSC 8.3 diesels and custom SmartCraft controls provide the power and knowledge an owner needs to keep his family and guests safe under way. Down below, handcrafted furniture and cabinetry, solid-surface countertops and designer-selected soft goods surround owners with comfort and practicality. The master stateroom forward, with its full-size bed and en suite head, is a private hideaway, while the midship stateroom offers twin beds. The galley is well equipped to prepare everything from a four-course meal to a midnight snack. Sea Ray, (800) 299-5285; www.searay.com.

Azimut 75: Two of Azimut's newest will be on deck in Miami, including this strikingly modern 75 Fly. One look at how the sweeping use of glass windows brings the outside inside and you'll understand that the conceptual and exterior designer, Stefano Righini, values natural light and long views. Carlo Galeazzi, the interior designer, takes full advantage of the light to illuminate the dining and galley areas amidships, working back through the spacious saloon to a wide-open yet well-protected aft deck. The flying bridge features an extended hardtop with an opening curtain above the upper helm, a comfortable lounging area and an adjoining outdoor grill and bar. The 75 Fly will accommodate eight lucky people in four luxurious cabins, and has separate crew quarters. Side decks make it possible for the crew to move about without disturbing the owners and their guests. Twin 1,300 hp MAN D2842LE 404 diesels will propel this moderate V-hulled (15.5 degrees transom deadrise) motoryacht at half load to 30-knot top speeds and a cruising speed of 26 knots, according to the manufacturer's estimates. Azimut Yachts, (011) 39 01193161; www.azimutyachts.com.

Bertram 630 Enclosed Bridge: Bertram's highly successful 630 Convertible is well regarded for its 160-square-foot, tournament-savvy cockpit, notable seakeeping abilities, good cruise speeds and shallow draft (5 feet, 3 inches). Now it has spawned the next generation of luxury sportfishing machines-the 630 Enclosed Bridge. With a choice of layouts-three or four staterooms, and two distinct saloons-this new convertible will help you blend boating lifestyles ranging from fishing to entertaining to cruising. There's room at the enclosed bridge helm for three comfortable chairs, with excellent visibility all around, and the door opening to the bridge aft walkway is a few steps away. Standard engines are twin 1,500 hp MAN diesels, but the range of optional engines extends up to a brace of 2,000 hp MTU 16V diesels which the builder estimates will produce cruising speeds of 36 knots and top speeds of 40 knots. Engineering is by Bertram Yacht and the Ferretti Group, while design of the superstructure and interiors is courtesy of the renowned Zuccon International Project. Marty A. Lowe Inc. is responsible for the interior décor, which is available in three standard décor packages, with available upgrades and options, of course. Built-in cherry furniture fuses with strong textures and soothing colors to create an elegant interior worthy of extended stays aboard. Bertram Yacht, (305) 633-8011; www.bertram.com.

Fairline Targa 62: The new 62 Gran Turismo is the flagship of Fairline's sleek line of Targa sport cruisers. Designed with a curvaceous hardtop and "deck saloon" or bridge deck continuously open to the aft cockpit, it's also equipped with a hardtop that retracts when you want to bathe in the warmth of the sun. Two ergonomically designed, forward-facing benches ensure that the helmsman can have company close at hand to enjoy the waters ahead. Large sunpads fore and aft, plus a deep swim platform, help make this design just what the water-sports enthusiast requires. Spacious seating areas and a full galley abaft the helm facilitate group entertainment; the entire area can be enclosed, heated or air-conditioned. There's room for an 11-foot jet RIB in the tender garage, plus crew quarters. Large triple portlights on both sides flood the full-width master stateroom below with rivers of light and a wonderful view of the waters around the yacht. The owners will appreciate the well-designed dressing table and couch, as well as the spacious en suite head and shower, find more than enough storage for personal belongings, and enjoy an LCD television with stereo. Accommodations include a VIP stateroom forward and a third cabin that may also be specified as a utility room-creating space for a larger hanging wardrobe and curved sofa in the master. Powered by twin diesels ranging from 1,430 to 2,100 horsepower, the Olesinsky-designed Targa 62 will likely have top speeds from 30 to 36 knots according to builder estimates. Fairline Boats of North America, (954) 525-7430; www.fairline.com.

Carver 41 CMY: Usable side decks, a massive flying bridge with the helm located well forward to free up space for entertaining and relaxing on the L-shaped bench and nearby wet bar, and an interior layout with two private cabins with en suite heads-these are the highlights of Carver's latest, the 41 Cockpit Motoryacht. Combining livable accommodations with a usable aft cockpit and integrated seating is a feat of considerable design expertise in this popular cruiser category, and Carver carries it off with style. The beamy (13 feet, 5 inches) hull allows a cherry-wood-paneled saloon that is wide and spacious, a well-equipped entertainment center, comfortable Flexsteel chair and an L-shaped settee with stowaway bed. All is illuminated by two tiers of frameless windows on either side that make views available to family and guests, whether sitting or standing. The elegant saloon opens on a separate sunken galley and dinette area under forward-facing windows, which should make it a cheery area for meals. The galley comes complete with convection/microwave oven, recessed built-in coffeemaker and side-by-side refrigerator/freezer; solid-surface countertops give an abundance of room for meal preparation. A range of Crusader and Volvo gasoline engines, plus diesels from Yanmar and Volvo, are available to give you a wide range of options. Carver Yachts, (920) 822-3214; www.carveryachts.com.

Cruisers 38 MY: Comfort, style and flexibility are the words that best describe Cruisers' new 385 Motoryacht, a two-stateroom cruiser designed with entertaining in mind. On the flying bridge, there's seating for a crowd to enjoy the view with a double captain's seat and wraparound lounge. Protected by a hardtop, the afterdeck houses a standard entertainment center with wet bar, icemaker and sink, and can accommodate an optional bench seat. In the full-beam main saloon, which has 6 feet, 6 inches of headroom and a complete entertainment center, owners can select either a crescent-shaped lounge or a dinette facing the L-shaped lounge to suit their dining and entertaining needs. The master stateroom aft features a queen-size island berth set on a slight diagonal to maximize living space, while the forward stateroom features a double and a single berth, offering flexible sleeping arrangements for guests and family members. The 385 Motoryacht is available with gas or diesel power, measures 13 feet, 8 inches on the beam and draws only 3 feet, 3 inches. Cruisers Yachts, (920) 834-2211; www.cruisersyachts.com.

Cranchi 47: Given a pair of Volvo Penta's latest D9 EDC power plants-either the 500 hp or the 575 hp flavor-and an Aldo Cranchi-designed performance hull, the new Mediterranee 47 should be a spirited performer. In the cockpit, the helmsman's bolster sits on the centerline, flanked by two additional bolsters for family members or guests who want to see the waters ahead. Immediately behind the helm seats are an outdoor grill and a large C-shaped lounge with table which seats six to eight comfortably for relaxing or alfresco dining. The massive sunpad aft does double duty as a garage for a RIB tender. Sun worshippers will also approve of the twin foredeck sunpads with adjustable headrests. Down gently curving steps, you will find a two-cabin, two-head layout with a large galley to starboard and a crescent-shaped settee with table to port in the saloon-all glowing in contemporary colors, textures and lines that will please the most discriminating owner. Cranchi Yachts, (866) 272-6244; www.cranchiflorida.com.

Nordhavn 72: Available in either the standard or aft wheelhouse configuration, the new flagship of Pacific Asian Enterprise's fleet of Nordhavn world cruisers capitalizes on the lessons learned from the builder's other modified full-displacement designs to produce a luxury yacht with excellent range and open-water capabilities. The design brief called for a yacht that could be handled by one couple, yet it has a comfortable master suite and a VIP stateroom, plus two cabins with double berths, giving owners the option to cruise comfortably with family and friends. The interiors fuse top-level equipment and components, professional interior design from Ardeo Design's Scott Cole and the excellent joinerwork of PAE's master craftsmen. The 72 is available with twin engines, with running gear protected by robust skegs, or with the standard single Lugger 6140 diesel engine, well regarded for its efficient and reliable long-distance capabilities. With the single engine and a 4,100-gallon fuel capacity, estimated range for the Nordhavn 72 is about 3,000 miles, making it possible for owners to reach cruising grounds and exotic destinations once limited to cruising sailboats. Nordhavn, (949) 496-4848; www.nordhavn.com.

Horizon 76 MY: To illustrate the kind of customization possibilities Horizon Yachts can handle, the 76 motoryacht Double D will be on display during the Miami show this year. Working with the owner, Horizon enclosed and air-conditioned the flying bridge, then eliminated the lower helm and replaced it with a large country kitchen. Power is provided by a pair of 27.5 kW Onan gensets, and propulsion by twin 1,015 hp Caterpillar 3412 diesels. Handling is simplified with ABT bow and stern thrusters, while ABT hydraulic stabilizers help smooth the ride under way. Full walkaround decks protected by high bulwarks and stainless grab rails protect crew and guests while moving about the yacht, which will be helpful for those who want to go forward to use the built-in sunpad and lounge. The aft deck and its outdoor seating and dining area are well protected by the boat deck overhang. Accommodations can range from three to five cabins, according to the owner's needs, plus crew quarters aft. Gilman Yachts, (561) 626-5615; www.horizonyachting.com.

Ocean 73 SS: Ocean's latest offering is the largest yacht ever built in its 27-year history of fast and seaworthy sportfishing designs. Power options include Caterpillar's 1,570 hp C30 and 1,675 hp C32 diesels, as well as MTUs 1,800 hp and 2,000 hp 16V2000 diesels. Speeds topping 30 knots are expected with the standard twin C30s. In keeping with the level of sophistication and luxury this yacht represents, the standard configuration includes a comfortable and spacious enclosed flying bridge with a Stidd helm chair, ample guest seating and a dedicated entertainment system. An outside steering station stands ready when communication with fishermen in the cockpit or maneuvering in close quarters is called for. Ocean's first-ever mezzanine deck is poised above and behind the cockpit so that owners and guests can witness the action yet keep clear of the angler and mate. Notable in the saloon is handcrafted furniture, designer décor by Ocean's exclusive interior stylist, William Bales and Co., and a very complete galley. Below, luxury accommodations include a master stateroom, VIP guest stateroom, a portside guest stateroom and starboard side crew quarters. Ocean Yachts, (609) 965-4616; www.oceanyachtsinc.com.

Supermarine Swordfish 36 Mk II: Supermarine Motoryachts, builder of the original Swordfish 36, which was launched in late 1989, have just released an updated version, the twin-engine Mark II. Like the original, the Mark II will have an open plan Ken Freivokh interior, only this one will be a contemporary blend of satin-lacquered mahogany and leather. Freivokh also designed the new radar arch, giving the exterior an updated profile. High Modulus has reengineered the hull from the keel up, taking full advantage of the new generation of Yanmar marine engines ranging from 260 to 440 horsepower. Supermarine offers the Mark II in three different layouts: with two cabins, or one cabin and a dinghy garage, or a single cabin with a large cockpit. Supermarine Motoryachts, (011) 44 1243 512611; www.supermarinemotoryachts.com.

Viking 70 SC: With an interior that is the model of understated elegance and a vivid exterior design that is as functional as it is pleasing to the eye, Viking's new 70 Sport Cruiser sets new standards in the performance-cruising arena. Initially offered with twin 1,015 hp Caterpillar C18 diesels, the 70 SC is also available with a pair of 1,300 hp MAN 2842-404 diesels. Excellent visibility and seating for eight, including two at the helm, are hallmarks of the flying bridge, which also sports an outdoor grill and wet bar. Teak-planking on the swim platform, the aft deck and the steps leading up to the flying bridge adds a warm glow and good footing for guests. The saloon features seating for a crowd, a spiral staircase to the flying bridge and a galley that is beautifully screened yet practically designed for entertaining or sit-down dining. Twin seats at the lower helm and a sliding door to the starboard deck will also be appreciated. The accommodations on the lower deck are centered on the amidships owner's suite, which includes voluminous storage, a large couch and a dressing table, as well as a spacious head with roomy separate shower. Three other cabins on this level, including a VIP guest stateroom forward, offer privacy and comfort. Crew quarters are located aft of the engineroom. Viking Sport Cruisers, (609) 296-6000; www.vikingsportcruisers.com.

THE ULTIMATE ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE TO THE SHOW

WHERE TO BE SEEN (BY BOAT SHOW PEOPLE): The Clevelander, 1020 Ocean Drive, (305) 531-4385: A classic South Beach hot spot, with pool, indoor sports bar, outdoor café, Art Deco décor-and you.

WHERE NOT TO BE SEEN: Convention Center Cafeteria. Especially in those shorts.

THE ONE DRINK TO ORDER: You're a wild and crazy, Art Deco-styled, exceedingly cool individual who happens to be in town to buy a groovy yacht. Bellying up to the bar at Pawn Shop or The Shore Club, you order a...martini, shaken not stirred, with a Viagra chaser. (Hey, it worked for Austin Powers.)

FOR MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: Casa Tua, 1700 James Avenue, (305) 673-1010: The clientele hopes you can't find this exclusive Italian. Nobu Miami Beach in the Shore Club, 1901 Collins Avenue, (305) 695-3100: Ultimate cuisine at outrageous prices keeps the wannabe factor low. Prime One Twelve at 1915 Brown's Hotel, 112 Ocean Drive, (305) 532-8112: Innovative steakhouse with hard-to- get reservations for power people.

HOTTEST HANGOUTS: Bed, 929 Washington Avenue, (305) 532-9070: Yes, you are actually served dinner in bed, on rattan trays. Yes, the food is way beyond cereal and pancakes; how about cutting-edge French and American? Crobar, 1445 Washington Avenue, (305) 672-8084: Here's where the hipoisie and the art crowd intersect. Feeling lucky? Pawn Shop, 1222 NE Second Avenue, (305) 373-3511: Once a pawnbroker's, now one of the hottest clubs. The Spire Bar at the Hotel, 801 Collins Avenue, (305) 531-2222: In the heart of the Art Deco district, this 1939 hotel has a new rooftop bar designed by Todd Oldham. Best view? Possibly. FUNKY FAVORITES Lincoln Road bistros. Nikki Beach Club, 1 Ocean Drive, (305) 538-1231: Everyone comes to, or walks by, this outdoor restaurant, known for its unusual brunches.

POOL PARTIES: Something of a South Beach specialty, these alfresco dolce vita scenes are for revelers who like the smell of suntan lotion with their martinis. The Raleigh, 1775 Collins Avenue, (305) 534-6300: Not only a hot hotel scene, but, on Sunday afternoons, a pool party that distills South Beach into one heady brew. The Shore Club, 1901 Collins Avenue, (305) 695-3100: Beachside pool, with exotic and high-rolling scene that goes late into the night. Also home of the fabulous Nobu restaurant.

CLASSICS: Joe's Stone Crab, 11 Washington Avenue, (305) 673-0365. China Grill, 404 Washington Avenue, (305) 534-2211. Smith & Wollensky, 1 Washington Avenue, (305) 673-2800.

ENTERTAINMENT: Club Tropigala in the Hotel Fontainbleu, 4441 Collins Avenue, (305) 672-7469: Last of the beach floor shows in Miami. Kitschy fun. Watching the eccentrics at the Delano Hotel, 1685 Collins Avenue, (305) 672-2000: Paging Dennis Rodman!

SHOPPING: BAL HARBOUR SHOPS, 9700 Collins Avenue, (305) 866-0311: Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Dior-all the usual suspects in an open-air mall. -Don Wallace