THINK BIG: Sizing Up the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

While there is a boat show taking place somewhere every month of the year, none has the range and diversity of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. (COMPLETE BOAT SHOW GUIDE)
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While there is a boat show taking place somewhere every month of the year, none has the range and diversity of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. (COMPLETE BOAT SHOW GUIDE)

While there is a boat show taking place somewhere every month of the year, none has the range and diversity of the Fort Lauderdale show. (COMPLETE BOAT SHOW GUIDE)

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In its 55th year, the show is the largest in-water boat show in the world. This year it will cover more territory than ever. Taking place October 30 through November 3, the show attracts an international audience of hundreds of thousands of marine enthusiasts to Fort Lauderdale. The show features nearly $4 billion worth of boats and marine products across more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space, offering something for everyone from superyachts to sportfishing boats to trawlers to runabouts.

“Year after year our goal for the show is to enhance the overall experience for visitors and offer industry professionals the best platform to conduct business,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, CEO of Show Management, the company that manages and produces the show. “This year we have more exhibit space than ever before, further-improved navigational aids and additional dining options all designed to ensure that FLIBS remains the center of the yachting world.”

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Lifestyle exhibits include a high-end auto display, helicopters, personal submarines and a wide selection of the latest yacht and water toys. For those who are just looking, the show offers plenty of fun including floating cocktail lounges, live musical entertainment and informative fishing and boating seminars for adults and children of all ages. Several noteworthy enhancements to this year’s show include the addition of Pier Sixty-Six marina, which will serve as the show’s seventh location and feature a display of brokerage yachts.

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This Year’s Big Stars

Here are some of the great yachts scheduled to appear at the show:

Riva Mythos | 122 feet (37 meters)

Riva 122 Mythos

Riva 122 Mythos

Built at the CRN shipyard in Ancona, Italy, Riva’s flagship Mythos is a 35-ton aluminum planing flybridge vessel. Her top speed of 28.5 knots at one-third load and maximum continuous cruising speed of 25 knots are delivered by twin 3,510-horsepower MTU 12V 4000 M93L engines. The Mythos achieves style points for her pure Italian design—clean, modern and truly timeless. The yacht was conceived with an eye toward environmental impact reduction, which is the reason RINA classified the Mythos with its Green Plus notation. The lower-deck garage houses a 16-foot-plus tender and a Jet Ski, with an electrical/hydraulic platform perfect for diving or launching toys with ease. You can check out impressive video of the build process HERE.

Show location: Ferretti display, Face Dock #7A-D

Riva 122 Mythos

Riva 122 Mythos

Benetti Veloce 140 | 137ft. 10in. (42 meters)

Benetti Veloce 140

Benetti Veloce 140

The Veloce 140, a new yacht in the Benetti Class Fast Displacement range, makes her world debut at the show. The new D2P hull, designed by Pierluigi Ausonio Naval Architecture Studio and the Azimut-Benetti Group, has exterior styling and concept by Stefano Righini and interior design by Redman Whiteley Dixon. At a 12-knot cruising speed, she is notably energy-efficient, and she has the ability to steam at more than 20 knots in total comfort. The yacht features the largest engine package ever mounted at the Benetti shipyard in Viareggio, Italy: twin 3,500-horsepower MTU 12V 4000 M93Ls. She is also equipped with CMC Marine electrical fin stabilizers.

Show location: Benetti display, Face Dock #14

Westport 130 | 130 feet (39.6 meters)

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The Westport 130 trideck incorporates the best of custom design in a proven platform. Conceived and designed to be a low-maintenance vessel, her premium materials are selected for easy care and long service life, resulting in fewer haul-outs and less down time. ABS-classed and MCA-compliant, the 130 is equally well-suited for private use or charter service.

Show location: Westport display, Hall of Fame Marina FD #10-17

Westport 164 | 164 feet (50 meters)

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Westport’s flagship, the 164 trideck, accommodates 12 guests. Launched this year, the newest 164 was designed in collaboration with designer Donald Starkey and naval architect William Garden, who developed a refined hull form for exceptional ocean-going performance. A new accommodation plan balances interior and on-deck spaces for maximum enjoyment and versatility, with contemporary styling that ensures lasting appeal.

Show location: Westport display, Hall of Fame Marina FD #10-17

Paragon Motor Yachts 100 SM | 100 feet (30.48 meters)

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American Pacific Boatworks is debuting the 100-foot Bahama SkyMaster, which recently launched at its parent company’s Paragon Motor Yachts yard in Taiwan. Interior design is by Marty Lowe. As her name suggests, the yacht is styled like a Bahamas house, permitting lots of light via large vertical windows in the superstructure designed to reduce incoming heat from the sun. The iconic Bahamas cockpit concept features a large mezzanine for outdoor fun in the sun. The 100 SkyMaster offers three king-berth staterooms, a fourth queen-berth stateroom and an additional bunk, along with accommodations for four crewmembers. Other unique interior features include a panoramic dining lounge, an innovative wheelhouse with three electric helm chairs and a spacious flybridge.

Show location: F/G Dock

Sanlorenzo SL106 | 106 feet (32.3 meters)

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Built at the Ameglia shipyard in La Spezia, Italy, the Sanlorenzo 106 features a distinct new layout. On the main deck, an open path leads from the salon to the dining room/family lounge at the bow, creating a spatial continuity and permitting a full view of the yacht from stem to stern. The salon terrace, which opens over the water, enlarges the space and offers stunning views. Light and space characterize the owner’s suite and guest staterooms. Engine options are a pair of 2,200-horsepower MTU 16V 2000 M84 engines for a maximum speed of 27 knots, or twin 2,400-horsepower MTU 16V 2000 M93 engines for a maximum speed of 29 knots.

Show location: Sanlorenzo display, Face Dock #10A-B

Sunrise 45 | 147ft. 7in. (45 meters)

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Launched last summer in Antalya, Turkey, this yacht—the second in Sunrise’s 45m series—is a three-deck, full-displacement vessel of 499 gross tons. With a steel hull and aluminum superstructure, she’s a transatlantic, fuel-efficient, go-anywhere yacht with low levels of sound and vibration. For easy maintenance, the Sunrise 45m features a full-length technical tunnel running from the engine room to the bow thruster compartment. Interior design is by Franck Darnet Design.

Show location: Face Dock (visit showmanagement.com for more info)

Admiral Maxima 47 Entourage | 154 feet (47 meters)

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Entourage is a full-displacement trideck with a steel hull and aluminum superstructure. Exterior styling is by Luca Dini in collaboration with Admiral Centro Stile and Baldo Gjurasic, the owner’s representative and project manager. Full-height panoramic windows douse the salon with natural light. She accommodates 10 guests in four staterooms on the lower deck and a master suite with a gym, sauna and office on the main deck. The sundeck is shaded with a hardtop. Designed for passagemaking, Entourage has a range of 6,000 nautical miles.

Show location: Face Dock #13/13A

Hargrave 94 Adventure Us II | 94 feet (28.65 meters)

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This sky lounge model was customized to meet the needs of three generations spanning grandparents, parents and grandchildren. With an on-deck master, four staterooms and crew quarters aft, Adventure Us II offers a top-shelf onboard entertainment package with state-of-the-art connectivity, flat-screen TVs and video game controllers. A yacht with enough stowage for a barrage of entertainment provisions from water toys to golf clubs, she sports twin 1,600-horsepower Caterpillar C32s for a comfortable ride.

Show location: Hargrave display, Las Olas Marina, A Dock

Think small(er)

Whether you’re shopping for a second boat or looking to downsize, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show offers a staggering number of options to browse. We scanned the show landscape to find six models that fit that mold. They are surely not the last word, but they represent some of the great smaller-boat offerings at the show.

Marquis 420 Sport Bridge

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While very much Italian by design, the stylish 420 Sport Bridge by Wisconsin-based Marquis Yachts is American-manufactured all the way. Exterior styling is aerodynamic and sporty thanks to Italian naval architecture firm Nuvolari Lenard, with a hefty bridge deck that continues the concept of openness experienced in the yacht’s galley, salon, cockpit and swim platform. Interior décor is modern and elegant, with bulkheads and cabinets constructed from a variety of rich hardwoods. Twin 435-horsepower Volvo Pentas affixed to integrated IPS 600 pods permit top speeds close to 35 knots.

Show location: G/H Dock

For more information: marquisyachts.com

Pirelli PZero 1100

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At the cutting edge of what some call a “rubberized boat revolution,” Pirelli PZero RIBs are increasingly in vogue. They serve a segment of the luxury market where it has become difficult to stand out from the crowd, and the PZero 1100 series wins serious points for originality. The PZero is no ordinary tender, combining remarkable deck space with speeds in excess of 50 knots. Designed to hold up to 14 people, the chic 1100 (11 meters) offers a bold, sporty ethos thanks to her silhouette and hard-top helm. European sex appeal distinguishes the line, from Ferrari-red exterior cushions and elegant teak finishes to the carbon hard top over a digital control panel. The swanky console conceals a full-service head, closet and double bed. The main deck has flexible seating at the helm and multiple lounge areas all the way back to a spacious swim platform. The PZero 1100 is available with twin inboard gasoline or diesel engines, or twin 300- to 350-horsepower outboards.

Show location: Land display 1068-1070

For more information: pirellipzero.com

Chris-Craft Launch 36

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This all-American tender (see also: day boat), which launched earlier this year at the Miami boat show, blends tradition and style in a way that’s quintessentially Chris-Craft. Whether she launches from the dock behind your house or from the tender garage on your superyacht, the iconic lines of Chris-Craft’s Launch 36 will always command attention. With an open bow and a sporty ride, the Launch 36 comes standard with a pair of Volvo Penta V8s with Duoprop outdrives, or twin 430-horsepower MerCruisers with B3 outdrives. Big surprises await belowdecks, with three levels of teak trim and the ability to sleep five comfortably. The Launch 36 is a full walkaround that offers multiple areas to gather and relax. The outdoor cockpit galley includes an ice maker, refrigerator and microwave, with cockpit seats along both sides of the walkthrough to the swim platform. A dining table rises from the deck for entertaining. For driving comfort, try the plush triple helm seat panel on for size.

Show location: G/H Dock

For more information: chriscraft.com

Wider 42

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If you missed the Wider 42 at the Miami show in February, don’t fret. This innovative, fleet-footed express cruiser will be on exhibit at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and she just might blow your mind. Notwithstanding the sexy cabin with its simple, yet elegant overnight amenities that include a standup shower and crazy-cool, carbon-fiber toilet, the real action on this boat is in the sprawling cockpit. Essentially a center console on steroids, this boat was created around outdoor living. The helm is luxurious with carbon accents and a carbon T-top. The name Wider derives from a pair of electro-hydraulically operated “wings” that extend out from the sides of the boat and nearly double the walkable deck space at anchor, and provide stability. The boat’s versatile stern section supports a sunpad with concealed space below that can be configured to stow dive gear, a tender, a personal watercraft or a proper fighting chair. But that’s not the end of it. With twin gas or diesel engines, Arneson drives and a stepped high-performance hull, the thing is a rocket capable of achieving speeds of 50 knots, according to the builder. Wider will exhibit a new 32 at the show as well.

Show location: Face Dock #5A-E

For more information: wider-yachts.com

MJM 50z

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The MJM Yachts 50z is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Glasses off, she resembles a slew of Downeast-workboat-influenced yachts that have brightened harbors for decades. But you’d never find this gem hauling pots in a Maine cove. You’re more likely to find her hissing by you at 30 knots burning a fraction of the fuel her competitors do while treating her guests to a comfortable, stable ride. The 50z, MJM’s new flagship, is the extension of a range of similar craft designed by Doug Zurn, who was responsible for, among many other great designs, Billy Joel’s Shelter Island 38. Among many other features Zurn brings to the table is an efficient, stable, modified deep-V hull, along with distinctive lines that massage the eyes—glasses on. The hull is constructed of lighter-weight epoxy composites, which, along with its shape, enables the yacht to be driven with less horsepower while burning less fuel than others in her class, MJM says. Standard power is twin Volvo Penta IPS 600s that produce a top speed of 31.5 knots with a 28-knot cruise. With optional triples, top speed is 38 knots with a 34-knot cruise. The yacht has port and starboard boarding doors that open onto a bridge deck that is flush from cockpit to wheel.

Show location: B Dock

For more information: mjmyachts.com

Zeelander Z44

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The Zeelander Z44 is not a new design, nor is she new to American shores, but this unique, curvaceous, Dutch reimagining of a Downeast yacht remains a standout among potential second boats for yachtsmen who want to cruise local waters with a heavy dose of class and style. The first thing you might notice about this boat is her substantial freeboard, which is out of character for a typical Downeast cruiser. This feature conceals what is a capacious, two-stateroom interior. Her outfitting includes glove-stitched leather and a generous complement of veneers both below and on her bridge deck. Her stout proportions are tempered by stern sections that feature a little curl of tumblehome and a steeply sloping transom that flips open to convert to a swim platform. Thrust comes from a pair of Volvo Penta IPS 500s, which produce a top speed of 34 knots, according to the builder. In a bit of irony, Zeelander moved production of the 44 from Holland to facilities owned by S2 Yachts (builder of Tiara and Pursuit) in the Michigan town of … Holland.

Show location: B Dock

For more information: zeelander.com

FOR BOAT SHOW SHOPPING TIPS FROM THE PROS, CLICK HERE

FOR TIMES, TICKET INFO, AND ALL OTHER SHOW LOGISTICS, CLICK HERE

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