A mere month after the Miami boat shows comes the more intimate Palm Beach International Boat Show, owned by the Maritime Industries Association of Palm Beach. While not the largest, it still is an important event (considered one of the top 10 in the United States) and attracts more than an estimated 350 million dollars of boats and marine accessories, according to the organizers. Held in a central location in downtown West Palm Beach, the boat show uses the Harbor Marina’s renovated docks and additional temporary dockage to display boats of all sizes in scenic surroundings. Located on the banks of the Lake Worth Lagoon, with views of the Flagler mansion (now the Flagler Museum), the show is within walking distance of Clematis Street’s shops and restaurants.
Thanks to its location, easy access, laidback feeling and timing, this show is a big favorite among visitors and exhibitors alike. It has grown in scope and scale, keeping pace with the growing marine industry in Palm Beach County.
Originally, the show was an intimate and homegrown affair. After its debut in 1982, it had a few false starts and was even cancelled in 1990 before reaching its stride. In 2009, the word “international” was added to the name, in recognition of a growing number of international exhibitors and visitors.
Still, one of the largest yachts expected there this year is a US-built yacht. The 157-foot Christensen Top Five (ex Nice N’ Easy and Liquidity), displayed by Peter Kehoe & Associates, will be among the larger brokerage yachts on display (in 2011, 34 yachts 100 feet and larger were displayed in Palm Beach). Built in 2005, this composite trideck has a top speed of 17.5 knots and a cruising speed of 13 knots. The interior is by Seattle-based Carol Williamson & Associates and features intricate stonework and beautiful walnut veneer. The master suite on the main deck is the largest of six comfortable cabins. With a range of 4,500 nautical miles, Top Five, which features naval architecture by Christensen, has the ability to split her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, or explore north and south.
Among new boats expected in Palm Beach this year is the latest iteration of Taiwanese builder Horizon’s new power catamaran. The PC58, thanks to its catamaran hull yielding a 24-foot 6-inch beam, offers plenty of interior volume as well as generous deck spaces, finished with an easy-to-maintain non-skid surface. Overnight accommodations include a panoramic owner’s suite, a VIP cabin and a third guest cabin with twin beds. Horizon USA, headquartered in Palm Beach, will also present a new Horizon 74 from its attractive V series, developed in conjunction with Gregory C. Marshall Naval Architect. ■
27th Palm Beach International Boat Show
Where: On the waterfront along Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Thursday, March 22: noon to 7 pm
Friday, March 23, to Saturday, March 24: 10 am to 7 pm
Sunday, March 25: 10 am to 6 pm
$14 per adult per day ($12 online)
Children 6 to 15: $5 per day ($3 online)
Children under 6: free