The Feb. 14-18 Miami International Boat Show offers something for most budgets and interests, from personal watercraft and family cruisers to high-performance and luxury yachts — as well as marine art, swimsuits, even meeting the National Geographic Channel’s “Shark Men” Chris Fischer and Capt. Brett McBride.
The President’s Day weekend event will showcase 3,000 boats, 2,000 companies and marine accessories, technology and electronics at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina on Bayshore Drive and Miamarina at Bayside Marketplace on Biscayne Boulevard. Each venue has its own distinct character, says Cathy Rick-Joule, vice president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s boat show division.
Sealine marina features in-water powerboat and motoryacht displays for what the NMMA is calling the New Yacht & Powerboat Show. Miamarina is the Strictly Sail venue. The convention center is the show’s nerve center, with boats, engines, electronics and accessories, nautical gifts and apparel, services — and the Dive and Travel Harbor for sport divers, the Big Game Room for sport anglers, the Welcome to the Water Center for new boaters and Fred’s Shed workshops for do-it-yourselfers.
Rick-Joule is highlighting Sealine for its demo rides this year and she recommends making appointments with exhibitors well in advance. Besides the usual shuttle buses, vans will provide transportation between the convention center and Sealine for the demo rides, and organizers will host VIP cocktail gatherings at Sealine on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings for exhibitors and their clients.
The Miami show also is a valuable resource for on-water training. Discover Boating, the marine industry’s educational arm, will put visitors at the helm of a powerboat with 60-minute or three-hour hands-on skill-building clinics at Sea Isle, and two- and three-hour clinics on sailboats at Strictly Sail. Visitors also can get an introduction to sailing catamarans at Sea Isle and attend any of dozens of sailing and cruising seminars.
Show hours are Thursday (premiere day) and Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sea Isle hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (no admission fee).
Admission is $35 on premiere day and $20 on other days; youths 15 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. A five-day pass is $85. www.miamiboatshow.com
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February 2013 issue