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VIDEO: Time for the main event

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, one of the largest boat shows in the world, begins this week.

This year’s show starts Thursday and continues through Monday at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, the Las Olas Municipal Marina, the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and the Sails Marina.

More than 165 boatbuilders will be represented. In addition to a wide variety of boats, yachts and megayachts on display, there will be exhibits with electronics, engines, safety equipment, maintenance products and other accessories.

Click play to watch a preview of the event.

Viking Yachts will have its new 66 Convertible at the show. "The 70 Enclosed Bridge Convertible and the Viking 42 Open with the Cummins MerCruiser Zeus pod drive propulsion system also are being shown for the first time in Fort Lauderdale," says Peter Frederiksen, Viking Yachts director of communications. "We know this is a prime buying season. If the people show up, we are going to have the new boats for them."

Other new boats at the show include the Pursuit ST 310 center console, Tiara 4300 Open with Zeus propulsion, Cutwater 26 and 28, Zeelander 44 and the Krogen 48 AE. Cobalt Boats will display four new models from 20 to 30 feet. You can also check out new 4-strokes from Honda (BF250) and Mercury (150 Verado). The two engines shared the top honor for outboard propulsion in the 2011 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference Innovation Awards.

In the electronics arena, Raymarine will have its e7 multifunction display with wireless capabilities at the show (also an IBEX innovation winner). Wesmar will introduce a digital at-anchor stabilizer system and its HD825 sonar for cruising, navigation and fishing. GOST by Paradox Marine, which provides state-of-the-art wireless security, will debut its new control head unit, the GOST Phantom. Also new from GOST is the Watch HD surveillance system, the Nav-Tracker website and the NT-Evolution, integrating a yacht’s protective systems.

The Fort Lauderdale show is produced by Show Management, which is owned by Soundings’ parent company Active Interest Media. Show Management has developed a free app that allows attendees to navigate the show’s aisles and docks with their smart phones and tablets. “MyBoatShow” provides multiple interactive functions, such as an exhibitor list, a list of boats, a list of products, and maps of the show locations.

The app is available for the iPhone, iPad and Android, and users can download it by searching “my boat show” at their mobile devices’ app market.

Soundings readers can get discounted admission to the show by using a special online promotional code. Click here to save $5 a ticket on one- or two-day adult tickets or Prime Time Preview adult tickets for Oct. 27. Hit the red "Purchase Tickets" tab and enter Soundings in the promotional code box. Children 5 and under are free with a paying adult.

A five-day pass costs $90 at the gate and $85 online; a two-day general admission ticket is $34 at the gate and $32 online; a one-day general admission ticket is $18 at the gate and $16 online; and tickets for children 6 to 15 years old are $5 at the gate and $3 online.