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Winter blues? It’s show time in Miami

There will be more than 2,000 powerboats on display at the Feb. 15-19 show, held at three locations

There will be more than 2,000 powerboats on display at the Feb. 15-19 show, held at three locations

Check out one of the largest displays of big sailing catamarans anywhere, and while you’re at it grind a Harken winch and win a prize if you can give the America’s Cup grinders a run for their money.

The Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail are coming up Thursday, Feb. 15, through Monday, Feb. 19, at three venues. Strictly Sail, at Bayside Marketplace’s Miamarina, will have more than 50 catamarans in the water — one of the biggest displays at any show — and 100 sailboats altogether. One sidelight of the sailboat show will be prizes for the best time grinding a big-boat winch to haul in a sheet.

The focal point of the powerboat show is the Miami Beach Convention Center. Many of the boats on display there also will be available for demo at Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center, along with the other in-water exhibits at that location.

Altogether, organizers expect 2,200 exhibits, 3,000 boats from 6 to 82 feet, and close to 150,000 attendees at this 66th annual show. Among the boats on display will be Hinckley’s new T38R convertible, a 38-foot jet-powered, joystick-controlled runabout with a pushbutton convertible top. French builder Chantiers Amel of La Rochelle will show its Amel 54, the replacement for its 53-foot Super Maramu, a cruising boat so popular that 497 hulls were built over a 17-year production run.

For the angler, Century Boat Company will have the queen of its fleet, the 3200cc, on display. The 32-foot, 6-inch center console is Century’s battlewagon, with a 75-gallon bait well, four forward fishboxes, a live well system and enclosed head.

The show’s purpose obviously is to sell boats, but the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the organizer, includes a strong educational component as well. Strictly Sail’s Discover Sailing gives free sailboat rides to showgoers and offers free seminars by world adventure cruisers, authors, experts in navigation software, and specialists in a variety of sailing gear. And children 6 years and older can help build two small wooden sailboats in free, expertly supervised boatbuilding workshops.

The powerboat show’s Big Game Room at the convention center offers seminars in basic boat handling, bait rigging and angling. The Discover Boating Center, also at the convention center, provides boaters with brand-neutral advice about selecting, buying and maintaining boats, along with information about financing, fishing destinations and boating tips.

The Yacht and Brokerage Show on Indian Creek — a few miles up the beach from the convention center, along Collins Avenue from 41st to 51st streets — also runs from Feb. 15 to 19. Owned and sponsored by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, the show will display more than 500 new and used superyachts, express cruisers, sportfishing boats, family cruisers and passagemakers from 30 to 160 feet and from $250,000 to $20 million.

For show times and admission charges, visit and