The show’s new venue features large, state-of-the art, air-conditioned, clear span structures that showcase boats, engines, electronics and more.
By Irene Moore
This year, The Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show®, February 11-15, 2016, celebrates its 75th year at a new home, the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin in Key Biscayne, an islet just off Miami. Connected to the main land by bridge, and just minutes from downtown Miami, the boat show’s new location is on an island oasis, showcasing Miami’s natural beauty and its amazing skyline across the sparkling waters of Biscayne Bay. It’s the ideal setting to shop for new boats and accessories and enjoy life on the water.
It will also spotlight the park’s historic stadium building, originally built to host powerboat races. The goal is that, by showcasing the stadium, it will jump-start widespread interest in restoring one of Miami’s architectural gems.
The Miami Boat Show began in 1941 with 50 boats displayed under just one tent. In 75 years it has evolved to one of the world’s largest boat shows, and a winter destination for serious boaters looking to find the very best in boating. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people from around the world will attend this year's show. According to The Miami Boat Show, tourists are expected to spend $83 million over the five-day show. Not to mention that the show’s estimated annual economic impact is of $597 million in Florida, more than if the state hosted the Super Bowl every year.
This year, 1,200 new boats include more than 400 boats in-water at a temporary marina with new 100% EPA-compliant docks. The boats range from luxury yachts, sport fishers, and high-speed performance boats to family cruisers and runabouts. The show also exhibits the newest boating technologies, gear and accessories.
Carol Suzanne racing boat
The new venue features large, state-of-the art, air-conditioned, clear span structures that showcase boats, engines, electronics and more on land. There will be approximately 600,000 square feet of exhibitor space displaying marine products, both at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin and Strictly Sail Miami. The Strictly Sail portion of the boat show remains at the nearby Miamarina site at Bayside, 400 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Strictly Sail Miami features more than 125 sailboats, dozens of daily seminars and the latest sailing gear. Strictly Sail is accessible from Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin via a free water taxi or shuttle bus service.
For boating history fans, this year the boat show features three iconic, show-stopping South Florida boats: the Pilar, a replica and sister ship of Ernest Hemingway’s famous fishing boat that inspired many of his works including the classic, The Old Man and the Sea. Fans of Miami Vice will want to see the original Scarab, James “Sonny” Crockett’s speedboat in the TV series. Featured speeding through open water in the show’s opening credits, the performance boat exemplified the thrills and adventure of the 1980s hit TV show. Then there’s the Carol Suzanne, a vintage South Florida racing boat, the most prominent racing boat built by Robert Schroeder.
Additionally, there is hands-on skill training, with power boating and sailing workshops on the water, held at Strictly Sail Miami. Attendees will be able to try kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding at the “Try It Cove.” For serious shoppers looking to take a test drive, there will be boat demonstrations and sea trials.
Premier Day: Thursday, February 11, 10 am–6 pm
Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15, 10 am–6 pm ■
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