Showing up at the shows – post-FLIBS

Andy Adams

Nov 2, 2021

Last week I flew to the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show and as I suspected, almost no one wore a mask. Many shook hands and I even got a warm hug from a special friend. Yes – it was great to see her. In fact, it was great to see so many people. It’s been far too long.

But we weren’t talking about COVID. 

The topic of discussion was scarcity of product and how that will affect the boat shows in the coming months…or even the coming year.

Many expressed that product shortages were not resolving quickly. The concurrent labour shortage is surely partly to blame. Several builders I spoke to were talking about 2023 deliveries. Exhibitors were cautious about letting me onboard their boats to take pictures and gather editorial resources, because the boats were usually sold units.

Overall, the docks in Ft. Lauderdale looked pretty good, but the buildngs were not as full as in previous years and I overheard some show-goers talking about the brands that were not there this time.

Opening day was Wednesday, October 27. I didn’t expect much, but the crowds built every day and by 6:00 pm Friday, it was feeling really busy. The docks were packed and so were the roads around the Bahia Mar, plus the bars and restaurants were really rockin’. People want to get back to normal and have some fun again.

So, I’m looking forward to better times – coming soon to a boat show near you!

Andy Adams – Editor

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