Feb 25, 2020
As we have done for many years, Canadian Yachting Media was at the Miami International Boat Show and also the Miami Yacht Show, two separate boat shows which were both held in Miami on the American President’s Day weekend, February 12 to 16, 2020.
We sent the our “A Team” of John Armstrong and Andy Adams to meet with our friends and business associates and to report back to our readers on what we found.
We started at the Miami Yacht Show and this year it was really more focused on bigger boats. Names you would recognize include Canadian luxury builder Neptunus Yachts, Sabre, Cruisers Yachts and a few others but much of what was on display at the Miami Yacht Show was well above the sizes we see in Canada. It was interesting to walk around but not really our market.
From there we took the pleasant but slow water taxi across the bay to the Miami International Boat Show where we found many more of our friends and a grand selection of the boats that interest our readers.
Celebrating 79 years and its fifth year at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, the 2020 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show, presented by West Marine, drew 82,171 attendees over its five-day run ending on President’s Day. The Show kicked off with near record crowds on opening day, Feb. 13. Momentum slowed over the weekend with rainy weather, however early reports from several boat and accessory manufacturers reported strong sales and new buyers in attendance throughout the five-day event. As a result of inclement weather, attendance is down 10 percent compared to 91,518 in 2019. The Miami Boat Show is set to cruise back to Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin in 2021 over President’s Day weekend, Feb. 11-15.
You can bet that the Canadian Yachting Media “A Team” will be back in 2021 because we see so much that our readers care about.
At the 2020 show we spent quite a bit of time with Jeanneau America President Nick Harvey who gave us a sneak peek at their new Prestige X70 that is in development. A detailed model was on display. This very innovative new yacht will debut this fall at the Fort Lauderdale show. While we were at the Prestige display we were privileged to have designers Camillo Garoni and Eric Stromberg take us through their impressive new Prestige 590S.
A highlight of our trip was to get a full hour out in Biscayne Bay aboard the new Axopar 37 with co-owner Jan Erik Vitala who has the interesting title of Creative and Innovations Director. The Axopar proved to be both creative and innovative in a big way and it delivered amazing performance too. Look for a full boat review in an upcoming issue of Canadian Yachting magazine.
The Mercury display was jumping and the Axopar was one of a fleet of Merc’ powered demo boats that were running demonstrations all day every day. The Miami International Boat Show is not just a power boat show either.
We spent time with our friends at Beneteau and took photos of their new Oceanis 30.1. Look for a review of that in Canadian Yachting this spring as well. We learned that by the end of the show, Beneteau has sold all the boats they had on display.
Conversations with Chris-Craft, Sea Ray, Regal, Boston Whaler and other main brands all reported a strong market in the U.S.
With an economic impact of $854 million annually, the Miami Boat Show is an economic driver, employing an estimated 5,700 people and filling approximately 100,000 hotel room nights in Miami. Florida exhibitors alone sell a projected $350 million in marine products at the Show while out-of-town visitors spend approximately $53 million on restaurants, entertainment and other local businesses when they come to town.
It’s certainly a big show (in fact two big shows) and they have improved the transportation options, making it easier to get to and from the show. That doesn’t make it any less expensive to attend but we certainly found a lot to talk about at the shows in Miami this year.