Longtime yacht show renamed Yachts Miami Beach

Dec 10, 2015 dhemlock@sunsentinel.com,

A yacht show on Collins Avenue that started 28 years ago with some 30 boats is getting a new name for what's set to be its biggest edition yet: Yachts Miami Beach.

The show Feb. 11-15 is expected to attract more than 500 new and used yachts and equipment valued at more than $1 billion. It will fill more than 1.2 million square feet of space on a mile-long strip of the Indian Creek Waterway from 41st Street to 54th Street, organizers said Wednesday.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend, including many buyers and boating enthusiasts from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, as well as exhibitors from Europe, organizers said.

The show previously was known as The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach. It is managed, produced and co-owned by Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale company that also organizes the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and other shows in Florida and in Panama. It co-owns Yachts Miami Beach with the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.

 

"It's a high-end international show," said Show Management chief Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III. Most yachts are at least 50 feet and visitors on docks speak Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and other languages, he said. "We expect this show to be bigger and better than ever."

The in-water event is separate from another boat show also held in the Miami area during the President's Day weekend. That show, long centered inside the Miami Beach Convention Center, aims to move to Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay starting in 2016 as the convention center is upgraded.

News that Yachts Miami Beach will expand in 2016 won praise from Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who described himself as a "huge friend of the marine industry." He said the show helps fill local hotels, as buyers and viewers come from around the world, especially from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Other businesses also benefit from the yacht show, from boatyards that repair and paint yachts to designers who provide pillows and other furnishings to florists who supply bouquets for table tops, said Jason Dunbar, a yacht broker and leader of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.

Organizers of Yachts Miami Beach will complement this year's show with a superyacht exhibit at the new Island Gardens Deep Water Harbour Marina on Watson Island off Miami's shore. Once completed, that marina will be able to host dozens of yachts from 80 feet to a whopping 550 feet each, they said.

Shuttle service will be available in February to connect the Collins Avenue show with the Watson Island and Virginia Key sites, organizers said. Yachts Miami Beach is free, and no tickets are needed.

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