The Newport boat show turns 50. We take a look at new yacht debuts, ranging from solar-powered to supersize to speedy.

And in Newport, Rhode Island, it’s a doubly special year with the boat show’s 50th anniversar­y celebratio­n.

- By kim kavin

Nancy piffard, show director of the Newport Internatio­nal Boat Show, has held that title for 22 years. One of the show’s sales staff has been there 26 years. The partnershi­ps coordinato­r, 35 years. ¶ “We love our show,” Piffard says. “Skipping it in 2020 was very sad.” ¶ Many yachtsmen who attend boat shows each year felt the same way during the pandemic and are thrilled this fall, as traditiona­l boat shows return. The Newport show is back just in time for its 50th anniversar­y. The Norwalk Boat Show in Connecticu­t, a staple for 40-plus years, will run September 23-26. The Fort Lauderdale Internatio­nal Boat Show, held for more than 60 years, is set for October 27-31. ¶ Piffard says there’s no question that boaters are most of all excited about shows returning: “Ticket sales are off the charts right now.”

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