It’s Show­time

Yachts International - - From The Masthead -

Ire­mem­ber my first boat show like it was this morn­ing. I was 12 or 13. It was in­side a con­ven­tion hall and I worked it hard, board­ing ev­ery boat I could and col­lect­ing ev­ery brochure I could get my hands on. I took my bags home and spilled them out on the floor as if it were Hal­loween, sort­ing the jon boats, cruis­ers, house­boats and ac­ces­sories into piles. When I was 20, I went to my first salt­wa­ter boat show in New­port and did the same thing. My fo­cus had shifted to sail­ing, and I grabbed a give­away Harken dinghy block that lived on my key­chain for at least a dozen years, an ever-present re­minder of the sport I love. I’ve been to at least a hun­dred boat shows in my life and noth­ing has changed, ex­cept that I get paid to go to them now.

Your au­tumn sched­ule may be packed with other things. Maybe your thoughts are shift­ing from the seas to the slopes; maybe you’re clos­ing down your sum­mer houses and tee­ing up a win­ter char­ter in the is­lands. If you’re in South Florida, maybe it’s busi­ness as usual with yet more cruis­ing and fish­ing ad­ven­tures on the boards.

I can tell you what my crew and I are do­ing. We’ve be­gun our an­nual ro­ta­tion through the top boat shows in the world to see what the com­pa­nies that build the toys we all love have been cook­ing up. Be­fore the tour ends in Palm Beach in March, we’ll have been on dozens of new yachts, some of which you’ll read about in the pages of Yachts In­ter­na­tional and on yachtsin­ter­na­tional.com. We’ll sea trial many of the smaller ones that are able to leave the dock. With the big­ger ones, we’ll re­port on var­i­ous as­pects of their de­sign, ex­e­cu­tion and out­fit­ting and will com­ple­ment our in­sights with mag­nif­i­cent photography and video. We’ll be scan­ning in­no­va­tive new equip­ment and the lat­est trends in yacht ser­vices, along with char­ter des­ti­na­tions we think you’ll en­joy read­ing about. We also may sam­ple a mo­jito or a good French rosé along the way.

Among us, the Yachts staff and con­trib­u­tors have at­tended hun­dreds of boat shows dur­ing our ca­reers. We each man­age to make stops at some of the re­gional shows in New Eng­land, the mid-At­lantic and the west coast of Florida, and we main­tain a sig­nif­i­cant team pres­ence at the larger “des­ti­na­tion” shows that at­tract global au­di­ences and ex­hibitors, and that serve as first-look venues for new mod­els and cus­tom builds. Each show has a dif­fer­ent vibe and a dif­fer­ent suite of ves­sels on dis­play.

In the next six months, some or all of us will have at­tended the bustling Cannes boat show on the French Riviera; the Monaco Yacht Show, the most pres­ti­gious su­pery­acht event in the world; the An­tigua Char­ter Yacht Show; the Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional Boat Show, which has a rich se­lec­tion of new boats and a con­cur­rent big-boat show called Yachts Mi­ami Beach; the in­ti­mate, high-qual­ity Palm Beach In­ter­na­tional Boat Show; and the mam­moth Fort Laud­erdale In­ter­na­tional Boat Show, the largest in the world, which we pre­view in this is­sue.

If you’ve never been to one of these big shows, I strongly rec­om­mend at­tend­ing. Short of raft­ing up with friends on a sum­mer Sun­day af­ter­noon, you’ll never find a bet­ter sense of com­mu­nity among like-minded souls.

If you can’t make it to any of these events, we’ll take the hit for you, mo­ji­tos and all.

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