59th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show The world’s largest in-water exhibition promises many upgrades.
October 31 to November 4, 2018
Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Fort Lauderdale
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is the largest in-water boat show in the world. Owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and produced by Informa, this sprawling show spans more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space across seven waterfront locations connected by water and ground transportation. The five-day show attracts some 110,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors representing 52 countries with more than 1,500 boats of every description on display: tenders, powerboats, sportfishers, sailboats, catamarans and superyachts. It has been compared to a Super Bowl in terms of regional economic impact and because of its importance to the global boating business community.
The Windward Club is presented by Delta Private Jet, in partnership with Ulysse Nardin, and is located at the Hall of Fame Marina. It offers a premium open bar and gourmet food from early morning through the evening. The climatecontrolled space will host wine tastings by Wine Enthusiast and intimate events by Ulysse Nardin. Priced at $300 per person per day, the Windward VIP Club Experience includes show entry, Windward Club access, food and premium beverages, and complimentary access to the water taxi.
January 19-27, 2019
The fairgrounds, Düsseldorf, Germany
When we think of indoor boat shows, most of us likely envision an exhibit hall or two at a convention center or fairgrounds—rewarding, and easily covered in a day. Such is not the case with the sprawling boot Düsseldorf, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in January.
Try to get your head around this: This show, on Germany’s storied Rhine River, last year attracted almost 2,000 exhibitors from 68 countries, and hosted nearly a quarter-million visitors from 102 countries. More than 71,000 were from outside Germany, with more than 500 from the United States. The show covers 2.3 million square feet in 16 exhibit halls at Düsseldorf’s fairgrounds. It has floating stock ranging from kayaks and paddleboards to power and sailing yachts. The largest sailing yacht on display last year was the 75-foot (22.7-meter) Oyster 745, and the largest motoryacht was the 115-foot (35-meter) Princess 35M—both in heated indoor spaces.
In addition to boats, this show’s themed halls include a staggering array of marine equipment and services. Better described as a water-sports show, boot has three demonstration pools: one with wind turbines for dinghy sailing; another for paddling; and a third called The Wave that throws up a 5-foot standing wave for surfing.
If you think you could cover something like boot in a day, good luck. There’s plenty to do in and around Düsseldorf, but it’s wise to save at least two or three days for the show itself.