Palm Beach boat show draws huge crowds April 19, 2015

The 2015 Palm Beach International Boat Show, which took place in downtown West Palm Beach from March 26-29, was the largest it ever has been, both in terms of exhibit space and the number of boats on display. Some stats from the show include:

  • There were 626 boats on display in the water, including 66 yachts larger than 100 feet. The largest yacht in the show was the 200-foot Lurssen motor yacht, Aurora.
  • The number of boats in the 40 to 60 foot category grew 17 percent.
  • The number of boats on land increased nearly 20 percent, with a total of 400 boats ranging in size from 10 to 38 feet.
  • The number of boats on display in all categories was up eight percent.
  • With sunny skies and comfortable temperatures over the weekend, attendance was up 17 percent overall.

“Over the past several years, the Palm Beach boat show has become a truly international boating lifestyle event and a resourceful setting for people to do business and see what the industry has to offer,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, which produces the show.

PBIBS, owned and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, featured approximately $1.4 billion worth of yachts, boats and accessories from the world’s leading marine manufacturers. In addition to the most respected American brands, the show included yachts from England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Turkey and China.

The show also is attracting many more shoppers from around North America.

“We are beginning to see a lot more boat buyers from all over the U.S. and Canada attend the Palm Beach Boat Show,” said Tim Derrico, director of sales for HMY Yachts. “We sold around 10 boats at the show, along with several brokerage boats and trade-ins. We are working numerous other deals as a result of the show and expect the overall final results to be very good.”

Several additions to this year’s show contributed to huge crowds over the weekend, drawing many watersport and outdoor enthusiasts. The AquaZone entertained guests with live hovercraft, paddleboard and kayak demonstrations in a 40,000-gallon freshwater pool.

Swimwear fashion fittings were a huge hit at the Lands’ End Getaway Tour, and IGFA School of Sportfishing seminars and youth fishing clinics presented by Hook The Future kept anglers of ages engaged throughout the show. Inaugural boat handling seminars and Tesla test drives were very well attended, and the show’s free Come by Boat Dock was filled with boats every day.

“Through working with and listening to show exhibitors and the boating public, year after year we explore ways to deliver a more complete show experience to both buyers and sellers,” said Brett Keating, vice president of marketing with Show Management. “We are always learning from attendees and exhibitors alike to make their show experience productive and enjoyable.”

Photo by Forest Johnson

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Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 2312 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316. Phone: 954.524.2733