In previous blogs, the SWS staff gave you a taste of what went on last week at this year’s Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. Everything from great new tackle and electronics, to a boat rigged with multiple machine guns.
The show seemed more compact than in previous years, but those that were there displaying their products reported good traffic and relatively healthy sales, a very good sign. The Lauderdale show kicks off the boat show season each year and is often viewed as a bellwether of future shows and the state of the industry in general.
We got to see some exciting all-new boats, quite a few older models that builders had dressed up with new features, and many that have been around for some time. The brokerage business was jumping too. As it has been for the past few years, it’s a great time to buy a boat, new or used. More and more buyers are getting that message.
The boat showed culminated with the annual fundraising dinner and auction for The Billfish Foundation, held at the Pier 66 Hyatt. Salt Water Sportsman staff and staff members from our sister publications in the Bonnier marine group had a couple of tables and enjoyed a great night with industry friends from Grady-White Boats, Jupiter Marine, McMurdo, Volvo Penta, Costa Del Mar and many others. (See photos from the dinner here)
In the end, we had a great night and raised a bunch of money for conservation; a score on both counts. If you’ve never attended the Ft. Lauderdale show, try to make it next year. It’s a great way to kick off the winter boat show season, and TBF throws one heck of a party each year. Who could ask for more?