Some of the industry's biggest boat shows open this week as Miami welcomes the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail, as well as the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach.
The five-day Miami International Boat Show, now in its 71st year, takes place Thursday through Monday across three sites: the Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center and Miamarina at Bayside (the sail component).
"Nowhere else in the world can boaters find such a vast array of boats and accessories for sale, plus free activities and education that offer everyone a chance to discover the boating lifestyle," show manager Cathy Rick-Joule said.
Owned and produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the show will feature about 2,000 exhibitors at the three locations.
After a successful introduction in 2011, the interactive Discover Boating Resource Center is back this year, providing opportunities to get on the water and discover the boating lifestyle through hands-on education.
Another new interactive feature is Fred's Shed, which offers daily seminars and talk-show-format clinics covering topics ranging from fiberglass repair and fuel economy to electronics installation and general detailing.
Strictly Sail also features seminars - nearly 100 of them - and intensive on-the-water clinics; boat rides; an appearance by sailor and author Jimmy Cornell, who will offer his long-distance cruising master class; a Discover Sailing Center; and a new sailing simulator.
This is the 24th year for The Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, which is managed and produced by Show Management and owned and sponsored by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.
This year's show will feature more than 500 new and used boats valued at more than $1 billion and covering more than 1.2 million square feet of space over a mile-long strip of the Indian Creek Waterway in the heart of Miami Beach along Collins Avenue, from 41st to 51st streets.
The show is free and open to the public.
New to this year's Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach is PassageMaker magazine's TrawlerPort, a show within a show for trawler enthusiasts. Located at the north end of the show, TrawlerPort will offer an impressive display of long-range cruisers, as well as educational seminars.
Inside TrawlerPort, attendees will find the floating Trawler Island, where the seminars will be presented on such topics as destination cruising and navigation.
The show's Yacht Equipment Pavilion and Sportfishing Pavilion offer show-goers a place to experience the latest in marine gear, sportfishing equipment and electronics, and enjoy seminars presented by the International Game Fish Association.
Attendees also will find food and refreshments and live musical entertainment on floating cocktail barges.
Look for Trade Only Today's extensive coverage of the shows, beginning Thursday.