For five action-packed days, Fort Lauderdale became the place to be as the industry gathered with overseas attendees returning for the first time in a few years. Despite the Florida sunshine remaining relentless throughout, the 63rd annual show was, indeed, a sizzling success.
In true boat show fashion, the show always kicks off early and lingers beyond the closing horns. On Saturday, October 22, National Marine Suppliers’ 14th annual Yacht Bikers’ Poker Run hosted about 500 attendees. The ride went out to Alligator Alley Harley Davidson and ended at Quantum Marine Stabilizers in Fort Lauderdale. This year, they raised $73,000 for the Task Force Dagger Special Operations Foundation, which supports wounded, ill, or injured U.S. Special Operations Command members and their families.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 25, we started off with the Pop-Up Club Event on Las Olas to ease us into show spirits, sponsored by Global Services, Viking Crew, Savage Lighting, Roaming Expert, and MHG Insurance. The second of the evening’s stops was to NauticALL’s captain’s wine tasting, which was a mellow segue into the late night pre-show party scene.
The BOAT International Captains’ Club hosted its first-ever FLIBS cocktail event on the docks at Pier 66 on Thursday night as captains mingled with event sponsors on a beautiful night in Fort Lauderdale.
On Friday night, we stepped back in time to the 80s at the Yacht Chandlers’ Captain/Crew Party at DAER Nightclub at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood. Attendees brought their A game when it came to their attire from bright and neon colors to lots of interesting 80s hair to Ghostbusters and Fred Flintstone throwbacks. As crew made their way into the venue, they could make their own 360 video before dancing the night (and boat show worries) away at the rooftop club.
Aboard the “Yacht Mansion” on Saturday evening, FLIBS hosted a Yacht Fashion Show and Hurricane Ian Relief Fundraiser to continue to support the efforts of Professional Women in Yachting in bringing aid to victims. Models showcased about 30 resort wear pieces, made from biodegradable fabrics, by former Chief Stewardess Randi Barry’s brand Bravo x Romeo. Once the runway show concluded, the floor was cleared to make room to dance and mingle with DJ MCFVTED providing the beats.
While it seems like there are parties for days, there was also ample opportunity to take in a few seminars, from the USSA offerings that included destination info, Flag State Q&As, an engineering panel, to a panel discussion and Q&A on the future of electric technology in the industry moderated by BOAT International’s Cecile Gauert. E3 Systems also hosted an educational workshop on the future of satellite communications.
Between all the parties and seminars, there was plenty of time to roam the docks for crew photos and conversation, even a yacht tour or two. Many familiar and new faces were met — thank you for your generosity with your time and hospitality.
Sunday evening was a treat — Chef Ranada Riley cooked up a Creole feast for several lucky guests aboard M/Y Lexington. From the twist on her Creole Caesar salad, to the Creole shrimp and andouille with roasted poblano and smoked cheddar grits, and the to-die-for fresh beignets with their bourbon salted caramel sauce, it was no wonder all the plates were scraped clean. Thanks for closing out the show on such a high!
Another show with such wonderful memories is now in the books and we can’t wait to see what next year holds. See you then!
For more show photos, check out our Facebook album.