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By Dorie Cox
Last year saw changes to the boat shows in Miami. This year, organizers said there will be improvements.
Most yacht crew work at Yachts Miami Beach, which will run Feb. 16-20 on Collins Avenue. The show has been free and open to all attendees during its previous 28 years. This year attendees will enter at five entrances for a $20 daily fee.
Show Management and the International Yachts Brokers Association (formerly FYBA), co-owners of the show, hired EDSA to implement another change. The foot traffic patterns, previously on Collins Avenue, will now be directed to a network of new floating docks. And the show’s 500 new and brokerage yachts will be arranged into dedicated new and brokerage yacht sections. The show will offer free water taxis connected to parking locations.
Yachts in the show will also be shown at Island Gardens Deep Harbour on Watson Island.
The other show, taking place at the same time and often causing confusion for visitors, is the Miami International Boat Show in Miami.
The show moved to its new location at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin on Virginia Key last year and the show’s owner, National Marine Manufacturers Association, is putting efforts toward addressing last year’s kinks. Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA, told an audience at an NMMA seminar this week at Bahia Mar to expect things to run more smoothly.
“Last year we had a 25,000 capacity, but we carried 52,000,” Dammrich said. “So this year, we have increased the number of water taxis 50 percent.”
Both water transportation and bus shuttles will have more frequent trips with fewer routes. And in an effort to connect yacht crew, industry professionals and show visitors, the two shows have organized 14-15 shuttle buses to run between them.
Dorie Cox is editor of Triton Today. Comment below.