By Dorie Cox
Captains and crew see several angles of yacht shows from behind the scenes during preparation to the on-deck greeting of visitors. On opening day of Yachts Miami Beach, yacht crew had plenty to say about changes to this year’s show.
For 27 years the show was free and open to the public. Attendees could walk onto the docks via about 30 entrances from Collins Avenue.
Last year saw the name change to Yachts Miami Beach (formerly the Yacht & Brokerage Show). This year, the show gated the entrances and charged attendees $20 and the number of entrances narrowed to seven from the Collins Avenue side and two on the water. The docks ran north and south in the Indian Creek Waterway to funnel all attendees onto two main docks.
Sherry Ellis was chef on M/Y Scott Free when she first attended the Miami Beach show in 1999. Working with Hargrave in the years since, she has regularly worked the show and likes the changes.
“It feels great here, like Fifth Avenue,” Ellis said on the docks on opening day. “I like the quality this year; these people are all yachties and boaties.”
M/Y True North is one of the few yachts docked side-to in this year’s show. Stew Whitney and Chef Steve Anderson love their slip.
“I have heard not one person complain about the changes,” Steve Anderson said. “There is still a lot of foot traffic and the changes keep out some of the riff-raff.”
“I kind of like that once you’re in the show, you stay in,” Whitney Anderson said.
Capt. Mark Rose-Innes of M/Y Firefly has seen his share of boat shows and said weekends are different than opening day.
“Weekends can be busier,” he said. “So the gates should keep out the sticky fingers and lollipops.”
He’s a fan of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) in November each year.
“This year feels better, it’s kind of FLIBS-ish,” Rose-Innes said. “But I wish they would do something about the parking. There are lots of people that come from Ft. Lauderdale. Maybe it would be good to ferry them down by water. They could hire water taxis down the Intracoastal or faster boats in the ocean.”
Mate/Eng. Ray Castellanos of M/Y Shalimar last worked the show four years ago.
“It’s too early to tell, but I was surprised to find out it costs to enter,” Castellanos said. “I think there are a few people that wouldn’t want to pay on principle. I had an owner who wouldn’t want to pay, and he had a big boat.”
He said crew like to attend boat shows on their own time to make contacts, see old friends and look for work.
“Crew like to walk the docks during shows, and crew may not come,” he said. “The security is tighter; I see that as a negative. But some people say the gates won’t stop most people from coming. We’ll see how it goes.”
Capt. Paul Simon and Chief Stew Kayla Edwards are working on one of the new Westports.
“Because it used to be free, the [new] fee may deter some, but people will still come,” Capt. Simon said. “It’s still a great event. You can come spend a day walking the show and it’s cheaper than hanging out on South Beach. And who doesn’t want to hang out around boats all day?”
Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments on this story are welcome at email@example.com.