Two shows add confusion in Miami

Feb 14, 2014 by Guest Writer

Here you are, working at the “Miami show”. But where are you, really?


There are actually two boat shows going on right now: the Yacht & Brokerage Show and the Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail (MIBS).


And in the months leading up to the shows, press announcements and subsequent coverage revealed there would be two more shows, exhibits really. One was to be called Superyacht Lifestyle Miami, the other Superyacht Miami.


So not only are there two “Miami” shows, there now appeared to be two “superyacht” shows in Miami. If the multiple shows and multiple venues confuse you, you aren’t alone. Even exhibitors aren’t always sure which show they are in. In late January, just two weeks before the show, yacht brokerage firm Edmiston announced it would have three yachts at MIBS. Their yachts — Snowbird, Domani and Hakuna Matata — appear on ramps 13 and 17 in the Yacht & Brokerage Show. Another Yacht & Brokerage Show exhibitor sent a press conference announcement yesterday directing the media to MIBS.


Amid all the confusion, there are really just two shows, and they are distinguished by their owners. Much of the megayacht industry is at the Yacht and Brokerage Show, set up between 41st and 51st streets alongside Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. This show is co-owned by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and Show Management, and is now in its 26th year. There are no tickets required for this show, which is free and open to the public.


The other Miami show, MIBS, is housed primarily in the Miami Beach Convention Center and owned by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). It features about 2,000 exhibitors in all facets of the recreational boating market. In years past, the show has expanded with some in-water displays, particularly of mid-size cruising boats at Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center (which is free) and the addition of Strictly Sail at Miamarina at Bayside. Tickets $20 per day.


But there’s a little more confusion surrounding the shows this year.


In mid-November, NMMA announced it would debut Superyacht Lifestyle Miami, an exhibit of superyachts and luxury products at the old Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami that is being renovated.


Three weeks later, FYBA announced it was expanding into Miami Beach Marina with the similarly named Superyacht Miami, designed for yachts larger than 47m.


By the first week of January, however, NMMA released a statement saying it had postponed the debut of its superyacht exhibit until next year. Its reasoning included “strong interest” from the yachting community.


“In consideration of the strong interest from potential exhibitors, sponsors, our members and the superyacht industry, we are postponing our Superyacht Lifestyle Miami event to February 2015 to better accommodate their needs,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said in a press release on Jan. 6. “NMMA has made this strategic decision to best fulfill expectations of forging relationships between the superyacht industry and luxury brand categories.”


But the Yacht & Brokerage Show carried on, exhibiting its vessels on the outside of A dock at Miami Beach Marina, though it did not promote the venue much. Yesterday, it featured the 171-foot Feadship M/Y Gravitas and the 200-foot Feadship M/Y Mylin IV, which makes its base at Miami Beach Marina. Seven other yachts ranged from 82 to 123 feet.


Crew working those yachts said they were curious to see how it would work out, being so far from the action on Collins. Crew on Collins, however, didn’t even know their brethren were over there, though several thought the addition of some deepwater dockage was a good idea, considering the show’s existing limitations with draft and maneuverability on Indian Creek.


There are more than 500 boats in the water at the Yacht & Brokerage Show this year. And like always, the docks — both at Collins and now at Miami Beach Marina — are open to the public for free.


Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of Triton Today. Comments are welcome: lucy@the-triton.com.

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