Vision for next Miami International Boat Show in flux

Feb 16, 2015 by Lucy Chabot Reed

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

There are actually two boat shows going on right now: the 27th annual Yacht & Brokerage Show (the in-water show here on Collins Avenue) and the 74th Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail (at the convention center, hereinafter called MIBS).

Much of the megayacht industry is at the Yacht and Brokerage Show, set up between 41st and 51st streets in the Indian Creek waterway in Miami Beach. This show is co-owned by the Florida Yacht Brokers Association and Show Management. It’s free and open to the public.

Next year’s Miami International Boat Show would move from the convention center to a renovated Miami Marine Stadium, which has been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. RENDERING by HILARIO CANDELA

Next year’s Miami International Boat Show would move from the convention center to a renovated Miami Marine Stadium, which has been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. RENDERING by HILARIO CANDELA

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 mostly trailerable boats, but has added an in-water portion at Sea Isle Marina on Bayshore Drive and also includes Strictly Sail at Miamarina at Bayside. Tickets are $20 per day.

Last year, the yachtie show here on Collins announced plans to expand to the Island Gardens Marina on the MacArthur Causeway (I-395) but the new project isn’t quite ready. Moran Yacht & Ship has one yacht there this year, the 152-foot Hakvoort M/Y Allegria. More of the show is planned for there next year, but organizers couldn’t say exactly what until the project gets a little further along.

The MIBS show is forced to move out of the convention center next year as work on that facility gets under way, so it plans to move to a renovated Miami Marine Stadium, the historic bandstand on the cutout on Virginia Key, a bit farther south of Miami off the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Lawsuits linger over the traffic and impact redevelopment there would have on the surrounding neighborhoods, so it’s not yet certain what next year’s MIBS will look like either. The stadium and its surrounding areas have been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but once hosted concerts, speedboat races and scores of boaters just enjoying the bay. In 2009, it was listed one of the 11 most endangered historic places in America.

The city voted against a multimillion-dollar plan to build a flex park there, complete with dry storage and a marine exhibition center. Instead, it committed to a $16 million bond to upgrade the area east of the stadium with power, drainage, lighting and roadway improvements, which would be enough to host MIBS.

Next year’s Miami International Boat Show would move from the convention center to a renovated Miami Marine Stadium, which has been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. RENDERING by HILARIO CANDELA

Next year’s Miami International Boat Show would move from the convention center to a renovated Miami Marine Stadium, which has been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. RENDERING by HILARIO CANDELA

Back at Island Gardens, Miami Beach agreed about a month ago to do its own traffic study of the MacArthur Causeway to see if the marina project would impact that roadway too much, leaving open its legal options should the results be troublesome.

Both of next year’s Miami boat shows will look different. Just how much, though, no one is quite sure.

Lucy Chabot Reed is editor of The Triton, lucy@the-triton.com.

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About Lucy Chabot Reed

Lucy Chabot Reed is publisher and founding editor of The Triton.

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