I’m not a boat owner, but I do love to look at them! Last month I attended the Monaco Yacht Show and last week attended the Ft Lauderdale International Boat Show. These shows are also an opportunity to mix and mingle with people that love being on the water, and the freedom that your own yacht brings. Although there are over 1,000 boats at the Ft Lauderdale show, what fascinates me most is the super yachts. Overall the show was quite an experience with every kind of boat and accessory available. If you are in the market to buy a boat, the Ft Lauderdale show is where you need to be.
The market is strong with brokers claiming a 1.5-2 year waitlist for the luxury motor yachts. Not only did the events of 2020-22 cause a slowdown in production, but affluent buyers saw first-hand what they need to do to ensure their freedom and access to travel. For boat builders and brokers, business is booming and the biggest frustration is supply chain.
If you’re thinking about coming to the show to buy or look, here are some tips:
- How long should I go for? Come for 2-3 days. There is just so much to see and the show is huge. It will take more than a day to get around the super yacht village alone.
- What should I know to plan my day? It is hot! Go early and late. You may want to take a break around lunch in a cool spot as it is hot being out and there is very little shade. There is a lot of walking so it’s not the place for kids.
- What about parking? Parking is expensive. It will cost around $150 a day to be close to the Super Yacht Village. Stay at a hotel nearby so you can park there or get an Uber to the show and avoid parking.
- How do I get on board a super yacht? Brokers all have luxurious lounges to screen potential buyers. Check in with them and ask to tour the boat you want to see. There is some screening and it helps to know the right people to get on board the larger vessels. Some boats are already sold and the buyers allow the brokers to show them for future orders, and others are for sale or charter.
- Is the VIP ticket worth it? The VIP ticket will get you in to the VIP lounge. For $300+ per day you will get food and drinks and a comfortable spot to sit and relax. We visited the lounge and it is pricey for what you get. You may be better off to just enjoy a lengthy lunch at a great restaurant with the food and wine you want.
- How is it different to Monaco? The Monaco show is smaller and higher end. It is really focused on $20M-$150M + yachts and the accompanying tenders, accessories etc. You will see all the yachts domiciled in Europe, the UK or Caribbean. At Ft Lauderdale you will see all yachts that are US or domiciled in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, etc. The Ft Lauderdale show has EVERYTHING. You will see smaller boats, tenders, much more for every budget and it is bigger than Monaco. Both shows are fantastic though. You will see the Italian boat builders at both shows, like Ferretti and Benetti.
There is no better way to get educated on the yacht industry and what people are buying than talking to the brokers at the show. It is a fun experience and an eye opening one to say the least!
Travel and be inspired!