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FLIBS 2013 Success for Luxury Yacht and Marine Industry

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), known as the biggest in-water luxury yachts and boat show in the world, ended on November 4. Though sometimes jokingly referred to as The Grandfather, it definitely is the king of boat shows and it seems as if this year it has surpassed itself. See below for a review of this year's FLIBS and people's reactions.
© goodhugh / / CC BY-NC-ND

FLIBS 2013

Over the course of 5 days (Oct 31 - Nov 4), this year's famous luxury yacht show attracted visitors from all corners of the world. With more than 1000 exhibitors and six locations, covering more than three million square feet, a mere day was insufficient to view everything. Right from the outset, Skip Zimbalist, of Show Management, announced that it was expected that this year's show would be the largest to date in terms of revenue since it had also increased its footprint. And it appears he was right.
With great weather throughout, attendees were able to marvel at this year's newcomers, such as the much vaunted Cheoy Lee 87 Express Sportbridge, Moonen Shipyards' Sofia, the Lazzara LSX95, Benetti's Checkmate and many more. And apart from luxury yachts, there were also some luxurious and eccentric craft on display, such as the amphibious vessel Quadski by Riva Motorsports & Marine or the Helicat catamaran, resembling a helicopter.

Various exhibitors reported that attendees were keenly interested in the toys on display and willing to pay their price. But it was not only the toys that were noticed. Yacht and boat vendors, yacht electronics, fishing gear and nautical apparel vendors all reported that bigger crowds had resulted in high sales. Companies like Seven Seas Yacht Sales Inc., Top Notch Marine (who sold more than 30 boats), Sarasota (selling water floats and floating bar pads) have already expressed satisfaction at the show's results. Preliminary figures suggest that there was a 31% increase in year-on-year attendance, helping to explain the larger sales as predicted by Zimbalist.
Apart from the various exhibits, there was a series of illuminating presentations and events, such as a panel speaking on the theme of The Marine Industry's Model for Growth'. The panel revealed a project dedicated to studying and researching reasons why people take to the water or have chosen to quit doing so. Although results are still undisclosed, the study may offer interesting industry insights about the growing number of boat and yacht owners worldwide.

The buzzing of social media following the show has testified to its success. Famous shipyards, industry organizations and well-known representatives tweeted about the show's success and its significance. An extensive slideshow of photos was offered by the Broward/Palm Beach New Times and during coming weeks and days more pictures will emerge via various channels.

2013 has seen many interesting developments and expansions in the yachting industry. With the continuing growth of the luxury yacht market, we can expect more success stories in line with this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show or the Monaco Yacht Show. Next in line are the Xiamen International Boat Show (November 8-11) and 36th Annual St. Petersburg, FL Power & Sailboat Show (December 5-8). Stay tuned!

About the author

Over the years I’ve lived in various places - from Germany to Finland, to Bulgaria and Denmark, and have also traveled extensively. This has developed in me a keen love for moving, visiting and exploring new places. I enjoy hiking, sailing and traveling by sea, swimming, martial arts and all sorts of physical activities. I am deeply concerned about environmental issues and sustainable living, specifically those related to the preservation of the oceans and their inhabitants.