Palm Beach show opens to bad weather

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Several hundred people braved bad weather to attend the first day of the Palm Beach Boat Show yesterday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported in a story today.

More than 900 boats are on display at the 20th staging of the event, which runs until Sunday.

Clearwater-based boat dealer MarineMax Inc. made its first sale — a $475,000 Sea Ray sport yacht — an hour into the event.

Bob Hill, general manager for MarineMax in North Palm Beach, said his company is excited about sales prospects at a time when the markets are up and the American people are more optimistic about the economy.

Hill said the smaller setting of the Palm Beach show, compared with its bigger peers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, allowed his staff to give customers a more personalized tour of his fleet of boats. He has 49 employees at this year’s show and 44 vessels on display.

MarineMax was one of more than 500 companies that had exhibits along the Intracoastal Waterway and at the Convention Center in downtown West Palm Beach. The show, one of the 10 largest in the country, is owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County Inc., a trade group.

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