New performance boat show is launched

SARASOTA, Fla. – Plans for a boat show that will feature high-performance boats, and fishing boats with 500 or more horsepower, are underway with the first Super Boat Expo scheduled to be held May 19-21, organizers reported in a release yesterday.

The show will be held at the 100,000 sq. ft. Sarasota-Bradenton International Convention Center. Industry veteran Bob Black, who helped create and manage the Norwalk International In-Water Boat Show, is president of Super Boat Expo.

He says the boating marketplace is becoming more vertical and speedboats need their own venue, noting there are now four publications totally devoted to high-performance, offshore racing and poker runs.

“Buyers of these boats are affluent,” Black said. “They’re not afraid of high gas prices and while speed is a niche market, these two-fishboats and performance boats- are a rich niche with a wide spread in power options and overall length. The performance drivers like to go fast and look flashy; the fishboat people-particularly those in competitions- need to get out to the canyons or fishing grounds fast and get home as quickly.”

Sarasota is home to the Suncoast Festival and Offshore Race which has been going on for 22 consecutive years. “It’s a hotbed of hot boats,” Black, who for many years was the public relations director of the Offshore Racing Commission, said. “It’s the premiere location for a high-performance boat show in the nation.”

Tom Casey, of Sarasota, is director of marketing and sales for Super Boat Expo. He created the Hurricane Classic Offshore Race, was marketing director for the original Donzi back in the ’70s and served as SAIL and Motorboat magazine’s regional manager for 30 years

Karen Ryan, of Sun City Center, is the Super Boat Expo show coordinator. She is experienced in event production and public relations, having served in these capacities at the Onondaga County Convention Center, War Memorial Arena, and Civic Center Theatres in Syracuse, NY. She also served Syracuse University in sports information.

Joe Palermo is Super Boat Expo’s director of advertising and special promotions.
He is a graduate of Ringling School of Art is president of the Palermo Design Group of Bradenton.

Super Boat Expo may be reached at 813-633-1101 or at The Web site is

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