The scenic West Palm Beach waterfront was bustling with shoppers who came to see more than 1,000 boats and yachts of all sizes on display at the 34th annual Palm Beach International Boat Show from March 28 through March 31.
The iconic show, which featured more than $1.4 billion in boats and accessories, saw an increase in attendance of more than 6.7 percent from the previous year.
“We’re pleased to report that the show continues its upward trend in attracting the world’s finest superyacht builders and boating brands, along with very qualified customers,” said Andrew Doole, president of Informa U.S. Boat Shows. “Feedback from exhibitors, attendees and local businesses has been extremely positive.”
Known for attracting affluent buyers during South Florida’s prime time of year, the show earned praise from exhibitors of boats at all price-points.
“Princess Yachts was on fire, selling four of the new 85’s, two 75’s, a 78, S65, 88, and a few other boats,” said Tim Derrico, director of sales for HMY Yacht Sales. “Brokerage activity was very good with multiple deals. Viking Yachts activity was very good as well, with two deals so far and multiple deals working. The Palm Beach show has finally made it to the big time with boat buyers attending from all over the country.”
Many companies look to the Palm Beach show as an ideal platform for introducing new brands to qualified audiences. This year’s show had 50 percent more ultra-luxury superyacht brands than in previous years, including vessels by Baglietto, Amels and Feadship.
“The Palm Beach International Boat Show has been a key venue for the development of the Pardo Yachts brand in the U.S.,” said Loredana Hernández, brand manager for Pardo Yachts. “The location, atmosphere and wonderful crowd that attend this show are like no other. We really enjoyed working in Palm Beach this year and are very enthusiastic about 2019!”
In addition to the large selection of boats and exhibits, the show offered fun and educational activities, including an all-new AquaZone, free youth fishing clinics by Hook the Future and IGFA School of Sportfishing seminars. Large crowds packed the show’s floating cocktail lounges daily for live music and refreshments.
Through a charitable campaign in collaboration with Bennett Auto Supply, Informa Exhibitions and the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County raised more than $22,000 for local charities. Fans who purchased a $28 boat show ticket during the month of March at any local Bennett Auto Supply received a second ticket free, with proceeds donated equally to Loggerhead Marine Center and Sheridan House.
Commenting on the annual event’s importance to the region, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James remarked, “We’re happy to have the Palm Beach International Boat Show right here in West Palm Beach. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Palm Beach Marine Industries Association for more than 30 years, and we’re proud that the Palm Beach International Boat Show has become among the top five in the nation. West Palm Beach is home to a significant marine industry, and the Palm Beach International Boat Show-- set in a premier waterfront location and vibrant downtown--attracts people from around the world to the City of West Palm Beach.”