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By Katia Damborsky  4 November 2019

The 2019 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show enjoyed a record-breaking lineup this year, with close to 270 superyachts in the fleet and reports of multiple deals being finalized over the course of the show. 

With seven show locations, 3 million square feet of exhibition space and six miles of floating docks, FLIBS put on an impressive show for attendees this year. 

The initial sentiment from dealers suggests that FLIBS 2019 has been an excellent year for sales. This is backed by the dozens of 'Sold' signs which were increasingly going on display on production boats over the course of the show.

Based on our 2019 FLIBS intelligence data and superyacht fleet analysis, the show enjoyed a bumper turnout of superyachts this year, with 2019 representing the most expensive fleet in the boat show’s history. A total of 265 superyachts measuring over 78ft (or 23.7m) were on display this year, and the combined value of superyachts for sale was a cool $2.1 billion- a huge jump on last year’s $1.8 billion combined price tag.

As ever, the YachtCharterFleet team was on the ground in Fort Lauderdale to tour the yachts on this year’s lineup and gather first-hand information from this landmark edition of the boat show.

Dealers on superyachts during FLIBS 2019
People on the boardwalks at FLIBS 2019
Superyacht at FLIBS 2019

The boat show dawned bright and sunny on October 30, and the good weather held up until Sunday, which saw some light showers. In spite of the rain, attendees still turned up in good spirits, armed with umbrellas and waterproofs and eager to browse the boats on display.

The waterways between the New River and Stranahan River were busy, with water taxis shuttling show-goers between show locations. The most popular route was the yellow service between the main show area at Bahia Mar and the brand new Superyacht Village, located at Pier 66 Hotel & Marina adjacent to the Seventeenth Street Causeway Bridge.

Show goers wait for water taxis at FLIBS 2019
Yacht on display at FLIBS 2019
FLIBS 2019 cap

A total of 265 superyachts measuring over 78ft (or 23.7m) were on display this year, and the combined value of superyachts for sale was $2.1 billion.

Clouds over boats at FLIBS 2019
Woman sits on stand at FLIBS 2019FLIBS 2019 superyachts at the show

The Superyacht Village proved successful, with plenty of visitors browsing the stands and interacting with representatives from top shipyards. Among those in attendance, executives from Feadship, Lurssen and Heesen were all on hand to provide assistance and show off full-scale models of their latest custom projects. 

Dealers and brokers were happy with the turnout of attendees at the Superyacht Village. While there were fewer people at the stands when compared to previous years, there were more serious buyers and prospective clients; something reflected in a higher ticket price this year. 

This was evident in the main show area as well, where dealers reported that many new build production boats were sold during the show. 

Superyacht village and Lurssen stand at Superyacht Village
Luxury yacht Here Comes the Sun yacht
Lurssen models of TIS
Woman looks at yacht during FLIBS 2019

In terms of superyachts, 95m/312ft motor yacht MADSUMMER stole the show. She generated a buzz as the largest yacht at FLIBS 2019 and was also making her boat show debut following her delivery from Lurssen earlier this year.

Her elegant Harrison Eidsgaard exteriors were a hot talking point, as were her green-tinted underwater lights. They lit up the surrounding water and illuminated 90m/295ft charter yacht ‘Phoenix 2’, which sat alongside MADSUMMER for the duration of the show.

The pair made quite the picture. MADSUMMER and ‘Phoenix 2’ were the largest and second-largest yachts at FLIBS 2019 respectively and were the only two Lurssen-built superyachts at the show.

MADSUMMER and ‘Phoenix 2’ were the largest and second-largest yachts at FLIBS 2019 respectively and were the only two Lurssen-built superyachts at the show.

Also berthed in the Superyacht Village were 72m/ 236ft motor yacht SOLO and 83m / 272ft ‘Here Comes the Sun’- although they could both be found on the other side of the Seventeenth Street Causeway Bridge. Both yachts are fresh from an appearance at the Monaco Yacht Show 2019, and made the transatlantic voyage ready to begin a busy Caribbean yacht charter season.

When asked on Instagram Stories which yachts our followers were most looking forward to seeing, MADSUMMER was an overwhelmingly popular response. However, 58m/190ft motor yacht ‘Lady Sheridan’ was another must-see, as was Heesen’s 55m/180ft motor yacht ABBRACCI- berthed opposite the Superyacht Village next to the Hilton Hotel.

A social scene enlivened proceedings, with a number of Halloween-themed festivities for attendees to participate in.

Over the course of the show, a social scene enlivened proceedings, with a number of Halloween-themed festivities for attendees to participate in. The YachtCharterFleet team spent an evening aboard Heesen’s 55m/180ft luxury yacht VIDA, after an informative personal tour with the yacht’s chief interior designer.

As well as parties and cocktail functions, an awards ceremony hosted by the International Superyacht Society kicked off proceedings on Wednesday October 30, with charter yacht O’PTASIA taking home first place in the Power 65m+ category.

On Friday November 1, the FLIBS Yacht Chef Competition was back for its second year after a successful first edition in 2018. Five chefs battled it out be crowned the winner in front of a panel of judges and a crowd of onlookers, who were able to sample the culinary treats being served up.

In the end, it was Danny Davies of Richmond’s 46m/150ft charter yacht EXCELLENCE who took home the gold, wowing judges with his chocolate fudge cake, dry ice chocolate ice cream and sour apple cotton candy garnish.

Attendees also reported a successful experience at FLIBS, with lots to see and do to keep show-goers of all ages entertained. The boardwalks were packed with exhibitors showing off their latest products and services, and the variety of seminars proved popular as well. The Windward VIP club was back once again to provide an elegant setting for networking and socialising. 

While FLIBS has already cemented its reputation as one of the top boat shows in the world, a succesful 60th edition ensures the show’s future looks bright. The boat show drew to a close yesterday, meaning it's too early to have the official sales figure; but judging by the buzz on the docks, FLIBS 2019 was a triumph for all involved.

With one of the youngest and most expensive fleets of superyachts on display for 2019, it’s evident that FLIBS is going from strength to strength and we can expect similar record-breaking statistics next year.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the charter yachts at FLIBS 2019, please get in touch with your preferred yacht charter broker.


 
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