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Fort Lauderdale Boat Show to celebrate 60th anniversary this year

By Katia Damborsky   30 August 2019

In exactly 60 days, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) will be back to celebrate its 60th anniversary in the so-called ‘Yachting Capital of the World’.

Recognised as the world’s largest in-water boat show, the 2019 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year between October 30 - November 3.

The landmark edition is expected to welcome more than 1,500 boats across seven show locations, alongside almost as many exhibitors from 52 different countries.

Generating an annual economic impact of $857 million across Florida, the show’s organisers have described the event as a cultural and commercial icon.

“FLIBS has evolved into the most elaborate and influential yachting industry event in the world with nearly $4 billion in product [on display] and show sales exceeding $508 million.” Said Andrew Doole, president of U.S. Boat Shows for Informa Markets.

FLIBS: In numbers

Yachts at FLIBS 2019, with river canal and city skyline in background
Woman walks on the boardwalk at FLIBS 2019
Aerial image of yachts lined up at FLIBS 2019Woman captures image at FLIBS from sundeck of yacht
  • 7 show locations with 3 million square footage of exhibition space (the equivalent of 50 football fields)
  • 6 miles of floating docks
  • 110,000 attendees
  • $508 million direct sales
  • $4 billion total value of products displayed
  • 1,500+ boats, ranging from personal water crafts, sportfishers, pleasure cruisers and motor yachts
  • 1,200 exhibitors from the marine and luxury lifestyle sectors.

New feature: Superyacht Village

Superyacht village at FLIBS 2019
Rendering of yachts at FLIBS 2019
New superyacht village at pier 66 at flibs

This year will see FLIBS debut a superyacht village to accommodate a growing number of attending superyachts.

The new feature will be located along Pier Sixty-Six, and the 3.5 acre space will play host to yachts measuring up to 400ft (121 metres).

This year will see FLIBS debut a superyacht village to accommodate a growing number of attending superyachts.

One such yacht is Abeking and Rasmussen’s 80m/262ft motor yacht ‘Excellence’

The yacht is the largest yacht so far confirmed to attend the show, and she will no doubt be turning plenty of heads along Pier Sixty-Six with her futuristic exterior from Winch Design.

Luxury yacht EXCELLENCE underway

She is currently the third-largest yacht ever to attend the show, following on from Lurssen's 85m/279ft motor yacht AMATASIA (formerly known as ARETI) in 2018, and Feadship's 83m/273ft motor yacht SAVANNAH in 2016.

Last year, 230 superyachts attended FLIBS 2018, and the average superyacht length was 44m. It will be interesting to see how these numbers differ this year as more superyachts set course for the brand new Superyacht Village. 

FLIBS: Then and now

From left to right: FLIBS 1963, FLIBS 1976, FLIBS 1982, FLIBS 1994, FLIBS 2002, FLIBS 2018. Picture credit Forest Johnson.

Established in 1959, FLIBS started life as a collection of 13 boats put on display by a group of local manufacturers and dealers.

The number of participants grew exponentially the following year, and by the show’s 11-year anniversary more than 50,000 visitors and 115 exhibitors were in attendance at FLIBS.

Since then, the show has gained hundreds of square metres in exhibition space and several new sites. An intricate system of water taxis is on hand to transport show-goers between each of the seven show locations.

The seven show locations at Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show include; 

  • The Bahia Mar Yachting Center
  • Hall of Fame Marina
  • Las Olas Municipal Marina
  • Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina
  • Sails Marina
  • Pier 66 Marina 
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

Social events

Yacht chef competition at FLIBS 2019
Women pose for picture at FLIBS 2019
Crew members put on show at FLIBS 2019

FLIBS boasts a lively social scene to entertain its visitors, with auxiliary events including informative seminars, drinks tastings and pop-up boutiques.

After a successful inaugural edition last year, the FLIBS Yacht Chef competition will also be back for FLIBS 2019. The event will see eight yacht chefs battling it out to be crowned with the Wine Enthusiast Award for Best Chef.

Last year, the yacht chef of charter yacht KIPANY won first prize at the FLIBS Yacht Chef Competition.

Superyacht at FLIBS 2019
Woman walks down the boardwalk at FLIBS 2019
Model yacht at FLIBS 2019

YachtCharterFleet will be providing first-hand reporting from FLIBS 2019. Be sure to follow us for up-to-date news and information.

Thinking about renting a boat in the area? You can view and compare all yachts for charter in Miami.


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