Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2011
Bahia Mar Lauderdale
This is one of the world’s largest in-water boat shows, so there are tons of docks to walk. You can see everything from 200-foot-plus yachts with helicopters parked on them all the way down to inflatable tenders.
Ft Lauderdale Show Traffic
Most of the vendors reported steady sales throughout the course of the show (despite a few nasty rain storms)… A good sign that the industry is recovering from the recession.
ZF unveiled a Viking 50 featuring the new ZF Pod 4000 pod drives with Smart Command. Powered by Cat C-18 diesels, the pods spin the boat on a dime, track sideways and use the iAnchor function to stay in one spot without dropping the hook. But one of the coolest features was the steering joystick mounted inside the armrest of the helm chair. Very slick!
ZF pod camera
ZF had Viking place cameras under the hull just forward of the pods so you can watch them move and spin as they motor the boat in all sorts of maneuvers.
Boston Whaler 285 Conquest
The helm from Boston Whaler’s all-new 285 Conquest. With plenty of room to hide from the elements, this model would be perfect for fishing in California or the Pacific Northwest. The 285 also has a nice cuddy and a spacious cockpit for its size.
Cabo 52 Express
The 52 Cabo Express reportedly averages a top-end speed of 47 mph with 1,550-hp MAN diesels. Go for the optional 1,675-hp Cat C-32s and you’ll be breaking the 50 mph mark.
The Bud girls make grabbing a cold beer even better. They know what it takes to fill a tip jar, that’s for sure!
This has to be the coolest livewell return ever. This boat featured several customized features that looked great, but added a bunch of pumps and hydraulics to the boat that you’d have to deal with. Sometimes the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method is the way to go.
Paul Spencer Custom Yachts
Paul Spencer is one of the most respected custom builders out there. This 57-footer was so fresh it came straight from Spencer’s North Carolina facility without a tower or outriggers. It almost looks naked!
We got to take out the new Raymarine e7 electronics suite and test it on the water. One of the coolest features of the e7 is the wireless remote. You can scroll through menu items, zoom in and out and mark waypoints without taking your hands off the wheel.
By far the largest (and sexiest) diesel engine we’ve ever seen… Say hello to the MTU 20-cylinder behemoth.
Bertram had several boats on display including the new 540. The Bertram 54-footer was one of the most popular and sought-after hulls ever made. The new 540 is a tribute to that classic hull, but offers all of the modern-day features you’d expect in a high-end sport-fisher.
With boat builders from Europe and Asia around, you can expect to see some interesting outfits on the booth girls.
It’s always a good idea to make some time for the fishing seminars. Here, one of Miami’s finest, Capt. Ray Rosher, shares some tips on kite fishing.
The new 39-foot Yellowfin is one mean-looking machine. We couldn’t even get the entire boat in the picture! It’s got a stylish sheer line and a stepped hull to get up on plane even faster.
The helm on Yellowfin’s 39 Offshore is just as functional as it is good looking. Plenty of storage and room to stay dry as you zip across the chop, powered by four outboards.
The guys from Boat Outfitters (www.boatoutfitters.com) make incredible custom tackle centers and other accessories. They are building an engraved tackle box for BD’s own boat, the “Tuna Jihad.”
Bluewater Boats makes center consoles from 21 to 35 feet, and they are growing a solid customer base with their smooth ride and customized features.
This 35-foot SeaHunter got a lot of attention at the show. Made using Kevlar and other composites, this boat was dropped from 20 feet onto solid pavement and later cut in half. But that didn’t stop the boat (or at least the aft half of it) from getting up on plane. Pretty impressive stuff.
The new 32 Everglades Pilot Series definitely got our attention. This boat has a tough-as-nails feel about it. Every hatch, hinge, step and cleat just felt beefy, well constructed and built to last.
SeaVee had a new 43 express on display powered with four 300-hp outboards. This boat has the speed and room to tackle any fishing situation, but enough living space to keep the entire family happy.
If there was one theme to take away from this year’s Lauderdale show, it was more power and more speed. Pictured here are two Hydra-Sports, each powered with four 350-hp Yamahas.
yellowfin texas highway patrol boat
Yellowfin had a 36-footer on display that they made for the Texas Highway Patrol. With two machine guns on each side of the boat and three big outboards for power, you might not want to mess with these guys!
Don Ray Carey Chen
Two very respected marine artists, Don Ray and Carey Chen, are always at the show to meet their fans and display their latest works.
One good thing about spending time in South Florida, there are always pretty girls around!
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2011