The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is considered by many to be the greatest boat show in the world. It is certainly the biggest and the largest in-water boat show in existence. For 2018, its 59th year, the five day show featured over three million square feet of space spread throughout seven sites with over six miles of docks to accommodate the more than 1,500 boats on display and the more than 1,200 exhibitors. Whew!
Tim and I attended FLIBS once before several years ago after purchasing our last boat. For that show I was mostly interested in exploring as many boats as possible that I’d only previously seen and liked in magazines. It was a bit overwhelming and you really have to go with a well sketched plan and perhaps a dose of Adderall. This year was different as it was our first show since purchasing OLOH last year and we were primarily eager to further pursue our tender hunt, eyeball accessories and hopefully engage some local services we’re in need of. Unfortunately we couldn’t work it out for both Tim and me to go due to obligations back home so I headed down solo to do what I could do and see what I could see. It was my first time back aboard OLOH in nearly five months and was also an opportunity to tackle some projects in preparation for our upcoming cruising season.
So rather than wander the show to document as much of it as possible, the pictures below represent my experience. Of course I would occasionally pass a boat that begged a picture so you do get a bit of that eye candy. Despite my relatively focused time there, my Health app tells me that between the two days I attended I registered around 12,000 steps and covered around 11 miles. I don’t think that’s possible but who knows?!
So please enjoy your walkthrough with me and click on any picture for a larger image.
With the tender hunt top-of-mind, my first stop was the inflatable zone…
I had the pleasure of attending a party thrown by Ocean Alexander over the weekend. The food and drink and social time were all well and good but my favorite part was stealing away with our dear friend Collin (GM of MarineMax Clearwater) to finally tour the OA 70e – one of my favorite boats since its debut (it also graced the cover of the Yachting Magazine featuring an article on yours truly). A few shots of the 70e’s gorgeous interior…
Galeon Yachts also threw a very nice after-hours shindig showcasing this longtime Polish boatbuilder’s incredibly innovative offerings. They are relatively new to the U.S., represented exclusively by MarineMax. Separate from being well-built with excellent performance, so I’ve been told, they are real crowd pleasers with features often found only on much larger boats and some innovations you’ll see nowhere else. For now.
One of the biggest highlights of my time at the show was attending the christening of the just-built Outer Reef 610 Motoryacht Equiessence. While staying at Stock Island Marina last season, Tim and I met Susan and David while we were walking Jasper and they were walking Merlin. We instantly bonded over our mutual love of animals and then, of course, the conversation turned to boats. They were visiting the marina on their Azimut Hullabaloo but told us that they had the Outer Reef “in the build.” That instantly caught our attention as OR is one of our favorite brands. The company’s owner, Jeff Druek, spent a lot of time with Tim and me last time we were at the Fort Lauderdale show, walking us through his boats and educating us on his company. Jeff is a class act and his good energy and the excellent quality of Outer Reef made a lasting impression. As this year’s show was approaching, Susan and David were kind enough to reach out to invite us to their special event which I attended with our dear friend Abbey. Susan and David’s new yacht is extraordinary and we are so excited for the untold adventures that lie ahead of them. It was truly special to be a part of this wonderful event.
Equiessence is christened. Susan and David came up with the name which these equestrians define as “the acceptance that life is much richer by the love of fine horses and beautiful vessels.” Perfect.
In addition to the boats-a-plenty, the show for me was also about the good people I met and reconnected with along the way…
A special thanks to Patrick Sciacca and the fine folks at Yachting Magazine who treated me to a terrific lunch and great company aboard their host yacht, the beautiful 106′ Broward, Altitude Adjustment II.
It was a whirlwind of a great time. And when not at the show I actually got quite a bit done on OLOH throughout the weekend to ensure that she’ll be ready for the exciting season ahead. But it’s always tough being away from family. Sometimes the best part of going away is coming home.
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And that concludes your OLOH instructions.