The Fort Lauderdale Boat has never really been a huge show for the sport boat / performance boat market but it has always been a very important show because of the international draw and the massive amount of money spent on boats. It is the largest boat show in the world with over $3 Billion worth of boats on display.
The performance boat dock has changed greatly over the past few years and it was very evident at this years show that the outboard market has taken over. Nor-Tech, Formula, Fountain, and Baja did display a few I/O’s but where overwhelmed by center consoles.
Walking the dock we first came upon Midnight Express who has built CC boats for years. They are busting at the seams trying to fulfill orders. Fast Boats Marine Group is the exclusive Dealer for Midnight and FastBoats owner Randy Sweers told us they just can not keep up with demand.
Nor-Tech was next on the dock to which they dominated, Nor-Tech took over and had a total of six boats in the water. A 40 Roadster Cat, the new Monte Carlo and four CC’s They also had a full display in the convention center with two more center Consoles. Scott Conrad from Nor-Tech echoed the same theme. “We just cant build them fast enough”
Sunsation was on hand with a fished up boat. The boys from Michigan are so busy building boats. Joe was all alone on the dock because Wayne as at the factory busy building boats. Sunsation’s new 34 is a huge hit and Joe told us the boat at Lauderdale was rigged with fishing in mind, Rod holders, Live well, and a reconfigured transom brought in a huge new crowd. The Florida market has a long established fishing core and this boat was hit with them.
The word from MTI was if they had the time to build boats on spec they would still be sold out. The Slot V 42 garnered huge attention because when you are strolling the dock to find the proper companion to your 150 ft plus Mega Yacht or just need to make a progressive statement with your watercraft choice you stop at MTI. All I can say if the looks and amenities of this boat don’t grab you then do a sea trial. Unbelievable! and if you are doubtful of my word then MTI dealer Larry Goldman of Xtreme Powerboats will be all set up at the Key West Poker Run Village to take you on a boat ride.
Finishing up at the end of the dock was Concept Boats who for over 20 years has been building what everyone else is doing today. Concept is business as usual steadily building great all around fun boats that match the South Florida Lifestyle.
nside the Convention Center, Statement, was certainly making one with a great display in the center of the show with Boats Direct USA who in addition to Statement had their new 399 Deep Impact on display as well as the newly revitalized Ocean Hawk 33. Overall theme from these guys. “Cant build them fast enough!” Check out our interview below with Monique and Mark from Boats Direct USA:
Deep Impact had an additional display with a Pink wrap on a Lamborghini Gallardo to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. Deep Impacts problem: “Cant build them fast enough!”
At the show the lines were long, parking was terrible, and good luck calling a cab. It sure felt like things are getting back on track, The dock looks different but it felt good, comfortable, and most important to our boat building and selling friends it was profitable which means the new boat owners will be happy with all the new choices being presented to them!
See you all in Key West.