The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) opens its doors tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 30), and several high-performance builders will be showing off their musclecraft both on the water and inside the halls of the convention center.
The last week of October, leading into the first week of November, are typically fast and furious in Lauderdale for many in the boating world—especially for bigger boats in this “yachting capital of the world.” It’s actually the 60th annual exhibit this year, and the city will be playing host to some of the world’s most impressive boats and superyachts. The 2019 edition of FLIBS will include $4 billion in products display, 110,000 expected visitors attending, 1,500 boats in the water, 1,200 total exhibitors and six total miles of floating docks. (For a little perspective, there were 13 boats being exhibited at the first Fort Lauderdale Boat Show back in 1959.)
Turning our attention to go-fast craft, exhibitors include Iconic Marine Group (Donzi, Fountain and Baja), Marine Technology Inc. (MTI), Mystic, Nor-Tech and Deep Impact make their usual appearances, along with mega-dealer Performance Boat Center displaying three Sunsations and a Wright Performance 420 catamaran. Making their first-ever Lauderdale appearances will be Mercury Racing’s 450R outboards; expect to see these engines coupled to numerous catamarans and center-console vees this year—and for many years to come.
Here’s who’s got what this year:
Marine Technology Inc. (MTI)
Red Zone H/I, Docks 28, 28A and 28B
The Wentzville, MO-based builder will be showing two 42-V center consoles: one 2019 and one 2020 model. In addition, they’ll have a 340X catamaran; all will be powered by the new 450R outboards.
“We’re really looking forward to the show,” says MTI’s Taylor Scism, daughter of company owner Randy Scism. “It’s going to be a great show. We’re excited to see how it’s going to turn out.”
Although you won’t see it at the Fort Lauderdale show, MTI is expected to unveil a brand-new model at a private event in the weeks ahead. Showgoers will be able to check it out at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2020.
Red Zone H / Docks 15-18
The Algonac, WI, builder will have all three of its center console models on display at Performance Boat Center’s on-water booth:
• A 32 CCX with twin 400R outboards;
• A 34 CCX with twin 450R outboards;
• A 40 CCX with triple 450R outboards.
Sunsation co-owner Joe Schaldenbrand told Powerboat Nation that he was “blown away” by the 34’s performance with the 450s. “It runs phenomenally,” he says. “We were extremely impressed.” Meanwhile, he also raves about the 40 CCX’s capabilities with the new outboards. “With triple 450s, you’re getting 82 mph out of it,” he says. “It runs excellent. The bigger the boat, the more advantageous the 450s.” (He says that a model with quad 450s is on order, and expects to see speed of around 92 mph with that setup.)
Performance Boat Center
Red Zone H / Docks 15-18
With locations in Osage Beach, MO, and Hollywood, FL, Performance Boat Center is a dealer of Cigarette, MTI, Sunsation and Wright Performance, the latter of which is a model it co-created with Doug Wright Designs. In addition to the Sunsations previously mentioned, PBC will showcase boating enthusiast Win Farnsworth’s new 420 Wright Performance catamaran with twin 450Rs.
Iconic Marine Group
Red Zone G/H, Docks 15-22
Located in Washington, NC, on the Pamlico River, Iconic is coming with a variety of its Donzi and Fountain models.
• Donzi 22′ Classic is the 55th Anniversary Edition; Donzi plans to build only 15 of them, so collectors need to move fast. A certain head-turner, the Anniversary Edition includes newly upgraded upholstery along with a next-generation dash complete with Livorsi shifters and engine controls, upgraded gauges and a Venturi windshield.
• Donzi 38ZRC is another re-introduction to bring back the glory days. It’ll feature a wide range of new styling twists and a more modern look. A high-tech carbon fiber dash allows for port and starboard steering. Where the fiberglass meets the water, Donzi’s Positive Lift Double Step bottom design speeds on plane, is rock solid at cruising speeds and blistering fast at top-end.
• Donzi 41 GTZ: Introduced last year to rave reviews, this next-generation boat is back for 2020 with a new six-pack bucket seat interior option that is ideal for cruising and entertaining. Additionally, Donzi’s innovative aluminum-framed Skyview hardtop is an engineering marvel and industry first. Featuring a streamlined design that doesn’t slow the boat’s performance, Donzi’s new acrylic top still offers 90 percent protection against UV light and 60 percent against infrared.
Meanwhile, Fountain will have six center console boats on display: The 34CC, 34CC LS, 38CC, 38CC LS, 39NX and 43NX.
Red Zone H/I Dock 25-27
DeLand, FL-based Mystic—builder of the five-time Top Gun competitor at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, American Ethanol—will show off three brand-new boats just off the production line:
• An M4200 center console powered by quad 450Rs featuring Seakeeper anti-boat-roll system, bow thruster and stern thruster. “It’s a very decked-out model, very nicely loaded boat for a customer,” says Mystic’s sales and marketing chief, Greg Weber.
• An M3800 center console, the first to be powered by triple Mercury V8 300s. “It’s a gorgeous boat with really high-end paint and interior.”
• A new C3800 catamaran with twin 450Rs outboards.
Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats
Red Zone H/I Dock 57
Convention Center Booth #2000
Nor-Tech, located in Cape Coral, FL, will be displaying boats both in the water and in the Broward County Convention Center. In the water, you’ll find these three center-console models:
• 340 with triple Mercury Racing 350s
• 390 with triple Mercury Racing 450s
• 390 with quad Mercury Racing 450s
• 450 with quad Mercury Racing 450s
Meanwhile, in the Convention Center, you’ll find a 340 with triple 350s and a 392 Superfish model with quad 400Rs.
Deep Impact Boats
Convention Center Booth #2042
The Miami-based builder of go-fast center consoles is displaying four boats in the Broward County Convention Center:
• A pair of 399 Open models, one with Mercury Racing 400R outboards, and one with 450Rs;
• A 369 Open (center cabin) with Mercury 350 outboards;
• A 360 Open (forward cabin) also with Mercury 350 outboards.
Three of these boats are scheduled to participate in the Florida Powerboat Club’s annual Key West Poker Run, set for Nov. 6-11, according to Deep Impact sales and marketing specialist Tim Gallagher. “The 369 Open will be in the Poker Run Village, and the two 399s will be on the water in front of Conch Republic,” he said.