Best Yachts, News from FLIBS
Nearly 2,000 megayacht captains blared their boat horns in unison for one full minute on Sunday night at exactly 6 p.m., a traditional symphony of ocean commotion signaling the official end of yet another FLIBS or Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
The consensus is the 58th consecutive FLIBS was one of the best shows in many years. Propelled by a strong economy and two, active hurricane seasons prompting new vessel purchases, repairs and refits, the five day show from October 31 - November 4 was well attended. Packed docks and crowded pavilion tents included more buyers than tire kickers.
Owned by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida and produced by Informa, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) has seven locations and is indisputably the largest in-water boat show in the world. Spanning more than three million square feet of exhibit space across seven waterfront locations connected by an intricate network of water and ground transportation services, the five-day show attracts approximately 110,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors representing 52 countries with more than 1,600 boats on display with a combined value exceeding $4 billion.
In South Florida, FLIBS’ economic impact exceeds the Super Bowl’s. The 2015 boat show generated an estimated $531.5 million in economic impact in South Florida and $857.3 million statewide, according to a study by Thomas J. Murray & Associates and the University of Florida. By contrast, a Super Bowl hosted in Miami, Tampa or Jacksonville generates an economic impact under $400 million.
FLIBS is unlike any other boat or marine trade show. Its sheer magnitude makes IBEX and Workboat, combined together, look downright tiny. Most attendees are top one-percenters or passionate, recreational boaters. Boasting more yachts than any other show, there is a complete spectrum of exotic toys for the uber wealthy, including helicopters and top tier sports cars.
2018 Best of Show
FLIBS’ best of show went to 138-foot M/Y Namaste, Mangusta’s first trideck motoryacht in the U.S., the first in a new series of displacement superyachts built in 2016.
This megayacht stood out among the other stout divas on F Dock. The interior is light, elegant and modern. Aside from marveling at her high-tech features and impressive design by Alberto Mancini, this superyacht wows with a trendsetting infinity pool on top deck forward of the pilothouse and an exceptionally nice beach club. The glazing on the bottom of the swimming pool brings light and semi-transparency into the owners ensuite head located on the underlying deck.
Feadship Sportfish Yacht
Iconic Dutch superyacht builder Feadship built two sportfishers in its legendary history, M/Y Comanche’ and her sister ship, M/Y Patriot. Yachting Journal toured this exceptional vessel and climbed to the first station of her 50-foot tuna tower. A custom build, Comanche’ may be the most luxurious and timeless sportfisher ever built.
At 90-feet, Comanche’ has three helm stations, one at the bridge and at each tuna tower. Only a Feadship interior would look so immaculate and stylishly classic 31 years later without a refit, sans a repower.
Both luscious and robust at the same time, Comanche’ is beyond impressive. With metal pipes and commercial grade systems, she was one of the first sportfishers with an enclosed bridge. Her electric curtains and microwave that rises and recesses was space age stuff for her 1985 launch - and are still innovative today. This boat absolutely is not dated looking. In fact, Comanche’ appears like she was just delivered and is in pristine condition, a brokerage vessel and true classic available for $1.95 million.
Hatteras’ lineup of convertible sportfishers encompasses a full fleet from 45 to 70-feet. Engineered to thrive at 40+ knots in serious chop where other boats are reluctant to venture out, Hatteras is robust, solid and luxurious.
New models for 2019 include the GT65 and GT59; Yachting Journal toured the 59, which replaced the Hatteras 60. Tournament ready features and storage like sealed fish boxes, an optional tackle room and a fold-down convertible counter with massive reel storage make this an angler’s dreamboat.
This boat has tremendous volume with a beam of nearly 19 feet. Ample seating with a walkaround bridge and a spacious interior with frameless windows provide panoramic views, making the 59 seem like a much bigger boat. She is convertible with multiple cabin and head arrangements.
Zeelander is a semi-custom, boutique builder in the Netherlands, featuring exterior design by Cor D. Rover. Only 30 vessels are built of each stylishly, cool model with Zeelander delivering five boats each year with Dutch precision.
Yachting Journal toured the new 2019 Z55, a truly neat yacht with features making her truly eclectic. The galley, helm and aft deck are all one multifunctional area, kind of like a Swiss Army knife. Everything flips or is 360 degrees, the TV and helm chairs. With a sideboard entry, she stern docks and when the platform opens, another five feet are added with a lovely beach club, bringing a superyacht feature to a 55-foot lobster boat design, reminiscent of a Hinckley but much more curvy.
In fact, the Z55 is all about curves, art and curvilinear geometry. There are no straight edges inside, not anywhere. The windows have a double curve, the railings are curved. There are tremendous, fluid sight lines throughout the helm area which includes a sunroof.
The fastest Zeelander ever produced, she cruises 42 knots with twin Volvo IPS penta 1350 engines. The well-engineered vessel features joystick positioning, automatic trim, cruise control, stabilizer and on-demand information making boating as easy as driving a car. Her interior is pleasantly minimalistic and exudes class. With a deep vee hull for a quiet and stable ride, she is vacuum infused and retails for $2.3 million.