Did you know that the newest Excellence, all 262 feet (80 meters) of her, will be among the largest megayachts exhibiting at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) this October? Or, that she will be one of 1,500 boats and megayachts of various sizes there? How about this: FLIBS, the world’s largest in-water boat show, has an annual $857-million economic impact on the state of Florida. These are just some of the fun facts about FLIBS, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this autumn.
In fact, the photo below is from 1963, four years after the show began. Compare it to the one above, from 2015, and you can begin to understand why FLIBS is so significant. “In 1959, it made a splash with just 13 boats in the still-new Lauderdale Marina,” explains Andrew Doole, president of U.S. Boat Show for Informa Markets. “Yet, it enjoyed immediate success, quickly growing from an informal, free-to-the-public and volunteer-led exhibition, to the hugely ambitious and grandly scaled extravaganza that it is today.” In fact, today 13 water taxis help take some of the 110,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors to and from the show sites (seven in all).
If you’ve attended FLIBS in the past, you know it covers the gamut from fishing gear to superyachts. But, did you know that a 400-footer (122-meter) is the maximum-size superyacht that can exhibit at the newly created Superyacht Village? Did you also know that 10 superyachts, some of the largest in the show, can dock there? Try these other fun facts about FLIBS on for size:
* the Superyacht Village encompasses 3.5 acres
* the value of all products and yachts on display totals $4 billion
* the show generates approximately $508 million in direct sales
* six miles of floating docks are set up specifically for the event
* 1,000 private planes come in to local FBOs specifically for FLIBS
* eight superyacht chefs will go head to head in the second-annual Best Yacht Chef competition, set for November 1.
FLIBS runs from October 30 to November 3.
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show flibs.com