FLIBS 2020 Countdown: One Month Out

With less than a month to go until this year's show opens on October 28, here are five things you need to know this week

Helping Lauderdale Stay Afloat

FLIBS isn’t just a boat show; it’s a lifeline to the Fort Lauderdale community and the marine industry in general, says Andrew Doole, president of FLIBS organizer, Informa Markets U.S. Boat Shows. “Think of all the local businesses – from hotels, to restaurants, to shops, to even Uber drivers – who’ve gone through a truly challenging spring and summer due to Covid-19. They really look to the show to boost their bottom line, to help keep them in business. For many of our exhibitors, orders from the show typically amount to 30 per cent of their entire annual sales. Remember, at last year’s show, over $714 million in product was sold over the five-day period. And it’s not only the marine industry that benefits. We reckon the economic impact to the City of Fort Lauderdale and the entire state of Florida amounts to around $1.3 billion. This is why it’s important for this year’s show to go ahead.”

Mayor Dean Trantalis

Community Support, with the Utmost Safety

Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Dean Trantalis knows the importance of FLIBS to the community. “It is vital that we get our economy back on track,” he explains. “The upcoming Boat Show is critical to accomplishing that because the show has a major positive impact on Fort Lauderdale by supporting local businesses and their employees. Public health will be protected: Fort Lauderdale has been a leader in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have worked with the Boat Show to put together a solid plan to ensure it will be held with the utmost safety”. 

Hot Boat of the Week

Making its world debut at FLIBS will be the ground-breaking new Prestige X70 (above), the first in the French yard’s brand new range of X-Line “crossover” yachts. The innovation here is that doing away with the side decks, and putting them at flybridge level, the cockpit, saloon and forward master cabin can occupy the full 17ft 6ins beam of this edgy-looking 71-footer. The wide body design means huge interior space – did we mention the walk-in closet in the master and the saloon that opens-up completely to the back deck? To get around the boat, there are no fewer than four staircases – two from the back deck to the flybridge, and two leading down to the smaller-than-usual foredeck. For power, and great use of space, the X70 is offered with a pair of Volvo IPS 1200 or 1350 diesels. All for around $3 million.

Watch it on TV

With FLIBS covering over 90 acres, you’re not going to see every single boat on display, or gaze longingly at all the “toys” in the exhibition tents. But you’ll be able see what you missed when NBC Sports Network airs its one-hour FLIBS special on Sunday Nov. 1 at 4.30pm. If you watched last year’s program, you won’t want to miss this one. From the most jaw-dropping superyachts to the wildest go-fast boats, to the coolest lifestyle gear. During the broadcast, NBC will also reveal the winner of the coveted “2020 Best of Show” award presented to the most innovative new boat on display.

Flashback of the Week

Covid-19 has caused its fair share of headaches for FLIBS 2020. But at least organizers have been able to prepare. Rewind to October 24, 2005 – three days before that year’s show was scheduled to open – and Hurricane Wilma roared into town as a Cat 3 packing winds of up 105mph. The photo above shows tents in tatters, floating docks ripped apart, and the entire site covered in sand inches deep. But instead of cancelling, a massive, military-style clean-up was organized, power was restored, docks were re-built, permits re-issued and the show went on just one week later.

FLIBS 2020 will run from Wednesday October 28 through Sunday November 1. One-day general admission tickets from Thursday through Sunday cost $35, with Wednesday afternoon Prime Time Preview tickets costing $55. To purchase go to www.flibs.com.

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