The floating docks are in place, boats of every size are filling the Bahia Mar slips, the exhibition tents are going up, and tiki bars are stocking-up with margarita mix; FLIBS 2020 is ready to roll. “We are truly excited about welcoming guests to this year’s show,” says FLIBS organizer, Andrew Doole, President of Informa Markets US Boat Shows. “It’s been a long road to get here, but it’s all been worthwhile. We have a great show planned,” he adds. With more than 500 boats on display, a big focus on center console sports boats, and all the key players exhibiting – everyone from Azimut to Sunseeker and Princess – there’ll be everything for boat lovers to enjoy, adds Doole. For the latest on the show, go to www.flibs.com
No Superyacht Village This Year
With many European superyacht owners and crews reluctant to travel to the U.S. – and go through tough quarantine restrictions when they return – FLIBS’ much-loved Superyacht Village at Pier Sixty-Six has been cancelled for 2020. “It was a tough decision, but there was just too much uncertainty,” explains Andrew Doole. “But it’ll be back bigger and better in 2021.” As for the superyachts attending this year’s show, they’ll be on display at the main Bahia Mar docks. “Of course, for a VIP experience, we’ve expanded the Windward VIP Club located on the main dock at Bahia Mar,” says Doole. This year it takes over the Captain’s Lounge and Tower Building, offering outdoor terraces with stunning views of the show.
Show-Stopper: The Spanish Flyer
Alicante-based yacht-builder Astondoa is using this year’s FLIBS to pull the wraps off its gorgeous, new 82-footer, the AS8 Flybridge. This mini-superyacht is all big windows – both in the superstructure and hull – to flood the yacht with light. Up top, the huge flybridge has endless pads and beds for sun-worshipping. Below decks, 12 guests can be accommodated in four spacious ensuite cabins, including a cavernous, and customizable, master. The yacht’s sleek, contemporary interior design is all sexy stainless steel, white lacquer and padded leather. And zipping across to the Bahamas for lunch won’t be a problem, courtesy of the twin MAN V12 1,660-hp diesels giving a top speed of 32 knots.
Hot Boat of the Week: Cruisers Yacht’s 42 GLS
Party boats don’t come more fun than this. Making its world debut at FLIBS is Cruiser Yacht’s super-versatile, outboard-powered 42 GLS. A cross between a bow rider and a spacious overnighter, the 42-footer comes with a cool new feature – huge cockpit side doors that drop down at the touch of a button to make perfect swim platforms. Up front there’s an expansive open bow for lounging, while the vast cockpit lounge wraps around a teak table. With the same big-windshield exterior design of Cruisers’ Cantius range, the 42 GLS features an over-sized hardtop with extendable sun shade. For sleep-overs, there’s an aft cabin and U-shaped dinette that converts into a double. With triple Mercury Verados you’ll see a top speed of 52mph.
Flashback of the Week
As you wander through the frosty-cold, red-carpeted exhibitor tents at this year’s FLIBS, spare a thought for show-goers back in 1976. That was the year the show moved to its current location at the Bahia Mar Resort and Yachting Center. And the year the first show tent – a vast, blue and white, circus Big Top affair – was erected in the parking lot. While it offered shade from the beating sun, it lacked one key comforting ingredient; air conditioning. Huge, hanging electric fans were installed at the last minute, but all they did was move around the humid, super-heated air. Remember that as you duck-in to today’s high-tech tents to cool down.
FLIBS 2020 will run from next 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.