Despite post-pandemic complications, Miami’s iconic international boat show is making a comeback

It’s not exactly a return to normal as this week’s Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show kicks off.

Granted, a Miami boat show is back after a pandemic hiatus last year. It expects to attract 100,000. As Sharon Day, president of Catalina Yachts, says, “We’re happy to be back on boat show schedules.”

But normal? Not really. There is huge demand from buyers who have fallen in love with boating during the pandemic. Unfortunately, supply chain issues and labor shortages prevent manufacturers – like their counterparts in the automotive industry – from meeting this demand.

Catalina sold so many boats that she had to go to boat owners to borrow boats for the show. “We can’t make them fast enough,” says Day, whose company builds its boats in Largo.

Florida companies, such as New Smyrna Beach-based Catalina and Bajio Sunglasses, will be present at all venues. Orlando-based Correct Craft (read Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin’s 2021 Florida trend profile) is set to reveal a “never done before” Ingenity Super Air Nautical GS22E electric boat that won Boating Magazine’s Boat of the Year trophy.

The show, February 16-20, is the first under the Discover Boating name as it combines the Miami Yacht Show, SuperYacht Miami and Miami International Boat Show in a joint effort by Informa Markets, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the International Yacht Show. Brokers Association.â?¯

In a new configuration, the show takes place in five locations, including a return to the Miami Beach Convention Center (powerboats up to 49 feet with engines and accessories); with One Herald Plaza (motor yachts up to 125 feet); Museum Park Marina (sailboats); Yacht Haven Grande at Island Gardens (largest yachts) with Sea Isle hosting ship test drives.

This year’s new layout should save shoppers from having to travel everywhere to see what they want, Day says.

Catalina, which acquired True North Power Boats in 2019 to bolster its historic presence in sailboat markets, says the waiting list for powerboats or sailboats is at least a year, two years for some models . “With Covid, we have more and more people getting back into sailing than you ever imagined,” says Day.

Normally, buyers come from all over the world. Even this year, says Catalina COO Patrick Turner, “We’re getting people from all over the country.”

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