The nautical extravaganza that is the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show cruises into town February 15-19. For boat lovers, this event offers the chance to kick the fenders of thousands of watercraft—from pint-size kayaks to 300-foot megayachts. Here, we share five not-to-miss picks, plus our insider tips on how to navigate what’s claimed to be the largest power and sail event in the world.
Don’t leave the Miami Beach Convention Center without stopping by the Progressive Boat Show Experience at Pride Park. This vast, family-focused space includes the AquaZone with its 60-foot-by-30-foot, 40,000-gallon freshwater pool to showcase the latest in water toys.
Among the venues at this year’s show, the sprawling two-floor display of powerboats at the convention center is a must visit. You’ll need the better part of a day to stroll the miles of aisles where you’ll find hundreds of center consoles, bow riders, cruisers, RIBs, and runabouts up to 49 feet—plus every outboard motor, electronic gizmo, and marine accessory known to man.
Museum Park Marina
Take a free water taxi or bus shuttle from One Herald Plaza to the Museum Park Marina. Peruse the newest cruising and racing sailboats, catamarans, and sailing accessories in this easy-to-navigate space nestled among Biscayne Boulevard’s skyscrapers.
Aimed at the serious superyacht buyer or charterer, SuperYacht Miami at the IGY Yacht Haven Grande marina focuses on exclusivity. Even if you splurge $130 for a ticket, there’s no guarantee that brokers or builders will let you past the velvet rope to step aboard. To avoid disappointment, make an appointment to view beforehand.
One Herald Plaza
This is ground zero for the show, with hundreds of floating docks showcasing the latest powerboats and motor yachts from around the world, ranging in size from 30 to 125 feet. Need to beat the heat? The site also includes a multitude of air-conditioned tents brimming with the latest in marine gadgets, engines, and tenders—plus everything from jacked-up Jeeps to seaplanes.
Be a VIP
Need to chill after your nautical retail therapy? Buy a ticket to the Windward VIP Club. Here you can relax, eat, drink, and dream. Tickets are $325 a piece and include entry to the SuperYacht Miami enclave at the IGY Yacht Haven Grande marina. This year there’ll be two Windward VIP Clubs: one at One Herald Plaza and a second at the Convention Center.
Take the Train
Avoid Miami’s gridlock traffic and parking headaches by letting the Brightline train take the strain. After debarking, it’s just a short walk or a Metromover tram ride to the action.
Heads up! With no box offices onsite at this year’s show, you’ll need to buy your tickets online before you go.