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Plenty of new products at the Miami International Boat Show. Photo by Glenn Hayes
Plenty of new products at the Miami International Boat Show. Photo by Glenn Hayes

Miami International Boat Show Preview

February in Miami is a good time to romance your valentine while enjoying all the sun, glitz and style the city has to offer. It is also the best time to see all that is new at the 2015 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. Miami Beach is transformed from February 12 – 16 into the epicenter of the boating world. The show is chock full of all the latest boats and accessories the marine industry has to offer including much anticipated boat and yacht debuts from top manufacturers.

The Miami Beach Convention Center hosts the main show featuring a huge selection of powerboats, accessories, electronics and smaller craft. There are large areas dedicated just to marine electronic manufacturers demonstrating their latest offerings. Garmin presents an expanded range of multi-function touch displays with features such as high definition sonar, wireless capability and auto-routing capability built in. Wireless repeatability and control through smartphones and tablets are some of the current hot trends in marine electronics, so look for even more control and capability from your tablet at the show. Following this trend, Furuno will show off their wireless radar, the DRS4W, designed to be controlled exclusively through your iOS tablet. Other new technology to look for is the ever expanding and highly improved sonar and fish-finding. More manufacturers are offering side view soundings but keep your eyes open for developments in forward scanning sonar.

The convention center is also home to the Big Game Room, a section dedicated to the sport fishing enthusiast. Here you will find all the latest tackle to catch the fish of choice. Innovative fishing accessories will be displayed here along with the latest in rods and reels. You can even take on virtual fish by fighting them on fishing simulators. There will also be plenty of new fishing apparel with new designs from companies such as Pelagic and Guy Harvey.

Innovative and never before seen accessories can be perused at the all-new Accessories Pavilion. With products ranging from new cleaning products and all new docking aids that make life aboard easier, to refrigerated cup holders, you will find that latest invention that you just have to have. The show sponsor, Progressive Insurance will even have new insurance coverages available such as for the lower unit of your outboard or outdrive. It may be worth a visit to their booth for more information.

Boat builders recognize the significance of the Miami show and take advantage of the great setting to debut their latest and greatest models. Those offerings span every style of boat and boating, from super luxurious mega yachts, stylish and roomy catamarans, fast and nimble sail-cats to capable and comfortable center console fishing boats, as well as impressive go-fast speed machines. At the Convention Center you will see an impressive array of the latest powerboats with many sporting two, three and even four outboards.

One such speed machine making its debut is the all-new M3900 from Mystic Powerboats, well known for performance race boats. The M3900 is an impressive center console, “reliable and effortless at 75+mph” according to John Cosker at Mystic. This center console not only handles incredibly well and is fast, but is also very well appointed and comfortable. The fact is, many center console manufacturers are producing boats that go beyond fishing machines to be ever more comfortable for family outings and day cruising. An exemplary ultimate fishing machine, SeaVee’s new 370Z, will also debut at the show. One look at many of the new center console offerings will pique new awareness of more comfortable seating, bow areas with amenities such as removable tables, and consoles with full heads and showers, along with wet bars and even built-in grills in some.

At the Strictly Sail show, at Miamarina at Bayside, peruse every variety of sailboat imaginable.  Among them see the all-new Bali 4.5 Catamaran, shown by Dream Yacht Sales, the exclusive U.S. representative for Bali Catamarans. Drawing from its Catana pedigree, this impressive catamaran boasts a huge central platform with increased living space, an expansive sunbathing area, and increased freshwater and fuel capacity to enhance self-sufficiency. Also, try your hand piloting a sailing simulator, or take a load off your feet and listen to one of the many free seminars.

The New Yacht and Powerboat Show at Sea Isle Marina, which is free to the public, is the place to board powerboats of all sizes. The show also features the latest offerings in outboards and outdrives rigged on a wide array of vessels from small skiffs to high performance race boats.

Everywhere you go in the show you will find the latest vessels and accessories and there will surely be something that captures your desire. Just be sure to plan enough time to take it all in and still allow for romancing your valentine, or you may be in the market for a single-handed boat.

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