There was something for everyone at the 2nd Chrysler Caribbean International Boat Show (CIBS), held at Puerto Rico’s Puerto del Rey Marina, March 8 -10. Over 14,000 avid boaters from the Caribbean and U.S. came to check out the array of extraordinary yachts and nautical products at the largest boat show in the Caribbean.
“Puerto Rico has an opportunity to promote itself through this event as the premier nautical destination in the Caribbean, providing an opportunity for international visitors and buyers to explore and see everything the island has to offer,” says Arturo Guzmán, chief executive officer and producer of the AG Group, whicha orchestrated the event.
Roger Casellas, of Yacht Center of the Caribbean Inc., which represents Bertram Yachts, Maritimo, and F&S Boatworks, says, “Puerto Rico and the Caribbean International Boat Show should be the hub for the Caribbean as well as parts for Latin America. We are seeing more manufacturer presence and support to the local vendors.”
The chance to advertise, reach new customers, showcase new and pre-owned yachts and support the boating industry and economy of Puerto Rico are reasons why Carli Rodriguez, of CFR Yacht Sales, who represents brands such as Viking, Princess, Edgewater, Silvertone, Davis and Egg Harbor, participated in the show. “The benefits of buying a boat in Puerto Rico are that the boats are well kept and available at good prices.”
Pluses for CIBS attendees are the opportunity to see the latest models, both power and sail, without having to travel all the way to the U.S. or Europe.
Jim Veiga, of Atlas Yacht Sales, illustrates this with the brands he represents. “Lagoon and Jeanneau are constantly innovating and coming out with amazing models at incredibly reasonable prices. Prestige is a pretty new line of motor yacht that is having incredible success in Europe. Prestige Yachts are very stylish and have performance and comfort features that you just don’t find on boats in their competitive market range. Hunter was just purchased by David Marlow, known for Marlow Yachts. They are in their first year and the quality improvements to the line are not only impressive but evident.”
In addition to viewing yachts, CIBS attendees were treated to over one million square feet of nautical exhibitions throughout the marina that showcased activities such as power boating, sailing, fishing, scuba diving, marine electronics, water sports, travel and much more. Exhibitors such as Flyboard, which market a device that lets the user ‘fly’ up to 35 feet in the air supported by streams of water generated by a jet-ski engine, gave live demonstrations. The Power Squadron hosted a seminar for kids about boating safety. Other highlights were the Ulysses Nardin International Regatta, in which over 40 sailboats raced, and the CIBS Offshore Cup, which featured over 60 racing power boats.
For more information, visit: www.cibspr.com
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.