Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at the Sun Sentinel.
This year’s Palm Beach International Boat Show, which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday, will feature a plethora of superyachts, battery-powered watercraft and even an “eco-conscious” yacht with no leathers or plastic beverage bottles allowed. You won’t find any vessels owned by Russian oligarchs however.
The show, which will run through Sunday in downtown West Palm Beach, will kick off amid a continued strong surge of boat sales and consumer interest despite the storm clouds of inflation and war in Europe.
The show, which is owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach Inc. and produced by Informa Markets, will play host to 475 exhibits, 372 boats and 22 seminars on a variety of marine topics, according to the show website. It will be the second year of a COVID-19-era rebound for the show, which went virtual in 2020 when the economy was locked down, but returned to a live presentation in 2021.
Yacht brokers say there has been strong sales momentum among marine and boating enthusiasts who still have cash to spend despite the ups and downs of the COVID-19 economy.
“I think the demand has been incredible,” said Andrew LeBuhn, who heads U.S. sales for the Monaco-based Camper & Nicholsons brokerage. Last year, he said, “was the best on record.”
“There seems to be a real awakening after COVID that the world could change at any moment,” he said. “I think that really fueled the market and people having had that scare asked, ‘what are we waiting for?’”
And so, they’re buying, with most putting up cash.
Eco-friendly superyachts and world events
At the show, the brokerage will be introducing the 125-foot “EMOCEAN” by Rossetti Superyachts of Italy to the U.S. market. It’s a 125-foot “‘eco-conscious” vessel that’s not for sale, but is being chartered.
“There are no leathers or furs incorporated into the design and nothing of animal origin is allowed on board,” Camper & Nicholsons said in a statement. “Everything from her interior rugs to the sofa fabrics are made using recycled ocean plastic or biodegradable products.”
Plastic water bottles are also not allowed on board and menus are created “from sustainably sourced, local foods.”
Those looking for more conventional “superyachts” can find them at docks leased by several familiar South Florida brokerages that appear at the show.
In an email, luxury broker Merle Wood & Associates of Fort Lauderdale said it is displaying four 100-foot-plus vessels at the show from the 174-foot “Mizu” (priced at $14.9 million) to the 132-foot “Just Sayin’ ($5.995 million), among others. The brokerage also has vessels in the area outside the show for would-be buyers to inspect.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which triggered an avalanche of economic sanctions and boycotts against Moscow from the western world, prompted the show to declare in a statement last week that no vessels owned by Russian oligarchs will be allowed to visit the show.
“The Palm Beach International Boat Show stands firmly with the people of Ukraine and with all who are championing progress towards peace,” said Andrew Doole, president of the U.S. Boat Shows division of London-based Informa Markets, which operates the show for the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County. “We can confirm that there will not be any Russian-owned vessels at this year’s show.”
Doole was unavailable for comment Monday.
X Shore of Sweden is back at the show with its 26-foot, 100% battery powered recreational vessel, the Eelex 8000.
Patrick DeSocio, who oversees U.S. sales, said he is eager to see how well-heeled boaters who traditionally aren’t worried about the price of fuel will view electric boats as gas and oil costs go up and up.
“Going into this boat show, it will really be interesting to see how that translates,” he said Monday. He asserted owners of the company’s boat “are going to save anywhere from $5,000 and $50,000 year.”
The boat’s batteries can be charged during a six to eight-hour period overnight, Charging stations can be found at most marinas, dock slips and yacht clubs.
At the show, the vessel, which can reach speeds of up to 30 knots, will be displayed for water sports, fishing and plain family outings.
How about a submarine for weekend jaunts?
Triton Submarines of Sebastian and ShadowCAT, which produces a line of catamaran support yachts, will be at the show to discuss their collaboration to develop a launch and recovery craft for submarines.
Morning Update Newsletter
Start your day with the top stories in South Florida.
The concept, according to a joint statement, calls for a 24-meter craft designed to carry a Triton 3300/3 MKII submersible, which comfortably seats a pilot and two passengers. The craft can safely dive to depths as great as 3,300 feet for up to 12 hours.
Both the SHADOWLARK recovery craft and Triton sub are priced under $10 million and can be delivered in 14 months from any of ShadowCAT’s qualified builders in the U.S., Europe or Middle East.
Address: 101 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach.
Schedule: Thursday, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tickets; They will not be sold on site, but can be purchased online at https://www.pbboatshow.com/en/buy-tickets.html One- or two-day general admission tickets are available Thursday through Sunday. Children under the age of 6 are free if accompanied by an adult.
- Adult One-Day Tickets: $29
- Adult Two-Day Tickets: $54
- Child One-Day Tickets (Ages 6-15): $15
- Adult Windward VIP Experience One-Day Ticket: $350
- Superyacht Show Palm Beach Two-Day Ticket: $1,000