Luxury at sea highlights Miami boat shows


Annual boat shows highlight super yachts worth millions, smaller craft for anyone and lots of things to make boating more fun, convenient and safe.

If you go

Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail Miami

•  When: Thursday through Monday. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday through Sunday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday.

•  Where: Miami Beach Convention Center; Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center; Miamarina at Bayside.

•  Admission: $35 Thursday (Premier Day); $20 all other show days; $85 five-day adult pass; $35 two-day adult pass; free for kids 15 and under accompanied by adult.

•  More information:

Yacht & Brokerage Show

• When: Thursday through Monday. Hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday.

• Where: Indian Creek Waterway along Collins Avenue from 41st to 52nd Streets, Miami Beach.

•  Admission: Free.

•  More information:

From small kayaks to super yachts more than 150 feet long, boats have taken over land and water in downtown Miami and Miami Beach this week.

The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail Miami and the 2014 Yacht & Brokerage Show open Thursday and run through Monday, together displaying billions of dollars worth of watercraft and accessories.

The Miami International Show takes up the entire Miami Beach Convention Center and Miami’s Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center while Strictly Sail occupies Miamarina at Bayside. The Yacht & Brokerage Show lines the Indian Creek Waterway along Collins Avenue in Miami Beach from 41st to 52nd streets, and — new this year — displays its largest yachts at Miami Beach Marina.

Here is a sampling of some of the products on display at the show sites:

• Petrus II, Benetti Yachts, Yacht & Brokerage Show, Collins Avenue, about $21 million.

The new, 132-foot-long Benetti Classic Supreme super yacht, built in Italy, is making its U.S. debut here this week. With four decks and decorated in rich wood, marble and leather, it is designed for outdoor fun and luxury on long cruises in the open ocean. Among Petrus II’s outstanding features: not one, but two outdoor Jacuzzis, and an extendable terrace in the owner’s suite on the main deck that creates a private balcony. Its stern garage holds two water scooters. The yacht can sleep 10 passengers plus seven crew members. A perfect celebration gift to yourself if you should happen to hit all the Powerball numbers.

• La Sella del Diavolo, Denison Yacht Sales, Yacht & Brokerage Show, Miami Beach Marina, about $9.8 million.

One of the largest sailing catamarans ever built, this 107-footer can cruise the oceans under diesel power or sail to a maximum of 13 knots with eight passengers and five crew. Built in 2011 by Italy’s NAC Shipyard, its 40-foot width allows plenty of outdoor party space, plus a luxurious indoor salon. The port hull is reserved for the crew whose members handle the sails from the fly bridge; the main deck and starboard hull are private for the owner and guests. Beneath the aft deck is a motorized dinghy for shore excursions. A bargain compared to the cost of having a boat this size custom-built.

• Gunboat 60, Miamarina at Bayside, Pier C, base price $2.95 million.

The Gunboat line of fast, light, spacious sailing catamarans has grown so popular that it has its own racing class at some U.S. regattas. Built entirely of carbon fiber with vacuum-infused epoxy resin and Corecell cores, the new Gunboat 60 can cruise at 18 knots and take long-distance voyages with minimal crew. The helmsman operates the mainsheet and centerboards with a push button and the PowerWave hybrid system combines electric and solar power to conserve fuel. Built to order, it can sleep eight passengers and two crew members, or however you want to set it up.

• Helicat, Sea Isle Marina & Yachting Center slip 610, Miami International Boat Show, about $80,000.

Company owner Sandy Williamson of Tacoma, Wash. planned to display his new, eye-catching pleasure craft with its helicopter-style cockpit mounted on catamaran hulls at last October’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. But on a pre-show test run between Miami and Bimini, Bahamas, the Helicat sank in three- to five-foot seas, and Williamson and his crewmate had to be rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard swimmer. Some boat builders would have given up at that point, but Williamson re-designed the Helicat, strengthening the fiberglass hull and tripling the foam flotation.

“We’ve done destructive testing of our boat, which not everyone does,” Williamson said.

Now he says it’ll do 30 miles per hour safely in bumpy seas, burning five miles per gallon. Thrill ride, anyone?

• Sea-Doo Spark, Miami Beach Convention Center booth D72, Miami International Boat Show, about $5,000.

Aimed at families seeking inexpensive, on-water fun, this personal watercraft is designed to be light, fast and safe. Powered by the Rotax 900 HO ACE four-stroke engine, it can do up to 50 miles per hour and burns about 2½ gallons per hour at slower speeds. For enhanced safety, the Spark has what the company calls an “intelligent brake and reverse system” for quick stops and turns.

The Spark can be configured to accommodate two or three riders and it can be personalized with colors and accessories, such as sun shades and storage bins.

• Dungaroo, Sanitation Creations, Inc., Miami Beach Convention Center booth 4232, about $400.

Aimed at the 17- to 30-foot pleasure boat market, the Dungaroo marine toilet needs no water, electricity, nor pump-outs and it is guaranteed odorless and easy to operate.

Working like a Diaper Genie, it uses special anti-microbial bags to treat waste products that are flushed down by a foot pedal, and after about 30 uses, you tie the drawstrings on the bag and dispose of it in any waste receptacle.

If anything breaks, company president Liz Morris promises she’ll replace it — mostly for free.

Said Morris: “We want our customers to love every flush.”

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