Miami boat show kick-off came with VIP parties

image by Cata Balzano
image by Cata Balzano

Yacht-lovers unite this weekend for Miami’s biggest boat show.

Starting Thursday, driving through Collin’s Avenue, meant – to many – slowing down their cars to get a quick view of the yachts parked and scattered through 1.2 million square feet of Indian Creek Waterway in Miami Beach.  Some people, parked their vehucles and hopped out to photograph themselves standing in front of the multimillion-dollar boats.

Thursday night, boat-owners, buyers, brokers and basically anyone considered a “VIP” in the boat-dealing industry, visited the location for boat parties and celebrations that kicked off the weekend of buying and selling of the luxury yachts.

One event – Yachts After Dark – invited guests to do a yacht-hop and check out some of the boats available for sale. At  $330 per ticket, attendees were allowed an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience of seeing some yachts ranging at prices from $500,000 to more than 1 billion dollars. Food and drinks were also being served.

“We are here supporting our customers: the brokers and the builders,” said John Souch, Director of Sales of, the company hosting the VIP yacht-fanatic filled soiree. “ We help to brand those businesses on our websites, and we like to come down here to show support. Where else can you go, fly in, stay on Collins Avenue and meet with hundreds of your customers at one festival?”, and are all owned by Dominion Marine Media. They focus on providing those interested in selling their boats, the opportunity to display them in their online catalogues. Buyers and potential clients visit the site to see what is available in the market at their budget and style-preference, within different criterias.

Yachts After Dark, allowed people to come and enjoy a glass of wine, while getting up close and personal with the boats they many-times only see online; through the websites.

“Yachtworld does connect buyers and sellers, and this event is the physical manifestation of what our website does,” said Katy Judge, Yachtworld brand manager. “Twenty-five percent of our consumers are from Florida. This is a big place for us. This is a great event.”

More than 500 attendees went to the Yachts After Dark event, which began at 7 p.m. on Thursday and ended at 10 p.m.

A red tent with a center-bar was surrounded by boats of all sizes and the different models and brands that has available for purchase. Astonda, Azimut, Ferretti and Princess, were among the brands showing their available ‘toys.’

“Yachtworld is just a brand hosting this event tonight,” said Ian Atkins, President of Dominion Marine Media. “[Miami] is the biggest – by long way – portal or marketplace for boats. It’s where people choose to do their boating, so it’s the heart of American boating I would say.”