Innovation, opulence highlight weekend's South Florida boat shows

IMAGINE, one of the largest yachts on display at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show, can get you pretty much anywhere for a cool $27 million.
IMAGINE, one of the largest yachts on display at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show, can get you pretty much anywhere for a cool $27 million. Courtesy photo

The Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show and the separate but adjacent Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show open Thursday and continue through Monday in downtown Miami and much of Miami Beach. Here is a sampling of some of the billions of dollars in watercraft, electronics and accessories for sale at the two shows:

▪ Imagine, Yacht & Brokerage Show, Indian Creek Waterway ramp 17, slips 101-105, 123-125, about $27 million.

One of the largest vessels on display at 164 feet and built in 2010 by Trinity Yachts, Imagine can carry 10 guests plus eight crew pretty much wherever they want to go in absolute luxury and comfort. Decorated with glossy woodwork, marble and onyx, and sporting a grand piano in the salon, the yacht also moves along under aluminum construction that allows cruising at 16 knots to a maximum of 20 knots. There’s a sundeck with a whirlpool tub, a large tender garage that can hold a small motorized inflatable and a 32-foot Intrepid center-console, and several dining areas inside and outside. But unless you are financially “qualified” to be admitted aboard, you’ll probably be relegated to admiring it from the dock.

▪ Toto, Strictly Sail Miami, Miamarina at Bayside, booth A16, about $3 million.

Toto — a 110-foot aluminum sailboat — was built by Palmer Johnson in 1983 but refitted in 2013. A veteran of 10 trans-Atlantic cruises in the past eight years, it accommodates eight guests in three full-sized staterooms and a study that can be converted to a fourth guest cabin. There are separate quarters for the crew. Toto is steered from an enclosed pilothouse but also has an aft navigation station. It has large sails for breezing along at 10 to 15 knots and a diesel engine for the doldrums. It carries a jet boat as a tender and a crane to deploy it. Ideal for touring the Caribbean in winter and Mediterranean in summer, Toto — despite its name — likely never cruised to Kansas.

▪ HydraSports Custom Suenos 53, Miami Beach Convention Center, booth D-48, about $960,000.

The 53-foot Suenos — making its debut at the Miami show — is the largest outboard-powered, center-console boat ever made. HydraSports CEO Elias De La Torre said he did it because the owners of his 42-foot center-consoles said they wanted a larger boat.

Power options include four Yamaha F350s; four Mercury 350 Verados; or four Seven Marine 557s. Constructed of military-grade composite materials, the Suenos is durable and relatively lightweight. Standard features include rod and fish storage, underwater lighting, two live wells, outriggers, T-top, small galley, some electronics, shower and head, and color choices. The company says it will build no more than 12 each year, and five already are under contract. So if this is for you, bring your checkbook.

▪ Scout Boats 420 LXF, Miami Beach Convention Center, booth R-60, about $740,000.

Also debuting at the show, this 42-foot sportfisher — nearly three years in development — is the largest model Scout Boats has produced. Built of vacuum-infused epoxy resin, it is nearly 15 percent lighter than comparable boats, according to company officials. Rigged with four 350-horsepower engines, it can reach 70 mph and achieve more than 1 mile-per-gallon fuel efficiency at more than 40 mph, Scout Boats says — unusual for such a large vessel. A pioneer in incorporating Garmin touch-screen controls, Scout has done away with the toggle switches and buttons found on most boat consoles. Digital switching allows the owner to communicate remotely with the boat via satellite, turning the air conditioner, generators and other systems on or off before boarding. The 420 LXF comes standard with AC, a 30-inch TV and fully-enclosed head and shower. Think angling weekend in the Bahamas.

▪ Contender 24 Sport, Miami Beach Convention Center booth M-30, about $90,000.

Homestead-based Contender Boats has entered this new model in the boat show’s Innovation Awards competition for creatively combining fishing and family cruising features into a 24-foot center-console. Naval architect Chris Becker says it’s a truly multipurpose boat that “can accomplish several different platforms on one function.” For example, the T-top-shaded console is built so that passengers can step below to use a head, and there’s plenty of seating forward, amidships and at the transom. Live wells, fish boxes and rod storage are incorporated, along with an aft swim platform with boarding ladder. Forward, there’s a built-in cooler and storage for water toys such as wakeboards. Engine options include a single 250- or 300-horsepower outboard or twin 115s, 150s or 200s.

▪ Volvo Penta Forward Drive, Miami Beach Convention Center, booth M-83.

Thursday marks the official world debut of Volvo Penta’s new Forward Drive, designed especially for wakeboard boats. The new propulsion innovation — available in a couple of months on new Bryant, Cobalt, Regal and Four Winns boats — uses forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers geared to inboard gasoline engines to generate whatever kind of wake boaters want for boarding or surfing. Volvo Penta of the Americas president Ron Huibers says the system pulls the boat rather than pushes it for ease of maneuvering at slow speeds or tight turns. The skipper can trim the engine up or down, and there’s less noise and fumes on board because the exhaust system is underwater. Volvo Penta hopes to work with even more boat builders to include the new Forward Drive.

If you go

Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail

When: Thursday through Monday.

Where: Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina, and Miamarina at Bayside.

Admission: $35 for adults on Thursday’s Premier Day; $20 for general admission all other days; free for youth 15 and under accompanied by an adult.

More information: www.miamiboatshow.com.

Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show

When: Thursday through Monday.

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

Admission: Free.

More information: www.showmanagement.com.

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