By Matt Trulio
The Big Picture: Hot Stuff at the Miami International Boat Show
A list of must-sees at this annual event, which runs from Feb. 11-14 at the Miami Convention Center and Sea Isle Marina.
Here’s the thing about the Miami International Boat Show: If you’re a high-performance boat lover and you don’t go there with a plan, you’ll probably miss the really good stuff. That’s because, for the most part, go-fast boat, engine and aftermarket product manufacturers do a miserable job of getting out the word on what’s new and will be displayed at the annual event, which runs from Feb. 11-14 this year.
So how are you supposed to know what’s worth seeing, much less where it is?
Being a reporter and doing what reporters do—making lots of phone calls, asking lots of questions and, well, reporting—I’ve come across six high-performance goodies that will debut at the Miami show. I’d hate for you to miss them, and that’s certainly possible if you wander aimlessly through the convention center and outdoor displays in some South Beach-induced haze. So here they are:
Cigarette Racing Team
For the first time in history, Mercedes AMG has teamed up with a boat builder to create a new model. The result will be unveiled to invited members of the media in the Cigarette booth on Thursday evening. (I actually wrote the story of the boat for Cigarette’s upcoming issue of Smokin’ magazine.) The public will get its first view of the spectacular 46-footer, which was inspired by the new Mercedes AMG SLS luxury sports car, on Friday. In another “first,” the new car will be displayed alongside the new boat.
Marine Technology, Inc.
The latest offering from MTI is a 48-foot catamaran. (You’ll find a review of the cat in the latest issue of Powerboat magazine.) Those of you who want to see the 48-footer dressed to kill should stop by the MTI display—inside the convention center for the first time—and check out the “Terminator”-themed 48 owned by Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
How big is what’s coming from Mercury Racing? The press will get to see on Thursday morning at 10 a.m. It’s so big that no one at Mercury Racing will talk about it. So big that I absolutely won’t miss the unveiling, which will force me to break my “Never get to the show before 10 a.m.” rule.
Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats
If you like the performance and construction quality of Nor-Tech’s V-bottoms and catamarans but want something with a little more versatility, you definitely want to stop by the Nor-Tech display and take a look at the company’s new 390 Center Console. For those want to do a little more than look—meaning take a ride in the 39-footer—there will be one in the water at the Mercury Marine docks at Sea Isle Marina.
Outerlimits Offshore Boats
I cannot remember a year when Outerlimits didn’t release a new model at the Miami show, and this year is no exception with the builder unveiling 44- and 52-footers. If they’re anything like the rest of the builder’s V-bottom and catamaran offerings, they are sure to be spectacular. And trust me, I’d say that even if Mike Fiore, the founder of the company, weren’t a good friend.
Sunsation Performance Boats
Sunsation’s Joe Schaldenbrand told me that he had hoped to have the company’s much-awaited 36 Dominator ready for the show, but they simply ran out of time. Still, they will have promotional materials for the 36-footer, as well as the balance of their model line, on display at the event. How well received is the new model? Sunsation already has six orders for it—without a finished product to show.
If you keep a steady pace, I’m reasonably sure you can see all six of these products on Friday, and still have time for a late lunch and libations in South Beach. And with your mission complete, that South Beach-induced haze you my experience the following morning won’t matter.
Editor’s Note: Bi-weekly columnist Matt Trulio is the editor at large for Powerboat magazine. He has written for the magazine since 1994. Trulio’s daily blog can be found on speedonthewater.com, the high-performance arm of the BoaterMouth group.
- Matt Trulio is the co-publisher and editor in chief of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site with a weekly newsletter and a new bi-monthly digital magazine that covers the high-performance powerboating world. The former editor-in-chief of Sportboat magazine and editor at large of Powerboat magazine, Trulio has covered the go-fast powerboat world since 1995. Since joining boats.com in 2000, he has written more than 200 features and blogs.
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