Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show Preview Day
Thursday, traditionally an ‘industry’ day at this exceptional show, proved one of the busiest on record this year, echoing the increase in many of the numbers surrounding the yachting industry in the third quarter of 2014. Displaying 1,500 boats, form and function combined to offer crafts with wide ranging appeal in style, size, amenities, and price, with emphasis on innovation.
The Feretti Group was one of the first to capture attention with its Mythos 122. Early in the day, the world debut of the largest Riva on record enchanted all during a rare viewing allowed through the generous grace of the yacht’s new owner. Striking design, flooded with natural light, and furnished with dark walnut cabinetry trimmed in chromed steel, the interior effect is as impressive as the 26 kt cruise speed. With luxuries embracing a 5m tender and a top deck Jacuzzi, Mythos is also considerate in handling black and grey water with advanced systems, and running high tech engines that express low particulates and NOx emissions. Sculpted in a luscious silver shell, Mythos is simply elegant in all respects.
Benetti Yachts opened the doors for the world debut of the Benetti Veloce 140 MY Cheers. A tour and lunch highlighting this intriguing yacht’s D2P, displacement to planing hull, illustrated its comfortable passage even at the top 20 kt speed. True to Italian design, Cheers is impeccably furnished, boasting dining table for 12, two pools, full beam gym, two tenders, and an expansive beach club.
Wider Yachts dropped more than a few jaws with some very seductive new details, not the least of which was a distinctive orange hue. Known for their expandable decks at anchor, this builder uses space creatively and dramatically, with unmistakable style. A joy to view, and a pleasure to cruise, Wider is also going longer, with some 100+ foot hulls in the wings.
Stunning designs from Cheoy Lee, embracing an abundance of natural light, weight-saving honeycombed technology for solid luxury materials like marble and wood, and intuitive, clever use of space, truly set these yachts apart from the pack. Many might shy from a Chinese manufacturer, but these yachts are beautifully and carefully crafted, inside and out, and polished for precision and appreciation down to the last detail. Everything about these yachts makes them desirable, including a competitive price. The secret is their go-fast heritage, and their affinity for speed. These really are a must see.
While they do take center stage, it’s not all about the boats at this large, diverse show. Conspicuous by their unique styling and clever design, the GoCycle electric bicycles seem to be everywhere. Portable and convenient, the bikes fold for storage and portability, and connect with an app to smooth the riding experience with respect to physical workout and geolocation, making them a nice yachting amenity for on shore excursions.
Automaker Alfa Romeo held a live auction for charity at the end of the day, nudged up next to a lineup of exotic models from several manufacturers, including Ferrari, Jaguar, and Rolls Royce. Cocktails and canapés ended the day for Monte Carlo Yachts, and at the SYBass Superyacht Life docks, with VEEDIMS, IYC, and Hatteras all welcoming guests with festivities. Tomorrow’s schedule is just as busy, with many more updates posted exclusively to The Best of Yachting.