Boat Show Drops Anchor in the Magic City

Written by Breck Hapner

Ahoy, mateys! It’s time again to stretch your sea legs. The 2018 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show will take place February 15-19 at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin in Virginia Key.

This year, for the first time, the Strictly Sail Miami sailing portion will be included at the same location, creating one comprehensive event billed as “The five biggest days in boating.” Attendees will have the chance to view, shop and board over 1,400 boats, yachts, sailboats and catamarans in addition to perusing exhibits featuring both power boat and sailing products. Enthusiasts will be able to interact with more than 170 distinct boat brands and thousands of marine related products and accessories.

“There’s no doubt you can find your dream boat here,” said Larry Berryman, Miami Boat Show manager. “We are delivering the ultimate boat show experience.”

The Miami International Boat Show is enjoying its 77 th year, pumping $854 million into the economy while supporting more than 6,000 full-time jobs. Working with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, exhibitors and partners, the show gathers more than 100,000 people from around the world coming to browse exhibits, attend seminars and classes, enjoy food and drink — and in general, inundate themselves within the boating world.

Located across Biscayne Bay from downtown Miami, regular parking will be available as well as free shuttle bus and water taxi services. Show hours are Thursday-Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission for children 12 and younger is free, adults 13 and older is $25 with a two-day pass available for $45 and a five-day pass for $100.

An extra perk is the Miami Yacht Show is now partnering with the Miami International Boat Show, and attendees can pay $50 a day to go to both shows, having access to a bus route between Collins Avenue and Virginia Key that will run daily.

“This is one of the most well-known boat show weekends in the world, with many things to see and do for enthusiasts,” said Mary Bender, vice president of marketing for Informa. “The joint ticket is one of this year’s many enhancements designer to deliver the ultimate in enjoyment and convenience for guests.”

Like waterfront condos?

Every year, the show provides activities and classes for visitors.

The On-Land show features include Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center, offering free DIY seminars about repairing, maintaining and upgrading your boat or engine, and the American Boating Club’s virtual simulator, allowing participants the opportunity to practice basic boating maneuvers while improving boating skills. The On-Water show features include Discover Boating’s hands-on boating skills training, with practical hands-on instruction in classes taught by certified instructors, and demo docs featuring more than 200 boats in the water for demonstrations and sea trials, allowing comparison and chat while exploring buying options.

If you are serious about learning new skills, a few of the Powerboating on-water boating training classes of note include:


Docking & Close Quarters Boat Control
When: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday
Registration required. Class fee is $135.
Learn how to handle the boat in tight spaces and maneuver close to piers, docks and fixed objects, gaining skills such as how to back down a narrow channel in a straight line, turning the boat around in restricted areas, the principles of boat control and managing momentum, and more.


Advance Docking & Precision Boat Control

When: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday Registration required. Class fee is $135.
This class covers effective use of the three key “inputs” — steering, shifter and throttle — to make the boat do exactly what you want it to do, techniques for docking in windy conditions, station keeping in the wind, using a “weather vane turn” and more.


Powerboating Made Easy

When: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday
Registration required. Class fee is $135.
Practical instruction in fundamental boat control techniques and skills every boater needs to handle a boat confidently and safely, including how to take wakes and waves safely, rules of the road, aids to navigation, docking and close quarters boat control, backing down and turning in tight spaces, open water boat handling, using tilt/trim while underway, anchoring and more.

A few of the sailing on-water boating training classes of note include:


Learn to Sail - Monohull

When: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday
Registration required. Class fee is $135.
Gain a working knowledge of essential skills including how to raise, lower and trim the sails, steering techniques and helmsmanship, slowing and stopping the boat, how to tack and jibe, and more.


Introduction to Cruising Catamarans

When: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Thursday through Monday
Registration required. Class fee is $135.
Experience the comfort, speed and maneuverability of the modern cruising catamaran along with the sailing and handling needs of larger “Cats.” This class is ideal for newcomers and monohull sailors with little or no experience on multihulls.


Essential Cruising and Charter Skills – Monohull or Catamaran

When: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday through Monday
Registration required. Class fee is $135.
Focuses on skills essential to securing the boat including maneuvering under power, anchoring and rigging a snubber, picking up a mooring ball and rigging a mooring bridle, weighing anchor and departing anchorage, casting off and departing a mooring field, crew communications, how to set up an anchor watch and two anchor setups.


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