Despite the scope of Miami, it is still a very manageable show (if you are prepared!). With that said, I've put together a collection of basic suggestions to help you navigate all that the Miami show has to offer.
This five-day event with international flavor features the newest and best in multihull models from leading manufacturers around the world, as well as the latest in accessories, sailing gear and charter information. Additionally, the Lagoon Power 44 will be making it's highly anticipated U.S. debut! Avoid the crowds and book your show appointment well in advance.
Something For Everyone
Boat lovers from around the world flock to the Miami International Power & Strictly Sail show. Held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, thousands register to showcase their wares. This is a great chance for boat enthusiasts to meet up with one another, trade stories, and take in the newest products to hit the marketplace.
Whether you are into speed boats, sail boats, fishing boats or you just love engines, you can rest assured the Miami boat shows will have something right down your alley.
"Many people don't realize how easy and affordable it is to get into sailing, " explains Kevin Murphy, National Show Manager, "At Strictly Sail Miami, you'll see everything from entry-level monohull day sailors to mega-cats. Moreover, we're very proud to have the distinction of 'the catamaran capital of the world', the largest collection of cats at any show. But, with more than 100 boats on display in the water, we offer something for every skill, lifestyle and budget."
Make The Most Of Your Show Experience
To the true buyer, or intense arm chair sailor, intent on making the most of his/her time at the show, there are certain things that one must assume when attending and the following facts and tips apply:
1. A plan is necessary! Because things are way to spread out at the big shows, one must get the Boat Show Directory and locate the type of boats that you are interested in. For example the sailing cats are all bunched together separate from the monohulls at Strictly Sail, as are the Power Cats, Trawlers, Sport Fish, etc. at the "in the water power boat section" of the show at the Sealine Marina. This way you have direction and can map out your "plan of attack".
2. Most all of the boats displayed are pampered and given preferred treatment by their builders and agents, and are not always indicative of the average of boats that are delivered, and certainly not representative of the same boat once used.
3. All sales people are not as knowledgeable thus equal. If you are truly serious then you should also be shopping for an experienced sales person, who truly has the knowledge on the boat that you desire. You would be surprised as to how many salespeople just "shoot from the hip". This is especially true with the used market, when only those that do this day in and day out really know what is going on!
. Be prepared to write a check and/or get pre-approved for your boat loan. This will show the salesperson that you are indeed serious and not there taking up valuable time. You don't have much ground to negotiate on otherwise. However, there are always marine lenders at the show, so for those that haven't done their financing homework there is still a chance to cover some serious ground.
5. The VIP day, Thursday for the Miami Show, may cost more ($25), but is well worth it for the serious. Not only are the crowds much less, but you get more days to contemplate your choices and can narrow things down for the final run towards your purchase. Next to Thursday, Friday and Monday are the less attended with Saturday & Sunday usually very crowded and a mad house.
6. Established builders and dealers that have been around deserve much more credit in what they say then first time exhibitors and dealers. Remember not all are equal in the very important considerations, such as quality control, delivery on time, after sale service, warranty and on & on.
7. "Boat Show Specials" are often just that, the best price available! This is a chance to buy at reduced costs and/or with lots of optional equipment thrown in. You can verify this by asking how long the "specials" are actually good for.
8. Where comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Most boats request that you remove your shoes prior to boarding.
I hope that these basic suggestions help. It is amazing to see how many buyers are ill prepared to navigate a large Boat Show such as Miami.