2008 Private Preview: Three for the Show
Each October, virtually every
boat manufacturer in the world comes to southeastern Florida. The Fort
Lauderdale International Boat Show has taken place annually since 1959, when it
featured 47 vessels, the longest of which measured 26 feet. Last year the event
covered six sites encompassing more than 3 million square feet and showcased
more than 1,500 watercraft—from 16-foot tenders to 200-foot-plus superyachts.
The show, which attracts 130,000 attendees on average, displays more boats than
any other event of its kind on the planet, and builders scramble to ready their
new craft for it.
This year’s show, from October 25 through 29, will include the
world premieres of about a dozen yachts. Among these will be the 5800 Sovran
from Tiara Yachts of Holland, Mich., a builder of open and express cruisers.
This curvaceous, 58-foot cruiser lets in an abundance of natural light and has a
good deal of open space in the helm and upper salon. The galley, positioned on
its own level between the salon and the lower staterooms, is bathed in natural
light from the forward windshield. The $1.5 million Sovran includes an advanced
propulsion system that gives it a 520-mile range at 35 mph and a top speed of 40
mph. Its three diesel engines can be controlled by a single joystick, allowing
for precise maneuvers. "We made everything as owner-friendly as possible," says
Tiara CEO David Slikkers. "The result is a yacht approaching 60 feet long that
can be handled by just two people."
The Bertram 700, the new 74-foot flagship in a renowned
sportfishing line, also will premiere at Fort Lauderdale. Bertram Yacht, a
division of Italy’s Ferretti boatbuilding empire, has eschewed the spartan
interior of most sportfishing vessels in favor of an airy, open salon. "We
designed the boat for both fishing and cruising, without sacrificing either,"
says Bertram vice president Don Jones. The master stateroom includes a king-size
bed and large optional side windows, and the cockpit features a mezzanine deck
that is much larger than that of any other Bertram. The yacht’s price begins at
about $3.8 million.
The Italian builder Azimut Yachts also is preparing a debut for
the show. The $1 million 47' Flybridge is much more spacious than similarly
sized yachts, with three roomy staterooms, two of which have en suite heads. The
large flybridge extends aft, sheltering the entire cockpit, and the company’s
characteristic trapezoidal windows provide plenty of light inside. "One of the
most important innovations on this boat is the lower-deck galley," says Azimut
CEO Federico Martini. "It’s a large, well-lit, separate space that makes it
possible to cook without interfering with life aboard the yacht. We’ve also
added a second dinette beside the helm station so that the owner can socialize
with guests while navigating."
Boats from Abeking & Rasmussen, Burger Boat Co., Johnson
Yachts, Kingship, Lürssen Yachts, Royal Denship, Viking Yachts, and Westport
Yachts are expected to debut at Fort Lauderdale as well. "All the manufacturers
are pushing to finish their new boats," notes Efrem Zimbalist III, president and
CEO of Show Management, the show’s organizer. "They don’t want to miss this."
Azimut Yachts, +39.011.93.161, www.azimutyachts.com
Bertram Yacht, 305.633.8011, www.bertram.com
Yachts, 616.392.7163, www.tiarayachts.com