With boat shows back in full swing, the world’s yacht makers are descending on sunny Fort Lauderdale this week for the 62nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. The world’s largest in-water show, the five-day event kicks off on Wednesday and is back to six venues, ranging from the SuperYacht Village to the just-completed Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, which showcases the smaller boats. There are several dozen world premieres and North American debuts, but here are eight newcomers that are must-sees.
Built for a Texas billionaire, this stunning 252-footer from the Dutch masters at Feadship is a big step up from the owner’s previous 164-foot Westship. Boardwalk‘s long, low, sleek, and almost understated lines are from the drawing board of Feadship’s in-house De Voogt studio, with an interior by Seattle-based Amy Halffman. With a top speed of 20 mph and fuel tanks that hold over 40,000 gallons, she’s designed with transatlantic range. She could be the star of the show.
Benetti Motopanfilo 37
The Motopanfilo 37, Benetti’s newest 120-foot superyacht, was inspired by the Italian yard’s classic navettas of the ’60s of the same name. But this new 37-meter version is all about simplicity, style and comfort. Designer Francesco Struglia modernized the new Motopanfilo’s exterior lines but retained classic elements like the clamshell-shaped beach club. Rome-based Lazzarini Pickering Architetti was responsible for the interiors. “We’re not trying to be nostalgic with the design, but give owners what they expect these days—large sizes and interior volumes,” said Struglia. Hence, the spacious-but-cozy interior spaces, which convey a contemporary style, but with timeless décor by Loro Piana.
Sanlorenzo launched its SL 120A—“A” standing for Asymmetrical—at the Cannes Yachting Festival, and at FLIBS it will debut the smaller SL106A. The design team focused on creating a larger garage at the stern as well as adding a 130-sq. ft. sunbathing area. The lower deck’s interior volume is also more sizable than other yachts in its class, with larger guest cabins, salon and engine room. The main deck’s asymmetric design comes via the dining area to port with a full-height window for exceptional views, and on the other side, a lounge area connected to a fold-down terrace. The designers made full use of the beam by creating internal passageways and passages up over the 650-sq. ft. bridge that connect to the foredeck, which is its own social area at 220 square feet. The full-beam owner’s suite on the main deck is a whopping 325 square feet, with private access to the foredeck.
Ocean Alexander 35R
The busy Taiwanese yard is unveiling not one, but four, new or heavily tweaked models at this year’s Lauderdale show. The headliner for us is the head-spinning, 116-foot 35R, with the R quite rightly standing for Revolution. With its bluff, towering bow, multiple oversized windows, and a large sky lounge, the 35R is reckoned to be as roomy as most 150-footers. And it offers beauty with brawn: twin 1,990-hp MAN V12 diesels deliver a 26-mph top speed.
Riviera 645 SUV
Call it the Thunder from Down Under. This hot new flagship 69-footer from Australia’s biggest boat builder, comes with a pair of 1,550-horse MAN V12 diesels to reach a top speed of 40 mph. But space, comfort and indoor/outdoor living are the 645 SUV’s strong points, with its large, enclosed cockpit, galley, salon and helm station conveniently on one deck. The foredeck is party central, with seating and sunning spots for up to 15. Naturally, an industrial-grade barbecue grill comes standard.
If you’re going to chase bigger fish, chances are you’re going to need a bigger boat. Which is probably the rationale behind New Jersey-based Viking Yachts’ decision to super-size its popular Viking 54 Convertible, into the full-metal-jacket fishing battlewagon that is the brand-new 64 Convertible. The boat reaches a top end of 46-plus mph, powered by twin 2,000-hp MTU V12s. Additional hull stiffening and new CFD design software help the 64 cruise through whitecaps faster with less pounding, while the designer’s focus on interior luxury adds comfort when the rods are stowed.
Azimut Verve 42
Hot on the heels of last year’s intro of Azimut’s Verve 47 comes a scaled-down version, the 42-foot Verve 42. Like its big brother, it comes with an innovative, go-faster, stepped hull design from naval architect Michael Peters. And like the 47, it features those deep, hull-side windows that flow all the way to the helm, letting you gaze down at the water from inside the cabin. A trio of Mercury Racing 450R V8s packing a combined 1,350 horsepower, gives the 42 a top speed of 52 mph. That adds a lot of vim to the Verve.
Not everyone wants an explorer yacht that looks like an extra from The Perfect Storm. Nordhavn knows that. Which is why its new Nordhavn 80, making its global debut at FLIBS, is a little more superyacht, and a little less commercial-grade trawler. Nordhavn’s design chief Jeff Leishman went for straighter lines, bigger windows and portholes, and thinner mullions. The extended flybridge even has a hot tub. But it’s still a Nordy at heart, with a large hull, twin 375-hp John Deere diesels and 4,600-gallon tankage for ultra-long-range cruising.