FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Ahoy matey! The 52nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show sails into South Florida this weekend.

Thursday is a special preview day and Friday it opens to the general public.

The show, which features more than $3 billion worth of boats, electronics, engines and boating accessories from every major marine manufacturer, is the largest in-water boat show in the world.  The show is so large it takes place in six different venues.

The show, while fun for boating enthusiasts, is also big business.  The Florida Convention and Visitors Bureau said this year’s show is expected to generate $30 million for the local economy.

In addition to the super and mega-yachts, this year’s show will also feature exotic cars, helicopters and even personal submarines.

“It dives to three thousand three hundred feet, carries three people and it’s three million dollars,” said Triton Submarine’s Patrick Lahey.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the show.  According to the Greater Ft. Lauderdale Conventions and Visitors Bureau, 36,000 of those attendees are coming from out of town.

“”We have a lot of people that have made appointments to come in, you know from all over the country,” said Kevin Callahan with Moran Yachts.

Sales and attendance at the shows have been down for the last two years but boat brokers say 2011 will be different.

“They’ve been sitting on the sidelines for a couple of years and we’ve seen this year its starting to pick up with the American clients who are realizing it’s okay to spend their money,” Callahan.

Manufacturers of boat accessories and marine related gear, like Brownie’s ‘Third Lung’ which lets you dive under the sea without scuba tanks, hope to see their sales increase as well.

“You get it on your boat and you can carry on through the Bahamas and the Caribbean diving continuously without the need to visit a (air) fill station,” said Robert Carmichael from Brownie’s Marine Group.

Other activities at the show include The Blue Wild Dive Show, IGFA’s School of Sportfishing and Hook the Future’s Kids Fishing Clinics.


Prime Time Preview (Thurs. 10/27) – $34 online/$36 at show

Friday through Monday General Admission
Adults – $16.00 online/$18 at show
Children, ages 6-15 – $3 online/$5 at show
Children under 6 – Free

2-Day Ticket – $32 online/$34 at show
5-Day Ticket – $85 online/$90 at show

Show tickets (cash only) are available from the box office at the following locations on the days of the show: Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Las Olas Marina, Las Olas Riverfront (downtown Fort. Lauderdale) and the Broward County Convention Center.  There are no ticket sales at the Hall of Fame Marina, The Sails and the Ft. Lauderdale Hilton Marina.

Click Here to buy tickets online.

Click Here for parking information.


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