FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — The Marine Industries Association of South Florida, owners of the 53nd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, want you to know that Hurricane Sandy won’t be spoiling the fun.

“We are receiving updates as they are released from the Captain of the Port of Miami and the National Weather Service,” said the owners in a statement.

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They advised those planning to attend the five-day show that they should “make appropriate preparations for high wind gusts and higher tide levels.”

Thursday is a special preview day, with the show opening to the general public on Friday.

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

While the show is fun for boating enthusiasts, it’s also big business.  The boat show’s owners estimate an economic impact of $550 million.

“Everybody in the region, feels this show,” said spokesman Daniel Grant.

From florists, to temporary staff, area hotels and restaurants, the boat show means mega money.

“I’m speechless, I can’t believe the money that’s out here and how large some of these boats are,” said Antoinette Bannon who is visiting from New York and had a special pass to see the show being set up on Wednesday.

Her companion Bill Hayner was also in awe of the yachts. One had a helicopter perched on the deck.

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“It’s once in a lifetime you will see boats like this all gathered in one spot,” said Hayner.

“We’ve got the window shoppers but there are serious business transactions that take place during the show,” said spokesman Daniel Grant.

A wide variety of boats and sea vessels will be on display. In addition to the super and mega-yachts, this year’s show will also feature yacht builders, yacht designers, exotic cars and brokerage yachts.

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

Admission (Prime Time Preview): 
Thu. 10/27 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. — $34 online/$36 at show

General Admission
Fri. through Sun. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mon. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Adults – $18.00 online/$20 at show
Children, ages 6-15 – $3 online/$5 at show
Children under 6 – Free

2-Day Ticket — $36 online/$38 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.

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Click Here for parking information.