MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Last minute preps are underway for Thursday’s opening day of the largest boat show in the world; The Miami International Boat Show.

The Miami Beach Convention Center is one of three locations where the boat is taking place. All four convention center halls are filled with the latest and greatest of anything and everything that floats.

“South Florida is truly the boating cap of the world,” said Boat Show producer Sarah Salvatori. “This is show is bigger than ever. We have thousands of boats on 3 locations.  There more than 3000 exhibitors, There is simply no better place to discover boating.”

Click here to watch Lisa Petrillo’s report. 

Under this gigantic space that’s all under one roof, you’ll find boats in all shapes sizes and price ranges.

New from Hydrosport is the largest center hull on any fishing boat ever. It also has 4 huge V-8 engines in the back which makes this sea worthy vessel the ultimate man cave.

Under wraps this year is Thursday’s unveiling of a joint venture between Cigarette Boats and Mercedes Benz. Both the car and the boat will merge their signature styles.

And with record crowds, more than 100 thousand are expected this year, the boat show brings in big bucks to South Florida’s economy.

“This show itself has a $597 million dollar impact on the economy of Florida. 45,000 full time jobs are created. There are 6,000 small businesses it supports and it brings 200,000 hotel rooms to the city, explained Salvatori.

“So aside from the traffic it’s a win-win,” joked CBS4’S Lisa Petrillo.  “Yes, definitely,“ Sarah said laughing.

Next year, the show will move to the Miami Marine Stadium and Park while the Convention Center undergoes construction. In addition to the Miami Beach Convention Center, the other two locations are Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside for The Strictly Sail Show.

“We have over 100 sail boats both in water and on land here at Bayside. Everything here is sailboat related,” said Strictly Sail Show Manager Kevin Murphy.

The largest sail boat in the show is the 110 foot spectacular Toto sailboat. It comes complete with an elegant master bedroom and bath and over the top amenities making your sailing experience the ultimate in luxury.

“This is the 110 foot Toto by Palmer Johnson. It’s most expensive boat in the show. This boat will cost you over 2.5 million.”

The Miami Beach International Boat Show opens Thursday at 9:00 am and runs through Monday at 6pm.

For more info: www.miamiboatshow.com

Lisa Petrillo

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