Took the boat out today, and hit all 4 outdoor venues and was disheartened by lack of exhibitors at the Marriott. Other than 4 Marlows, there really were no big boats. The outer dock/seawall had zero boats on the outside, and few inside. In past years not only would both be packed with boats moored Med style, but there were floating docks extending out on the north side. Not this year!
The Sail Only at Bayside seemed to have more boats than before, but 90% were French catamarans. If you were shopping for a cat and had multi-million dollar budget, you had a wonderful selection. Also saw a gorgeous totally restored world cruiser mono hull.
Zipped over to Miami Beach Marina which had lots of empty slips. Contender had the entire floating dock for the restaurant, and seemed to be giving a robust amount of boatr rides to people they were shuttling in, but the groups I saw looked more like tourists (Chinese) than fishing boat guys that buy Contenders. My experience as years of beingl3 the Lien Hwa dealer here tells me, that if those guys break out notebooks and cameras, then next year Contender will be seeing suspiciously similar boats built in China. On the "big" yachts -brokers like Dennison were advertising at that venue looked empty. Didn't see anybody on or near them.
Not unusual though, as people just don't go there even for special invitation events with hot women and free drinks. Lack of parking doesn't help. Lack of finger piers makes watching people trying to board boats a spectator event there, especially if ships going by are causing surges. But saw none today. There were a couple of big yachts we couldn't figure out how to board at low tide (which it was) as the swim platforms were a good 8' down, and side decks had no entrances.
Then on to Indian Creek for the brokerage show. There we saw many of the dealers that used to exhibit at the Marriott. BUT ONLY saw a couple of SeaRays and Meridians together at the Brunswick display. Viking had a good selection and display. Saw Fairlines, a couple of Rivieras, less Sunseekers than last year, but made up by having larger ones. The trawler section was much smaller than last year. NOT as many large yachts as last year. But what really got me was lack of traffic on Collins (usually insanely thick) and lack of people! Afriend of mine working Sunseeker from NY blamed it on the weather up north, and the airport delays. Ok, but supposedly BUYERs are all from South America, and there's no weather delays from down South, easr or West. BTW the weather was picture book perfect. Clear skys, low70s, light breeze. OTHER than us, maybe saw only 7 other boats on the water in that whole expanse. Saw more stand up paddle boarders than anybody else. One young buck had a 10 in a bikini lying on his board as he paddled past mega million boats as if to rub in the fact that it's NOT the size of your boat.
I'll post some photos asap.