One of the largest in-the-water boat shows on the face of the planet, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, hits the water starting October 26, 2022, and running through October 30. This is no regular boat show — it spans nearly 90 acres with three million square feet of exhibit space, and over 1,000 exhibitors from more than 50 different countries will be on-site. The 2021 show boasted over 100,000 attendees who came to town to check out everything from sport boats to super yachts. If you can make it to Fort Lauderdale for the big event, be sure to check out these top new debuts and boat show highlights.
New Boats Debuting at Fort Lauderdale
Fairline F//Line 33 and Squadron 68
Fairline dips its toes into the “small” boat world with the F//Line 33, a weekender styled to look sporty yet European with a sportscar-like interior and a plumb bow above the waterline. Powered with a pair of Volvo Penta stern drives, projected top-end with max power is over 55 mph. At the other end of the Fairline spectrum is the Squadron 68, a model first introduced in 2019 but changed and updated for 2022 with a new integrated hard top, styling changes topsides, and an added door joining the cabin to the sidedecks.
Formula Center Consoles
Formula announced their intention to enter the center console market at the 2022 Miami International Boat Show, where they had a pair of model boats on display in a showcase. At Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be able to see the real deal. This is Formula’s first venture into the world of center console boats, and the company is diving right in with a 387 Center Console Fish version for anglers and a 387 Center Console Sport for cruisers and day-boaters. Both models sit at 38’7” LOA, and ride on the Fas3Tech hull design. Power comes in the form of triple Mercury Verados or Mercury Racing 450R outboards, or twin Verado V12 600-hp outboards.
Galeon 375 GTO
Look for the Galeon 375 GTO to follow up on Galeon’s introduction of the 325 GTO last year. This new larger model follows down a similar path as its smaller sibling, designed with a day-boating attitude that takes full advantage of outboard propulsion. The triple 300- or 450-hp powerplants are enveloped by a huge sunpad, almost as though the boat had stern drives under a motor box. Galeon also borrows a trick from the modern cruiser market by designing in fold-down gunwales around the cockpit, which can essentially turn everything aft of the hard top into one massive swim platform.
Sea Ray SLX 260
Although Sea Ray hasn’t officially stated that the 2023 SLX 260 will make its debut in Fort Lauderdale, this will be one to keep your eyes peeled for at the show. The design isn’t exactly a shock coming from Sea Ray: it’s a quintessential bowrider sportboat, available in both stern drive and outboard versions. What’s quite unusual, however, is that the boat was developed by an all-woman design team. In an industry long dominated by male designers the story behind the creation is just as interesting as the boat that results from their work. Learn more about the genesis of the SLX 260 in The Women Behind Sea Ray’s New SLX 260 Outboard Bowrider.
Sunseeker 88 Yacht and 90 Ocean
Sunseeker’s 88 Yacht is a rather zippy luxury machine for its size, with a 32-mph top end coming courtesy of twin MTU 12V 2000s. It’s a true yacht in every sense of the word with crew’s quarters for four and guest accommodations for up to eight passengers. Highlights include overhead rain showers, dedicated stowage for a pair of SeaBobs, en suite heads, and dual staircases to the “beach club.” The 90 Ocean, meanwhile, features a monstrous flybridge designed to support a five-person spa. Need we say more? You’re going to have to see it to believe it.
Announced early this year, the newest and biggest Valhalla yet, the 55, is scheduled to make its first public showing at the Fort Lauderdale show. This monster center console yacht will be sporting quadruple Mercury Verado V12 600-hp outboards and is rated to support up to quintets, and rides on the Michael Peters SVVT twin-stepped hull design utilized on other Valhallas. Expect construction and outfitting to be on the cutting edge with the latest tech, including a resin infused stringer grid, deck, and liners; carbon fiber and E-glass hybrid fabrics in the hull; gyro-stabilization; refrigerated fishboxes; joystick controls; and triple MFDs at the helm. Angler’s bonus: livewell capacity on this boat is an eyebrow-raising 130 gallons.
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Highlights
The AquaZone is a display at the Broward County Convention Center with a 40,000-gallon freshwater pool. In it, you can see demos for water toys (stand-up paddleboards, water-bikes, etc.) and water sports of all types. Adding to the attraction are contests and prizes.
Complementary for all show-goers, seminars will be taking place throughout the show at the Broward County Convention Center. On topics ranging from conservation and sustainability to fishing tactics, hear from speakers like Florida Fish and Wildlife officers, Captain Don Dingman, and Betty Bauman of Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing.
Face-painting, marine-oriented arts and crafts, and more is in store for the tykes when you visit the Kid’s Corner. It’ll be at the Convention Center, and there will also be Hook the Future kid’s fishing clinics on-site.
If you want to see the largest, most luxurious superyachts at the show, Superyacht Village is the place to be. Located at the Pier 66 Hotel and Marina Pier South property, yacht builders and designers will also be on hand. The Village is open to all but note that some yachts may not be open to the public and boarding is at the discretion of the exhibitor.
Windward VIP Club
VIP ticket holders gain access to the Windward VIP club, at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center Captain’s Lounge. Perks include an open bar, gourmet food, early access to the show, and more.
Okay: you say you want to see more boats in one place at one time than ever before? You want to check out the latest and greatest models? Mark off those dates on the calendar, people, and book your tickets now, because the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is coming up fast.
Be sure to see Visiting a Boat Show? Make a Game Plan to get the most out of your time spent at the shows this season.