The Palm Beach International Boat Show kicks off this week, putting together more than $1.2 billion worth of yachts and accessories from March 23-27 in downtown West Palm Beach. Now in its 40th year, and wrapping up the international boat show season, this year’s PBIBS sees the largest gathering of superyachts in its history, including the $148 million Feadship Arrow and the iconic 73m Lürssen built Coral Ocean.
"As we round out the 2023 winter boat show season, we are excited to return to Downtown West Palm Beach to celebrate the 41st annual Palm Beach International Boat Show,” said Andrew Doole, President of U.S. Boat Shows with Informa Markets. "From the fan-favourite AquaZone to the Windward VIP Club, this year’s boat show will bring incredible fun and relaxation for the whole family to enjoy."
Since 1982, the Palm Beach International Boat Show has grown to occupy a dominant position in South Florida as both a leader in the marine industry and as an economic engine to the tri-county area. Last year the boat show generated over $1 billion for the State of Florida, cementing its position as one of the most impactful boat shows in the entire country.
This year's boat show will feature new and exciting activities that will provide visitors, exhibitors, and the entire West Palm Beach community with a memorable weekend. The 2023 event will bring visitors up close to hundreds of boats ranging from 8-foot inflatables to superyachts nearly 300 feet in length. Among this year’s notable debuts is the Honey Fitz, a prestigious, 93-foot wooden yacht that has been used by five U.S. presidents: Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and – most notably – President John F. Kennedy. The 92-year-old ship was originally built by Defoe Boat & Motor Works in Bay City, Michigan, in 1931 for Montgomery Ward tycoon Sewell Avery.
Now docked in West Palm Beach, the Honey Fitz has been fully restored by its current owner, Charles R. Modica. In February 2020, Modica embarked on an extensive, historic restoration that kept the Honey Fitz from completely deteriorating. The three-year restoration tied in elements from its original build in 1931, but mostly targeted the historic era as a presidential yacht during the Kennedy Administration. Historical functioning parts of the vessel dating back to 1931, World War II, and the presidential eras from 1945 to 1971, can be seen throughout the ship. The vessel will make its first debut at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in March.
Also making its debut is the latest in yachting from Benetti, who will be showcasing the MY Calex, a bespoke 67 metre yacht with a steel hull and an aluminum superstructure. The sleek exterior styling is by Cassetta Yacht Designers, while the contemporary interiors, featuring precious marble and fine wood, are designed by the Shipyard’s Style Department. Nautical Ventures will also debut several products, ranging from the innovative Axopar 45 XC to the Windy SR44 SX.
The 46m Nadan will be available for viewings throughout the show with Edmiston. A yacht of exceptional beauty, offering charter guests a flawless experience time after time, she combines excellent craftsmanship, a nostalgic nod, and modern technologies in one elegant package. As will an impressive display from Sunseeker, which will display the stunning 90 Ocean alongside the innovative Predator 65, Manhattan 68 and 76 Yacht.
Elsewhere Lift Foils will be debuting the brand’s most cutting-edge eFoil to date: the LIFT4. LIFT4 is the quietest eFoil ever created and features a technological breakthrough in battery life allowing riders to be out on the water longer – and explore further – than ever before at a fraction of the charging time of any other eFoil available on the market. Also available for demo will be Pave Motors first model, the Pave BK. With the look of an ebike and the power of a small engine motorcycle, the motorbike's efficient 3000W motor accelerates to its top speed of 30mph in just 3.7 seconds.
“As the proud owners of the Palm Beach International Boat Show, we are thrilled about the new things to do and see at the boat show this year,” said Alyssa Freeman, Executive Director of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County (MIAPBC). “MIAPBC is grateful for the longtime community support and its partnership with Informa Markets, which has created a first-class boat show with over a $1 billion economic impact.”
Activations throughout the show will cater to all ages and adventure-seeking lifestyles that are passionate about our marine and yachting industry. For visitors interested in new electric technology, be sure to check out Ford’s F150 and the Mach-e, which will be located at the Clematis Street entrance.
One-a-kind experiences at the Palm Beach Boat Show
VIP Treatment provided at the Windward VIP Club and Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair
For attendees looking to experience the show as VIPs, the Windward Club offers the luxuries of a premium open bar, gourmet food, and sponsorship pop-up activations in a unique indoor and outdoor lounge setting. Guests will be able to experience an exclusive sanctuary within the Palm Beach International Boat Show to relax, wine, dine, and plan the day.
VIP guests will have access to beverages provided by Anheuser-Busch and exclusive tastings of Tanqueray, Kettle One, and Crown Royal made possible by Diageo’s ready-to-drink (RTD) line. Goslings Rum will also be serving a full range of drinks, including the signature Dark and Stormy cocktail. VIP ticket holders will receive complimentary tote bags provided by Douglas Elliman. For those interested in purchasing a boat or yacht at the show, LaVictoire Finance will host a special activation to learn more about available financing options. Located inside the Lakeside Pavilion on Flagler Drive, the Windward VIP Club is open during regular show hours.
The Windward VIP Experience also includes one-day general admission to the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary (PBM+C) Art Fair, as part of Informa Markets' Art Miami division. Both events will deliver a breadth of luxury experiences from Thursday, March 23rd through Sunday, March 26 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center and bring a world-class, internationally respected group of art galleries and marine enthusiasts to Palm Beach.
A "show within a show," the AquaZone, presented by Nautical Ventures, is an exciting and engaging attraction designed to give show-goers an upfront and personal experience with various water sports and innovative marine products. This hands-on attraction will include continuous demos that range from live paddle boarding to flyboard aerial aquabatics, Hobie kayak demonstrations, Sea Bob diving sleds, Aquabanas Party City, Fliteboard electric foil boards, Yujet electric surfboards, and much more.
NY Concours at Palm Beach
Purchase a Windward VIP/Concours Bundle ticket to get exclusive access to the NY Concours at Palm Beach, presented by Lotus at the Windward VIP Club on Friday, March 24th, from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Enjoy an open bar and delicious canapés while viewing rarely-seen classic and exotic cars and a special surprise by Lotus. Dance to your favorite hits under the stars, with fellow automobile collectors and enthusiasts.
A Windward VIP/Concours Bundle ticket costs $520 for adults and is valid for any one-day throughout the show.
Kids' Fishing Clinics by Hook the Future
For aspiring anglers ages four to 16, the Kids' Fishing Clinics offer instruction on basic fishing techniques hosted by Captain Don Dingman. Presented by Hook the Future, the Kids' Fishing Clinics provide interactive education in selecting tackle and lures, casting a rod and reel, reeling in a fish, and fishing ethics. Upon completing all learning stations, participants are eligible to win special prizes.
COX Science Center and Aquarium STEM Activity Station
Don’t miss out on an incredible STEM activation taking place at the boat show this year! The COX Science Center and Aquarium, a landmark institution in West Palm Beach, will host an anchor booth featuring exciting activities for kids and families to partake in at the boat show.
The numerous hands-on activities that will be on-site include:
Sunscreen Challenge: Teaches guests how to choose sunscreens that are better for them and the ocean.
Shark Senses: Interactive activity that teaches students about the 7 (some argue 8) senses that sharks have.
Fish/Coral Memory/ID: Using fish cards, we teach participants how to identify corals, sponges, and animals in the water.
A Solar Boat activity pool run by Northrop Grumman, a local aerospace and defense company that partners with the Cox Science Center on a number of engineering events throughout the year.
For more information on activities, boats on display, exhibitors, transportation, and parking, visit www.PBboatshow.com.