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5 Tips For Smooth Sailing at The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Updated on October 30, 2017
Alana Redmond profile image

Alana is a consumer-safety contributor for safer-america. She Studied business and media at the University of California, San Diego.

The first Fort Lauderdale boat show began in 1959 and was started by businessmen, boat manufacturers and dealers. The goal was to get Lauderdale on the boating map. Little did they know it would soon be the nation’s leading yacht show. At its beginning, there was only 13 exhibitors at the first Ft Lauderdale show. Shortly after, Broward County was added and The Marine industries Association of South Florida was formed. With over 300 miles of beautiful waterways open to water enthusiasts, it was a very necessary to have Broward County be added to the show. Staying safe during this world famous event is serious, as boating activities can be very dangerous.

Today, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida’s is the largest marine trade organizations in the Southeast US, and continues to promote boating lifestyles including recreational boating lifestyles from family cruising to fishing and yachts. The 58th annual International Boat Show opens this year Wednesday November 1st and runs through Sunday, November 5th.

Who knew 50 years later this would be the greatest boat show in the world? There are over 1,400 exhibits on display and enough people attending to pack an entire football stadium! This event attracts those from all over the world and it’s important with such a big event you know to get ready in advance to ensure you have the best time possible!

Be Prepared:

Valet parking:

  • Las Olas Marina, 201 South Birch Road, Ft. Lauderdale

General Parking lots:

  • Holiday Park / War Memorial, 800 NE 8th St $8
  • Riverside Hotel Garage, 600 E 4th St. $10
  • Galleria Mall, 2414 E. Sunrise Blvd., $10 Valet

Arrive Early:

With over 100,000 visitors expected this year, it best to arrive well before the time the event starts. Not only will traffic be congested, but arriving early will ensure a wonderful spot overlooking the gorgeous yachts. Shuttles will begin taking people to the convention center as early as 9 a.m

Stay Safe:

All bags and purses will be checked upon entrance into the show. Weapons are not permitted anywhere onsite. Security will be enforced strictly at all locations and it’s advised that you report any suspicious persons or unattended bags to security on site immediately.

Wear Protection:

The boat show has five distinct show venues in the heart of Fort Lauderdale and even though it is both an indoor and outdoor event, many suggest wearing sunscreen or a hat to keep you from overheating. There is air-conditioned locations in the Broward County Convention Center and the Bahia Yachting Club. Both of these locations also have tents full of marine equipment, engine makers, yacht builders, designers and more.

Show Venue Locations:

Intercoastal Waterway North (on A1A from Seabreeze Blvd. north to Las Olas Blvd.)

•Bahia Mar Yachting Center: 801 Seabreeze Boulevard

•Hall of Fame Marina: 1 Hall of Fame Drive

•Las Olas Marina: 240 E. Las Olas Circle

Intercoastal Waterway South (on 17th Street Causeway from Eisenhower Blvd.)

•Grtr. Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Conv. Center: 1950 Eisenhower Blvd.

•Fort Lauderdale Hilton: 1881 SE 17th Street

•The Sails Marina 2150 SE 17th Street,Ft Lauderdale

•Pier 66 Marina, 2301 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale

Have Fun:

Following Hurricane Irma, this event is supposed to bring some of the biggest and best yachts in the world. Buyers and sellers across the globe will be here to sell and to celebrate the wonderful world of yachting. The purpose of this event is not who has the biggest and the best, but to highlight the history of boating and make it fun for the whole family. Recreational boating is an american staple and it’s events like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show that keep’s these traditions afloat.


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