The end of October saw the 2014 edition of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) – one of the most prominent sale shows on the yachting calendar. Before the show, The Crew Report spoke to a number of captains about their expectations of the show (view the article here) and now, approaching a month after the show, we speak to some of the attending captains about how they found the 2014 edition. 

The sun sets on FLIBS 2014

Captain Heiko von Prittwitz und Gaffron, of Sai Ram, was attending FLIBS for the first time, having attended a multitude of Monaco Yacht Shows and Miami Boat Shows. During the show Sai Ram was docked slightly further afield at Pier 66, to which visitors at the main show would have to get a water taxi.

A superyacht’s draft is something that all captains know must be carefully considered during berthing considerations, but Captain von Prittwitz und Gaffron found some problems in this area. “We eventually [after some communication problems with Show Management] moved into our berth on 29 October, and my concerns about draft were confirmed. I walked over half a dozen times myself to check the situation, but because Show Management did not communicate and the Marina Pier 66 Dock Master was not in charge [we still ran into this problem],” Captain von Prittwitz und Gaffron told The Crew Report.

"We eventually moved into our berth on 29 October, and my concerns about draft were confirmed."

Pier 66 can be a double-edged sword when it comes to visitors: less visitors, but those that do visit are, most agree, of a higher quality with more serious and genuine interest in the yachts. “While we prefer to have a few quality customers and clients, rather than the hordes of ice-cream-licking kids with parents window shopping and individuals only trying to impress their friends, girlfriends or you name it, we, and many others, felt Show Management did not encourage customers and clients to come over to this end. Though perhaps this is unfair, as it might be difficult to steer this, but it appeared that this part of FLIBS was not so well exposed,” he added.

Golden Compass

Captain Brad Baker, however, was located at the main part of the show, on board Golden Compass, and tells The Crew Report he had a successful show. “As we were located on the face dock at the Northrop and Johnson section, we saw plenty of traffic and as a result had a lot of interest in the yacht for both sale and charter. Although we are yet to sell, there are leads to follow and we saw some very interest clients,” he explains.

“The general mood of the show seemed positive from brokers and crew alike,” Captain Baker adds. “Attendance seemed to be good on all days and was probably bolstered by good weather for all five days, which has been rare in recent years.”

The real success of a sale show such as FLIBS is the business that comes afterwards, so time will tell as to whether the 2014 edition was a success. If you attended the show, please share your comments below as to your thoughts on this year’s show.

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