Yacht brokers to stay in Miami Beach despite boat show move

The Yacht Miami Beach boat show
The Yacht Miami Beach boat show

The Miami International Boat Show might be moving across town this year, but Yachts Miami Beach is staying put.

Representatives of the luxe yacht vendor held an early afternoon press conference Wednesday at Miami Beach City Hall, where they sought to clear up any confusion about whether the boat show’s move will affect their sales event.

For the last 28 years, Yachts Miami Beach has held its event in the Indian Creek Waterway along Collins Avenue between 41st Street and 54th Street in conjunction with the Miami International Boat Show, which is organized by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association.

The association plans to relocate to Virginia Key for its February event, as its usual venue at the Miami Beach Convention Center will soon undergo a massive transformation.

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“It’s my purpose today to clear up that confusion and indicate there are two shows,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management Co., the firm that co-owns Yachts Miami Beach. “[Yachts Miami Beach] is staying here in Miami Beach forever.”

Although the company’s sales event will remain at its old homestead, Yachts Miami Beach is also adding a second location at the soon-to-be completed Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina — the first phase of a grand-scale mixed-use development that will include two hotels, retail shops and restaurants on Watson Island.

The Island Gardens marina is being developed by Mehmet Bayraktar’s Flagstone Property Group and will be able to accommodate up to 50 yachts that range in size from more than 100 feet to 550 feet long.

“We have always been keeping our eye open for marinas that can handle boats of that size,” Zimbalist said. “[Super-sized yachts] haven’t been able to fit at Indian Creek because the canal isn’t deep enough for them. So we were always looking for around for a place where we could have another show where we could accommodate the largest yachts in the world.”

Yachts Miami Beach, formerly known as the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, will showcase between 30 to 35 super-sized yachts at the Watson Island location, Zimbalist said.