Palm Beach International Boat Show: The Gentlemen’s Boat Show
Here's what you need to know when the Palm Beach International Boat Show makes waves in downtown West Palm Beach this month.
March 17 of this year will be important for two reasons. One, it is a day everybody pretends they are Irish. Two, it is the beginning of the four-day 31st annual Palm Beach International Boat Show. The St. Patty's Day date is appropriate, for this last of the Florida winter boat shows is as much a party as it is a marketing event. It is known for its low-key and friendly atmosphere—a gentlemen's boat show—that appeals to both patrons and exhibitors.
The show has been around a long time, but was never really on a sailor's chart until 1996 when Show Management took over. The Fort Lauderdale company used almost 40 years of experience with the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the biggest one in the world, to take advantage of an ideal location on the West Palm Beach side of Lake Worth. It couples boating attractions with the nearby charms of the renewed downtown Clematis Street. The show is also notable for attracting serious buyers, despite being considerably smaller than other Florida events.
“This show has become known as the place where a yacht owner or buyer can quickly fly into town, come to the show and compare an amazing selection of superyachts side by side,” says Andrew Doole, executive vice president and COO of Show Management. “Ease of access and walkability, along with great local attractions, make this a highly desirable yacht shopping destination.”
More than $1 billion worth of yachts, ranging from craft nearing 300 feet to small inflatables and other tenders, will have more space this year. The show is adding an additional 30 slips accommodating large yachts within Palm Harbor Marina at the northern end of the show. Plus, new valet parking service has been added to the show's northern entrance.
There is ample parking within walking distance of the show, but guests may also come by boat and tie up to free, come-by-boat docks located south of the in-water displays. For more information, visit showmanagement.com.
Flagler Drive, downtown West Palm Beach
Adults: $21 at gate; $19 online
Children (6-15): $11 at gate; $9 online
Children under 6: Free
Thursday, March 17 : Noon to 7 p.m.
Friday, March 18 : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 19 : 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 20 : 10 a.m. to 6 p.m
Aqua Zone at the Palm Beach Boat Show