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Commentary: Is Fort Lauderdale The New Miami?


Positive reports from performance-boat exhibitors in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show beg the question.

To address the question posed in the headline of this commentary, the simple answer is no. The Miami International Boat Show remains the most important exhibition event for the entire high performance marine industry. On scale alone, the annual Miami happening at historic Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key makes the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show look miniscule when it comes to high-performance powerboats, engines and accessories displayed.

And then there is the perception that comes when a go-fast boat builder passes on the Miami show.

“If you don’t make it to Miami, everybody wonders what happened to you,” said Tony Cutsuries, the national sales manager for Skater Powerboats in Douglas, Mich. “Everyone wonders if you’re still in business.”

But business is, in fact, business, and here’s the thing I hear again and again from go-fast catamaran and V-bottom builders: They don’t do much of it at the Miami show.

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