Quite literally, the Miami Beach Convention Center—home to the indoor portion of the Miami International Boat Show—has done an about-face. The front entrance to the venue is where the back exit that led to the outdoor display tents used to be. Regardless, the designers and builders did a bang-up job with the multi-year renovation, which began in 2015.
Lipstick on a pig, it is not.
Back in Miami proper—welcome to the 2022 Miami International Boat Show. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But this also isn’t Architectural Digest—not by a long-shot—and you’re not here to learn about the cool escalator to the new retail center or the additional second-story food kiosks. What follows are some of this reporter’s highlights from the today’s opening of the 2022 event at its former South Beach home.
Cigarette Pumps Up The Volume
When your video display takes up a large chunk of the convention center’s back wall and you can feel the Miami beat through the floor, you know you’ve arrived at the Cigarette Racing Team display. New owner John Ruiz and his crew at the Opa-locka, Fla., company had a mighty legacy of Cigarette Miami Boat Show displays to live up to, and they pulled it off in true South Florida style. Exuberant, exhilarating and just plain fun, the Cigarette display was a hit.
Nor-Tech’s Roaring 40
Then and now with Nor-Tech’s Trond Schou (left) and Double R Performance’s Peter Roberts.
That Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats revealed a new 40-foot center console today had historical significance for the company. In 2009, the first and only time the Fort Myers, Fla.-based boat-builder exhibited inside the convention center, Nor-Tech unveiled a new 40-foot catamaran with sterndrive engine power—and one confirmed order. This time around, the new model—dubbed the 400 SS—is powered by four Mercury Racing 450R outboards. And the company already has 40 confirmed orders.
Inboard Outboard Power
For the record, until today I had no idea that De Antonio Yachts existed, much less that the brand is manufactured in Barcelona, Spain. I don’t cover the yacht segment so I easily can forgive my ignorance. But with triple Mercury Marine Verado 400 outboard engines under the hatch, the 42-footer at the Sea Isle Marina and Yachting Center docks definitely caught my attention. Plus, the boat was super stylish.
Performance Boat Center Staying The Course
Since the boat show moved to Virginia Key in 2016—where it stayed through last year—Performance Boat Center has been good for an extensive in-water display of Wright Performance catamarans and Sunsation center consoles. Plus, the Osage Beach, Mo.-based dealership carries the Cigarette and MTI lines so Performance Boat Center-represented brands were hard to miss.
Since yesterday’s news that Cigarette had acquired Vectorworks and plans to complete its purchase of Doug Wright Designs in late March, speculation on what will become of the Wright Performance brand has exploded—despite that Cigarette’s Erik Christiansen said the company will continue supplying Doug Wright hulls for the 36-foot Wright Performance model.
In a brief interview this morning, Performance Boat Center co-owner Brett Manire put the speculation to rest.
Enjoy more images from the 2022 Miami International Boat Show in the slideshow above.
“We currently have several Wright Performance cats, as well as four or five Cigarettes going,” he continued. “We have 12 guys working in rigging and paint and all of our standing Wright Performance orders will, of course, be honored.
“We are excited to have Cigarette support Doug Wright’s manufacturing needs,” he continued. “Cigarette will continue to provide hulls for our Wright Performance brand and we’re thrilled to be working with them.”