In the absence of a Miami International Boat Show in 2021, Florida Powerboat Club head Stu Jones created a show of his own for the club’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run. The in-water and land-based displays at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar in Key Largo were far from one-to-one replacements for those the scrubbed Miami event, but at least they gave high-performance boat builders and accessory manufacturers a place to showcase their products early in the year.
A pair of Midnight Express center consoles cut a sweet path through the mangroves on the way to Key Largo yesterday for the 2023 Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Poker Run. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Jones brought back the weekend-long showcase—minus the land-based exhibits—to the run in 2022, the same year the actual Miami International Boat Show returned to its original convention center home. The novelty of a mini boat show during a poker run, Jones found, had mostly worn off. So for this year’s event, which kicked off yesterday with 65 to 70 boats in the mix, the show element is limited to the docks behind the Post Card Inn host venue.
For Jones and company, this year’s Miami Boat Show Poker Run, the second event of the 2023 Florida Powerboat Club event season, is a welcome return to normalcy. As one media-shy veteran of the event said, ‘Now this is a real Miami Boat Show Poker Run.'”
Enjoy more images from the first day of the 2023 Miami Boat Show Poker Run in the slideshow above. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos
Just a week ago, the club teamed up with Speed On The Water, presenting sponsor Doug Wright Powerboats and sponsors Graphix 1 Paint, Maryland Offshore Performance Marine Center, Waves and Wheels, and Wozencraft Insurance, to bring back the Miami Boat Show Bash, a longtime tradition that died when show moved to Virginia Key. An unqualified hit, the invitational celebration attracted 350 guests. The organizers and sponsors are already committed to bringing it back next year.
As for yesterday’s trek to Key Largo, conditions were ideal. Among the Florida Powerboat Club members were Michiganders Ron Szolack and Todd Fountain. They ran side by side—Szolack in his Cigarette 42 Huntress GTO center console and Fountain in his Cigarette 41 Nighthawk center console—all the way.
Szolack had hoped to tackle the event in a new Cigarette 42 Auroris, but the 42-foot center console won’t be ready until June. So he ran his “back-up” boat.
“It was a really nice ride down, without any drama,” he said.
And now they have a weekend in the Upper Florida Keys to enjoy.
Yesterday’s fleet filled out the docks at Gilbert’s Resort and Tiki Bar in Key Largo.
The Miami Boat Show Bash Returns—And Is Coming Back In 2024
Countdown To Miami: Inside The 2023 Miami International Boat Show
Florida Powerboat Club Teaming Up With Speed On The Water For Invitational Miami Boat Show Bash
Florida Powerboat Club Boat Returning To Post Card Inn With Small ‘Show’ Of Its Own
Florida Powerboat Club Winter Poker Run On Deck
Florida Powerboat Club Nails Down 2023 Schedule
Miami Boat Show Poker Run And Exhibit 2022—By The Numbers And More
Miami Boat Show Poker Run At 75 Entries—Including First-Time DCB M44 Catamaran
Gallery Of The Week: Aerial Scenes From The FPC Miami Boat Show Poker Run
Tiki Lee’s Midnight Express Crew Wins Miami Boat Show Poker Run And Sexiest Crew Award
Photo Essay: Gilbert’s Never Looked Better
Photo Essay: Welcome To The Show