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Miami Boat Show: Where to Be, What to See

Thanks to magazine deadlines and budgets, I’ll be spending the 2011 Miami International Boat Show at the desk in my home office, which is 20-something-miles south of San Francisco. But that’s OK, I’ve done my homework and I know what’s happening—I just won’t be there to see it. (I do head to Miami next week for the Miami Boat Show Poker Run, so I’m not complaining.)

For those of you going to the show, here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

The Mercury Racing display, tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. Mercury Racing president Fred Kiekhaefer and company have at least one big announcement. I could tell you what it is, but Kiekhaefer would have to kill me—or at the very least litigate me into the Stone Age thanks to the non-disclosure agreement I signed.

The Nor-Tech display, anytime between tomorrow at 10 a.m. and Sunday. Powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1350 engines, the builder’s new 52-foot-long catamaran is supposed to be spectacular.

The Cigarette Racing Team display, anytime between 10 a.m. tomorrow—though if you’re lucky enough to secure an invite to the private event tomorrow evening that would be the hottest ticket—and Sunday. Among Cigarette’s showcase pieces this year is a completely redone 50-footer with twin Mercury Racing 1350 engines. A reliable source told me that the 50-footer is “one of the best-running” Cigarettes ever built. There’s more, of course, but those who aren’t on the Thursday night guest list will have to wait till Friday.

The MTI display, anytime between 10 a.m. tomorrow and Sunday. Derek Wachob, the guy who owned the Corvette-themed MTI , reportedly has a new ride—a black carbon fiber 48 MTI—that will be on display. One source who has seen it described it to me as “breathtaking.” Naturally, it is powered by a pair of Mercury Racing 1350s. (Anyone picking up a power theme here?)

Florida Powerboat Club Miami Boat Show Bash, Friday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m. at the Raleigh Hotel. Look, there are plenty of great parties during the Miami Show—the party at the Clevelander never seems to stop—but if you want to hang out with “some of your own” this one is worth at least a fly-by.