The final attendance numbers for the 2010 Miami International Boat Show aren’t in, but in terms of high-performance boats, products, engines and events this year’s show was unquestionably big. Make that huge. Here are my top 10 picks from this year’s event.
1. Mercury Racing 1300/1350 Engine: With quad overhead cams and twin turbo-chargers, this 32-valve power plant makes a monstrous 1,300 foot-pounds of torque—and redefines big, clean power for go-fast boats.
2. Cigarette AMG Boat: Whether you liked the finished product or not—and opinions were wildly and delightfully mixed—this 46-footer is the best example of a true and mutually endorsed collaboration between a fine auto builder and a powerboat company to come along in some time.
3. Statement 50 Catamaran: Don’t know if the spa tub in the stern of this striking catamaran will go the distance, but the models sure looked good in it.
4. Florida Powerboat Club Party: From industry types to the poker run set, the crowd at Friday night’s FPC event at the Raleigh Hotel looked like a who’s who of the go-fast world—without any star attitude.
5. BoaterMouth.com/Boats.com Press Party: OK, I freely confess as the writer/editor/founder of speedonthewater.com, the high-performance arm of BoaterMouth.com, that this one is a little self-serving, but this new media partnership was more well received than anyone involved imagined.
6. Mystic Display: Even on Thursday, the most lightly attended day of the show, the Mystic booth drew a crowd thanks to Mystic founder/owner John Cosker’s vision to create and ability to build one-of-a-kind high-performance catamarans.
7. Seriousoffshore.com Party: Saturday’s night blow-out at Mango’s in South Beach didn’t just draw a huge crowd, it signaled the arrival of the world’s most compelling high-performance boating online message board—with big things ahead.
8. Marine Technology, Inc. 48: Abundant pre-show media exposure did nothing to take the luster of this 48-foot-long pearl—nor did its decidedly “in your face” paint job.
9. Outerlimits 44 and 52: If one hot new model in a “down year” is a good thing, two are even better—it’s nice to see Mike and Paul Fiore not just staying in the game, but raising the stakes.
10. Dean Loucks Fine Art: From the pictures I’d seen, I didn’t really appreciate (OK, like) the art pieces from The Art Of Design’s Dean Loucks. But in various booths at the show, they looked stunning.