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Miami International Boat Show Highlights: Day 1

The Speedonthewater.com team breezed into the Miami International Boat Show this morning. Yes, breezed. From our downtown hotel just off Brickell Avenue, we made it to the event’s Miami Marine Stadium venue on Virginia Key in just 20 minutes. In past years, the same trip has taken an hour—and almost twice that on the return leg.

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Mercedes-AMG und Cigarette Racing präsentieren das neue Rennboot 59’ Tirranna AMG Edition auf der Miami Boat Show 2020 // Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing present the all-new 59’ Tirranna AMG Edition at the 2020 Miami Boat Show

The twelfth collaboration between Cigarete Racing Team and Mercedes-AMG produced a boat-and-car combo that shared styling cues like never before (click image to enlarge). Photos courtesy/copyright Cigarette Racing Team and Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

We bring it up only because we have been more-than-a-little vocal about the traditional nightmare of getting to and from this beautiful location during the show. If you’re going to gripe, you need to praise when what you were carping about improves.

May it be so good tomorrow. We’ll knock on wood, cross our fingers and even sacrifice a live chicken if that’s what it takes.

As for the boat show itself, it never fails to deliver. What follows are the highlights from opening day.

Nor-Tech Takes Mercury Racing 300Rs To The Max

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For good reasons, Mercury Racing’s 450R has captured the attention of high-performance powerboat enthusiasts. And to be sure, the supercharged V-8 is an incredible powerplant. But the Fond du Lac, Wis., company also has a couple of naturally aspirated offerings in its outboard arsenal, including a 300-hp beauty. Nor-Tech’s Nils Johnsen put four of them on his own 340 Sport center console, and though we don’t have any numbers, Geoff Tomlinson, the Fort Myers, Fla., company’s dealer manager, said the 34-footer performs “like a sportscar.”

Skater’s Interior Excellence

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Skater Powerboats is displaying two breathtaking catamarans in Miami—a 438 called G-Force powered by Mercury Racing 1550 engines and a 368 equipped with Mercury Racing 450R outboards. Along with the constrution quality and the powerful engines, we were thoroughly impressed with each boat’s interior as Appearance Products knocked it out of the park with the 36-footer and ace upholstery man Jamie Borg’s finish work in the cockpit of the 43-footer was immaculate.

MTI Goes Tweener

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Marine Technology Inc., started its high-performance center consoles with a 42-footer that set a high bar for other center-console builders. The Wentzville, Mo., boatbuilder made a big—and frankly awesome jump—to a 57-footer. Today the company announced plans to add a 50-footer to its center console line. With his daughter, Taylor, by his side, MTI principal Randy Scism said the new model was driven by customer demand and will be released in 2021.

AMG Cigarette Style—And Vice Versa

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Mercedes-AMG und Cigarette Racing präsentieren das neue Rennboot 59’ Tirranna AMG Edition auf der Miami Boat Show 2020 // Mercedes-AMG and Cigarette Racing present the all-new 59’ Tirranna AMG Edition at the 2020 Miami Boat Show

Cigarette Racing Team marketing collaboration No. 12 took both luxury brands to a new level with the Hyper-Luxury 59 Tirranna AMG-Edition super-console and the Mercedes-AMG G 63 Cigarette Edition automobile. In years past, the boats have borrowed more from the cars than the cars have borrowed from the boats. Not so this time around, and both are spectacular.

Getting American Social

Spontaneous parties often turn out to be the best. Such as the case last night we invited a few of our friends for drinks and snacks at American Social on the shores of the Miami River. The bash, which lasted three hours, included some of the most fascinating people in the high-performance in the marine world including Miss GEICO’s Steve Curtis, Powerboat P1’s Azam Rangoonwala, former Mercury Racing president Fred Kiekhaefer, Statement Marine’s Craig Barrie, Dan Kleitz of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats, Stu and Jackie Jones of the Florida Powerboat Club, the Scism family behind MTI, the Performance Boat Center crew of Brett Manire, Myrick Coil and Rusty Williams. They were joined by a slew of high-performance boat owners including Win Farnsworth, Yvonne Aleman, Greg Harris, Jack Gladke and more. Stay tuned for a collaborative party effort between speedonthewater.com and the Florida Powerboat Club during the 2021 Miami International Boat Show.

Related story: Countdown to Miami: Inside the 2020 Miami Boat Show