Miami International Boat Show 2019: An Overview
Another Miami Boat Show is in the books, and overall it was a great show. For this article, I want to provide a general overview, and look at some of the highlights. Miami is always a great place to see the latest and greatest, as well as see almost every kind of boat imaginable. For performance boaters, it really is the best overall. With most boat manufacturers showing up, and all of the engine manufacturers looking to show off their latest engines, you can count on an eclectic mix of boats. For me, I obviously want to see the fast boats, but I do love seeing all the accessories, as well as some of the tenders, and sailboats. Often, it is a nice change, and you can see interesting designs for other watercraft. But, let’s focus on what’s important, fast boats.
If there is a repeat trend in the marine industry, it is the absolute domination of outboards. Every manufacturer I spoke with was experiencing record sales, and demand that exceeded their lofty expectations. All of the major outboard manufacturers are crushing sales in most horsepower segments. On the water, boat manufacturers are offering many outboard options for hulls that wouldn’t have entertained an outboard in the past. Everyone from Chris Craft, Formula, Rinker, Chaparral, and other mainstream builders, are offering new designs, or putting brackets on older design to accomodate the rush for outboards. In my mind, this is mostly good news. From a cost, usability and efficiency standpoint; outboards are hard to beat.
Especially in Miami, the center console market is obviously still extremely strong. The center console boats keep getting bigger, and more boat manufacturers are getting in the game. Everything from 15’ RIBs to 50 foot plus luxury center consoles, the market seems saturated. Some of the standouts were the builders who have been doing it the longest, and are more geared to hardcore offshore fishing like, SeaVee, Sea Hunter, Contender, Yellow Fin, Invincible and a few others.
One center console that really stood out was Airship’s RIB, who brought their awesome new 340. With a 25 degree deadrise, narrow beam and sleek design, it was hard to ignore. Airship makes a 288, and 310 as well, all feature top of the line construction, smart features and have the advantage of being really practical, tons of seating, storage, and easy access to the water. Owner Jim Dyke is a former racer, and is super passionate about his unique boats. I love them.
To me, the most exciting thing was seeing some more traditional performance boats as outboards. I really believe the offshore sport boat market is there, it just hasn’t adapted to the new outboards fully yet. Some people buy center consoles simply because there are so many options, but would rather have a sport boat. Last year, Hustler showed their new Shotgun outboard, alongside Outerlimits’ SL 41’ outboard. This year, Hustler brought a new Shotgun that was stunning, in a deep maroon color, and featuring three Mercury Racing 400Rs. The big Hustler is based on the Rockit, with a radical deck line, and fast offshore hull. With the outboards, the cockpit is opened up, and provides way more room, making the boat more usable. I love this trend, I think we will see more and more sport boats of all sizes in outboards.
Beside the Hustler display, was their Ohio cousins from Checkmate, which brought the 2400 BRX, with a 400R. I do like the 2400, it is a really practical boat, and I think the new 300R is perfect for it, in a closed bow version. Not the fastest boat around, but the Checkmate 2400 is a great family boat. Checkmate also brought a 260 Convincor with twin 300Rs, and was finished in a light grey base color with red and black accents. I really liked the color scheme, it’s not my favorite boat design overall, it seems a bit too wide, with a really high freeboard for a 26’ boat, but it’s nice to see so many performance boats on the market.
On the other end of the spectrum was Adrenaline Powerboats new 45’ Speede, based on their wild looking 47’. Adrenaline has a beautiful design aesthetic in all their boats, with unique flowing lines, and fully wrapped windshields. I love the Adrenaline 45’ Speede, I do believe this will be the next trend for offshore performance boats. Adrenaline did an awesome job on the interior, two rows of bolstered buckets, and a rear bench make it practical. The rear deck has a sun pad, making this a very usable recreation sport boat in this size. One of the most stunning boats at the show for sure.
Another great thing about the Miami Boat Show is the huge amount of accessories and suppliers on hand. From gauges, hardware, gadgets, boat lifts and water sports toys, there is something for everyone. Plus, most of the owners of these companies are on hand to talk about their new products, and talk about boats.
Mercury Racing introduced their new line of Max5 props, geared toward the 250R and 300R. The big Sport Master gearcase runs really high, and needs all the prop it can get. Large blade surface and 30 degree rake and big 15.25 diameter.
Of course there was much more, and we will dedicate a series of articles to more specific things we saw at the show, and share some content we compiled while in Miami.