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Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Drop Anchor at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Safely navigate the new safe and secure FLIBS

By JoNell Modys

October 7, 2020

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is dropping anchor in Greater Fort Lauderdale October 28 through November 1, 2020. Yes, the show is very much a GO this year with new AllSecure health and safety protocols in place. Don’t forget to wear your most fashionable nautically themed mask or fish scale print bandana, since face coverings are required by all attendees and exhibitors.

“We have worked diligently to develop a plan so that every person who attends can do so with confidence," said Andrew Doole, President of Informa U.S. Boat Shows who’s been involved with the show’s production for more than 30 years. “To understand the major changes to expect at this year’s show, we encourage everyone to watch our Know Before You Go safety videos, Part 1 and Part 2.”

Whether you’re a superyacht connoisseur or you’ve been fantasizing about buying a boat since life became all about seclusion with your bubble of family and friends, FLIBS is the world’s largest in-water boat show and features the largest display of boats and new models on display with hundreds of exhibitors across multiple outdoor sites. 

What to Expect

There will be 13 entry locations with temperature checks for all attendees and wider floating docks expanded to widths of 30 feet to allow plenty of walking space. The outdoor show spans nearly 90 acres over three million square feet of exhibition space. And you’ll find more cafes and food and beverage garden options for taking breaks.

Soak up our warm weather, balmy breezes and swaying palm trees as you wander waterfront locations including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, International Swimming Hall of Fame MarinaLas Olas Municipal Marina and Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina.

Don Dingman, host of Hook the Future on the Sportsman Channel, hosts Kids Fishing Clinics on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. near the Bahia Mar South Gate entrance. The clinics are free for kids ages 4-16 with entry, but due to social distancing guidelines capacity will be limited, so be there early. Each kid will receive a free Slimy 5 rod and reel combo. 

Entry for kids 15 and under on Saturday is $15. Sunday is FLIBS Family Day with kids 15 and under FREE. 

This year FLIBS invites all Frontline Heroes from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties to the show for FREE – Just show your official ID at the show entrance for a digital ticket or email Tickets.YPI@Informa.com in advance. Acceptable forms of ID for admittance are: Hospital ID, Firefighter, First responder badge (Police, Fire/Rescue, BSO, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), paramedics). The offer is valid Thursday - Saturday from 4 - 7 p.m. and Sunday all day along with Family Day.

The Showstoppers

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Superyachts will be on display throughout the show, boasting eye-popping superyachts and exhibits. 

“In order to cater to our luxury clientele, we’re once again showcasing the superyacht lifestyle,” says Doole. 

Marvel at the ultimate yacht toys on display like helicopters, personal submarines and exotic cars by Ferrari, Audi, and Alfa Romeo.

FLIBS Like an Insider

To navigate the five-day event like an insider, you’ll need a solid plan. 

“Don’t try to see it all in one day,” says Phil Purcell, CEO and president of the Marine Industries of South Florida. “Take time to look at the schedule in advance, plan out the “must-see” exhibits over different days, and remember to take advantage of the fishing clinics and special events.”

Elevate your experience with access to the Windward VIP Club Windward VIP Club, sponsored by Swiss luxury watchmaker, Ulysse Nardin, the Official Timekeeper of FLIBS and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The club is located on the main dock at Bahia Mar with extended show hours, premium open bar and gourmet food offerings. If you’re seriously shopping, take advantage of the club concierge for booking appointments with manufacturers and yacht brokers.

Transportation options include valet parking available at Las Olas Marina (Birch Road and Las Olas Circle) and Fort Lauderdale South Beach Park (700 Seabreeze Boulevard directly across from Bahia Mar). “I also recommend taking advantage of our shuttle system and Water Taxi to get to and from the various locations,” advises Doole. “The Water Taxi is the best way to see it all while taking in Fort Lauderdale’s beautiful city and water views.”

Remember since everything is contactless, you'll need to purchase Water Taxi tickets online.

Those in-the-know may have access to exhibitors’ private on-site and off-site parties but don’t miss Greater Fort Lauderdale’s many spots to dine on the famous Las Olas Boulevard and our local-favorite waterfront dining spots. “A personal favorite of mine to visit after the show is Coconuts located right at the entrance of the show on the Intracoastal. It’s a great place to enjoy the sunset, while continuing to take in the beautiful boats on display,” suggests Doole, who also praises Boatyard restaurant as a popular place for good music, great views and delicious food.”