The world’s biggest boat show is almost upon us! We pick out the best boats to track down at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is big. Really big. To give you some idea of how big – the 2019 show had 1,900 boats from 1,000 exhibitors, representing 52 countries.
That’s before you even think about how you’re going to navigate the 90 acres of exhibition space or the 100,000 attendees milling around.
But fear not, MBY is here to help you pick through the humdrum and find the best of the best. These are the boats that are worth tracking down at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
The best new boats at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show
Azimut Verve 42
If you thought the two-step was some fancy dance move your grandma and grandpa did back in the day, think again!
Fast forward to 2021 and “two-step” best-describes the double-stepped hull used in Azimut‘s latest Verve sport-weekender, the Verve 42, that will be getting its global debut at this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
The complex deep-vee hull is based on Florida marine architect/legend Michael Peters’ patented Stepped Vee Ventilated Tunnel (SVVT) design.
Burger 50 Cruiser
The artisans at Wisconsin-based Burger Boat Company have been building classy, bespoke Gentlemen’s Yachts since the early 1900s. Lovely, teak-rich displacement cruisers with the focus firmly on quality, craftsmanship and elegance.
But all have been pretty much 100ft-and-up. That was until a couple of years ago, when Burger stuck a tentative toe in the owner-operator market with a design for a new custom 48-footer.
Two were commissioned and built. Now the yard wants to capitalise on this fast-growing segment of the market, so has reworked the 48 to create the new Burger 50 Cruiser, which is making its big-show debut at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
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Cruisers 34 GLS
If ever there was a nautical version of Dr. Who’s space-defying Tardis, it could well be the latest from Wisconsin-based Cruisers Yachts, the 34 GLS.
In this compact, high-sided 34fter – it’s actually closer to 36ft bow to stern – Cruisers manages to squeeze in beds for four, a separate stand-up head and shower, a spacious bow seating area, and big cockpit with twin L-shaped seats.
This is the first new model to emerge from the 68-year-old Cruisers brand since it was snapped-up by American boating behemoth, MarineMax, in June. Cruisers currently builds 16 different models, from 33 to 60 feet.
Feadship superyacht Boardwalk
Every boat show has its show-stopper that spins heads, drops jaws and is a selfie-crowd magnet. For this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, that’s going to be Feadship’s latest masterpiece, Boardwalk.
Stretching 252ft from its oh-so-long and pointy bow to its three-deck stern, the low-slung superyacht is from the drawing board of Feadship‘s in-house De Voogt Naval Architects who opted for a steel hull and aluminium lid.
What’s refreshing about Boardwalk‘s lines is that they eschew the latest fads for polarising inverted bows, or axe bows, or a million windows, or swirly bits incorporated into the superstructure. The yacht is just long, lean, sleek and low. Almost to the point of being understated. Almost.
Despite its gigantic dimensions (LOA: 98’10”, Beam: 22’4”) the 1000 is quite clearly a Ferretti and the shipyard’s longtime naval architecture and design partner, Filippo Salvetti, has done a remarkable job in linking this yacht’s DNA to its smaller siblings.
The exterior spaces are sprawling and include a 55 sq m flybridge and a foredeck that cascades from the windscreen to the imposing pulpit with a mix of sunbathing space and split L-shaped dinettes but it’s the transom that is most alluring.
Here there is a run of four wide sun loungers neatly arranged along the boat’s stern with a glass balustrade above to separate this ‘beach club’ from the cockpit.
With the dinette turned 90 degrees to the usual arrangement, everyone sitting at the dinette is treated to a view over the water and that glass partition creates a seamless link between the two areas.
Greenline Ocean 68 Hybrid
There are times when you just want to enjoy the peace, the quiet and the squawk of seagulls on the bow rail.
With Greenline’s latest hybrid-powered 68-footer/20-metre, making its show debut at the 2021 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, that means the option of gliding along at seven knots for around 25 nautical miles in stealthy, zero-emission silence.
And when you’ve reached that remote, idyllic anchorage and dropped the hook, there’s no need to crank-up the gen-set; this new Greenline 68 Oceanclass Hybrid can go for two days on battery power alone.
Jaguar 36 Offshore Fish
Now, the family-run North Carolina yard is expanding its range of lean, mean, go-fast fishing machines with the introduction at this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show of its new Jaguar 36 Offshore Fish. Its claim to fame? A thundering top speed of 78 knots.
According to Jaguar Powerboats lead designer John Clarke, son of racing legend and company founder John Clarke, the secret to the new boats’ impressive turn of speed is a focus on increased hull stiffness and weight reduction.
A softer, sleeker Nordhavn? Say it isn’t so. But look closely at this brand new 80-footer from the fabled, tough-as-nail expedition yacht builder, and the style is definitely a little more superyacht, a little less Massachusetts cod-catcher.
Nordhavn‘s design chief Jeff Leishman has gone for straighter lines, bigger windows and portholes, and skinnier mullions. The extended flybridge has a hot tub on it for goodness sake.
Inside, buyers have the option of an all-bleached-blonde, herringbone-floored, Scandiwegian look from the design team at Holland’s Vripack studio.
Ocean Alexander 35R
These days, Ocean Alexander is pumping out more hits than Ed Sheeran. Between April and June this year, the Taiwanese builder delivered no fewer than eight yachts, from a 28-metre to a 36-metre tri-deck. Impressive stuff.
And the hits just keep on coming, with the Kaohsiung yard planning to debut not one, but four new or heavily-tweaked models at this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. The highlight for us will be a new flagship in OA’s aptly-named Revolution series, the 35-metre/116-foot Ocean Alexander 35R.
It’s another stunner from the drawing board of long-time OA designer Evan K. Marshall, that takes the bluff, towering-bowed, four-level Revolution formula to the next level, adding to the Revolution line-up that currently includes the 27R and 30R.
The 72 is another fine example of Princess’s design trio of Princess Design studio, Olesinski and Pininfarina coming together to produce a boat with beautifully soft, flowing exterior lines and an interior that strikes a delightful balance of luxury and practicality.
Exterior design cues from larger Y craft are put to work with great effect of the Princess 72 such as the full length hull windows and the way the hard top so elegantly emerges out of the flybridge superstructure.
Pursuit S 345 Sport
For many ocean rod ’n reelers, the sweet spot for a fast-running centre console is 35 feet, or 10.7 metres. Until now, Florida-based Pursuit Boats has bracketed that nicely with its 32 and 37-footers.
For this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, Pursuit will rectify that apparent oversight with the introduction of its brand new Pursuit S 358 Sport. Though at 37 feet 4 inches bow to stern, you could nit-pick that it’s not really a true 35.
Not important. What matters is that it now ticks all the boxes for what so many recreational anglers are looking for: A fast, dry, stable hull, lots of performance, better economy from twin rather than triple outboards, and plenty of creature comforts for none-fisher folk tagging along for the ride.
Riviera 645 SUV
From the production line of Australia’s biggest boat builder, this striking sportscruiser will become the new flagship of Riviera’s six-model SUV (sport utility vessel) line-up, which previously ranged from 39ft to 57ft.
The big appeal here is its one-level inside/outside space, with the huge enclosed cockpit flowing seamlessly into the galley, saloon and helm area.
This Turkish yard cut its teeth building boats for Azimut, including some of its semi-displacement Magellano trawler style yachts, so it’s no surprise that it has followed a similar path for its own range of attractively priced craft.
The Sirena 68 is the fourth model to join the fleet, slotting in between the original Sirena 64 and the mighty Sirena 88 flagship.
With styling by Cor D Rover and a brand new semi-displacement hull by renowned naval architect German Frers, there’s no doubting its design pedigree.
Viking 64 Convertible
Who can forget the scene from Spielberg’s 1975 fright-fest Jaws? The one where, at the first sight of the Great White, Sheriff Brody utters that immortal line to Quint: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”.
It just might have been the inspiration behind Viking Yacht’s decision to supersize its award-winning 54 Convertible, into the new Viking 64 Convertible that’s making its global debut at this year’s Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.
If you want to strike fear into the biggest fighting marlin or tuna out there in the big blue yonder, you want a Viking. This family-owned New Gretna, New Jersey builder has been turning out state-of-the art, big-game fishing “battlewagons” for more than half a century.