The world's biggest boat show is nearly upon us! Here are the best new boats we're really excited about seeing at the 2023 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show...
There are boat shows and then there are boat shows and the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is definitely in the latter camp. With over 1,300 boats on display, it’s widely recognised as the biggest show on the water.
However, with such grandiose scale comes a dilemma – how on earth are you supposed to choose which boats to spend your valuable time seeking out?
Well, that’s where our expert team at MBY.com comes in. We’ve scoured the exhibitor list to pick out the most exceptional boats that are particularly worthy of your attention this year.
Read on for our pick of the best boats at the 2023 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show…
Aquila 47 Molokai
The Aquila 47 Molokai power catamaran, making its debut at the 2023 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, is the new big brother to the popular, cuddy-cabined Molokai 28.
Featuring a new, aggressive double-stepped hull design with a raised tunnel between the twin hulls to create less pounding in big seas, the 49-foot long Molokai should make light work of heavy weather. To add strength, bulkheads are made of carbon fiber, with the hardtop also made of carbon to reduce weight and lower the center of gravity.
The cat’s 14ft 7in beam should also provide plenty of deck space and solid footing for reeling in the big one, with hull doors on both sides for hauling your catch into the roomy cockpit.
Azimut Magellano 60
The style of the Azimut Magellano 60 is a world away from the radical cutaways and faceted hull angles of the Italian yard’s Fly, S and Verve lines. In place of unflinching modernity, what we have here feels far more classical and self-effacing and as the new entry point to the four-strong Magellano line, that’s exactly as it should be.
There’s a clean, pared back linearity to the external form and a modest confidence to the trim that makes this boat feel quite timeless.
The block-coloured hull and the weightlessness of the upper deck also lend this boat a much lower profile than you might expect of a 60ft flybridge cruiser – and at the aft end of the superstructure, like impeccably debonair go-faster stripes, those elegant teak louvres have become something of a Magellano trademark.
Benetti Oasis 34m
With exterior styling by British studio, RWD, and interior design by New York-based architects, Bonetti/Kozerski, the Benetti Oasis 34m follows closely in the footsteps of the Oasis 40m.
Like its big sister, it adopts a clear commitment to informal conviviality, big views and a close connection with the sea – and at the heart of that concept sits Benetti’s ‘Oasis Deck’.
It all revolves around a dramatic infinity pool, set low in the centre of the transom with a glass aft bulkhead. Sunbeds orbit the pool’s forward edge leading to a large open cockpit with drop down bulwarks – and the way that space interacts with the saloon is equally satisfying.
Chris-Craft Catalina 28
Think of it as evolution, not so much revolution. Florida-based Chris-Craft has taken the oh-so-successful formula for its much-loved Catalina center console line-up of 24, 30 and 34-foot models, and used it to pop-out a new Chris-Craft Catalina 28.
Debuting at the 2023 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, this new 28fter is arguably the most-appealing size for day-boaters looking for a fun day out on the water with friends and family. We’re counting comfy seating for at least 12, and as many cupholders.
While it’s a new hull design, those Chris-Craft design cues, like the signature Carolina Flare bow, gorgeous reverse transom, and smooth-riding bottom, are all there. And with the beam now stretched to a generous 9ft 1in, there’s extra room to walk around.
Cigarette Racing 52 Thunder
The sound of thunder isn’t exactly uncommon in Florida in October. But if you’re hearing a deeper rumble around the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show docks this year, it’ll likely be coming from the latest speed machine from Miami’s Cigarette Racing.
The brand new Cigarette Racing 52 Thunder Center Console packs a 3,000 supercharged horsepower gut-punch, courtesy of six brand new Mercury Racing 500R V10 outboards hanging off the back. Flat out Cigarette says it’s good for over 80 knots, or 92mph.
This new 52-footer neatly slots into the Cigarette line-up between the 42-foot Auroris and flagship 52 Tirranna. But in addition to simply going fast, the focus here is on entertaining friends and family out on the water.
Fairline Phantom 65
It’s 4ft shorter and five tonnes lighter than the Squadron 68 yet somehow manages to pack in exactly the same three- or four-cabin layout below decks as well as a crew cabin and tender garage.
On the face of it, the Phantom seems to offer a bit more of everything than the Targa while still looking considerably sportier and more manageable than the Squadron.
This is the 37m version of the Numarine explorer range, built from a steel hull and GRP superstructure, and it is designed for long-range cruising with an enormous amount of volume and in a great deal of comfort.
Its full displacement hull is powered by a pair of 800hp engines for a top speed of 12 knots, but dial that back to 8 knots and you’re looking at a maximum cruising range of around 6,000nm, thanks to a 52-tonne fuel capacity.
The first thing you notice when you step on board the Numarine 37XP is the beach club, which is accessed via the folding transom that folds down to reveal a sea level terrace shaded by a canopy and boasting a bar, water toys and much more besides.
When Princess Yachts launched the tri-deck Princess X95 back in 2020, it always planned to offer a more conventional open flybridge version too. The fact that it has taken Princess two years to get round to it is actually good news.
Concerns that the X95’s bold new looks might prove too much for some to swallow have shown to be largely unfounded. As a result, the yard has been so busy churning out X95s (18 built with a further eight on order) that the Princess Y95 got temporarily shifted onto the back burner.
Now it has finally arrived, we can’t see the workers on the Y95 production line getting much downtime either! Featuring a full-length open flybridge with an enclosed bridge deck a few steps forward and down from it, the new Y-model has a sleeker, more conventional profile than the X95.
It loses out on that boat’s spectacular skylounge and the “country kitchen” option of an open-plan main deck with a big galley/dining area under the windscreen but the rest of the interior matches it blow for blow and the upshot is even more outside entertaining space to revel in.
Riva 76 Perseo Super
How time flies. It’s eight years since we tested the original Riva 76 Perseo at the Cannes Yachting Festival, a sleek and stupendously competent piece of luxury engineering that gave us a terrific high-speed run in one-metre seas, like a thoroughbred racehorse out for a gallop.
It didn’t break a sweat. And the fit and finish were everything you would hope for in a Riva – tasteful, opulent, and beautifully executed. In fact there was something so marvellous about it that we gave it a Motor Boat Award. Unimprovable is the word that springs to mind.
Nevertheless, improvements are claimed for this new Riva 76 Perseo Super version. Various interior décor schemes are offered, which change the look quite markedly: light or dark lacquered oak panelling, for example, or lustrous rosewood if you prefer.
Riviera 585 SUV
America’s passionate love affair with big, honking SUVs should bode well for the new Riviera 585 SUV, the latest addition to Aussie-based Riviera Yachts‘ five-model “Sport Utility Vessel” line-up.
The badge is a bit confusing in that bow-to-stern, this sleek-looking hardtop coupe measures in at 65 feet. Add to that the SUV’s 18ft 7in beam and it means a whole lot of space inside and out.
Take the dual-level cockpit at the back. At swim platform level, there’s a huge, teak-floored deck with barbecue grille, sink and ice-maker. Three steps up takes you into what’s arguably the 585’s best feature; it’s cosy, well-protected upper cockpit.
Prior to 2017, very few people outside the industry had even heard of Sirena Yachts, which until that point had largely stayed in the shadows, building boats for other brands. But then it launched its own range of motor boats and in the five short years since then, it has grown to become a serious player in its own right.
Its latest model, the all-new Sirena 78, takes things to another level – literally. Thanks to a top deck that can be left open, semi-enclosed or fully enclosed, it is effectively available as a tri-deck yacht, a conventional two-deck flybridge boat with a hard top or something in between.
Once you’ve settled on which of these variants you want, you then get to decide between multiple interior layout options and three different design themes.
Sunreef 80 Power Eco
If you like the idea of free, renewable energy but don’t like sails, Sunreef would love to have a word. The Polish shipyard’s newest power cat is this Sunreef 80 Power Eco, available in both hybrid and pure electric versions, that positively bristles with solar panels.
These produce a claimed maximum of 36kWp in bright sunshine, although with many of the solar panels mounted along the sides, that figure will only be achievable if the sun can be persuaded to shine on both sides at the same time.
So it might occasionally be necessary to top up the batteries using the generators. The batteries themselves are ‘ultralight’, with an energy density of around 200Wh per kilogramme, and you can choose between 360kW and 720kW of motive power.
Sunseeker Ocean 182
Originally built as an open flybridge boat with a hardtop to provide shade, the new Sunseeker Ocean 182 will have a fully covered area at the forward end of the upper deck.
This brings two major benefits: first, the bridge station moves upstairs, freeing up more socialising space on the main deck, and second, the enclosed part of the top deck can be climate controlled for use in hot and cold countries.
Prospective owners can choose if the newly covered area is left open at the back with just a security hatch over the internal stairs or closed off with sliding glass doors where the roof line ends.
Tiara 48 LE
Tiara calls it a “power-actuated rotating lounge module”. You might think of it as a new spin on cockpit design. Literally. At the tap of a button, the big-and-comfy cockpit sofa can rotate a full 180 degrees.
Spin the sofa 90 degrees either side, or the full 180, and you get a terrific, unobstructed view of the kids splashing in the water. Or the sunset. Or that ooh-and-ahhh firework show. And it can lock it in place at any angle you want.
Rotate it 90 degrees to port, power down the large terrace-cum-swim platform and water views don’t get much better. And the spinning sofa comes with a lovely varnished table attached, so your sunset cocktail goes with you.
Vanquish VQ55 Sports Line
Be still our beating hearts. The 2023 Fort Lauderale Boat Show will see the official unwrapping of the newest addition to the Dutch Vanquish line-up, the brand new Vanquish VQ55 Sports Line. Two stats you’ll like: 3,000 horsepower from its five Mercury Verado 600hp V12 outboards, and a literally eye-watering 70-knot top speed.
This is the big brother to the GRP-hulled VQ40 Sports Line featuring a center console design by the former Citroen car designer Guido de Groot. With seats for 18 of your closest friends, it’s aimed squarely at the Miami-slash-St.Trop-slash-Ibiza sun-worshipping crowd.
And like the VQ40, its hull is molded in GRP rather than the more typical aluminum used in pretty much all other Vanquish models.
Viking 90 Open Bridge
You could hardly call it a downsizing. But New Jersey-based Viking Yachts – acknowledged builder of the Rolls-Royce of offshore fishing boats – is replacing its flagship Viking 92 with a Viking 90. Not that it was by choice. Since the 92’s introduction in 2015, Viking has built 21 of them, at around $12 million apiece, and wanted to continue.
But tough new emission regs mandated by the International Maritime Organization, would have meant that any new Viking 92 had to be fitted with complex exhaust treatment technology, called Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).
That, according to Viking, would have added weight, reduced performance, made engine room maintenance a nightmare, and sent the yacht’s price tag soaring. So it dropped the 92 and developed a brand new Viking 90.
Created in collaboration with Studio Vallicelli, the new Wally WHY150 uses a raised pilothouse design to create what it calls “unparalleled exterior spaces” – but that approach also has a very striking impact on the inside.
In the main deck saloon, floor-to-ceiling glass is paired with flush decking and more than 8ft of headroom to create a profound sense of openness and light.
The absence of a lower helm also frees up the space for a main deck owner’s cabin, which takes full advantage of the Wally WHY150’s elevated bow and wraparound glazing for 270-degree views from the bed.