Unique Sightings from Miami

By most, if not all, accounts, this year’s Miami International Boat Show, the second at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, was a great success. The reason to me is simple—captivating products. Groundbreaking, jaw-dropping, incredibly unique boats, engines, accessories and more. For me, and no offense to the ever-improving power plants from Mercury Racing or the significance of the striking 50’ Marauder celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Cigarette Racing Team/Mercedes-AMG relationship, what catches my attention are the most unique things, the products I’m not used to seeing.

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Minncraft’s gorgeous Summit 26 received plenty of attention at the Miami International Boat Show. Photo courtesy Minncraft Boatworks

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Putting The Band Back Together


For members of Powerboat magazine’s former test team, the 2017 Miami International Boat Show was a fine reunion. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Between advance and real-time reporting, Jason Johnson, my colleague at speedonthewater.com, and I wrote and published 40 stories related to the 2017 Miami International Boat Show, which closed Monday afternoon. The first piece went live on December 16 and the last one went live yesterday. It was a ton of work, for sure, but it also was a ton of fun. We’re blessed to love what we do for a living.

But this year was special, and not just because the new products were particularly cool and that our reporting was the most extensive it’s ever been. This year, the Miami Boat Show was a reunion of sorts, and one we will cherish forever. Last Thursday and Friday morning, we reunited with Bob Teague and John Tomlinson, our former colleagues and boat testing teammates at Powerboat magazine, to run the new Skater 478 and Predator 447 high-performance V-bottoms, as well as a Formula 350 Sun Sport powered by a pair of new Ilmor Marine 483-hp 7.4-liter LS-based engines. The features on those boats, complete with comments from Teague and Tomlinson, will run in our next digital magazine. (Look for that issue to go live at the end of the month.)

For the record, we have zero interest in getting back into the full-time “boat testing” editorial game. And I do mean zero.

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Miami Boat Show Day 2: The Buzz Continues

Riding back to our downtown digs from the Miami International Boat Show on a water taxi this afternoon, I met two charming couples from Naples, Fla. One of the gentlemen had just ordered a Cigarette Racing Team 41’ GTR performance center console with quad Mercury Racing Verado 400R outboard engines a couple of weeks ago and all four of them were pretty much buzzing with infectious joy and enthusiasm. They were so cool—so completely into it—that I couldn’t resist chatting them up. (Fortunately, they had heard of speedonthewater.com so I didn’t make a complete idiot of myself.)

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Miami Boat Show Day 1 Wrap-Up: Happily Reeling

As frenetic opening days at the Miami International Boat Show go, today was one for the books. By 10:30 a.m. Jason Johnson and I had published detailed stories about Mercury Racing’s 860- and 1,750-hp QC4v and Verado 400R Carbon Edition engines, as well as the company’s new CNC Cleaver propeller to support its 400-hp supercharged outboard offering. We also published stories on the latest Cigarette Racing Team-Mercedes AMG 50’ Marauder GT 4 sporboat and 42’ Huntress GTO performance center console. Last but not least, we ran a story on a new intriguing V-16 LS engine, complete with CMI exhaust, from Sixteen Power, a new marine engine company in the Detroit area.

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Buying Season Buzz

Between events in New York, Kansas, California, Missouri and beyond, we’re obviously in the thick of boat show season, which means I’m also sitting at the airport awaiting my flight to Miami for the Miami International Boat Show. While browsing some emails on my phone, I scanned several media releases and invites related to the show—always a good way to get excited for the Miami madness.

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The team at Wake Effects in Osage Beach, Mo., has been enjoying the boat show season. Photo courtesy Wake Effects

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