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Ten Reasons to Visit the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

1) LOTS OF BOATS!



The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is underway through November 7. Venues include the Broward County Convention Center (pictured) as well as Bahia Mar/Las Olas Marina. Shuttle service is available between the facilities. General admission is $28; kids 6-15 get in for $12, and kids under 6 are free. For tickets, click here.

2) LOCAL BUILDERS



Florida Sportsman Publisher Blair Wickstrom (left) stands with Ralph Brown (middle) and son Mike Brown of Dusky Marine. Dusky recently celebrated its 50th year of production. The Broward County builder continues to deliver factory-direct fishing boats to hardcore anglers. The 252 Dusky graces the cover of this year's Best Boat Magazine, published by Wickstrom and the Florida Sportsman team.

3) HISTORY



Century 1953 Imperial Sportsman 16, a mahogany masterpiece with original natural spar finish and factory glue still visible between planks. There's an almost unbelievable story behind this boat, which returned to the Century builder in 2006. You'll read about it at the Century booth—and see an array of modern fiberglass models from the Florida builder, including the new dual console 24 Resorter.

4) TECHNOLOGY



A quad Yamaha package on the new Hydra-Sports 3800 Speciale. If you look closely at these, you'll see the middle two have been fitted with aluminum spacers to make longer shafts. This allows the installer to mount the engines high while keeping the props in the optimal position to accommodate the shape and performance demands of a large, deep-vee hull. Latham Marine builds these patented components, which include water-cooled bearing block to add support for the drive shaft.

5) INNOVATORS



Oh, and you can meet Bob Latham at the show, as well as countless other experts and innovators. Latham is the guy behind the 35-inch shaft kits, as well as a new variable speed hydraulic steering system for high-performance outboards. Latham Marine is a local company based right in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

6) IN-WATER DISPLAYS



The Bahia Mar/Las Olas Marina site has in-water displays for a number of deep-vee center consoles, as well as the superyachts, cruisers and sportfish brokerage sales.

7) GEAR KNOW-HOW



The Electronics Pavilion at Bahia Mar is the place to go to see everything new from Garmin and dozens of other manufacturers. Products are powered up and ready for hands-on testing, and representatives of the companies and local dealers are on hand to offer advice.

8) BRAND NEW MODELS



Boat show attendee admires the lines on the brand-new World Cat 280CC-X. This boat capitalizes on the company's soft-riding, efficient twin-hull running surface, while displaying a host of new features anglers will appreciate. Three-piece construction (hull, liner, deck cap) adds even more deck and storage space to the already broad working space on this boat. Standard features include insulated fish boxes, bucket storage, optimized console visibility, lowered deck, and a carefully designed head with forward-opening door and 52 inches of clearance. World Cat did three years of research in building this boat. Twin 300 Yamahas power the show model.

9) QUALITY BOATS FOR EVERY BUDGET



The Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is perhaps most famous these days for multi-million dollar yachts, but inside the convention center you'll find a remarkable display of affordable, trailerable outboard vessels. This is the Sea Hunt BX25BR, a widely sold production bay boat with flat-out gorgeous lines and an impressive list of features.

10) SUPS, YAKS AND MORE!



Test tank for paddle craft and other floating fun, outside the Broward County Convention Center. This is Hobie's Eclipse, which integrates the successful Mirage Drive into a standup paddleboard package.

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