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Got back Saturday night after a short but delightful 2-1/2 day trip to the Miami Boat Show. Thought I’d provide a brief run down of my adventure for those wishing to think happy warm thoughts instead of thoughts about snow, ice, and salt deposits on cars and trucks.

I flew down Wednesday afternoon with good friend and fellow Tidalfisher GottaGoGW (Dave). Had a tasty dinner in a small mom and pop Cuban restaurant on Miami Beach that night.

Thursday morning we met a guide at 7:00 AM in the Kendall / Coral Gables area for six hours of fishing for peacock bass in the man-made, freshwater canals. As it turns out, April through November is considered prime time - February is typically slow for peacocks on artificials. Dave picked up one of his fly rod and I caught one awhile later on a small Rapala-like plug. We saw lots of fish, but couldn’t entice any others to bite. It was my first time fishing for peacock bass. It was fun and I’d do it again.

We finished fishing around one o’clock and headed to the in-water portion of the boat show at the Sea Isle Marina. We checked out some of the large Viking Sport fishermen, big Edgewater and Hydrasport center consoles with quads as well as lots of other boats. Evinrude and their E-Tech engines had a pretty large presence at the show. We happened upon their booth just as their test boat, a 25 ft Sea Chaser center console with twin 200 HO E-Techs, was returning to the dock after a test ride. We commented how quiet the engines were and soon thereafter we were being given the hard sell by the resident Evinrude sales force. In very short order, they offered us a test ride. Although neither of us was really in the market for a new outboard, who wants to turn down a boat ride? So soon after the offer was extended, we were off. I have to say that the E-Tech engines were impressive. Quiet at idle and at speed and the throttle response was very crisp. We got back to the dock and took in the rest of the show. We left around dark and headed off to dinner.

Friday we did the Convention Center – nearly nine hours of non-stop walking, standing, and boarding boats. Although we both limped out of the Convention Center at the end of the day, we did see lots of cool stuff. The new 42 ft express by Rampage was beautiful and we enjoyed yukking it up with Tred Barta, TV sportman extraordinaire and spokes model for Rampage boats . Tred was promoting his special “Tred Barta financing plan” that promised six months of ownership for free. All that’s required is moving the boat from your home port to Mexico, then a short while later to Guatemala, then to Honduras, and then to Belize and doing so in the middle of the night on the precise dates prescribed to you over the telephone just hours before. Tred figured it would be about six months before the bank would be able to catch up and repossess the boat. ;)

The new 350 HP V-8 four-stroke Yamaha outboard was on display. That is a big outboard. It’s due out this summer. Among the many boats we checked out were the Duskys, Pathfinders, Contenders, Chris-Craft Catalina models, Seastrikes, Edgewaters, Sailfishes, Pursuits, Seacrafts, Southports, McKee Crafts, Sea Vees, Hydrasports, several models of feather-weight flats boats, lots of go-fast boats with retina-burning color schemes, and of course the Parkers and Gradys. There were many other boats too, I just can’t remember all of them. The Grady display was limited to the larger boats – the 36, 33, and 30 ft express models, the 257 center console, and the new 28 ft walk-thru windshield model.

At the Sea Vee display we met Jose Wejebe. He was friendly and gracious. We snapped a couple of quick photos with him. The new 39 ft Sea Vee with Quad 300 Mercs was beautiful and very impressive. Sea Vee’s fit and finish is a whole new level from what it was 10 years ago.

In addition to the boats, the accessories and related paraphernalia seemed endless and we looked at nearly all of it. In the process, we picked up a few goodies here and there and I’ve got Dave thinking about a Float-On trailer for his Grady. There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as spending someone else’s money. :D

After the show we limped on very tired feet to the Lincoln Road mall for a nice dinner before heading back to the hotel.

Saturday morning we hit the Yacht and Brokerage Show for a few hours before catching our flight scheduled for 4:35 PM. The Yacht and Brokerage Show is separate from, but runs concurrently with the Miami Boat Show. I have to say that while the Miami Boat Show is truly incredible, the Yacht and Brokerage Show is mind-boggling. With limited time we randomly selected a few different boats to board. It’s truly amazing how quickly and completely your perspective becomes distorted after touring some of the larger boats. If you check out a 45 footer after being on several 100 ft plus mega yachts, you find yourself thinking “who’d want this POS, only three state rooms and two of them have to share a marbled bath?” :rolleyes:

The highlight of the Yacht and Brokerage Show for me was checking out the new Buddy Davis Edition 34 foot center console. What a work of art that boat is. List price on the boat at the show (that was fully optioned) was about $269K. They also have a 28 footer but it was not at the show. They are gorgeous boats.

It was interesting to hear the story behind the use of the Buddy Davis name. Buddy Davis sold the name Davis Yachts and some old molds to the Egg Harbor folks in Jersey in order to get out of a partnership that had gone bad. The Egg Harbor folks are building sportfishermen using the old Davis molds and selling them using the Buddy Davis name even though there is a court order forbidding them from using the name Buddy Davis. Meanwhile, the real Buddy Davis is alive and well in Wanchese, NC where he’s always been and now operating under the name B&D Inc. and he’s producing the beautiful center consoles described above and custom cold-molded yachts for those folks who want a “real” Buddy Davis boat.

After looking at the Buddy Davis center consoles, we were out of time, so we scooted back to the car, stopped at an Argentinean steakhouse to grab a late lunch, and then off to the airport.

The Miami Boat Show is a great time and if you’ve never seen it, it really is worth spending a few shekels to get down there at least once.
 
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