A warm weekend is in the forecast for the 34th annual Lido Yacht Expo, the West Coast’s boat show destination for buyers of large motoryachts. More than 200 yachts, both new and brokerage, are featured in 400,000 square feet of floating dock exhibits in Newport Beach, California.
The four-day event runs from September 27-30 and is host to luxury yachts up to 100 feet with dozens of sportfishers, trawlers and express boats lining the docks. This year a few sailboats are also visible, including three models of the Catalina “5 Series”, the Nordhavn 56 Motorsailer, a sporty Hanse 415 and the fun Harbor 20 daysailer. But primarily, this is the premier powerboat show west of Ft. Lauderdale and it draws attendee traffic from states up and down the West Coast and beyond.
Thursday’s opening at noon drew crowds including a couple whose mission seemed to be to go aboard every boat in order to learn as much as possible. “We’re just getting into boating,” said Jeff Dinker. “This is a great place to come to see what fits us because they have just about everything.”
A variety of trawlers from the diminutive but clever Ranger series to the ocean-going Nordhavns are on display as options for long-distance voyagers. Some eye catching cruisers include the new Hampton 62 with its beautiful interior finish, the Cranchi 58 that oozes Italian styling, and the Dutch-designed Zeelander that is the head-turner of the show with its luxe retro looks. New designs for 2012 and 2013 also include the Sabre 380 Express, and the Beneteau GranTourismo 44.
Jeff Brown of the broker/dealer JK3 knows the value of bringing boats to the show. Last year, he sold a new Sabre 40 Flybridge. “We sold that Sabre because we had it on display and people come to look and feel the boats first-hand,” says Brown. “It’s hard to sell a brochure.”
Accessory equipment booths line the boardwalk in Lido Marina Village and feature everything from rigid inflatable tenders to boat insurance options. The show is well-coordinated by the Duncan McIntosh Company, with parking and shuttle services that run remarkably smoothly as boat show goers traverse Newport Beach. It is anticipated to be a hot three days this weekend both weather-wise and sales-wise, as boat show specials are abundant and everyone is offering a deal.