The International Boatbuilders Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) 2019 boat show takes place next week at the Tampa, FL Convention Center. This is the largest technical marine event in North America - running from Tuesday October 1st, to Thursday October, 3rd 2019. The show opens at 9AM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and closes up at 6PM those first two days, then wraps up at 3PM on Thursday. Here’s what we expect to learn from the show – and what to get excited about.

This marine trade show offers attendees a peek behind the boatbuilding curtain. Of course, we’ll be attending so we can bring you all the news of the latest and greatest developments.

IBEX Boat Show 2019

New Boatbuilding OEM Equipment

Over 700 companies will be showcasing their products at the show, in 135,354 square feet of exhibit space and 37 wet slips. IBEX is truly international - last year’s show included representation from not only the US of A, but also from 55 different countries. These range from engineering firms, to hardware suppliers, to marine electronics manufacturers.

Boatbuilders and their reps will be walking the isles, checking out all the gadgets, tech, and supplies that will help them build better boats for you and us. In fact, 28-percent of the IBEX attendees are boatbuilders (with much of the rest of the crowd made up by wholesalers and distributors, boatyards and repair facilities, and other marine industry members).

In the past, having our team at IBEX has helped us with everything from identifying the right boat hull shapes for your needs, to keeping up with changes in the world of recreational boatbuilding.

Boating Industry And Boatbuilding News For 2019

It’s here in Tampa at IBEX that important boating industry news gets broken - such as when Mercury introduced their Enertia ECO Propeller, or when Suzuki rolled out their DF150A and DF175A outboard models. What will we see next week that you need to know about? Stay tuned!

IBEX Innovation Awards 2019

Over 100 new products you’ll soon be seeing on and in new boats are entered in this year’s Innovation Awards, which take place at the show and is managed by the Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA).

These new products are judged by members of Boating Writers International (BWI).

The award-winners will showcase the latest and greatest in marine product development and this is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed upon marine manufacturers who bring innovative products to
the show each year. Several of our own experts who contribute to are on the judging panel this year, so we’ll be among the first to see the latest and greatest in boat care and maintenance products, boatbuilding materials, outboard and inboard engines, and much, much more – and we’ll be among the first to bring this news to you, too.

Educational Conferences on Boatbuilding and Design

Since so many marine professionals are in the same place at the same time, IBEX also serves as training event for boatbuilding, boat design, and boat repair professionals. Through the show there will be a series of seminars put on by the show’s educational partners: Professional Boatbuilder, the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), the American Boat Builders and Repair Association (ABBRA) and the Association of Marina Industries (AMI).

The seminar series is broken down into eight specific categories:

  • Design and Engineering

  • Composite Methods and Materials

  • Onboard Systems

  • Marine Electrical Systems

  • Manufacturing Management and Policy

  • Survey and Repair

  • Boatyard and Marina Operation

  • IBEX Tech and Tool Labs

These seminars not only improve professionalism and education in the industry, they also provide credit for many of the participants who are members of professional organizations that require ongoing
education. New for the 2019 show is the Tech and Tool Lab. This includes interactive kiosks which show images with flaws that participants are asked to identify – and with a gift card prize for the winners.

Better Boats From IBEX

What does all this boil down to? A better boat, for you. The rate at which technology progresses these days is shockingly fast, and it’s events like IBEX that help keep boatbuilders and dealers aware of what’s at the cutting edge. Whether this means hot new marine electronics or how ski and wakeboard boats make better waves for wake surfing, the benefit goes to the end-user – you.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.