Miami Boat Show Mania Starts this Week!

International event draws more than 100,000 enthusiasts

MIBS 2013

MIBS 2013

I'll be leaving tomorrow for the 72nd annual Miami International Boat Show. 72 years! I can't imagine what this show must have been like in the 1940s. I've been attending for much of the last two decades, and I have seen loads of innovation in the marine industry. But in the 1940s, the world was at war, international travel was fairly limited, and the vast majority of boats were made from wood or metal.

This week's show — open to the public Feb. 14-18 — features more than 3,000 boats (most of them fiberglass) and 2,000 exhibitors from all over the world. Visiting anglers can enjoy fishing seminars, boat-handling classes, do-it-yourself workshops, and appearances by a multitude of industry celebrities and others such as Bear Grylls, Chris Fischer and Tred Barta. One lucky attendee will even win a Carolina Skiff/Suzuki boat/motor/trailer package worth more than $23,000. The raffle benefits The Billfish Foundation; $10 tickets can also be purchased online here.

My time will be spent testing new fishing vessels and engines, reviewing new electronics and attending press conferences where I'll see a variety of 2013 boat models — including one, we're told, with a "revolutionary" new stabilization system. My colleagues and I will be posting blogs, photo galleries and videos, and will be tweeting photos to**** our** Twitter** and** Facebook** pages from the show floor and marina.

To get you started, have a look at our 2012 Miami Boat Show coverage, and visit the boat show's web site. If you can visit during Premier Day — Thursday, Feb. 14 — make the effort and avoid the largest crowds, which are sure to descend this weekend.