Boaters, The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is back this year and better than ever before. Pack your bags for Florida’s premier boating event! The FLIBS is a five-day event that draws an international clientele and expects to host over 100,000 attendees in 2023.
If you’re looking for a boat from a skiff to a superyacht, you can browse the selection of over 1,300 models located across the event’s seven venues and six miles of dock space. And if you already have a boat, you can outfit yourself with new engines, electronics, apparel, fishing tackle and nautical décor, or just come for the cocktails and the people watching.
- When: October 25-29, 2023
- Where: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Rent a boat
You can experience the show in different ways and each will dictate the price of your ticket. Preview day is on Wednesday October 25 and tickets are $64. Thereafter, tickets are $42 per day or $70 for two-day access and kids 6-15 years old are $16. Active military entry is complimentary on Sunday, the last day of the show which traditionally has the lightest traffic and closes one hour earlier at 6pm.
There is no box office onsite, so all tickets must be purchased online in advance, and you can add parking to that for $37 per day or $60 for valet. Hours vary by day with preview Wednesday opening at noon.
For a posh experience, sign up for the Windward VIP Club located at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center. You’ll enjoy perks like free gourmet food and cocktails, complimentary water taxi rides and private restrooms. Tickets are $398 per person per day or bundle that with the Fort Lauderdale Concours auto show and gala party for $523 per person.
AquaBatics & seminars
The Broward County Convention Center will host the AquaZone again this year with what they’re calling “AquaBatic” demo zones. On-water demonstrations and testing opportunities of everything from electric outboards to kayaks and paddleboards will take place in a giant indoor pool so you can learn and get wet at the same time.
Seminars are offered Thursday through Sunday and cover a variety of topics. Learn how to cross the Gulf Stream enroute to the Bahamas, how to up your fishing game, and how to help marine conservation efforts.
The inside scoop
This show is big. It’s huge. So, the best insider advice we have to give is to prepare for multiple days of boating and divide the venues to experience all the details. Take advantage of the water taxi that travels between the marinas and is $20 per person per day or $80 for the full five days. To help you navigate onsite, you need to know that each section of the main venue at Bahia Mar has its own color coding visible on show signage. For easy navigation, download the show app.
Pro tip: Check out all the show sponsors for the FLIBS. Here’s a few names to get started: HMY Yachts, BlackTiph, The Boat Show…
Renting a boat for the event
Feeling inspired by all those amazing boats? Get out on the water in South Florida using a boat rental. On Boatsetter app (App Store | Google Play), you’ll find unique boat rentals in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Even if it’s cold back home, enjoy the Florida sun and warm water for an afternoon or a weekend with this peer-to-peer (P2P) boat rental service. In case you buy a boat at the show, consider defraying ownership costs by putting your new vessel into Boatsetter which is most likely also available in your home waters.
Not just for boaters
The FLIBS is an event that offers something for everyone, regardless of whether they are seasoned boaters or simply intrigued by life on the water. With a wide range of exhibits, watercraft displays, and interactive experiences, FLIBS caters to both enthusiasts and those looking to explore the maritime world. It’s an inclusive event that welcomes all to soak in the excitement of marine culture and boating lifestyle.
Go to the FLIBS website for more information.
Boatsetter is the go-to app for boat rentals and on-water experiences. Whatever the adventure, we’ve got a boat for that—Set sail, start the party, go yachting, make your trophy catch, and hone your watersports skills! Download the Boatsetter app (App Store | Google Play). Make sure to follow @boatsetter on Instagram, and tag us in all your boat day pictures for the chance to be featured.
Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin.
A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide.
Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico.