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Tim Derrico has been with HMY Yacht Sales for more than 20 years—including the last eight as Director of Sales—but he’s been in the yachting industry in South Florida for 36 years, meaning he’s had a front row seat to the explosion in popularity and importance of the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
With HMY’s founding in 1979, and the first iteration of the Palm Beach show occurring in 1985, the two have grown and matured together and, just like siblings only a few years apart, have supported each other during that growth. “It’s gotten to the point,” jokes Tim “, that others in the industry sometimes label the Palm Beach show the ‘“HMY Boat Show’” due to their massive presence at this internationally-renowned show in their own backyard.
Today’s behemoth that is the 34th Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show came from very humble beginnings. From the fairgrounds to the downtown waterfront, and now including Palm Harbor Marina for larger yachts, the show has steadily increased its geographic footprint (encompassing more than a dozen total acres) and international reputation.
The show began with a couple hundred boats and now boasts more than 800 vessels annually—ranging from small inflatables to 30’ center consoles to mega yachts—with more than 500 of those in-water. The biggest boats used to top out in the 120’ range, but the show can now accommodate super yachts upwards of 250’. In 2017, the 279’ Solandge, built by Lürssen, was to be the largest on display, but it sold prior to the show; instead, the 230’ Martha Ann, also by Lürssen, took home that distinction.
The Palm Beach Show now regularly attracts more than 40,000 people and features more than $1.2 billion worth of boats, yachts, and accessories.
One thing Tim points out, though, is that the show has always featured good crowds. “There’s a lot more money spent on marketing the show now, and the international presence has led to even more qualified buyers for larger yachts, but the crowds have always been great here,” he said.
Uniqueness of Palm Beach
That three of the top boat shows in the world—Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale—are in South Florida (the center of the yachting universe), is no surprise. However, each has its own distinct identity.
Tim believes Palm Beach provides the best venue for a show due to the consolidated show area. “I definitely consider Palm Beach a top 10 show globally. You can leave a 200’ yacht and walk onto a 20’ center console. Customers can park within a few blocks or even take a train in, making access a breeze. They can then leave the show and hit some fantastic restaurants. We call it the ‘gentleman’s boat show’; it’s very civilized compared to others.”
HMY’s Special Bond with Palm Beach
Revenue-wise, for HMY, Tim says FLIBS is by far the best show. Miami is a great show but can be quite chaotic and is very spread out. For Tim and HMY, Palm Beach is the best show to see clients and strengthen relationships (a core tenet of HMY’s philosophy) and is also the second-highest revenue generator. Due to the show being in their backyard, they’re able to see a large array of clients, and have morphed their display tent into a luxurious customer lounge, serving food and drinks and letting their customers cool down from the South Florida heat, which provides an opportunity to form deeper connections that result in lifelong relationships.
It’s also HMY’s biggest show in terms of their presence. They’re regularly the largest exhibitor, which remains true this year—HMY will have upwards of 60 boats on display, ranging from a Viking Yachts 37' Billfish to a 2010 Westport 112' named "Cavallino". You'll also be able to see the latest models from Viking Yachts, Princess Yachts and Okean Yachts.
For more information and to stay up-to-date about HMY’s presence at the Palm Beach International Boat Show, click here or speak to an HMY Sales Professional at 561-510-6200.
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