Anyone who is involved with boating in any form—fishing, sailing, recreational—was probably in Miami last week. The Miami International Boat Show, which concluded Feb. 16, is the largest show of its kind. It covered roughly 57 acres and three marinas, and featured more than 2,200 vendors showcasing everything from multi-million-dollar yachts to fishing- or boating-related T-shirts and jewelry.
It’s an exciting place to be, especially if you like to get a first look at the very latest boats, outboards, gear and tackle to be introduced. This year was no exception. Here are a few of the best highlights.
Ranger showcased its brand new 184 Ghost, an 18-foot, 3-inch flats skiff with a wide and stable 85 1/2 –inch beam. Ranger says the new Ghost provides a smooth, dry ride on plane, and its ultra-shallow draft is designed to allow anglers to get close to easily spooked fish.
Suzuki DF60, DF9.9 and DF8
previewed a trio of small and mid-range 2010 model outboards. The all-new four-stroke DF60, DF9.9 and DF8 outboards were designed to be lighter and more efficient than those they replaced, as well as others in their class. The company says the engines will be available at dealerships this summer.
All New 60Honda
unveiled a prototype of the newest outboard in its lineup, the BF60 four-stroke. Though the company was not releasing details during the show, Steve Drenkard, marketing and product planning manager, said the outboard features a brand new powerhead. Further details will be released in May, with engines scheduled to be available in dealerships this summer.
Lowrance BR24 Radar Screen
introduced an exciting new radar system, the BR24 Broadband
, during the show. Company officials say it represents the next generation of radar safety, affordability and ease of use. It features range resolution to less than three meters and transmits at roughly the power of 1/10 the energy of a cell phone. Power draw is a stingy 17 watts during operation, 1.6 watts on standby.
Yamaha F25 and T25
Yamaha left a bit of a hole in its lineup when it discontinued the 25-horsepower four-stroke outboard it built in partnership with another outboard company a number of years ago. In Miami, the company introduced the all-new, all-Yamaha F25 and High-Thrust T25 to fill that gap. Both feature a 498cc, two-cylinder, single-overhead cam design, and are sure to be a hit with the millions of anglers who fish from a 14- or 16-foot aluminum boat.
Monster Tow Vehicles
Black Knight XUV
NAFC member George Stickler of Savannah, Ga., is vice-president of Truck Customs By Chris
. He and company president, Chris Walker, specialize in turning big Ford
trucks into even bigger pieces of customized artwork on wheels. The Dark Knight XUV, shown here with George, for example, is built on an F650 chassis and is powered by a 330-horsepower Caterpillar engine. If you’re interested, bring your checkbook. The custom jobs go for anywhere from $80,000 to $300,000.