MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show is running through Sunday, but there’s only one location where boaters will be able to test drive a boat.
The Sea Isle Marina, located near the Venetian Causeway, has been rebranded as the Venetian Marina and Yacht Club. It is the only place this week boaters will be able to engage in sea trials.
“We, for now, have become the marina where you do most of the sea trials and we have the medium sized boats in the water. So, if you want that in-the-water, walking around boating experience, with boats coming in-and-out doing sea trials this is the place to be,” said Victor Ballestas, partner, owner of Venetian Marina and Yacht Club.
The Venetian Marina and Yacht Club has undergone renovations in preparation for the boat show and more upgrades are on the way, according to Ballestas.
“The marina was built 30 plus years ago and it was kind of in a deteriorating condition, so we saw an opportunity to pick up the marina and bring it to the level of the location,” said Ballestas.
This year’s version of the boat show is the largest yet, combining The Miami International Boat Show and The Miami Yacht Show into one experience to create one of the largest boat and yacht events in the world.
“I think the boat show is amazing for the city. I heard yesterday the owner of the boat show say that it brings in three or four times the revenue that a Super Bowl brings, which is a pretty amazing statistic,” said Ballestas.
Boaters interested in seeing the superyachts should visit the IGY Yacht Haven at Island Garden. But if you’re more into a midsized attention grabber, the Venetian Marina is featuring dozens of the industry’s newest styles, equipped with the most current technology.
In total, the “Discover Boating” event is spread out across six locations, including the Venetian Marina, Miami Beach Convention Center, Pride Park (Miami Beach), One Herald Plaza, and Museum Park Marina.
“I think it does a lot for the community,” said Ballestas. “Not having the boat show the last two years was a bit of a hit, so I think people feel the excitement around boating right now,” Ballestas added.