Miami International Boat Show Ready to Launch Thursday

More than 100,000 customers are expected over five days

Bigger really is better at the Miami International Boat Show.

On Thursday, Biscayne Bay will turn into a glittering showroom for the five-day event, now in its 71st year.

"The weather certainly is a driver, we will see people from 80 different countries and all 50 states and they certainly come here, because there's so much to see and buy," said show manager Cathy Rick-Joule.

With 2,500 boats ready to board and buy, and more than 100,000 customers expected over five days, the boat show is one of the largest, most prestigious in the world. So large it's spread over three locations: Miami Beach, Bayside and Sea Isle Marina.

"One of the claims to fame for this show is that we have a boat for every budget. $1,000 is on the low end, several million is on the high end," Rick-Joule added.

Wednesday afternoon crews were busy spraying and polishing boats and luxury liners to wow the crowds.

"They're the best of the best. All the best builders are here. All the newest gadgetry," Rick-Joule said. "Many boats will be unveiled here for the very first time."

Customers come to find out why life is better on a boat.

The show means big business. It says it expects to pour $1 billion into the South Florida economy through tourism, sales and wages.

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