An immaculately chromed engine, sumptuous leather upholstery, premium paintwork, elaborate options … all are qualities equally applicable to a highly collectible automobile – or a highly desirable yacht.
A number of innovations have the yachting world abuzz this year. One of the most notable is eco-friendliness. A prime example of this is the recently launched Silver Fast by SilverYachts. The visually striking, stylish and sleek 77-meter (253-foot) ecofuel-efficient vessel can travel from Australia to Europe in 21 days with only one fuel stop, all while achieving a top speed just shy of 29 knots. Silver Fast is the world’s largest and fastest aluminum motor yacht with conventional propulsion in terms of length to speed ratio. Also on the radar for enthusiasts are high-end accessories. The Super Yacht Sub 3, for example, is expected to be an attention-grabber at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November. Ultra-compact and ultra-lightweight, the three-person air-conditioned submarine is specially designed to fit the majority of superyachts.
Being in a position to dabble in the worlds of luxury boats and cars is somewhat the epitome of the American Dream. Longtime Barrett-Jackson customer John Staluppi has lived this dream firsthand. He began his relationship with cars as a gas station mechanic: “I always worked on cars and that’s all I did.” He made his way up the ranks, owning several automotive businesses and eventually a car museum. His affinity for watercraft came later, he says, but soon developed a momentum of its own. “You start off with one size boat,” he says, “and before you know it, you’re involved in superyachts.” Indeed. Now Staluppi owns a Florida-based firm that builds and charters luxury superyachts. “Boats and cars,” he once told an interviewer. “The difference is one has propellers and the other one has wheels.”
Another fellow yacht enthusiast and Barrett-Jackson regular is Joe Riley, who humbly calls himself a “car dealer.” (Riley is president and CEO of a large automotive enterprise.) He enjoys fine boats and automobiles both for pleasure and for entertaining clients. Although Riley’s interest in collector cars began in the early 1980s, he got involved in boating well before that. Like Staluppi, his water-based passion also took on a life of its own. “I started out with an 18-foot boat,” he remembers, “and now I have a 177-footer.” The thing Riley loves most about the worlds of collector cars and yachts is how events centered around these passions can bring like-minded people together. “Every Barrett-Jackson auction feels like a homecoming or reunion to me,” he says. “The friendships I have made at Barrett-Jackson have lasted for decades.”
Just as every Barrett-Jackson event serves as the ultimate magnet for collector car enthusiasts around the world, so does the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. More commonly known as FLIBS, the three-day event attracts those who love the world of boating. Taking place November 5-9, 2015, in the “Yachting Capital of the World,” the event features around $4 billion worth of superyachts, boats of all kinds and cutting-edge technology and products across more than three million square feet of exhibit space. Yacht buyers, sellers and enthusiasts will converge at FLIBS to see what’s new in the world of yachting, including such “novelties” as personal submarines, water jet packs, helicopters and – of course – exotic automobiles.
For tickets or more information about the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, visit www.FLIBS.com.