Must-See Boats at the 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show
A number of new boats will be on display at this year's Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. From hardcore fishing boats to family-friendly cruisers, there's something for everyone.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is alive and well for 2020, with plenty of great boats and yachts to check out from October 28th through November 1st. Here are a few highlights selected by the Boating staff. For more information about these boats and all others on display, visit boatshowmarketplace.com.
Boston Whaler 280 Vantage
Make sure you climb aboard and check out the 280 Vantage from Boston Whaler while you’re at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Spotlighted in a test in the October issue of Boating Magazine, the 280 epitomizes today’s trend in dual-console boats. It is a do-it-all conveyance featuring angling and cruising amenities, plus Whaler’s legendary unsinkable hull. It offers a summer galley, transom livewell, port-side boarding door, a sizable head compartment and beau coup seating. Twin 300 hp Mercury V-8 outboards propelled the 280 Vantage to more than 55 mph in our test.
Caymas 341 CC
Swing by the Caymas Boats exhibit at the show and ask to see the 341 CC. Caymas is a new boat company started by boat-building legend Earl Bentz to create an all-new series of fishing boats. The 341 CC is the latest and largest, and it boasts a Michael Peters-designed Stepped-Vee Ventilated Tunnel (SVVT) hull, and a deck plan to suit the most finicky fishermen. Powered by triple Mercury 300 hp V-8 outboards, the 341 CC achieved a top speed of more 60 mph in our test. In addition to bristling with fishing features, the 341 CC delivers comfort with bow loungers. In the aft cockpit, you can sit on the slide-out cooler cushion and put a couple on the foldaway transom jump seat. For mixed crews, the large console compartment below the helm not only offers a space for changing, but there is also a flushing head and additional storage. To learn more, visit boatingmag.com/story/boats/caymas-341-cc-boat-test.
Grady-White Canyon 326
If you have not seen the Grady-White Canyon 326, here’s your chance to check out this supremely appointed center-console model. Features included triple bucket seats with footrests, armrests and flip-up bolsters and an aircraft-quality acrylic windshield. Forward seating options include a lounge on the front of the console and a pair of forward lounges in the cockpit, a double couch folds out of the transom to convert coaming bolsters into seating in a flash. A SureShade deploys over the aft cockpit at the touch of button. Powered by twin Yamaha F300 outboards, the smooth-riding hull of the Canyon 326 achieved a top speed of nearly 49 mph in our test. To learn more, visit boatingmag.com/story/boats/2020-grady-white-canyon-326.
Robalo R246 Cayman
If you’re into bay boats, drop by the Robalo exhibit and step aboard the R246 Cayman. It packs a lot of fishing amenities and comfort into its 9-foot beam. Dual livewells provide 80 gallons of bait-carrying capacity. There’s space for a 114-quart Igloo beneath the learning post. The R246 also offers comfortable sun lounges with stow-able cushions and backrests at the bow. It also features a forward console seat, dual leaning-post seat, and a double jump seat in the aft cockpit that folds out from the casting platform. With a single 300 hp Yamaha outboard, we achieved a top speed of 48.4 mph in our test. For details, visit boatingmag.com/story/boats/robalo-246-cayman-sd-boat-test.
Everglades 340 DC
Looking for a big dual-console boat at the show? Be sure to drop by the Everglades exhibit and hop aboard the 340 DC. This brawny boat offers a ton of family and fishing features, including one of the biggest cabins we’ve seen in a dual-console model. It comes with a summer galley abaft the double-wide helm seat, hardtop with integral windshield, and abundant and richly upholstered seating, including twin bow loungers and two fold-out transom seats. On the fishy side, there’s a 24-gallon livewell, a 71-gallon fish box and optional Gemlux carbon-fiber outriggers. Powered by twin Yamaha 425 XTO outboard, the 340 DC achieved a top speed of 54 mph in our test. To learn more, visit boatingmag.com/story/boats/2020-everglades-340dc.
The Solace 41—the follow-up model to the innovative Solace 345—is scheduled to debut at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat. While details are a bit sketchy at press time, the initial renderings of the 41 indicate that it will not include the unique transom design of the 345, which received Boating’s 2019 Boat of the Year Award. The 41 will offer triple or quad outboards, both of which negate the walk-through transom design of the 345. The center-console boat will employ a cutting-edge twin step hull and striking Stephen Dougherty design cues, according to Solace. Stop by the Solace exhibit and give 41 a look-see.
Sea Ray Ray SLX 400
Sea Ray will have a lot to show this year, including the outboard version of the one-time Boat of the Year Winner 400 SLX, the SLX 350 outboard and the unveiling of a new model at the show. Be sure to check out the Sundancers in the Sea Ray slips as well.
Fountain 47 Lightning
Fountain brought new life to a beloved classic go-fast model, bringing performance boating into the 21st century. The 47 Lightning features the same twin stepped hull that made it a fixture on the performance circuit and is paired with twin 1,350 or 1,550 hp Mercury Racing engines. We tested it with the twin 1,350 hp engines, which can propel the boat to speeds approaching 125 mph.
Jeanneau Leader 12.5
This Michael Peter’s designed 40-footer combines a smooth-running hull with a family-centric layout designed to maximize your on-water entertainment. With the standard twin 300-hp Yamaha outboards, this boat is capable of hitting 50 mph. It features a spacious bow cockpit, a main cockpit with a folding side gate and wraparound seating, plus a well-appointed lower deck for overnighting.
Tiara Sport 43 LE
Tiara Sport, which builds rugged outboard-powered models on par with its Tiara Yachts lineup, is displaying its 43 LE, a luxurious sport boat with a great cabin belowdecks and a cockpit designed to make the most out of any social occasion. Whether you’re running at WOT or lounging at anchor, the 43 LE will exceed expectations.
Chaparral 250 Suncoast
The 250 Suncoast is a deckboat with a ton of seating for its size, and ample room in both the main and bow cockpits. It sports a full walkthrough windshield to protect the captain and crew, and the bow seating is deep and secure with handrails always in reach. It’s a great trailerable family boat.
Chris-Craft Calypso 35
Chris-Craft’s new Calypso 35 makes its debut at this year’s show. This center console features a fully-enclosed “pilot house” style windshield at the helm, and triple outboards on the transom.