VIP Boat Show

How to Get a Private Yacht Tour at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show

Victoria Barnett

By Victoria Barnett

October 7, 2015


Looking for the opportunity to privately tour yachts at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show? You’ve come to the right place.

We have laid out the best ways to reserve a private tour and how going through the new VIP Boat Show Experiences guarantees convenience and ease in doing so. Thanks to Susan Phipps, the on-site concierge in the Windward Club, presented by National Jets, you can get an appointment to see the boats you’ve been eyeing.

Here’s how you can get a private tour at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show plus a few tips on what to expect:

What is the best way to reserve a private tour?

The best way to reserve a private tour is to make an appointment ahead of time. If you already have a personal relationship with the dealer or builder, you’ll know how to do that.

Keep in mind that the chances of just walking on board a large boat will probably not work out for you since most time slots will already be booked. They will only let a few people on the boat at a time because otherwise it gets too crowded. Even when you get to the smaller boats, you may have to wait 45 minutes to an hour until there’s a broker available to show you the boat. You typically can’t just walk on the boats on your own.

Because they only take a few people at a time, you’ll want to make an appointment so that you are guaranteed a tour on the yachts you are most interested in. At the Windward Club, presented by National Jets, Susan will be able to get you an appointment a few hours ahead of time.

What is the difference in booking a private tour with VIP Boat Show Experiences vs. On My Own?


If you call on your own, they will prequalify you pretty extensively. It’s not that you can’t get an appointment that way, but you are coming from no point of reference. At the Windward Club, presented by National Jets, we already have an understanding with the manufacturers that we have this VIP lounge and concierge.

We’ve asked them to give us all the information about which boats they will have at the show and which boats they will actually show that we will then put in a database. When we call on behalf of someone, they know that the people we are calling for are already prequalified or prescreened, so they won’t have to waste any time doing that themselves.

Normally if a person calls a dealership, they’ll take your information and put you through a lot of screening. However, we already have a level of trust with the manufacturers and exhibitors that whoever comes to the Windward Club, presented by National Jets, is prequalified, so it would seem we would get preference for tours.

What are the benefits of reserving a tour through VIP Boat Show Experiences?

By midday, the docks are full of people who are stopping at every booth to try to get on the boats. Someone will be at the front desk trying to find the most qualified people to allow tours of the boats. They’ll ask a few questions to see who that person is before they take a half hour of a broker’s time to show that person a boat. There ends up being a big log jam that happens because of the number of people at the show.

On the flipside, if you come to the Windward Club, presented by National Jets, you can make an appointment and then relax while you wait. You can sit in the air conditioning, have some drinks, eat some good food and then head down to your first appointment. You won’t feel rushed! You can take a leisurely stroll down the docks without any stress because you know you already have your set times to see exhibitors.

How long does a tour typically last?

It depends on the size of the boat. It could be anywhere from 20 min to 45 min. You can always make the tour longer if you have more questions. It’s kind of a flexible thing.

What are some rules to follow while on a tour?

You will be asked to take your shoes off so wear comfortable shoes that you can just slip on and off. Most likely, you will just leave your shoes on the dock or in a basket by the boat.

When you go on the tour, refrain from touching things without asking first. Of course you can open a cabinet, but it’s common courtesy to ask the broker, “May I see inside the closet? Can I open the refrigerator?”

The broker will guide you as to what is appropriate and what isn’t, and many times, it’s a boat by boat thing. They want you to see the quality and the craftsmanship, so feel free to ask! Just remember, common courtesy is important.

Arrange a Private Yacht Tour!


With an Official Ticket Package from VIP Boat Show Experiences, you can enjoy full access to the Windward Club, presented by National Jets during your time at the
Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.

Not only will you be able to schedule private tours through our concierge, but you will also be able to enjoy A/C, gourmet food, an open bar and valet parking.

Ready to schedule your private tour or simply need more info? Contact us below!

Get More Info About a Private Yacht Tour!