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Historic US presidential yacht Honey Fitz among 900 vessels featured at Palm Beach International Boat Show

Palm Beach International Boat Show runs through Sunday in West Palm Beach
A luxury yacht featured at the 2023 Palm Beach International Boat Show in West Palm Beach on March 24, 2023.jpg
Posted at 12:22 PM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-25 14:26:01-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Spectators who aren't even planning on buying a boat at this year's show will be intrigued by what's floating on the water.

Honey Fitz

A nearly refurbished 92-year-old and 93-foot wooden yacht that was used by five U.S. presidents called the Honey Fitz is on exhibition.

"Eisenhower was on it. Truman was on it to start with and of course, Kennedy and Nixon and Johnson. She's a part of the country. Part of our history," said NFL legend Joe Namath.

Namath's longtime friend and partner Charles Modica started the refurbishment project just over three years ago.

"The Honey Fitz was using these waters extensively when John Kennedy was president over here at Peanut Island as well as upon the beach itself," Modica said. "It's very fitting that after a three-year restoration that Joe and I oversaw, that boat is back here now debuting at this show."

"We made it back exactly the way that it was during President Kennedy's administration. The furniture back here will be exactly like the furniture that was on the boat. We have these small couches in here now but we are redoing the chair for the back that President Kennedy sat on at the time when he was on the boat. We're really trying to make it exact to history," Honey Fitz Capt. Greg Albritton said.

After the 41st annual Palm Beach International Boat Show, it will be docked in the heart at Love Street by Charlie & Joe's and the Pelican Club.

Coral Ocean Superyacht

The mega-ship is 238 feet long, sleeps 12 guests, and has 24 crew members.

"We were here for Bahama season and heading back to Europe straight after the boat show here and getting ready for the [Mediterranean] season, which is, you know, our favorite four months in the mid at least," said ship owner Ian Malouf.

The yacht has plans to go to Italy, Greece and Croatia later this year.

In season, the Coral Ocean superyacht can be chartered for around $790,000 for one week.

Mansion Yacht

"It's a very large houseboat," laughed Andrew Doole, president of the Palm Beach International Boat Show.

"We're over 9,000 square feet. We're five king-sized staterooms with five king-sized baths," Bruno Edwards, president of Mansion Yachts said in a 2021 interview with WPTV. "That was the purpose is that we wanted to make it feel like you were at home in your mansion, having all the luxuries of home, and didn't feel like you were missing a thing."

It's the first of its kind uniquely made out of 100% stainless steel.

"And it's stainless steel so it's low maintenance," said Doole.

Its most unique feature?

"What you can do is take it about seven knots, push it up to a sand bar or island, and then take it up 18 feet and jack it up out of the water," said Edwards.

It has 72 solar panels, with a 600,000 battery bank. If you wanted to get off the grid you could.

"You could get away for a very long while," said Edwards. "I think the batteries last 30 years."

"You can be in any remote location and you're self-contained and you're right there with nature, beautiful," said Doole.

$1 billion economic impact

Organizers of the four-day boat show said they hired third-party firm Tomas J. Murray and Associates to determine the $1 billion impact the show has on Florida's economy.

Doole said the economy is stimulated by more than last year's $725,000 in boat sales.

"It's not just the local restaurants, bars, and hotels. It's the flowers you see everywhere on all the boats, the cleaning companies cleaning the boats in the morning. There's a lot of different businesses that are touched by the boat show and that benefit from it."

Doole estimates there are over 600 boats on the water and up to 300 hundred on land at this year's show.

"We got about $2 billion worth of boats on the land and water," Doole said.