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November 2, 2007
Dear Friend:

The prices ranged from $150 to $150,000,000 at last week’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, and altogether there was $2 billion worth of superyachts, boats, marine accessories and more on display. From megayachts to inflatables, the array of boats along Fort Lauderdale’s intercoastal waterway was extremely impressive.

We regulate the yacht and ship broker industry and license 2,665 yacht brokers, and at the boat show, we met with Barbara Tierney and Whit Kirtland from Merrill-Stevens Yachts and Jeff Erdmann from Bollman Yachts to learn first-hand about their industry.

According to Go Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale, South Florida’s marine industry generates $13.6 billion of Florida’s $18.4 billion economic impact. A recent study by Thomas J. Murray & Associates offered other impressive statistics:

  • An estimated 1,500 megayachts were present in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach during 2006 compared to 800 in 1997.

  • Each megayacht visiting the region in 2006 generated more than $488,000 in economic impact through boatyard expenditures, brokerage commissions and charter fee generation.

  • The $219.8 million in direct impacts at boatyards, the $122 million in brokerage commissions and the $30.6 million in direct impacts from charter industry commissions, combined, directly impacted the Tri-County region by an estimated $372.4 million last year.
Beyond just yacht sales, significant dollars are spent on obvious expenses like repairs, provisioning and dockage, but yacht owners also spend considerable sums on upgrading furniture and outfitting their boats with fishing equipment. One boat owner told us he spends $1,000 per week on painting his boat.

And as Barbara, Whit and Jeff explained, not only do firms like theirs serve as yacht brokers they also offer yacht management, charter marketing, charter brokerage and crew placement. You can learn more about their industry at the Florida Yacht Brokers Association’s website (

The industry continues to grow, and because of its impact on the state and south Florida in particular, we will continue to set high standards for the regulation of yacht and ship brokers.

Secretary Benson Signature
Holly Benson

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation

1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:

Board Schedule header

Here is a schedule of next week’s professional board meetings. For full meeting details, we’ve included a link
below to the department’s online calendar.

November 5, 2007



To download a free copy, visit:

Secretary Holly Benson at he Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

From left: DBPR Yacht & Ship Broker's Progam Section Head Vicki Bedford,DBPR Secretary Holly Benson, Deputy Secretary Chuck Drago and Ship Broker Jeff Erdman at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

Did You Know header
  • Florida's marine industry represents a total economic output of over $18.4 billion.

  • Florida's recreational boating industry economic impact is greater than the citrus and cruise ship industries combined.

  • Florida's marine industry represents related employment estimated at over 220,000 jobs.

  • Florida is now the #1 state for boat registrations in the United States

Source: Marine Industries Association of Florida, Inc.

If you have a question regarding your application or to become licensed, contact our Customer Call Center at 850.487.1395 or use our convenient contact form.

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