They're using every trick in the book to get show goers to reach for their cheque books


An unusually chilly northerly breeze pegged temperatures in Florida this week and as the Fort Lauderdale boat show prepared to kick off most pundits reckoned it was an ill wind blowing all the way from Wall Street.

Defying the financial odds, the Americans turned up in record numbers on day one and actually bought boats. What?? They reckoned that the slowdown wasn’t so much to do with Wall Street but more about Obama and McCain – once they’ve finished with the hustings next week life will start to lift off. One industry expert said: “There’ll be a lot of bottom feeders out there,” a reference to boats going at bargain basement prices, proving that it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

Punters are being tempted in by everything from helicopters, submarines, tight-vested Budweiser female beer sellers – the Bud Girls – and fleets of impossibly flash motors from Maseratis to Rollers. Salesmen are using every trick in the book to urge people to get their cheque books out in this weird winter hide-out – see above