Rubbing Shoulders with the 0.01%

Last Thursday the tropical storm associated with Sandy blew through Fort Lauderdale and it’s made me very nervous for DC and NYC. Four days after, we’re still experiencing some crazy winds and I don’t know if that is just the tail end of the storm still affecting us or if it’s completely unrelated. Either way, all of you New Englanders and Eastern Seaboarders are in our prayers.

Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Thursday also marked the opening of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the largest boat show in the world. We sort of tossed the idea of going around and finally after church yesterday decided to check it out. To get to the show we took a little waterfront cruise past Billionaire Row in downtown Fort Lauderdale. I will warn you now, if ostentatious displays of wealth are not your thing, you may want to skip the rest of this ’cause it gets pretty ridiculous.

One of the many canals that make Fort Lauderdale “America’s Venice” – a title of which I’m seriously skeptical!

Fort Lauderdale is known as the Yachting Capital of the World. I guess it has something to do with the fact that there are over 300 miles of inland waterways and is home to more than 50,000 registered yachts. And, if you’re gonna have a yacht here, you’re gonna need a house and what better place to buy than on the Billionaire Mile.

The lovely number above belongs to a husband and wife team of venture capitalists. They have the distinction of being Florida’s highest property tax payers at $44,000 per month. That breaks down to about $65.00 per hour, 25 hours a day, 7 days a week. And all for two people to live here.

This was a wedding gift for one billionaire’s niece. This particular billionaire has been classified by Forbes as the “World’s Greediest Billionaire” and has a record of links to organized crime, spousal abuse, intimidation, environmental violations, and other wrongs.

See the pagoda with the blue tile roof? The third level as has a hot tub rimmed in 24 carat gold.

We spotted some cruise ships at the main port in Fort Lauderdale.

And this was all before we even saw the $4,000,000,000,000 (yes, that’s billion) worth of yachts.

Here’s the fuel tank capacity for the 007 boat. At $4.669 per gallon (price of fuel at boat show), you’re looking at dropping $13,568.11 to fill up.

Of all the boats in the show, these two were my favorite. The craftsmanship was impeccable, but you’ll still drop a cool million if you decide to purchase the one on the left.

Here’s the view from the back, or stern….

The agent, who more than knew that we were not in the market for a boat, still let us aboard this one:

Price tag: $6,100,000.00

Galley, complete with Miele appliances.

One of three dining areas.

Top deck.

The agent even wanted to take our picture…so here it is.

But, just to put things into perspective. This isn’t a long-range yacht. It only goes about 1000 miles, so a real billionaire would put this boat on his larger super yacht if he was going to do some real traveling and then use this to explore once he arrived.

There was only one sailboat at the show and it was obviously Scotty’s favorite. It was magnificent.

Of course, there were also luxury cars available to purchase.

And if buying a yacht wasn’t your cup of tea, you could always arrange a charter. Some of these could be had for a million a week but there were more reasonable options.

And what yacht is complete without a helipad and chopper?

Or a slide?

At this point we had a serious case of luxury fatigue and decided to head home. Before I sign off, I have to write something about the people we saw at the show. It was quite the eclectic group: Russian oligarchs, couples from Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia, schleps like us just checking things out. Apparently, according to the agent we spoke with, Brazil is creating 19 millionaires each day and they are buying boats and real estate in S. Florida. He also said that of all the property bought by foreigners in all 50 states, 25% of it is purchased in Florida with the highest concentration being in S. Florida. As a Columbian himself, he had all sorts of things he thought about the trend and most were pretty negative. I found it fascinating.

Along with the new rich of Russia and South America, we spotted quite a few plasticized women and a bit of really expensive but bad fashion. After a year in Paris, I have to say that there seemed to be an unfortunate concentration of brightly colored lycra and sequins at the boat show. And lots of peroxide blonde, Botoxed foreheads, plumped lips, and preternaturally perky bosoms. This is a different world.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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7 Responses to Rubbing Shoulders with the 0.01%

  1. redjim99 says:


    I don’t think I can say anything else about this lot. Really interesting post, we visited Canne during the regatta Royale one year, the same kind of stuff going on. With the Schooners racing each day in the bay for added spice. Not a friendly crowd really, nice boats though. Old two masted wooden decked racing sail boats.

    My son and new daughter in law are in Miami at the moment on honeymoon, they just missed Sandy passing when they arrived. We hope it settles and they have a good time.


  2. Awesome photos! There really are some crazy rich people out there! I much prefer sailing to a showy powerboat any day!

  3. pop says:

    You two look adorable . . . and might I add normal. You must have ‘stood out’ in that crowd.
    One of those ‘antenna clusters’ is probably worth more than all my wealth. Nice . . .
    Like they say – if you find yourself asking ‘what’s it cost to fill it?’ – you can’t.
    Odd to think there’s more money floating on the water there than most towns are worth.
    I find myself a little envious of the ‘greedy’ guy’s lawn.

  4. melissacarr99 says:

    Fun to see how the rest live sometimes. I did get to take a cruise on the Trammell Crow yacht with about 50 of us at work once. They are big real estate in mostly Texas but were in the Bay Area for awhile so we were able to take a spin around the bay. It was fun, we knew it would never happen again and had a good time, they are amazing ships but still toys to me. You two are such a nice looking couple, even in America you are still cute! LOL!! Hugs, Mel

  5. smanor says:

    My most disappointing moment of the show: As I was drooling over the sailboat, some guy walked by and said, “I hate sailboats.” I just put my head in my hands, shaking it in disapproval. I made sure he saw me.

  6. Michael L. Martin says:

    Thank You for the lovely oceanfront pictures, especially the one of you and Scotty. I just got back home from a trip to the east coast, for a cousin’s wedding in Woodbury, L.I. NY. Also was visiting with an aunt living in NJ. Was there to witness the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I spent four days with my aunt in the Matawan area of NJ. Where we lost our power, we spent a lovely night by candlelight, singing broadway theater tunes to each other to past the time.

  7. pedmar10 says:

    gorgeous photos, and I used to lived very close to that FLL lol! now in Brittany France ::) where we have similar boats ….

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