Riding Waves Of Opulence

The nation's biggest boat show, the 64th annual Miami International, is spread out over three locations and displays some 2,300 craft. Another 55 can be seen at a concurrent yacht show.

Both shows continue through the weekend.

The Early Show's Melinda Murphy got the tough assignment of reporting from Miami.

She says she "found a whole new meaning for the term 'R & R' -- everything from the regal to the ridiculous."

It's easy to get carried away. Take sailboats, such as a one-of-a-kind catamaran Murphy spotted.

It's a sailboat she says doesn't feel like a sailboat. It's 35 feet wide, 74 feet long and 100 feet to the top of the mast. There's plenty of living space, and five cabins down below.

Things are comfy up top as well, with electric wenches and a wheel so big you could practically steer with your feet – hardly advisable when the boat reaches its top speed of 20 knots.

The pricetag? A cool $3.5 million or more. "If you say it quickly enough, it doesn't seem so expensive," jokes Peter M. Neil, the president of Regatta Yachts.

Many of the boats at the show are much less expensive, some starting at a measly $249.

The priciest sport fishing boat comes in at just under $700,000. And if speed is your thing, you can pick up a beauty for $1.3 million. "This boat is 3000 horsepower, and it goes about 180 miles per hour," says Steve Tadd, the director of Discover Boating.

The yachts are where it all really gets a little over the top.

Murphy stepped foot on one for the first time, and says she was "definitely out of my element."

The "Blue Diamond" is floating luxury, she marvels.

"This is a villa on the water," gushes Bob Fritsky, CEO of Ferretti Group USA.

The boat sleeps eight comfortably, and it's speedy, too.

"You can do 30 knots, which is about 34 miles per hour," Fritsky points out, really fast for a boat that big. "112 feet going that fast is amazing," Fritsky exclaims.

This yacht is made by Ferretti and for $12 million.

Mr. Ferretti's personal yacht is also at the show, and "Captain Carlos" gave Murphy a sneak peek at the swank ship.

The captain has all the latest technology, and even a reclining chair. It even has a gym!

Murphy took yet another yacht for a spin at sea.

The $4 million craft is so new, it doesn't even have a name yet. The buyer will get to do the honors.

"If they demonstrate enough interest, we'd be happy take 'em for a ride," Fritsky says. "You can't buy a boat like this unless you have an opportunity to try it, see it, feel it, try it on like a pair of shoes or a new car.

"Welcome to 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,'" Fritsky joked.

Murphy continues, "I thought life couldn't get any better than that, but I was wrong."

She got a tour of the most expensive yacht at the show, a $25 million showpiece called "Liquidity."

"Apparently, there's somewhere around a million pieces of stone in this boat," says Joe F. Foggia, president and COO of Christensen.

"Every inch is meticulously designed," Murphy notes. "The master bedroom is breathtaking as are the five guest rooms."

The guest TV has a retractable piece of art to cover it when not in use.

Laundry is a breeze: the laundry room has several machines. And the pantry can stock enough food to feed 12 people for two months. The kitchen has two of everything.

The fly deck features four jet skis, a sunken bar, and a full-sized grill.

"And get this," Murphy observes, "an elevator. On a boat!"

The Liquidity isn't for sale. But if you can wait two years, they can build you one just like it.
  • Brian Dakss

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