South Florida's boat show circuit kicks off Thursday with two major events in Miami-Dade County and organizers and exhibitors are hoping 2014 will bring continued sales improvements in a rebounding economy.

Nationwide, sales of recreational power boats are forecast to grow 5 to 7 percent in 2014, according to the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association. In 2013 retail sales of new powerboats climbed an estimated 5 percent, following a 10 percent jump in the prior year, NMMA research shows.

Several boat dealers and marine accessories suppliers are looking to reel in big business during the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show and 26th Annual Yacht & Brokerage Show, which both run through Monday at locations across Miami and Miami Beach.

"This year's show along Collins Avenue is the biggest yet," said Ann Vernon, executive director of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association in Fort Lauderdale, co-owner of the Yacht & Brokerage show. Vernon noted that expectations were relatively high this year based on boat sales at last year's event.

The boat show will have more than 500 new and pre-owned yachts and a wide range of marine accessories and technology on display valued at more than $1 billion, according to organizers.

This year, the SuperYacht Miami section was added at the Miami Beach Marina to accommodate demand for larger yachts up to 230-feet in length.

"In 2013 we saw an increased breakthrough in new boat sales and expect that to continue in 2014," said Tom Sanders, general manager of HMY Yachts, which has several offices statewide, including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami. "We've already had some success this year in sales of new boats and expect more sales at the show.

As for pre-owned boats, prices have stabilized and fewer boats are now listed for sale, indicating a strengthening in this category, he said.

The Yacht & Brokerage show exhibitor will have 18 sportfishing boats ranging from 38 feet to 82 feet in length in its pre-owned display and another 13 vessels ranging from 65 to 125 feet in size in its motoryacht exhibit, Sanders noted.

Other exhibitors are also upbeat.

"We're really excited heading into the Miami show this year" said Mike DiCondina, president of Hargrave Custom Yachts in Fort Lauderdale, noting the company was pleased with sales and new orders at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show late last year. "We think the recovery in our segment is starting to gain real traction."

Hargrave will have 11 new and pre-owned yachts for sale at the Yacht & Brokerage show, ranging from 75-feet to 125-feet in length.

At the NMMA-produced Miami International Boat Show, where more than 3,000 boats and 2,000 exhibitors will be gathered from across the globe, organizers are also optimistic.

Last year's show attracted 102,118 visitors and generated an estimated $312.2 million in sales for Florida companies and statewide excise and sales taxes of $30.4 million, a recent economic impact study showed.

"The results of the new study illustrate the show's significant impact not only on South Florida's local economy but to the entire state and recreational boating industry," said Cathy Rick-Joule, show manager and NMMA vice president.

"It's a barometer for annual boat sales, a gathering of the newest and best products in recreational boating, and boost to our economy."

asatchell@tribune.com, 954-356-4209 or Twitter@TheSatchreport.

Information Box

If you go

Yacht & Brokerage Show (showmanagement.com)

Where: Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; Miami Beach Marina

When: Thursday through Monday

Admission: Free (parking fees apply)

Miami International Boat Show (miamiboatshow.com)

Where: Miami Beach Convention Center, Sea Isle Marina and Miamarina at Bayside

When: Thursday through Monday

Cost: Adults $20 (Thursday $35); children 15 years and under free; parking fees may apply