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February 2015
IBEX 2015
ABC 2015
RIMTA Career Day
Miami 2016
NMMA Innovation Awards
MMA Neptune Awards
Freeport Marina Management
IBEX 2015
ABBRA Wage Survey
Tiger Docks Award
Renewable Fuel Standard
New Scribble Software
ABBRA Awards

March 2015
EZ Dock, 25 Years
Marine Travelift
Red Snapper Management
Boat US Contest
Cartegena Boat Show

February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015

EZ Dock Celebrates 25 Years

EZ Dock, a manufacturer of polyethylene floating docks and lifts, is celebrating 25 years in business. Its product offerings include dock systems, boat, pontoon and PWC lifts, EZ Launch®, EZ Trail®, and many accessories.

It all began back in 1990, when two friends became tired of having to install their wooden docks under harsh weather conditions year after year. To find the solution soon, they created the EZ Dock system.

The company says EZ Dock products are versatile, durable, easy to install and virtually maintenance free.

Make sure to follow EZ Dock’s Social Media for exciting contests throughout the year in celebration of our 25th Anniversary.

Technomarine Group Acquires Freedom Marine

Freedom Marine Group, a yacht brokerage company, is being acquired by Technomarine Group in North Palm Beach, Florida.

Dennis Close is set to assume the role of president of Technomarine Yachts, the new yacht sales and charter division for the group. Close will also serve as managing partner of Technomarine Group, where he will be responsible for growing the international brand as well as strategic growth of the company’s core businesses and other responsibilities.

“To bring the industry connections and strong reputation of Freedom Marine to a group like Technomarine is a strong move toward developing one of the world’s premier yacht brokerage and charter operations,” Close said. “We will be able to coordinate yacht sales and brokerage with a fully integrated staff and unparalleled customer service. I look forward to the challenges that lay ahead for us all.”

Technomarine Yachts is set to debut at the upcoming Palm Beach International Boat Show, where it is a title sponsor of the Yachts International Pavilion.

Jolly Harbour Marina Purchases New Marine Travelift

Marine Travelift Inc. announced Jolly Harbour Marina in Antigua has purchased a new 75 BFM II mobile boat hoist. This machine was most recently on display at the Miami International Boat Show in February.

Jolly Harbour Marina is located in Antigua’s leeward side and is a full-service marina that provides 155 new concrete berths, storage for 200 boats, a cradle yard and a large work area for engine maintenance and repair, yacht painting, carpentry and duty-free fueling services.

The long-time Marine Travelift customer has added the new 75-ton unit to its operation to replace its existing 70-ton mobile boat hoist, which was sold after being in use since 1985.

“For a machine to remain in excellent condition after 30 years of continuous use and regular wear and tear, Jolly Harbour clearly has put extra TLC into it,” said Jason Johnson, Marine Travelift’s sales manager. “That means the staff stayed up to date with routine maintenance, and they scheduled annual inspections with our factory-trained technicians.”

In an annual inspection, Marine Travelift technicians thoroughly analyze the machine and make recommendations for necessary service. Once the owner has followed through with that necessary maintenance and any scheduled repairs, the machine will be considered factory-certified.

“That gives boat owners added confidence in your operation and helps to attract valuable new customers who seek a high level of quality when it comes to service, and it will ensure that your machine will hold its value when the time comes to sell,” Johnson said. “And, it likely will sell very quickly.”

Gulf States Propose Solution to Red Snapper Issue

State fish and wildlife agencies from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have announced an agreement for state-based management of Gulf of Mexico red snapper. The species has experienced increased privatization of this public resource and decreasing recreational fishing opportunities.

The announcement was greeted with strong enthusiasm from the recreational fishing and boating community, which has supported greater state control of Gulf red snapper.

“Throughout the country, states have proven to be highly successful at fish and wildlife management in a way that conserves natural resources while allowing for reasonable public access,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “The Gulf states are among the nation’s leaders in marine fisheries management, which is why we have continued to look to them as the vehicle for managing Gulf red snapper going forward to get us out of the current mess created by federal mismanagement.”

Under this management structure, each state would have authority to manage red snapper out of 200 miles off its coastline. Each state would be responsible for developing and implementing a red snapper management plan for its waters, which would be approved by the rest of the states.

“Gulf red snapper is incredibly important to the economy of coastal communities throughout the Gulf of Mexico region and attracts anglers from all across the country,” said Mike Nussman, president and chief executive officer of the American Sportfishing Association. “It’s absolutely clear that the states are best equipped to manage this valuable fishery. It’s time we give them that opportunity.”

Life Jacket Design Competition Promises $10,000 Prize

April 15 is the deadline for a lifejacket design competition sponsored by the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association. The two sponsors encouraged boaters, armchair inventors, and design, engineering or high school students to submit their design soon to

Entries can range from hand-drawn theoretical designs to working prototypes. There are no rules regarding types of materials to be used or whether the design meets any current U.S. standards. The winner gets a $10,000 prize.

Design contest entries will be judged based on four criteria: wearability, reliability, cost and innovation. “Wearability” refers to the level of comfort. “Reliability” takes into account chances for potential failure, while “cost” will look at the design’s affordability. “Innovation” will take into account originality or the use of new technologies.

The best entries will be posted on the BoatUS Foundation website and Facebook page for voting by the public in June.

Those votes will assist a panel of experts who will ultimately pick the winner to be announced at the September 2015 International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference in Louisville, Ky.

Additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.

Biondi Keynotes Cartagena Boat Show

During the Cartagena International Boat Show (CIBS), held from March 21 through 23, all eyes were on the keynote speaker, Esteban Biondi, who came to the boat show as part of the USA Pavilion sponsored by National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA).

Biondi is with the international consulting company ATM (Applied Technology & Management), which over three decades has created a team dedicated to specialized marina consulting services. Biondi spoke on Colombia’s potential for marina developments.

Sandra Howard Taylor, Colombia’s Vice Minister of Commerce for Industry and Tourism, said, “The goal of [Colombia’s] National Plan of Nautical Tourism is to consolidate the country as a nautical reference, with marinas that have the capacity for more than 11,000 vessels and a complementary selection of over 150 companies of nautical activities located in modern bases.”

Biondi addressed the integration of engineering, economic feasibility, market research and procurement in marina development. “Few people talk about this, but I know many Colombians who are committed to developing [marina] projects with social responsibility. I hope to help them achieve their goals of creating sustainable marinas and coastal resort destinations,” he said.

Dixon’s Marine Group 2000 Inc. Signs PierVantage

Nova Scotia-based boat builder Dixon’s Marine Group 2000 announced in March that they have signed with PierVantage for Boat Builders to help them keep up with the pace of their expanding boat building and service business. Dixon’s boats are well known in the fishing community for their reliability, durability and efficiency.

“We are extremely fortunate to be building and servicing boats for our customers at a rate we have not seen in the last 15 years,” said Janine Dixon, general manager of Dixon’s Marine Group 2000 Inc. “We had a strong desire to upgrade to one solution that was built specifically for our business and PierVantage offered that to us. The functionality is intuitive, the PierVantage team knows the boat building business, and the implementation process was extremely well organized,” said Dixon.

Formerly, boat builders relied on a handful of non-integrated, non-marine-specific software products such as Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks and others.

IBEX Conference Named Fastest 50 Growing Trade Show

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) has been named to the Fastest 50 Class of 2014 by Trade Show Executive Magazine.

IBEX received recognition in two categories: growth in the number of exhibitors and growth in attendance. Plans are fully underway for the growth to continue for the 2015 event, taking place at the Louisville Convention Center in Kentucky, September 15-17.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the leading event industry magazine as one of the fastest growing shows in the country,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director. “We have incredible plans for the upcoming show in September to continue to build upon our commitment to the produce the marine industry’s largest technical trade event.”

Last year’s event, which took place in Tampa, Fla., attracted 6,900 attendees, a 47 percent increase compared to 2013 and that the 558 exhibiting companies represented a 15 percent increase in exhibitor participation compared to the 2013 show.

“I’m so happy to announce that IBEX has just been named one of the Trade Show Executive’s 50 Fastest-Growing Shows of 2014,” said Darlene Gudea, president of the magazine. “Congratulations to the entire IBEX team—this was no small accomplishment. The average trade show in 2014 grew only 2 percent in each of these three categories.”

Former NBC Meet the Press Moderator to Give Keynote Remarks at ABC

David Gregory, former NBC Meet the Press moderator, is expected to give the keynote speech at the 2015 American Boating Congress on May 13 in Washington, D.C.

Named one of Washington’s 50 best and most influential journalists by Washington magazine, Gregory is known for his sharp intellect and quick sense of humor. Gregory will speak candidly about covering the most powerful office in the world and talks openly about politics, current affairs, and the role of the popular media.

For more information on how to register for ABC or to make hotel reservations, visit

RIMTA Hosts Industry Career Day

Marine & Composites Industry Career Day will take place March 7 at the IYRS Newport Campus in Newport, Rhode Island, and comes on the heels of good news in the marine trades. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the start of 2015 marks three consecutive years of steady growth in the boating business.

Approximately 40 companies from Maine to New York will attend this year’s Career Day to connect with individuals interested in working in the marine and composites industries.

Cohosted by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and IYRS, this event is free to the public. Three breakout sessions will be held so career seekers can learn from experts.

“In the 18 years I have been in the recruiting business, I have never seen a market where marine-trades talent is in such high demand,” Neal Harrell, president of Brooks Marine Group, said.

Career Day organizers encourage job seekers at all levels to attend the event—from skilled tradesmen and women, to managerial talent, to those who have no experience but have an interest in the marine and composites industries and a willingness to learn.

Career Day opens to the public at 10:30 a.m., but two of the three breakout sessions are slated prior to the event’s opening so attendees can devote their full attention to learning and not miss valuable speaking time with employers.

For more information and to preregister for Career Day, visit the Career Day website at

NMMA Announces Plans for 2016 Miami Boat Show

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) made announcements about plans for the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, which will move to a new location at the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin. NMMA staffers and executives joined Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and members of the City of Miami Commission for a groundbreaking at the new site on February 13.

The City of Miami will be investing $16 million to rejuvenate the Park and Basin. Additionally, NMMA will build customized docks and erect exhibitor tents. The vast area of water, which is the size of the Washington Mall, can accommodate at least 700 slips and will also be able to house large boats in a deep-water basin. On land, large air-conditioned, open-air tent structures will span Marine Stadium Park. Other elements of the new site announced by NMMA include plentiful more parking, the availability of water taxis from ports and hotels from throughout Miami that will be taking attendees to and from the show, and the ability for private boats to dock at the show and have access to launch services.

Onsite at this year's show, from signage to renderings to information handouts, attendees couldn't miss the promotion for next year. Additionally, onPeak, the official hotel provider for the 2016 show, was booking reservations for next year. A 2016 sales and information center was staffed with NMMA sales staff offering details and booking information. Click here for a rendering of the new location. To learn about the 2016 show, please visit or contact Cathy Rick-Joule at

Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award Winners Honored

At the annual industry breakfast, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the winners of the 2015 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards.

This year’s program featured a record number of entries with 97 products—a 68 percent increase in entries compared to last year.

The 2015 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners are:

Alternate Drive Technology (pods, stern drives): Volvo Penta, Forward Drive
Deck Equipment & Hardware: Taco Metals, Rub Rail Mounted LED Light
Docking & Fendering Equipment: StormFender LLC, StormFender
Mechanical & Electrical Systems: Yamaha Watercraft, Connext Helm Control System
Inboard Engines: Indmar Products, ROUSH Charged Raptor
Outboard Engines: BRP U.S. Inc., Evinrude E-TEC G2
Consumer Safety Equipment: Simrad-Navico, Forward Scan
Watersport Equipment: LilliPad Diving Boards, LilliPad Diving Board
Consumer Electronics, Apps & Software: Navionics Inc., SonarCharts and SonarCharts Live
Center Console & Walkaround Fishing Boats: Hydra-Sport, 53’ Suenos
Cuddy Cabin and Bowrider Boats: Rec Boat Holdings/Four Winns, Horizon 440 Bow Cruiser
Deck Boats: Boston Whaler, 320 Vantage
Jet Boats: Chaparral Boats, Aerial Surf Platform
Personal Watercrafts (PWCs): Yamaha Watercraft, Yamaha RiDE System
Pontoon Boats: Apex Marine, Inc., Angler Quest
Tow Boats: MasterCraft Boat Company, X23
Environmental Award: Wake Worx LLC, Mussel Mast’R Aquatic Invasive Species Filter System

Marine Marketers of America Announce 2014 Neptune Award Winners

At the Miami International Boat Show Industry Breakfast on February 12, the Marine Marketers of American (MMA) announced the winners of the seventh annual 2014 Neptune Awards for Marketing Excellence.

“There were 122 entries in 14 categories, our largest field ever,” Wanda Kenton Smith, president of MMA, said. “There was great diversity – entries came from companies large and small, sail and power, from insurance to fishing tournaments and everything in between. The standard of work overall was very high, and in the seven years of the Neptune Awards, this was the toughest competition yet.”

2014 Neptune Awards were presented to the following companies in these categories:

Best National Magazine Advertising (Series): Hell’s Bay Boatworks “Draft/Dial/Slider” created by Markham Unlimited

Best Mobile Application: Yamaha Watercraft for “WaveRunner 2015 App”

Best Digital Newsletter: Neptune Group Yachting for “The Neptune Pilot” created by Turnkey Communications and PR and DMT Design

Best Email Blast: IBEX for “2014 Summer Series Campaign” created by CSG Creative

Best Event Marketing/Sales Promotion: BRP/SeaDoo Watercraft for “#SPARKSOMEFUN Test Ride Tour” created by LOOK Marketing

Best Product Literature: Hell’s Bay Boatworks for “Corporate Collateral” created by Markham Unlimited

Best Marketing Innovation: BRP Evinrude for “Digital Configurator” created by Cramer-Krasselt

Best Print Newsletter: Bimini Sands Resort & Marina for “Tidelines” created by Turnkey Communications and PR

Best Regional/Local Marketing: SeaTow for “Life Jacket Loaner Program”

Best National Magazine Advertising (Single Page Ad): Hell’s Bay Boatworks for “Man’s Best Friend” created by Markham Unlimited

Best Social Media Campaign: Mercury Marine for “Carol of the Bells”

Best National Magazine Advertising (Spread): North Sails for “Racing”

Best Video: BRP – Evinrude for “Evinrude E-TEC G2 Outboard” created by Cramer-Krasselt and Group Mojo

Best Web Advertising: Bayliner Boats for “Element XR7 Teaser Campaign” created by Pearl Brands

Winning entries and images may be viewed on the MMA website – visit

Marinas International to Manage Freeport Marina

Dallas-based Marinas International has acquired the new management contract for Freeport Marina on the Texas Gulf Coast.

“Freeport is a vibrant community and we are excited to be a part of it,” Jeff Rose, senior vice president with Marinas International, said. “Our management methodology is based on time-tested strategies and practices. We will work closely with the management team offering creative solutions that will lead to action and results. Our aim is to become a long-term fixture in the Freeport community by providing a world-class fishing destination.”

Freeport Marina, formerly known as Freeport Municipal Marina, is comprised of protected floating piers and a dry stack storage facility for boaters. The marina offers fuel, ice, full air-conditioned restrooms and showers, and laundry facilities. The marina is also close to beaches, hiking, biking and birding sites.

IBEX Conference Returning to Louisville in September

The 25th annual International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will return to Louisville, Kentucky, on September 15 through September 17, 2015. Ninety percent of exhibit space on the show floor has been sold to marine industry vendors.

“We are looking forward to celebrating our 25th IBEX show this year in Louisville and bringing the marine industry together for this milestone event,” Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director, said. “IBEX 2015 is already shaping up to be the best event ever with the addition of several new show experiences focusing on trends, materials and technology. As our industry continues to rebound, we look forward to sharing the future of marine technology and innovation with our attendees in Louisville in September.”

Exhibitors will have an opportunity to promote new products and technology, increase sales, network with peers, conduct strategic negotiations and monitor cutting-edge trends at the 2015 IBEX show. In addition to securing booth space, there are also several networking and sponsorship opportunities available for exhibitors, including the Opening Night 25th Celebration, the Bourbon & Brew Happy Hour and the Composite Cocktail Competition. Each of these events will provide attendees and exhibitors a chance to network with industry professionals from all over the world, discuss upcoming trends and form lasting relationships.

To register for exhibit space and sponsorships, contact Tina Sanderson at (802) 879-8324 or, or Kate Holden at (207) 359-7791 or

ABBRA Compensation Survey Released

The results from American Boat Builder Association’s 2014 Compensation and Benefits Survey are now available.

Survey data were collected from ABBRA members nationwide, along with local marine trade associations’ members, and additional participants from the marina and boatyard industry.

The report, entitled The ABBRA Compensation and Benefits Benchmark Study, serves as a valuable resource for employers in the boatyard, marine service, and repair sectors to gauge rates, salaries, and benefits in the current employment market. It includes data on hourly wages, average vacation time, health benefits, and retirement plans.

It also ensures that employees and independent contractors are obtaining the correct compensation for their work.

Gordon Connell, ABBRA’s Executive Director said, “We continue to see a measure of stability in the levels of wages for the wide range of boatyard positions we collect data on. On average, there was a two to three percent increase across all categories, with the key technical and skilled positions continuing to command strong rates. ”

The survey results are segmented by the size of the business based on their annual revenue for boatyard services. The results provide information for a broad array of job types and those jobs identified as the most common in today’s boatyards.

The survey was conducted by Rhode Island-based Survey Advantage on behalf of ABBRA, and all data are analyzed and presented in aggregate.

The Compensation and Benefits Benchmark Study is available at no cost to businesses that provided data for this year’s survey.

The survey is available for purchase at $85 for ABBRA members and $150 for non-members.

For more information, please email ABBRA at or call 954/654-7821.

Tiger Docks Wins Kansas City Boat Show Award

Tiger Docks of O’Fallon, Missouri, was recently awarded the company’s third Best Dock & Lift Display award in four years at the National Marine Manufacturers Association/Progressive Boat & Sportshow held at Bartle Hall in Kansas City in late January.

Tiger Docks earned the award with a comprehensive presentation of the custom docks they design and manufacture, boat lifts they sell and marine accessories they offer.

“We invested a lot of time and energy to represent our products in an educational and interesting way,” Marv Davis, Tiger Docks’ chief financial officer and vice president of commercial and military sales, said. “We wanted to help make the show a great experience for all visitors and are grateful for this recognition of our efforts.”

Tiger Docks’ 2015 Kansas City Boat & Sportshow display included a four-foot by 20-foot steel dock section, a four-foot by four-foot concrete display dock with WetSteps, a Sunstream Mini SunLift and canopy with accessories, two HydroHoist floating boat lifts, a Trex decking display, a photo display wall, and a streaming photo display screen. A similar display will be featured at the upcoming NMMA/Progressive 2015 Boat & Sportshow in St. Louis, Missouri, March 4-8.

ABBRA Announces Its 2015-16 Board of Directors

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has announced its 2015-16 executive officers, board of directors and two new members to its board of directors.

The 2015-16 ABBRA board of directors includes Graham Wright, Great Island Boatyard, Harpswell, Maine, president; Kirk Ritter, Morris Yachts, Northeast Harbor, Maine, vice president; Peter Sabo, Camachee Yacht Yard, St. Augustine, Fla., treasurer; Ron Helbig, Noank Village Boatyard, Noank, Conn., secretary; and John Fitzgerald, Saunders Yachtworks, Gulf Shores, Ala., past president.

Directors include: Cathy Cope, Dana Point Shipyard, Dana Point, California; Kellie Crete, Gowrie Group, Westbook, Connecticut.; Douglas Domenie, Brewer Dauntless Shipyard, Essex, Connecticut; Guy Gauvin, Boston BoatWorks, Boston, Massachusetts; John Hall, Jr., Frank Hall Boatyard, Westerly, Rhode Island; Michael Keyworth, Brewer Cove Haven Marina, Barrington, Rhode Island; Pamela Lendzion, MarineTec Mgt., St. Augustine, Florida; Bill Munger, Conanicut Marine Services, Jamestown, Rhode Island; Joseph Parks, Composite System Integrators, Tampa, Florida; Randy Ramsey, Jarrett Bay Boatworks, Beaufort, North Carolina; Bruce Rowe, Forever Resorts, Scottsdale, Arizona; Michelle Shrider, Washburn Marina, Washburn, Wisconsin; Jack Stumborg, Atlantic Yacht Basin, Chesapeake, Virginia; Ed Sherman, ABYC, Annapolis, Maryland; and Steve Smith, Akzonobel, Houston, Texas.

“It’s an honor to be assuming the role of president of ABBRA at a time when the outlook for our industry is as bright as we could reasonably hope for,” 2015 ABBRA President Graham Wright said, during the award dinner. “As an organization we will continue to advocate for professionalism, higher standards, and promote best management practices in the boatyard business and offer opportunities for networking and relationship building through activities like our Annual Boatyard Business Conference. I look forward to the coming year as president of ABBRA and to working with my fellow board members.”

Boat Owners: Support Renewable Fuel Standards Act

Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) urged its members to contact their legislators to support the Renewable Fuel Standards Reform Act of 2015, introduced that day by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and 30 co-sponsort to “help ensure recreational boaters don’t put unsafe fuel in their boats.”

BoatUS Government Affairs Program Manager Nicole Palya Wood said, “The new bill would recognize the failure of the current Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its out of date ethanol-mandate, and make the necessary changes so there is a safe fuel for all gasoline powered engines.”

According to Wood, BoatUS supports the bill because, “The RFS Reform Act acknowledges the reality of America’s declining fuel consumption, allows for the investment in other more compatible biofuels, and erases the twisted math that forces more ethanol onto a marketplace that neither demands it, nor can physically absorb it at safe levels.”

Currently, no marine engines in the U.S. are warrantied to run on any gasoline blend greater than 10 percent ethanol (E10). According to the American Automobile Association, only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today are approved to use E15 gasoline, based on a survey conducted by AAA of auto manufacturers. Any damage from the use of higher ethanol fuels (E15 or greater) in cars and trucks will void many manufacturers’ warranties.

The new bill would cap the ethanol requirements at E10 (10 percent ethanol), would effectively prohibit the use of corn-based ethanol in the RFS, require more advanced biofuels and take into account actual, real-world production of biofuels when setting requirements.

For more on RFS and ethanol, see this story in the December 2014/January 2015 issue.

Scribble Software Release Updated MarinaOffice

Scribble Software Inc. announces the release of MarinaOffice 7.8, an updated version of its popular MarinaOffice Suite of Solutions.

Used by thousands of marina industry personnel around the world, the MarinaOffice Suite of Solutions provides comprehensive and inclusive marina management solutions to marinas and boatyards of all sizes.

“We are very excited and pleased to be releasing MarinaOffice 7.98 into production,” Scribble Software Project Manager Luke Irvine said. “We listened and worked with the desires of our customers and delivered a solution that is second to none.”

The new MarinaOffice 7.8 offers a modern architectural platform and enhanced user interface. Other enhancements encompass nearly all modules of the solution including enhanced user process flows, enhanced work order and service scheduling, enhanced reporting, improved clout platform extensions with one-step paperless billing, online payment processing, wireless vessel monitoring, mobile phone apps and extensions providing customer collaboration.

“We have been using MarinaOffice for seven years now and have been very happy with it,” Mickey Ledbetter, manager of operations at Willow Grove Marina & Resort, said. “The new version 7.8 is very helpful to the operations of our marina, and it is great working with Scribble Software.”

ABBRA Honors Annual Award Winners at Boatyard Conference

Stuart, Florida-based Whiticar Boat Works was awarded the 2015 Boatyard of the Year honor at the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) Boatyard Business Conference award dinner held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from January 21-23.

Located on Willoughby Creek just two miles east of the St. Lucie Inlet on the east coast of Florida, Whiticar has been in continuous operation for the past 60 years.

Jim Dragseth, president of Whiticar Boat Works, accepted the award. “It is humbling and very rewarding to be recognized by ABBRA,” Dragseth said. “Thank you very much for this honor.”

Whiticar Boat Works joins a group of several other distinguished boatyards around the country to receive the Boat Yard of the Year award. These include facilities such as Thunderbolt Marine in Georgia, Front Street Shipyard in Main, Jarrett Bay Boatyard in North Carolina, Newport Shipyard in Rhode Island, and Keefe Kaplan Maritime in California that are recipients of the ABBRA Boatyard of the Year honor.

“Whiticar employs a wonderful array of talented professionals and the company relies on the old fashioned they take in a job well done,” ABBRA President John Fitzgerald said. “However, lest you think, they are a relic of past success, their Web presence features two Facebook pages, a Twitter feed, YouTube videos and a blog. They are a wonderful example of the great tradition of ABBRA boatyards with a storied past and a determination to service their customers into a bright future.”

Other awards were presented to Bennett Brothers Yachts, Award of Excellence for Customer Care; Jim Parks of Lauderdale Marine Center, Excellence in Safety & Environmental Practices; Ed Sherman of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), Award of Excellence for Commitment to Training; and Gunboat, Excellence in Technology.

RICA Receives Funding from Charity

The Rhode Island Composites Alliance (RICA) has received $175,000 in funding from the Rhode Island Foundation and the van Beuren Charitable Foundation. The newly formed RICA is focused on growing the composites industry in the state.

The announcement was made during the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) on “Launching into the Future: Growing Rhode Island’s Marine and Composites Industries,” which was held on the opening morning of the Providence Boat Show.

Rhode Island dignitaries—including Governor Gina Raimondo—stressed the importance of rebuilding the state’s middle class and creating tens of thousands of family-supporting jobs. “We are going to create good jobs by focusing on industries where Rhode Island can be a leader, such as the marine and composites industry,” said Gov. Raimondo.

There are 75 companies in Rhode Island involved in many aspects of composite building; 35 of these companies are concentrated in the East Bay area.

“These companies need to know what we already have here in Rhode Island,” said Rich O’Meara of Core Composites. “Funding from these two foundations will allow us to bring that kind of recognition to this area.”

Sullivan Flotation Systems Partners with Atlantic Meeco to Form Meeco Sullivan

Sullivan Flotation Systems and Atlantic-Meeco have partnered to form a new brand called Meeco Sullivan, The Marina Company, in McAlester, Oklahoma.

“With our common ownership and complementary product lines and capabilities it made perfect sense for us to join forces and market our extensive experience and capabilities as one brand,” Steve Sullivan, chief executive officer, said. “Our combined 107 years of experience and over 3,000 marine installations are unequalled as is our product offering of steel, timber and aluminum dock systems for virtually any freshwater or saltwater environment.”

Meeco Sullivan now has the ability to offer full-service capabilities for any marina or dock system project by providing design, production, installation and service support from its two facilities located in Warwick, New York and McAlester, Oklahoma. The Warwick operation will primarily handle timber, aluminum and steel dock systems for the eastern United States. The McAlester operation will handle timber, Glulam, steel and aluminum dock systems for customers in the central and western regions of the U.S.

“Bringing these two companies together allows us to be a much stronger and more competitive supplier for any type of marina or dock project and operate much more efficiently while delivering the absolute highest quality products,” Ron Turcotte, executive chairman of Meeco Sullivan, said. “We are very excited about Meeco Sullivan’s growth opportunities given their combined histories, staffs and experience.”

ABBRA Honors John Hall Jr. With Dennis Snow President’s Award

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) Dennis Snow President’s Award was presented to John Hall Jr., owner and president of Frank Hall Boatyard in Westerly, Rhode Island, at the 2015 Boatyard Business Conference held January 21-23 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“John represents the third generation of this family to own the Avondale/Westerly, Rhode Island yard,” outgoing ABBRA president John Fitzgerald said. “His company is well respected in the community with reviews that describe the staff at Frank Hall Boatyard as great, and characterizes it as a very quiet location with a marina full of good people.”

John Hall Jr. has served the industry through active membership and board representation with the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association. He has been a loyal advocate of ABBRA for more than 25 years and is a past president of the association.

“I knew Dennis Snow,” Hall Jr. said, “To receive this award given in his name is a great honor to me.”

Past recipients of the Dennis Snow President’s Award include Jonathan Jones of Haven Harbour Marina; Bill Munger of Conanicut Marine Service; Jack Brewer of Brewer Yacht Yards; Dennis Nixon of Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island; Carl Cramer of Professional Boat Builder Magazine; and Frank Herhold of Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

Sea Hawk Paints CEO Presents to Antifouling Agent Shortage

Clearwater, Florida-based Sea Haw Paints has announced the completion of a seminar for its national distribution partner Land N’ Sea Distributing, Inc. The four-session training seminar for the Land N’ Sea sales team was presented by Erik Norrie, chief executive officer for Sea Hawk.

Norrie said the implementation of sales control to 0 percent imposed on BASF Irgarol 1051 US, an algaecide specifically designed for marine antifouling coatings, and pointed out possible disruption to certain dual biocides coating products in the market as a result. Norrie then presented Sea Hawk Paints’ solution to the problem, which is the current dual biocide antifouling boat paint Biocop TF.

“The ‘Growing Together As One’ national sales meeting is an incredible event for exchanging information and equipping the Land N’ Sea sales team to sell Sea Hawk Paints products,” Norrie said. “Boat yards can count on Sea Hawk’s Biocop TF as the perfect dual biocide alternative to the problems posed by any disruption in the BASF Irgarol supply.”

Biocop TF is Sea Hawk Paint’s premier dual biocide antifouling paint. Its proprietary “PL3” polymer binding technology provides an engineered biocide that delivers maximum protection from hard and soft growth during any season in both fresh water and saltwater. Biocop TF gallons and pints are available at authorized Sea Hawk distributions and retailers.

BoatUS Cuts Cost of Online Boating Education

The BoatUS Foundation has announced its decision to cut back on the cost of its boating safety courses offered in partnership with US Power Squadrons and Offshore Sailing School.

Accessible by computer, tablet or smartphone, the series of no-cost and tuition-based courses give boaters time to brush up on their boating knowledge, get more confident, meet their state’s boating safety course requirements or qualify them for a boat insurance discount.

In addition to 33 individual, no-cost, state-approved boating safety courses, BoatUS offers programs such as Weather for Boaters; Boating on Rivers, Lakes and Locks; Partner in Command; Learn to Sail; Clean Boating Course; and DSC-VFH Radio Tutorial.

To learn more and see the courses available, visit

NMMA Canada Announces New Research in Toronto

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) president, Thom Dammrich, announced key data from its NMMA Canadian Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract report as it met with members of the boating industry at the Toronto International Boat Show.

The data revealed an increase in boating participation and an ease in boat and engine sales across Canada, with the exception of an increase in British Columbia, for the period of October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.

The data Dammrich presented noted that 46 percent of adult Canadians participated in recreational boating. This corresponds to 13.2 million Canadians aged 18 and older. This is the highest percentage on record since NMMA began collecting the data in 2011.

Also noted in the presentation was the fact that the majority of Canadian boaters are middle-class families with 71 percent of current boating participants having some post-secondary education. Of those, 68.7 percent were employed at least part-time and 59 percent had children living at home with 63.7 percent reporting incomes less than $100,000.

“The Canadian recreational boating industry continues to be a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, generating $2 billion in sales from new boat and engines and $985.2 million in pre-owned boat sales from September 2013 through October 2014,” Dammrich said. “It’s likely that cold weather, which dampened the prime boating season from May through September, contributed to sales declines during the period.”

To obtain a copy of the report, contact Vicky Yu at or by calling 312/ 946-6261, or online here.

Seats Still Available for IMBC Field Trip and Marina Design Course

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) still has seats available for its Marina and Boatyard Field Trip taking place during the conference’s three-day event at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, starting on January 28.

The field trip will provide attendees with an in-depth look at three facilities in the Tampa region, which includes a tour of each facility and an opportunity to speak with property managers.

The cost to attend the field trip is $60 for AMI members and $90 for non-members. This includes transportation, lunch and marina tours.
In addition to the field trip, IMBC is still accepting registrants for its American Society of Civil Engineers Marina Design Course, a one-day course that explores waterfront design and is based on ASCE’s Manual 50.

By the end of the course, participants will have a strong understanding of ASCE’s new guidelines for the design of small craft harbors and learn how a fusion of technical, economic and creative planning can optimize harbor design and economic development goals. Attendees will also learn how civil engineers can play a leadership role in integrating the build and natural environments for marina projects.

The course costs $350 and includes lunch. A discount is available to those who register to attend both the course and IMBC ($550 for AMI members and $650 for non-members).

To register for the conference, field trip or design course, click here.

Enrollment Now Open for RIMTA Apprenticeship Program

The Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program through the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) has opened enrollment for its next session. The six-week training program for individuals looking to gain the skills needed for entry-level positions in the marine industry will begin in February.

The program, which launched in 2013, is recruiting candidates who are Rhode Island residents over age 18 and have the interest and aptitude to work in the marine trades; experience around boats, however, is not a requirement.

“We look at students with all different backgrounds,” Jen Cornwell, program director, said. “Automotive, construction, even those who simply like to work with their hands. Their skills are transferable.”

For more information on the pre-apprenticeship program, contact Jen Cornwell at or 401/396-9619.

Strong Sponsorship Supports Providence Boat Show

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), owner of the Providence Boat Show, has drawn a strong lineup of sponsors to its annual boat show taking place January 23-25 at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

RIMTA purchased the Providence Boat Show in fall 2013. Last year, the event saw a 15 percent increase in space sales and a 20 percent increase in ticket sales. According to Jonathan Banks, show director, the show is set to continue its success with help from local sponsors.

Banks said that in addition to new sponsors, the show will create new attractions and build on last year’s success.

The show will highlight the Volvo Ocean Race in anticipation of the round-the-world fleet’s arrival in Newport next May. The Rhode Island stopover, hosted by Sail Newport, will be the only U.S. stopover in this 11-port event.

“The Providence show is a valuable opportunity to tell people why Rhode Island is a great place to go boating,” Wendy Mackie, CEO of RIMTA, said. “It’s inspiring to see how our sponsors have matched their business goals with different areas of the show to create new ways to support the marine trades—a business sector that is vital to our state’s economy.”

Few Spots Available on IMBC Field Trip

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) will hold its annual field trip day on Wednesday, January 28 from 11: 30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Field trip spots are almost sold out, but a few spots remain open for $60 to AMI members and $90 for non-members.

This year’s trip will visit three local properties that will enhance attendees’ knowledge of working marinas and boatyards.

The first property to be visited is the Harborage Marina at Bayboro where lunch will be served onsite. Located on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront, the marina boasts 300 wet slips. Members have access to a swimming pool with sundeck, tiki hut, fuel, security staff and other amenities. The Harborage Marina is operated by Marinas International.

Pass-A-Grille Marina makes up the second stop and is a small, family-owned facility located in St. Pete Beach. The marina is the closest to the Gulf and offers transient slips, boat repairs and other services. This tour will show not only the marina but also will discuss the impact of Tropical Storm Debby in 2012 and renovations.

The final property is the Gulfport Municipal Marina, which lies on approximately 11 acres of land and seven-and-a-half acres of water. The marina includes 192 wet slips open to the public alongside 25 dry boat storage spaces, ship store, fueling stations and more.

To sign up for the 2015 IMBC Field Trip, please visit the website at

OceanLED Announces Expansion of U.S. Operations

OceanLED USA, LLC, a LED lighting technology company for the marine industry, announced that they are relocating to a new office space.

The 3,800-square-foot office located at 778 South Military Trail in Deerfield Beach, Florida, will provide additional space for OceanLED’s technical support, marketing department and warehouse to better meet the needs of customers in North and South America.

“We are very proud to announce the expansion of our U.S. operation,” Guppy Dhariwal, CEO of OceanLED, said. “It is a testament to the trust in our brand shown by our U.S. customers. This move is a platform for our continued growth in the U.S., and as the interest in LED lighting expands, we will continue to lead the way bringing new innovations to the marketplace.”

My-Villages Integrates The Boat Village and DockMaster

My-Villages has announced that it will be offering boat yards, dealers and other boat businesses a simpler, more automated way of serving their customers via its software solution for the boating industry.

Integrating its two solutions – The Boat Village and the DockMaster – My-Villages has successfully created the industry’s first front-to-back tool for managing customer interactions, service coordination, task management, work orders, parts ordering, accounting and more.

Customers can enter task requests via The Boat Village, and those tasks are routed directly to the service manager. The tasks are then turned into a DockMaster estimate. The service manager can allocate man hours, order parts and finalize the estimate for the customer. Using The Boat Village, the customer can approve the tasks on the estimate, add photos or video, ask questions, provide further input and receive updates on work underway.

“This new integrated front-to-back system allows service professionals to process customer-requested work tasks online, and then integrate those tasks into a traditional work order,” Kevin Hutchinson, the founder and CEO of My-Villages, said.

The company has also recently signed up four new boating businesses to its The Boat Village Professional platform. The new customers, which include Dean’s Yacht Services in Annapolis, Md., Ocean Marine Yacht Center in Portsmouth, Va., Sunset Harbour Yacht Club in Miami, Fla., and 360 Yacht in Boca Raton, Fla., will use The Boat Village Professional to better communicate with their customers, coordinate tasks and elevate their overall service delivery. Boston Boat Works in East Boston, Mass., has also signed on to the software.

Additionally, six new marine customers have installed DockMaster, and 11 of My-Villages’ existing customers have converted to the DockMaster-hosted cloud solution.

New DockMaster customers include the City of Rock Island, Illinois, Tuppens Marine in Lake Worth, Florida, Pelican Rest Marina in Galveston, Texas, Faro Blanco Marina in Marathon, Florida, Campbell’s Boatyard in Oxford, Maryland, and Bemidji Marine in Bemidji, Minnesota.

2014 Neptune Awards Adds New Diversity Award Category

Marine Marketers of America (MMA) has issued an official call for entries for the 2014 Neptune Awards. The awards, which recognize outstanding work in the marine marketing field, will be presented at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2015.

The competition is open to any company or organization producing and publishing marine industry marketing work this year between January 1 and December 31, 2014.

“There is a lot of marketing energy and creativity in the boating marketplace right now, and we hope that marine marketers will take advantage of the Neptune Awards program to have their creativity and innovation recognized by their peers,” Sally Helme, MMA vice president and awards committee co-chair, said.

The competition is the seventh annual contest for the coveted Neptune Awards. Entries will be accepted for all 12 current standing categories, plus one new one.

Returning categories include national magazine ads, national magazine ads in a series, web advertising (banner ads), product literature, newsletters, email promotion/blasts, regional/local marketing, video, mobile apps, social media campaign, marketing innovation and special event/sales promotion.

The deadline for submission is January 9. Complete program details, including entry guidelines and the official entry form, are posted on the association’s website:

For more information about the 2014 Neptune Awards program, contact Awards Program co-chairs Sally Helme at +1 (401) 845-4405, or, or Cindy Pechous at +1 (312) 946-6239, or

Poralu Expands Middle Eastern Presence

French port systems manufacturer Poralu Marine announced in November that it has opened an office in Dubai with a view to developing markets in the rapidly expanding Middle East. Poralu Marine had previously had only agents and distributors in the Middle East.

With its management headed by Franck Neveu, Poralu Marine Middle East office covers a vast area that includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, and Turkey.

“Geographical proximity to our customers and partners had become essential in a region like the Middle East, where decision making is very fast and requires great responsiveness on our part,” Neveu said as he took up his post in Dubai in the summer of 2014.

The latest large-scale constructions by Poralu Marine in the Middle East have been the Durrat Marina, the largest marina in Bahrain; a marina on the island of Kish in Iran; and three marinas in Turkey, in Didim, Istanbul and Oren.

After Didim in the Izmir region and then Istanbul, Poralu Marine signed its third contract for a marina in Turkey in Oren. Gokova Oren Marina, located between Bodrum and Marmaris, offers 427 berths for 10- to 40-meter boats, including 71 berths for yachts more than 20 meters long. This construction, starting from zero, was completed in just six months, from January to June 2014.

Poralu Marine has two production units in France and in Canada (Montreal), a subsidiary in Australia, sales offices in Germany, England, China (Hong Kong), United Arab Emirates, Spain, and Italy and a network of agents working the key international markets.

Founded in 1982, Poralu Marine manufactures port systems for marinas in tune with its customers’ economic, social and environmental requirements. Poralu Marine also offers an extensive range of products: diving rafts, leisure pontoons, private jetties, etc., bridges, catwalks, landing stages, etc.

Discover Boating Reports 1.2 Billion Impressions

A report from Discover Boating, a public awareness effort managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) on behalf of the North American recreational boating industry, stated that it generated 1.2 billion media impressions from October 2013 to September 2014. This result represents a 42-percent increase in impressions over 2013.

Discover Boating’s 2014 campaign included initiatives such as the “Stories of Discovery” video documentary series, a partnership with country star Jake Owens, social media marketing, advertising and public relations.

The same report stated that, according to Discover Boating survey results, the positive perception of boating has increased since last year. In 2014, 91 percent of people said they felt more positive about boat ownership, a 10-percent increase over 2013’s numbers.

Through online connections to participating boat dealers and manufacturers, Discover Boating also sent 1.8 million people to manufacturer websites in 2014 — an 83-percent increase over 2013.

Get more information about Discover Boating at

Marinas International Supports Economic Impact Model

Marinas International has signed on to sponsor the development of the Association of Marina Industries’ (AMI) Marina Economic Impact Model. This tool, due out in 2015, will allow marinas across the country to calculate their economic impact on their local communities and their region.

“For too long marinas have been unable to show the value that they bring to the communities in which they sit. Being able to show this value will help boost our standing and justify the need we may have for future expansion or renovations,” said Jeff Rose, senior vice president at Marinas International.

AMI hopes the tool will be used for developing values for marinas sales, for justifying permit and grant applications, and for generally showing that marinas help drive the economies of communities. It also plans to use the inputted data to develop regional economic snapshots of marina businesses.

Further information on the project will be announced at this year’s International Marina & Boatyard Conference, scheduled for January 28 to 30, 2015, in Tampa, Fla.

Mercury Promotes Boating and Fishing for Kids

Mercury Marine has partnered with Bill Dance, host of Bill Dance Outdoors, and Fox Sports Outdoors host Barry Stokes to create videos that promote the value of getting kids to experience life on the water.

“I’ve never seen a child who didn’t like to fish, and I’ve never seen one that didn’t enjoy it twice as much when it was done from a boat,” said Dance. “It was sure that way for me when I was a child.”

According to new statistics released by the NMMA, fishing is the number one boating activity, followed by tubing and waterskiing.

Both Dance and Stokes have released videos promoting the boating and fishing lifestyle for kids. The videos can be viewed on the Mercury Marine YouTube page at

Additional information on how to make fishing and boating fun for kids can be found on the Take Me Fishing website,

31st Street Marina Adds Floating Pool, Platform

Chicago’s new boat harbor, 31st Street Marina, has added a floating swimming pool and platform designed specifically with winter in mind. When filled, the pool sits flush with the deck of the platform. However, in the winter, when the water is drained from the pool, the insert is able to free float at its natural level in the water beneath it. With the two structures able to float independently, the marina can fill and drain the pool as needed without affecting the surrounding structures.

Bellingham Marine designed and built the concrete floating platform to support the pool. The pool itself is an aluminum structure from Chester Pool Systems. The concrete platform measures 85 by 40 feet and is basically a “picture-frame type” configuration with a 9-foot-wide sundeck that surrounds it. All utilities are routed internally to provide a clean deck, and all treated lumber is concealed with a polymer cover.

The floating pool reportedly is one of only a few in the country. It is free to boaters who dock at 31st Street Marina and can be accessed by the public for a fee. “Our vision for the property is to make the marina a destination and to build in amenities that are appealing to boaters as well as the general public,” said Scott Stevenson, vice president of Westrec Marinas, which manages the facility on behalf of the City.

Future plans for the marina call for the addition of a floating restaurant next to the pool.

Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show Has “Banner Year”

Organizers of the 55th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), held from October 30 to November 3, called the event a “banner year,” thanks in part to five days of beautiful weather.

Overall attendance was up six percent compared to 2013 and the highest it has been since 2006. The number of in-water boats was up more than five percent and was the largest display since 2008. Exhibitor participation was up by three percent compared to the 2013 show. Adding Pier 66 Marina as new show location, the show’s footprint was bigger than ever before.

During the show’s International News Conference on opening day, findings from a recent economic impact study by Thomas J. Murray & Associates were released that revealed a consistent turnaround in the South Florida tri-county region of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach and Florida’s marine industry statewide over four years spanning fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

Taken as a region, the tri-county marine industry’s sales grew an estimated 36.3 percent between 2010 and 2014. Statewide, gross marine sales grew by 31.3 percent.

During the most recently completed fiscal year, 2014, Broward County accounted for nearly $1.5 billion in sales for this sector, Dade County contributed $332 million and Palm Beach County reported $586 million. Combined as a region, the tri-county area represented 51 percent ($2.383 billion) of Florida’s gross marine sales during the 2014 fiscal year. For fiscal year 2014, gross retail sales of boat and motor products equaled $4.675 billion statewide, an increase of 31.3 percent since 2010.

Miami Boat Show Moves to Marine Stadium

Representatives from the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show have committed to hosting the boat show in 2016 and 2017 at the long-shuttered Miami Marine Stadium. The announcement follows months of speculation over the boat show’s future in the city due to the renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is slated to begin in 2016.

This will be the first confirmed reuse of Miami Marine Stadium and its grounds since their closure in 1992. The agreement with the Miami International Boat Show will allow the restoration of the stadium, which in 2009 was declared one of America’s most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“With unique features to accommodate the more than 100,000 boaters who travel from throughout the globe to experience the best the boating industry has to offer, Miami Marine Stadium could be poised to be a home for the boat show in 2016 and beyond,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which owns and produces the show.

According to the Miami Herald, Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, the nonprofit group running the restoration project, estimates the stadium renovation will cost around $30 million. It has secured $15 million in commitments, with the boat show also bringing in “significant money.”

The boat show will mostly use the stadium’s large parking lots, with exhibitors utilizing tents and other temporary structures. Some boat-show exhibits will occupy a minimal portion of the water basin in front of the stadium property, said the Herald.

Johnstone, McManus To Keynote 2015 ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) announced that Peter Johnstone, chief executive officer of Gunboat, and Jim McManus, chief executive officer of The Hinckley Company, as the keynote speakers for its January 21st – 23rd, 2015 Boatyard Business Conference at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The national marine industry trade group for boatyards, boat builders and marine products and service companies invited Johnstone and McManus to share their perspectives on the conference theme “Taking the Lead: Setting Service Standards & Achieving Business Stability” from their unique perspectives as business leaders building a new and innovative company.

John Fitzgerald, ABBRA’s president and the president and chief executive officer of Saunders Yachtworks in Gulf Shores, Alabama, said, “I am truly looking forward to hearing from these two industry icons at the Conference.” He added, “Coming from the J-Boats family, Peter Johnstone has proven himself as a visionary and there is much to learn from Gunboat’s success. Jim McManus has set high standards and achieved business stability leading Hinckley Yachts. Our industry benefits whenever we can hear directly from leaders who have contributed to the growth of the industry through good and bad economies.”

The Boatyard Business Conference returned in 2013 after a short break, and has quickly earned its place on the marine industry’s must-do annual events calendar, due to its offering of a strong blend of discussions on the business of boatyards and boatbuilding, along with high value networking and camaraderie through its Conference format and events.

Founded in 1943, ABBRA is a national marine trade organization that seeks to strengthen and encourage professionalism in the boat building, marine service and boat repair industry.

Early registration is now open on the ABBRA website

USWatercraft Selects PierVantage for Boat Builders

USWatercraft, LLC (USW), based in Rhode Island, has selected PierVantage for Boat Builders to help them manage their growing business.

USW plans to leverage PierVantage for its various brands, which include Alerion Yachts, C&C Yachts, True North Yachts and Waterline Systems.

“There is strong demand right now for both our sail and power boat lines,” Rand Borges, president of USW, said. “As our company continues to grow at a rapid pace, it is important for us to invest in a more modern technology platform built specifically for building and servicing boats.”

According to PierVantage, boat builders have had to rely on non-integrated, non-marine specific software products. PierVantage for Boat Builders is a fresh, new option for owners, project managers, purchasing managers and controllers to turn to for a comprehensive integrated business management solution.

Chris Dolan Joins Marina Electrical Equipment

Marina Electrical Equipment (MEE) has announced the addition of Chris Dolan, a well-known marina electrical design engineer, to the company. Dolan will help manage the sales and customer relations, as well as continue his role in providing cost-effective marina electrical and fire safety equipment to marinas across North America.

“I am fortunate to be joining a well-respected company that is quickly becoming the industry’s leading supplier of marina electrical equipment,” said Dolan.

Prior to joining MEE, Dolan was a senior application engineer in the electrical equipment field. He is also a regular speaker at industry conferences and has performed training and webinar sessions for the ABYC, Marina Association of Texas, the Marina Recreation Association, and the Northwest Marine Trade Association on topics ranging from marina electrical design to electro-shock emergency response.

Dolan serves on the editorial board for Marina Dock Age magazine and contributed to the marina electrical chapter of the new ASCE Manual No. 50.

“Chris brings an exceptional background in marina electrical design and an outstanding reputation in the industry,” Bob Dively, CEO and president of MEE, said. “I’m honored to be working with him again and to have him on our team here at MEE.”

Marinalife Announces 2014 Marina Contest Winners

Marinalife announced the winners of the 5th Annual 2014 Best Marina Contest. Congratulations to Nantucket Boat Basin in Nantucket, Massachusetts, for winning Best Transient Marina and to Haven Harbour Marina in Rock Hall, Maryland, who was voted 2014 Best Customer Service Marina.  

Voted Best Transient Marina 2014, Nantucket Boat Basin goes the extra step to welcome boaters with complimentary pre-arrival concierge services, pump-out at slip, Wi-Fi, welcome bag and also pet and kids amenities. The 240-slip full-service marina caters to the boater and is just two blocks from Nantucket Center, a historic and charming seaport with unique shops, galleries and fantastic restaurants. 

“We are ecstatic to be voted the Best Transient Marina. Our staff takes pride in working every day to exceed our guests’ expectations and ensure their stay with us is second to none. We appreciate our customers’ support and thank them and Marinalife for this great recognition. It is an amazing honor and we look forward to hosting our guests again next season,” Christina Martin, Director of Marina Operations, Nantucket Boat Basin, said.

Tucked into the protected cove of The Haven on beautiful Swan Creek, Haven Harbour Marina is a complete yachting center and full service boatyard for those who want a family-oriented marina, resort amenities and transient dockage. Voted Best Customer Service Marina, The owner and staff strive for perfection, anticipating all your needs by creating an environment to make your boating a pleasurable experience. 

“At Haven Harbour Marina we strive daily to make every customer’s experience a positive one,” Woody Loller, General Manager, said. “We are very honored to receive this award and wish to thank all of our customers for their support.”

Congratulations to Newport Marina in Newport, Rhode Island, who came in a close as the runner-up for Best Customer Service Marina. Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, tied as the runner-up marinas for Best Transient Marina 2014.

My-Villages Launches iPad App For The Boat Village

The Boat Village, a online service coordination and digital boat management platform from My-Villages, announced in mid-October that it is now available as an iPad application for its premium subscription users.

While The Boat Village has long been accessible on mobile devices via the Internet, the new iPad app makes it easy to coordinate service and troubleshoot issues while out on the water without an Internet connection. Using the app, boaters can work offline to create service requests with supporting photos or video and access operating manuals, how-to videos, and service history. All information is queued up and sent to their service provider when connectivity becomes available.

“This is where all consumer industries are going or have gone. We already use apps for banking, travel, and shopping to name a few. Coordinating service and managing a boat using an app rather than email, voicemail, text messages, or paper allows the information to be accessible and shared more easily,” said Kevin Hutchinson, founder and chief executive officer of My-Villages, which created The Boat Village. “Our new iPad application’s ability to sync with our web app and store information offline is critically important to our users.”

The Boat Village iPad app allows owners to keep a running trip log while out on the water, and to log hours of critical equipment, such as engines and generators. These logs are used to generate automatic reminders when service is required. Boaters can also manage an inventory of spare parts and maintain to-do lists, such as work to be done or supplies that are needed.

Using the new app requires a premium subscription to The Boat Village. Boaters who are already using The Boat Village Premium service can head straight to Apple’s App Store ( to download the free application, and log in using their username and password. Those who require a subscription can upgrade their free account or sign up for the Premium service at

My-Villages’ two key product lines include The Boat Village, an online service coordination and digital boat management platform, and DockMaster, the leading software suite for marine businesses.

MAT Appoints Marinas International Members

The 42nd Annual Marina Association of Texas Conference & Trade Show was recently held at the South Shore Harbour Resort on Clear Lake in League City, Texas.

The conference features included the 5th Annual Nyle Mann Memorial Golf Tournament; a variety of industry, motivational and educational speakers; a tour of area marina facilities and docks; and an assortment of industry vendors and professionals in a Trade Show atmosphere. The 2015 Installation Banquet was held on September 30, 2014 at 7 p.m. Three members from Marinas International, a Dallas-based marina management company, were inducted as part of the ceremony; Jay Teitelbaum, to the office of president; Angie Lamb, to the office of vice-president; and newly-appointed member on the M.A.T. Board of Directors, Caroline Jackson.

The Marina Association of Texas (MAT), a non-profit, volunteer organization composed of marinas on the inland and coastal waters of Texas, as well as associate members- whose firms supply products and services to marinas, was organized in January of 1973 with a mission to improve, protect and advance the interest of the marina industry in Texas. It was initiated through the Sea Grant Program of Texas A&M University. The Marina Association of Texas was the first association of its kind in the nation. Members come together annually to share ideas, knowledge and experiences for the mutual benefit of all within the industry. It is directed by a member-elected Board of Directors and officers. Each will serve a one year term in their respective position and are dedicated to furthering the growth and development of the association.

To learn more about the Marina Association of Texas (MAT) and to find information regarding membership and participation, see the website at

2014 MRA Conference Kicks Off With Annual Golf Outing

The Marina Recreation Association (MRA) will kick off its 2014 Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show November 4 with the 20th annual golf tournament on the Del Monte Golf Course.

One of five world-class Pebble Beach golf courses, the Del Monte Golf Course first opened in 1897 to much fanfare and has the distinction of being the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River.

Originally, the Del Monte Golf Course served as the host of the California State Amateur in the early 20th century. Today it's one of three golf courses where the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational is played.

The fee to participate in the tournament is only $140. This nominal fee includes access to the course, a complimentary cart, a beverage voucher and a boxed lunch.

The conference will begin the following evening and run through November 6 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa in Monterey, California. For more information, visit

IMI Hosts Fall Florida Study Tour

After its fall conference, the International Marina Institute (IMI) will host its 8th annual Southeast Florida marina and boatyard study tour, from October 28 to 29. Brad St. Coeur, CMM, will host this year’s tour.

The two-day study tour is a mobile training course that provides an in-depth look at operations. The tour each day is followed by an attendee discussion and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of each marina, before a networking dinner.

On Tuesday, October 28, the tour will visit Grove Harbour Marina, Miami Beach Marina, Sunset Harbour Marina and Bill Bird Marina. On Wednesday, October 29, participants will visit Old Port Cove, Rybovich and one other facility (TBD).

To learn more about the Study Tour or the IMI Fall Conference, please visit

HydroHoist Achieves ISO Certification

HydroHoist Marine Group (HMG) transitioned to a more rigorous set of standards in order to join Rotek, the parent company’s plastics division, and HyPower, the company’s power pedestal division, in ISO 9001:2008 certification – making it the first boatlift company to comply with the standards.

ISO (International Organization for Standards) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards. The ISO standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of the highest quality. For businesses, the standards reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity.

“Achieving this certification is fitting because the underlying philosophy of both ISO and HydroHoist Marine Group is ‘Do what you say you will, when you say you will do it,’” HydroHoist Marine Group CEO Mick Webber said.

ISO 9001:2008 requires the company to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

“We were most specifically interested in meeting the requirements for the ISO 9001:2008 – which focuses on quality management, continual improvement, and customer satisfaction,” Webber said.

Boat Club Earns Jacksonville’s Small Business Of The Year Award

Freedom Boat Club (FBC) has earned top honors as Small Business of the Year in northeast Florida for 2014.

The Master of Industry Awards were announced at a gala banquet at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in July. The awards, sponsored by MOI Magazine, recognize businesses and CEOs who are models of exceptional leadership, foresight, acumen and community service. Nominations and votes came from across northeast Florida.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as the top small business by Masters of Industry,” said Lisa Almeida, who along with partner Kevin Selig, owns and operates the FBC locations in Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

Almeida was also named “Up and Coming Entrepreneur of the Year” at the Women in Business Awards in March. She has been operating the local FBC locations since 2011.

The Venice, Fla.-based Freedom Boat Club operates in 80 locations with a fleet of more than 800 boats.

IMBC Announces Host Hotels for 2015

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) has announced its host hotels as the Marriott Tampa Waterside and the Westin Tampa Harbour Island hotels for its 2015 show. IMBC has reserved a block of rooms at both hotels, which are walking distance from the Tampa Convention Center where the event is being held.

The Marriott Tampa Waterside is closest to the convention center and venue for the Casino Night Social and CMM & CMO-only event. To book a room, call (888) 789-3090 or book online. The Westin Tampa Harbour Island hotel is located .2 miles from the convention center. Call (800) WESTIN1 to make a reservation.

The conference will be held January 28-30, 2015, and is focused on marina and boatyard owners, operators and managers as well as dockmasters, habormasters, boat builders and repairers.

ICOMIA Publishes Recreational Boating Statistics

The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) has published its new Recreational Boating Industry Statistics for the year 2013.

Serving as the focal point for the global industry since 1966, ICOMIA’s membership is estimated to represent more than 90 percent of the world’s leisure boating business. ICOMIA’s Recreational Boating Industry Statistics feature detailed market analysis, global summaries of key product segments from 24 countries, 2014 mid-year global data snapshot and much more.

In addition to the book, ICOMIA is offering subscribers the raw-data Excel spreadsheets to assist those carrying out more detailed research. Purchasers of the Statistics Book will receive a free, 12-month subscription of the ICOMIA Quarterly Economic Statistics Report. This report contains quarterly information on the economic development, such as inflation rates, gross domestic product growth and unemployment of 33 countries across the world.

IMI Hosts Fall Conference

The International Marina Institute (IMI), a subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries (AMI), has scheduled its annual Fall Conference for October 26 to 27. This year's topic is Ten Ways to Increase Your Revenues: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. The event will be held at the Lago Mar Resort & Club in Fort Lauderdale, Forlida.

The workshop style conference will feature topics geared toward all industry professionals including suppliers such as improving sales techniques, sharpening your networking skills, persuasive communications, marketing, and branding. Participants will engage in each session and leave with detailed takeaways that they can implement right away.

New Facilities Join The Boat Village

Jarrett Bay Boatworks in Beaufort, North Carolina, a builder of custom sportfishing boats, announced on August 12 that it is partnering with The Boat Village.

The Boat Village is an online service coordination and boat management tool that gives boat builders, service yards, dealers and brokers the ability to track each customer’s vessel, receive automatic reminders when service is due and notify owners in the same application.

Jarrett Bay traces its heritage to the Atlantic charter fishing industry and now builds and services boats up to 120 feet, and will use The Boat Village to help care for its fleet of custom yachts—85 on the water and growing—and the thousands of other boats it services each year.

On August 14, Northshore Yachtworks, a premiere boat repair and refit facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced that it is the first yard in Canada to adopt The Boat Village.

Northshore, which services hundreds of boats cruising in British Columbia each year, already uses DockMaster, the marine business software, which is owned by My-Villages, the makers of The Boat Village.

DockMaster’s hosted online solutions are used by marinas, dealers and boat yards like Rambo Marine (Ala.), Hagadone Hospitality (Idaho), Flagship Marinas (Ga.), Homewood High & Dry (Ariz.), Legendary Marine (Fla.), Marina PDR Operations (Puerto Rico), McMichael Yacht Yard (N.Y.), North Shore Yacht Works (British Columbia), Sailboats Inc. (Wis.), Seattle Boats (Wash.), Torresen Marine (Mich.) and the City of the Port of Aransas (Texas).

“Many industries have been doing business in the cloud for years, and we’re proud to help marine businesses move in that direction, too. Our other application, The Boat Village, is cloud-­based as well, and compliments the capabilities of DockMaster by enabling online service coordination between marine businesses and customers.”

DockMaster 8.0, the latest edition, which was released in beta mode earlier this year, has been redesigned to provide an enhanced and familiar user experience, along with seamless connectivity to cloud data storage.

Later this year, DockMaster will be fully integrated with The Boat Village.

Mercury Marine, Westrec Co-Sponsor Aquapalooza 2014

The first-ever floating music festival in Chicago, Aquapalooza 2014, headlined by Al Jardine & The Endless Summer Band, was co-sponsored by Mercury Marine and Westrec Marinas and Chicago Harbors August 9 at the 31st Street Harbor in Chicago. The event ran from 2:00 p.m. through 11:00 p.m.

The Chicago Harbors turned the southern end of the marina into what it called the city’s largest on-water party. Many Mercury-powered boat models from the Brunswick boat group were on display.

Mercury Marine also announced on August 6 that it launched the first phase of its new global website, The company said it is designed to enhance the consumer experience and provide a single online point of reference for all Mercury partners and consumers around the world.

Stage one of the rollout was launched for the North American audience and provides content in English, Spanish and French.

Mercury will continue rolling out localized content variations for audiences in Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Latin America and Europe throughout the year and into early 2015.

Site visitors in North America can access the new global website. All other visitors will have the option to view the North American site or be redirected to the current version of their country’s site.

NMMA and Boat U.S. Speak at Boating Caucus

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President Thomas J. Dammrich, in cooperation with the U.S. Congressional Boating Caucus co-chairs Rep. Candice S. Miller (R-Mich.) and Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) gave a briefing on “The State of the Recreational Boat Industry and Implications for the US Economy” on July 30 at the U.S. Capitol’s Longworth House Office Building.

Joining Dammrich to provide a voice for the nation’s recreational boaters was BoatUS President Margaret Podlich, who shared information on boater demographics and the need for boating-friendly legislation.

Dammrich offered the Boating Caucus staff hard facts about the need for a strong American boat manufacturing industry. Consumers spend $646 billion each year on outdoor recreation, and one out every five of those dollars is spent on recreational boating and fishing, he said.

Boating, along with other forms of outdoor recreation, is on the upswing, with 88 million Americans going boating last year. In the last five years, fishing participation is up 11 percent and boating is up 26 percent.

Podlich amplified that point, saying, “Boating is not an activity for the one percent; it’s for everyone from truck drivers to elementary school teachers, and we need to keep that in mind when we start talking policies and regulations. Boat owners also need the products, competition and innovation that only a strong domestic boating industry can bring. Coupled with that, to enable boating to continue to be a $121 billion industry in this country, we need smart long-term sustainable policy on everything from ethanol to dredging.”

Carefree Boat Club Hosts Summer Reading Club

For the third consecutive year, the Lake Norman Carefree Boat Club in Cornelius, North Carolina, provided boating experiences and education for local elementary school students in the YMCA Y-Readers program.

For four summer Mondays, the YMCA bused about 100 students to the Carefree Boat Club, located at Morningstar Kings Point Marina in Cornelius.

This year a “Gutter Regatta” was included in the activities, where children raced toy sailboats down two parallel water-filled rain gutters. The children took home toy sailboats as souvenirs. Additional activities included a scenic pontoon cruise, learning the parts of a boat, coloring nautical oriented pictures and story time.

Marinalife Hosts Best Marina Contest

For the fifth year, Marinalife is hosting its annual Best Marina Contest. Voting is now open and will run through October 1. Marinalife members and boaters are invited to vote for their pick of the Best Transient Marina and Best Customer Service marina by visiting

This year’s winning marinas will be featured in the Winter 2015 issue of Marinalife Magazine and will receive a marketing package valued at $2,000.

In 2013, Saybrook Point Marina in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, was voted as the Best Transient Marina and runner-up was Nantucket Boat Basin in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The Best Customer Service Marina went to River Dunes in Oriental, North Carolina, and Dog River Marina in Mobile, Alabama, came in a close second as runner-up.

IBEX Award Deadline Approaching

The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) Innovation Awards, held during the annual industry breakfast on Tuesday, September 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Tampa Convention Center, will acknowledge the importance of technological advancement in the marine industry. All IBEX 2014 exhibitors are welcome to enter their new products in the competition, which are judged by a panel of industry experts from Boating Writers International.

The awards honor achievement in product development in 13 areas of the marine industry, including boatbuilding methods and materials, inboard and outboard engines, hardware, interior parts and furnishings, OEM electronics, boatyard and dealer hardware and software, and safety equipment. Judges may also present an award to any entry that provides an environmental benefit to the marine industry. Deadline to enter is August 29, 2014.

The conference will also include new features, including The Connected Boat, a dynamic interactive display demonstrating how various vessel subsystems can be interconnected using existing network technologies. The display will be ongoing in the Electronics Pavilion in the exhibit hall.

"This is an exciting time for the marine industry as on-board vessel gateways now link to internet driven consumer devices for global remote access and monitoring," said Joe Burke, CTO, Chetco Digital Instruments, IBEX's partner in creating The Connected Boat.

The Connected Boat, sponsored by Simrad-Navico, will feature a dozen companies showcasing live products and systems integrated from helm to stern

NMMA South Carolina and ABYC Partner on Certification Courses

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association South Carolina (NMMA) have joined forces to present ABYC certification courses in Charleston, South Carolina. The first course will be the ABYC Marine Electrical Certification from September 9 to 12. The SC Department of Natural Resources will host the class at their Marine Resources & Research Institute classroom.

NMMA South Carolina Executive Director Suzi DuRant said the partnership hopes to offer the Marien Diesel Certification course in November and more are in the planning stages. NMMA SC members will receive a special discount on the registration fee.

The course is intended for those with a minimum of three to five years practical experience in the field of marine electrical design, service or installation. ABYC will send applicants the study material in advance of the course.

55th Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Opens in October

The 55th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show® (FLIBS), the largest in-water boat show in the world, is set to take place from October 30 through November 3.

Several enhancements have already been confirmed for this year's show, including the addition of Pier 66 Marina, a full-service pop-up restaurant and the IGFA Sportfishing Lounge.

The iconic Pier 66 Marina is undergoing upgrades and will serve as the show's seventh location and feature an impressive display of brokerage yachts. The location also offers several dining options, such as Pelican Landing restaurant, which offers casual dining and drinks, or the upscale atmosphere and fine cuisine at Grille 66 & Bar.

The new pop-up restaurant concept, located at the Hall of Fame Marina show location, is designed to offer another quality dining option for guests and a place for industry professionals to meet and conduct business. Centrally located, the new restaurant will be open all show days and will be operated by Hugh's Culinary, one of the area's top caterers.

Making for easier navigation and an enhanced show experience, the show features themed areas including the Performance Village, the Sportfish Village, CruiserPort, the Superyacht Experience, the Yachting Pavilion, the Yacht Builders Pavilion and the show's Kid Zone, located at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, featuring kids fishing clinics presented by Hook The Future.

All attractions and show locations can be easily located through MyBoatShow, the show's free smartphone app, designed to help navigate the show's docks, land areas and tents.

METS 2014 Announces Keynote Speaker

The keynote speaker at the Breakfast Briefing at METS 2014 will be Carla Demaria, president of Monte Carlo Yachts.

Demaria will share her unique insights gained in a distinguished career in the boatbuilding sector. The Breakfast Briefing and the opening ceremony of METS 2014 that follows are on Tuesday, November 18 in Amsterdam RAI.

The Breakfast Briefing, co-organized by the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) will take place on Tuesday, November 18, in the Forum of Amsterdam RAI, (entrance E), followed by the DAME Awards presentations. METS exhibitors, press and special VIP guests are invited to attend.

METS is the world’s largest trade exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international marine leisure industry. It is organised by Amsterdam RAI in association with ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations).

MDCE Offers VIP Event Planning Kit

The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo (MDCE) is offering those that register by August 31 a VIP event planning kit with tools and resources for this year’s event and making use of conference knowledge back at home.

The kit includes:

custom letter with advice on how to get the most out of the MDCE;
advance copy of the MDCE guide book;
overview of the educational schedule, content and speakers to assist in planning an agenda in advance, including speaker videos;
exclusive discounts on books and other resources made available by MDCE presenters;
advance copy of the MDCE floor plan and exhibit guide to help strategize how to navigate the expansive MDCE Expo Hall;
"Experience Orlando" package with more than 30 coupons to use in the surrounding area;
20-plus-page Insider Tips Guide from show staff, showcasing little-known, behind-the-scenes tips and ideas that will help you maximize your time at the show.
For more information, visit the MDCE website.

Wisconsin Proclaims July 14 as Mercury Marine Day

Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson presented Mercury Marine with a proclamation signed by Governor Scott Walker declaring July 14 as Mercury Marine Day in the state.

The recognition was given to Mercury in honor of its 75th anniversary and commitment to apprenticeship training. Mercury has more than doubled the number of its apprentices over the last two years. The company now has 27 apprentices working at its world headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

“It takes dedicated and talented men and women with the right skills to achieve this level of success, and we are proud to have Mercury Marine as such a strong, longstanding partner in apprenticeship training,” Newson said. “We are building a skilled workforce to move Wisconsin forward through proven programs like apprenticeship as well as new initiatives, such as the Governor’s Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training grant program.”

Mercury Marine has increased its apprentices in training from 12 in 2012 to 22 last year and 27 this year, “We take great pride in our apprentice program at Mercury Marine and it was great to watch our employees have the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of Mr. Newson about Gov. Walker’s vision for the future,” Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer said. “To have the state of Wisconsin declare July 14 as Mercury Marine Day is an honor and we share the success with everyone who is part of the Mercury Marine family.”

IBEX Offers New and Improved Super Sessions and Free Workshops

he International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) is adding nine Super Sessions to its lineup on September 29 at the Tampa Convention Center. There will be an additional 21 exhibitor workshops being offered throughout the show on the exhibit floor.

“The Super Sessions we are offering this year are amazing,” Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director, said. “They bring IBEX education to another level. These are intensive full and half day in-depth sessions offered by leading marine experts.”

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) will offer four training and certification Super Sessions on Monday, Sept. 29: ABBRA Marine Equipment Operator Training & Certification Forklift Safety Courses; ABBRA Marine Equipment Operator Training & Certification Forklift & Straddlelift Safety Courses; ABBRA Boatyard Study Tour; ABBRA Marine Equipment Operator Training & Certification Straddlelift Safety Courses.

“We are excited to offer ABBRA’s Boatyard Tour and our Forklift & Straddlelift safety courses as part of IBEX and believe they are perfect supplements to what is one of the industry’s most comprehensive marine trade events,” Gordon Connell, executive director of ABBRA, said.

Six Marinas Join My-Villages Collaborative

Six marinas joined The Boat Village’s collaborative in Southeast Florida, offering the online service coordination tool to slipholders to help them manage their boat maintenance and service coordination.

Old Port Cove Marina and North Palm Beach Marina, in North Palm Beach; the Palm Bay Club Marina, in Miami; and three marinas from the Aquamarina portfolio located in Southeast Florida in Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Aventura joined the Florida collaborative that launched earlier this spring.

“Customers transact online with banks, pharmacies and retail stores—it’s routine,” Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of My-Villages, said. “Our mission is to move the marine industry in that direction, too. Transacting business with customers online is the norm these days, and it is great to see so many innovative marine industry companies move forward to do business with customers online.”

Marinas, service yards, dealers and brokerages the ability to track each customer’s vessel, receive automatic reminders when service is due and notify customers—all in the same application.

Later this year, My-Villages, which owns The Boat Village and created the DockMaster suite of marine business software, will integrate The Boat Village into the software.

BoatUS Speaks Out Against More Ethanol

In July, BoatUS brought attention to a June 24 statement from the Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA), which blames current high fuel prices on volatile markets, calling for more ethanol-blended fuel. BoatUS rebuked that corn-based ethanol has not lived up to its expectations and that higher ethanol blends are incompatible with outboard boat motors, generators, lawn mowers, motorcycles and other ancillary engines.

“On a boat, bad fuel can escalate quickly to a stopped engine, placing those aboard and the boat itself in jeopardy,” BoatUS Government Affairs Senior Program Coordinator David Kennedy said. “And boaters know that higher ethanol blends, such as E15, will only cause more damage to outboard boat engines. The EPA has specifically prohibited the use of E15 in marine engines, and currently, there is not one boat motor designed or warrantied to use with more than E10.”

MDCE Adds Educational Track

The 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, from November 16 to19 in Orlando, Florida, has expanded from three education tracks to four: Sales, Marketing, Leadership and Service. To provide more information about technology and customer communication, MDCE split the sales and marketing sessions into two tracks.

The conference will also include a preconference workshop, November 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET. “Back to Sales Basics,” with Sam Dantzler, who will discuss the importance of developing a sales process and sales staffing guidelines.

The 2014 event will feature 12 new speakers, 24 total, providing 30 different presentations.

Freedom Boat Club Celebrates 25 Years

Freedom Boat Club is celebrating 25 years in business. When the alternative to boat ownership launched in 1989, it was regarded as a curious novelty, but now the Venice, Florida-based company operates in 80 locations nationwide with a fleet of more than 800 boats.

FBC has experienced a steady growth in membership over the years and has been moving into new markets in the past few years, from Portsmouth New Hampshire to Islamorada, Florida and San Diego, California.

“We have proven that there is significant demand for a well-run boating club,” said John Giglio, FBC’s president and CEO. “We are helping to support the marine industry in a big way. As we continue to expand into new locations, we are buying numerous boats, leasing additional dock space and turning more people into avid boaters.”

Since becoming FBC president and CEO in 2011, Giglio has emphasized improving customer service, the importance of maintaining company-wide standards, and being strong partners and supporters of others in the marine industry, including partnerships with boat manufacturers and national marine retailers.

In recent years, many of FBC’s franchise operators have become involved in a variety of charitable efforts, providing free boat rides, hosting special events for children’s groups and sponsoring safety clinics.

On July 26, FBC will open a location in southern California at Dana Landing Marina in San Diego.

“This is a huge milestone for us,” FBC President and CEO John Giglio said. “Up until now our members have had access to waterways all across the eastern seaboard, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. But this adds a whole new dimension to our club and opportunities for the future.”

Hasbrouck said his biggest challenge has been explaining how the club works to people in southern California who are not familiar with the advantages of belonging to Freedom Boat Club.

“Some people confuse it with a timeshare or yacht club,” Hasbrouck said. “I tell them Freedom Boat Club operates more like a health club. You pay monthly dues and get unlimited use. They are pleasantly surprised.”

IBEX Seminar Series to Offer Technical Education at Event in September

The boating and marine industry will have access to a new education program offering everything from fundamental skills to cutting-edge advanced training at The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), taking place September 29 through October 2 at the Tampa Convention Center.

“We’ve designed a menu of seminars that are useful to everyone involved in this industry from naval architects and yacht surveyors to shop-floor crew, seasoned technicians, and company officers at boatbuilders and service yards of all sizes,” Professional BoatBuilder editor Aaron Porter said. “We have listened to the industry and will be offering 56 technical seminars for attendees that will focus on problems they need solved, new materials and regulations that need explaining, and leading industry presenters who will deliver the most relevant information.”

In addition to the education program, IBEX will host 525 exhibitors on a show floor encompassing more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, dock space and on-the-water demonstrations, three pavilions, and special feature areas including The Connected Boat, The IBEX 3D Digital Workshop, and Material ConneXion. For more information on this event, visit

Grenada Marine Selects PierVantage for Boatyards

PierVantage has announced that Grenada Marine in the West Indies has selected its platform for boatyards. Jason Fletcher, owner of Grenada Marine said he is excited to make the upgrade after seeing a brief demonstration at the ABBRA Annual Conference.

“I was looking for cutting-edge technology to help me better manage my business,” he said. “I wanted better control and visibility over my financial operations and PierVantage gave me that and a lot more.”

Grenada Marine has upgraded from QuickBooks and is the latest addition to PierVantage’s growing customer base.

“Jason is an entrepreneur with a clear vision about his business,” said Navroze Eduljee, founder and CEO of CorVant, creators of PierVantage. “He has successfully developed Grenada Marine into a premier boatyard and clearly understands the impact that a sophisticated, yet easy to use, boatyard management solution can have on his operations.”

National Marine Fisheries Service Corrects Economic Figures

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has taken steps to correct a key fisheries economics report after significant complaints from the recreational fishing and boating community. The report misleadingly indicated that the domestic commercial fishing industry in the U.S. was significantly larger than the recreational fishing industry.

When imported seafood, which is not regulated or managed by NMFS, is removed from the equation, the corrected data show that the recreational fishing industry is actually $7.9 billon larger than the commercial fishing industry. Furthermore, the corrected data show that the domestic commercial fishing industry decreased by $2.3 billion in 2012.

“It was important to set the record straight because people naturally use this report to compare the two sectors, and combining imported seafood with domestically caught seafood gives an overinflated and incorrect representation of the economic impact of this country’s commercial fishing industry,” Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association, said. “This is particularly risky if this information is used to halt progress on important management decisions such as how fisheries are allocated between the two sectors. More than 64 percent of the total sales of seafood is generated by imported product which should have no bearing whatsoever on allocation discussions.”

Ninety Percent of Floor Space Booked for METS 2014

More than 90 percent of exhibition floor space is booked for the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) 2014, which takes place Amsterdam RAI November 18-20. According to the show, this is a direct reflection of the upswing in the economy.

“There are encouraging signs as we see the U.S. maritime market making a recover and a more upbeat vibe in Europe,” Amsterdam RAI’s maritime domain manager Irene Dros said. “METS has stood firm throughout the recession, consistently growing in both stature and visitors/exhibitor numbers. Now, as we enter a new phase, METS will continue to be the anchor place of choice for the leisure marine sector worldwide.”

The three-day conference is organized by the METS business platform called METSTRADE and will be followed by the International Superyacht Coatings Conference (ISCC) in Amsterdam (December 11-12).

RIMTA and MTAM Receive Training Scholarships

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and the Marine Trades Association on Maryland (MTAM) are the recipients of this year’s Neil Ross Scholarship, sponsored by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI).

The award is given to two trade associations each year who have shown excellence in promoting, supporting and sponsoring marine education and training. Each association is awarded $1000 to give to one of its members to cover costs of International Marina Institute training programs, the International Marina & Boatyard Conference, or IMI fall conference.

This year, MTAM, led by Executive Director Susan Zellers, received a $175,000 Planning Grant from EARN Maryland. MTAM convened a partnership of employers in the marine industry, economic development groups and trainers to determine the present and future marine industry jobs available. The association is conducting a skills gap study, and MTAM will also promote the marine industry as a career choice to post-secondary, post-college and veterans, and, in-turn, increase the membership of the partnership. Specifically, MTAM are facilitating the placement of several interns at marinas, and organizing a train the trainer program whereby those looking to retire out of the marine industry can learn how to train their replacements.

The Rhode Island Marine Trades (RIMTA), led by executive director Wendy Mackie, has a plan to cultivate a strong workforce for the marine trades. New this year is a Marine Trades Marketing Internship that provides eleven young people with six weeks of summer work and experience in the recreational maritime industry, marketing, public relations and event planning. Both of these programs are funded through state grants that RIMTA worked hard to acquire.

The scholarship was formed in recognition of the numerous contributions that Neil Ross has made to the Association of Marina Industries and to the marina industry overall. Ross was a founder of the International Marina Institute, helping to set the standard in education in the worldwide marina industry. He facilitated the creation of the Certified Marina Manager (CMM) designation and worked to advance professional marina management. He remains an active consultant to the industry.

Marinalife Partners with Jack Martin & Associates

Marinalife and Jack Martin & Associates announced a partnership to collaborate on marine insurance. Beginning in June, Jack Martin & Associates will assume the role of operational oversight and management of Marinalife Insurance Services’ portfolio of marine insurance customers. This new partnership will allow Marinalife Insurance Services, through Jack Martin & Associates, to expand its presence in the marketplace to all 50 states and offer worldwide coverage across a spectrum of insurance carriers and product lines.

Jack Martin & Associates has been in business for over 90 years and during that time has built an extensive practice with dedicated expertise.

“We are thrilled about our new partnership with Jack Martin & Associates, which will allow Marinalife Insurance Services to continue the expansion of our insurance division and enhance the products and services available for our customers,” Joy Koch McPeters, president & CEO of Marinalife, LLC, said.

2014 Wortley Award Accepting Submissions

Submissions for the 2014 Wortley Award are now being accepted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Engineering Professional Development. This award recognizes the most important contribution to the improvement of the design, construction, operation or maintenance of docks and/or marinas in North America during the 2013 calendar year. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2014. Additional details, including entry forms and rules for the Wortley Award can be found at

The winner will be profiled in the January/February 2015 issue of Marina Dock Age magazine, and the recipient of the award will be announced at the Docks & Marinas© course, held October 28-29, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale.

The 2013 Wortley Award was presented to Clausen Engineers for its innovative design of the marina facilities for the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco. Clausen designed the floating docks, gangways, launch ramps and moorings, for a complex environmental location. Their design had to be done with reliance on wave attenuation structures and it had to be temporary, so that the installations could be taken apart and sold for re-use in other local area marinas. Its design was environmentally sound and economical, resulting in a highly successful America’s Cup that brought racing to tens of thousands.

In recognition of his many significant contributions to the marina engineering and design profession, the Wortley Award is named for C. Allen Wortley, founder and long-time Director of the Docks & Marinas course at the University of Wisconsin.

For more details on the award or the Docks and Marinas© class, contact Howard Rosen at

Docks and Marinas 2014 Class Moves to Fort Lauderdale

The 40th Annual Dock and Marinas course will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, October 28-29, 2104. This year’s course is scheduled to allow attendees to participate in the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, which starts on October 30, immediately following. Florida was selected as a location this year to allow for a broader mix of attendees to benefit from this outstanding educational experience.

This year’s class features in-depth presentations covering the important challenges for marina design, operation and management.
Attendees will learn from recognized experts and leaders in the marina industry, including past winners of marina design excellence awards, distinguished speaker award recipients, authors of international marina design standards, and successful practitioners in marina operations. The audience will include marina industry professionals from consulting firms, government agencies and universities, looking to get the latest unbiased, quality information on docks and marinas.

Among the many topics to be covered this year will feature presentations on developing a hurricane action plan, avoiding electrical hazards, and the dos and don’ts of basin design. In addition, there will be many other outstanding presentations, on topics such as: fixed and floating docks, landside facilities and gangway design. The class also includes a featured presentation by Dan Natchez, a regular contributor to Marina Dock Age, and a recent winner of the Wortley Award, recognizing his innovative contributions to the marina industry. Natchez’s presentation will help marina professionals create a blueprint for turning a vision into reality, by identifying the key strengths and weaknesses that will enable operators to make the marina a special place.

Docks and Marinas 2014 will be held at the Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale. The University has arranged for a special rate of $149 for class attendees (each room is a suite). For program information or to register, go to:

For further information, contact Dr. Howard Rosen at:

SleepAFloat Launches Marina Affiliate Program

SleepAfloat Management and Rentals, LLC has announced its new partnership program designed to generate income for marinas and their slip holders. The SleepAfloat Marina Affiliate Program is an extension of the company’s dockside rental program and promises participating marinas royalties, increased traffic to their websites and higher slip occupancy.

With this program, SleepAfloat offers rental management services to boat owners looking to offset boating expenses and earn extra income by renting their vessels as short-term, overnight accommodations to leisure and business travelers.

“This is not a typical boat sharing operation,” JJ Gold, director of operations for SleepAfloat, said. “These are secure rentals professionally managed by our company as unique alternatives to the traditional hotel room; the boats never leave the dock.”

WQIS Releases Policy Form for 2014 to Provide Broader Coverage to Market

The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) will be offering a new 2014 Worldwide Vessel Pollution Form. The new policy form will contain enhanced coverage that will follow the WQIS tradition of offering assureds the most comprehensive vessel pollution coverage in the industry.
“We are constantly monitoring the market and researching how we can better support our assureds in an ever-changing world,” Richard H. Hobbie III, WQIS president and CEO, said. “For 2014, we saw an opportunity to provide our assureds with even stronger coverage, and that is something we are always striving for.”
The major changes of the 2014 policy form include an inclusion of state fines and penalties with an increased sub-limit to $1,000,000; one-hundred percent of additional public relations coverage (formerly 80 percent); an increase in the criminal defense limit without prior approval to $10,000; an increase in the per occurrence limit for criminal defense and the annual aggregate sub-limit to $100,000. The new form has no change in any other conditions, warranties or exclusions from the 2011 form.

Discounted Preorders on ABYC Standards Updates

To coincide with the 60th anniversary year of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), discounted pre-orders are available through July 1 for the annual update to the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft. Supplement 54.

Among the many important ABYC standards changes in the 2014-2015 supplement is H-41 Reboarding Means, Ladders, Handholds, Rails and Lifelines. Based on a project conducted by ABYC with a USCG grant, it reflects the test results on reboarding ladder rung depths and angles. It determined that setting the lowest ladder rung deeper in the water can reduce potential person-to-propeller contact by approximately 75 percent.

Other revised standards include A-7 Liquid and Solid Fueled Boat Heating Systems; A-28 Galvanic Isolators; H-3 Exterior Windows, Windshields, Hatches, Doors, Port Lights and Glazing Materials; H-23 Installation of Potable Water Systems for Use on Boats; H-27 Seacocks, Thru-Hull Fittings and Drain Plugs; H-40 Anchoring, Mooring and Strong Points; P-1 Installation of Exhaust Systems for Propulsion and Auxiliary Engines; and T-24 Owner/Operator's Manual.

As one of the many ABYC membership benefits, pre-order prices are $67.95 for the print or CD version, and online access through ABYC will also host a member webinar to review the Supplement 54 standards changes at the end of July.

The annual standards update will be released by August 1. Member prices will then be $79.95. Non-members can purchase the paper or CD versions for $475, or individual standards for $50.

RIMTA Launches Summer Marketing Program

The Rhode Island Marine Trade Association (RIMTA) has announced the launch of its new marketing program designed for millennial participants. The six-week Marine Trades Marketing Summer Work-and-Learn Program will give participants the opportunity to develop skills and gain exposure to the marine industry and its career opportunities. Participants will also contribute a much-needed youth perspective to the marine-career marketing campaign, “Choose Your Office.”

“The marine-trades workforce and its customers are definitely graying—so as an industry, we are challenged to rethink how we promote boating and its careers to young people,” Wendy Mackie, CEO of RIMTA, said. “This program is an important building block: it is a valuable learning and networking opportunity for participants and also a way to build a perspective on how our industry connects with the younger generation.”

The new program, which is open to participants ages 17 to 24, is coordinated by RIMTA and run in partnership with the University of Rhode Island College of Business. The program requires a 20-hour-a-week commitment and runs from July 7 to August 16.

The program is a paid work experience made possible by a grant from the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island. Individuals who are interested in water-based recreation, marketing, public relations and communications—including social media—are encouraged to apply to the program. Space is limited. Those interested in applying can access an application at

Scribble Software Releases New MarinaOffice Version

In June, Scribble Software Inc. announced the release of MarinaOffice 7.7, a new version of the MarinaOffice Suite of Solutions.

Built on the .NET and SQL Server platform released last year, the latest MarinaOffice version 7.7 has completed its beta testing period performed by a group of select existing customers and is now released to production for distribution to all customers.

Enhancements and improvement included in the new 7.7 version encompass nearly all modules of the solution including enhanced user process flows, enhanced reporting, cloud based extensions with one step paperless billing, online payment processing, wireless vessel monitoring, mobile phone apps and extensions providing customer collaboration. In addition, version 7.7 also includes an expanded use of mobile phone and web apps in providing enhanced user and consumer based solutions.

MDCE to Bring Back Pre-Conference Workshops for 2014

In June, Scribble Software Inc. announced the release of MarinaOffice 7.7, a new version of the MarinaOffice Suite of Solutions.

Built on the .NET and SQL Server platform released last year, the latest MarinaOffice version 7.7 has completed its beta testing period performed by a group of select existing customers and is now released to production for distribution to all customers.

Enhancements and improvement included in the new 7.7 version encompass nearly all modules of the solution including enhanced user process flows, enhanced reporting, cloud based extensions with one step paperless billing, online payment processing, wireless vessel monitoring, mobile phone apps and extensions providing customer collaboration. In addition, version 7.7 also includes an expanded use of mobile phone and web apps in providing enhanced user and consumer based solutions.

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Takes Place in Turkey

The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (WMC) took place from June 2 to 4 in Istanbul, Turkey. About 225 attendees arriving from every continent and 27 countries joined more than 50 speakers at the seminar program on the global marina industry and emerging markets.

The event, themed Marinas of the Future, is organized by the ICOMIA Marinas Group in partnership with METS organizer Amsterdam RAI. It opened with a welcome from General Director of the Turkish Maritime and Inland Waters Directorate Camelettin Sevil and Alpaslan Sirkecioglu from conference host DENTUR. They highlighted the promising marina environment in Turkey, which currently has some 15,000 slips with plans to double the offering.

The opening ceremony also featured ICOMIA Secretary General Tony Rice and Roberto Perocchio, chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group. They spoke about the latest trends and developments in the marina industry, reporting a slow but steady growth in the number of available slips worldwide. An increase of 114,000 slips (five percent) is expected over the coming decade, with Russia, China and South Korea leading the way in the construction of new marinas.

After the opening ceremonies, attendees chose from various sessions, on new opportunities in emerging markets, different approaches to marina management, and the diversity of regulations and legislation related to marinas and boating.

A session entitled Investigating the current state of the global marina industry said that the U.S. market is starting to grow as the global recession comes to an end. It also said a renewed U.S. demand for new boats, especially small and fast ones, is also expected to be replicated in Europe, while the market for 25-metre-plus yachts is growing worldwide.

Ronaldo Souza from Westrec Marinas, Brazil, presented Dry Storage Marinas – Trending in the 21st Century session.

“The dry storage market is increasing and so are the sizes of boats being stored in this way,” Souza said. “Whereas the average size of boat being kept on land used to be 25-feet, we are now seeing 60-feet yachts in dry storage. This shift is being facilitated by innovative ways to move and handle heavy boats such as gantry cranes. These new techniques are being used across North and South America.”

Other speakers included Gary Groenewold (Westrec Marinas), Bruno Meijer (Arte Marine LLC & Marina Division Dubai) and Julian Goldie (The Yacht Harbour Association)

Cesme Marina in Izmir, Turkey, won the 2014 PIANC Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award.

The next ICOMIA World Marinas Conference will be held in Rio de Janeiro in April 2016.

ICOMIA Publishes New Environmental Legislation Guide

ICOMIA, the International Council of Marine Industry Association, has published its new Global Environmental Legislation Guide.

Prepared by ICOMIA Environment Consultant Albert Willemsen, the guide outlines of the latest environmental legislation affecting the EU, U.S., Asia and Australia. It also covers international organizations, such as IMO and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and international approaches related to styrene.

The guide explains what the legislation is; why it has been imposed; when it will take effect; who it may affect and how it may affect them. Hyperlinks in each chapter direct readers to more detailed explanations and further reading.

The guide is updated biannually and available in the ICOMIA Online Library. Members of ICOMIA have free access to the guide. It is available to non-members as a 12-month subscription for €300.

PierVantage Works with Front Street Shipyard

To support construction on a new line of 30-foot multihull catamaran patrol boats, Front Street Shipyard in Bucksport, Maine, will use PierVantage to help mange the operation.

“As we expanded into production boat building, PierVantage for Boat Builders was the clear choice in management software,” JB Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard, said. “It appears to be the only solution on the market specifically designed for this niche. Not only does PierVantage for Boat Builders help us track every stage of the build process, but it also helps us estimate and acquire materials on time, significantly minimizing our inventory carrying costs.”

PierVantage plans to strengthen in its project management functionality by adding powerful graphical project and resource management capabilities. Mike Frayler, director of operations for CorVant, creator of PierVantage, said the project management functionality will be available as part of the summer 2014 release.

HydroHoist Celebrates 50 Years

It received its first patent for a hydro-pneumatic boatlift in 1964. The company was launched when Henry Rutter, a marina owner, invented the first hydro-pneumatic boatlift at Grand Lake in northeastern Oklahoma. Rutter obtained a patent and called his invention HydroHoist.

“Initially the need for the HydroHoist boatlift was created because of a restriction for land space for boat storage,” said HydroHoist CEO Mick Webber. “Boat owners were demanding convenience and immediacy of use, and Rutter’s boat lift system offered dry storage in the water for a price comparable to land space. Remarkably, some of the original hoists are still in use.”

Rutter found that the traditional winching method used at his marina was impractical on floating docks because they could not support the extra weight of the winch. He intended to build a quick, economical system that displaced the water by air and formed a free-floating lift. His first lift mechanism consisted of inverted fiberglass tubs and a used vacuum cleaner motor that blew air in the inverted tubs, forcing the water out and raising the boat and lift above the surface of the water.

Once word of Rutter’s invention became known, demand from boat owners increased, first in northeastern Oklahoma, and then throughout the Midwest. By 1971, Rutter sold his marina and moved the company into an old World War II munitions plant in Claremore, Oklahoma, where the corporate office still remains today.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the industry expanded to meet consumer demand to hoist a number of different vessels – from personal watercraft, to lake cruisers, houseboats, sea planes, submarines, Coast Guard cutters and other military boats. HydroHoists lifts range from 900-pound drive-on docking platforms for PWCs to lifts that will accommodate 130,000-pound watercraft.

“We never take for granted that we’ve been in business for 50 years. We actually use the tradition as a driving force to consistently improve our products,” Webber said. “The past year has seen some great innovations with enhancements to our existing products, the introduction of our new Air-Assist series of hoists, and our new line of accessories.

Accessories include a new push-button control, eliminating much of the confusion that some first-time hoist owners encounter when getting accustomed to lifting and launching their boat. The HydroGuard Boat Protection Package, which includes corner bumpers and bow guide, is the perfect complement to the HydroHoist boatlift line.

HydroHoist has 5 distribution warehouses located throughout the United States – California, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Tennessee - and a network of more than 600 dealers. With 75 employees, it does business worldwide and exports products to 23 countries and has an international distributor and dealer network in more than 18 countries. 

U.S. Boating Industry Forecasts Increased Sales into Summer

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced that the recreational boating industry saw healthy growth in 2013, which generated $36.7 billion in retail expenditures (new and pre-owned boats and engines, trailers, accessories and services). This is a 3.2 percent increase from 2012.

An estimated 166,800 new powerboats and sailboats were sold at retail in 2013, an increase of 2.2 percent. This came on the heels of the industry’s 2012 rebound when new powerboat and sailboat retail sales increased 10.7 percent, the industry’s first sign of recovery. The NMMA is anticipating continued momentum with an additional 5 to 7 percent increase in retail sales of new boats in 2014.

The NMMA released these findings as part of its U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, an annual collection of data and analysis on the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry that was released June 1.

“As the nation’s economic recovery matures and boating businesses prepare for summer, a peak selling season for recreational boats, accessories and services, we expect to see continued stable growth in sales,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said. “Following a year of inclement weather throughout the U.S. driving pent-up demand and Americans taking to the water in record numbers, the industry is primed for a busy selling season.”

IBEX Offers Waterfront Demonstrations for the First Time

The International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), from September 29 to October 2 at the Tampa Convention Center will offer dock space for on-the-water exhibits and demonstrations.

Several companies have already booked dock space, including Elco Motor Yachts, Honda, JL Audio, JL Marine Systems, Mercury Marine, Nauticus, SeaStar Solutions, Simrad-Navico, Torqeedo Inc, UFLEX USA, Veedims, Volvo, and Yamaha who will showcase their products directly from the water on their boats.

In addition to the on-the-water exhibits, there will also be an outdoor demonstration area on a 3,300 square foot patio, as well as new Electronics Pavilion on the Show Floor, Pre-Event Super Sessions and The Connected Boat featuring the latest in electronics and system installations.

In June, IBEX announced that the show floor is sold out. The event will host 510 exhibitors, of which 102 are new for 2014. The show floor has 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, dock space and on-the-water demonstrations and three new pavilions for electronics; composites; and compliance, standards and education.

"The show floor is officially sold out and we have started a waiting list," added Tina Sanderson, Sales Director for IBEX. "Any company interested in exhibiting should contact us immediately to get their name added to the wait list. Space will be assigned on a first come, first served basis, and we will do what we can to accommodate as many companies as possible between now and opening day."

For more information on these exciting new events, visit

Canadian Recreational Boating Leaders Meet with Government Officials

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada and members of the country’s recreational boating industry gathered on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in May, for its third annual Recreational Boating Day on the Hill

The Day on the Hill advocates on behalf of the industry’s 67,000 Canadian marine industry workers and 4,400 companies that provide goods and services to Canadian and international boaters.

Industry participants attending the Day on the Hill include representatives from Boating Ontario, Boating BC, Honda Canada, Princecraft Boats, Mustang Survival, Connor Industries/Stanley Boats, Power Boating Canada, Scepter Corporation, BRP, Brunswick Corporation, BoatSmart! Canada, Mercury Marine Limited, Yamaha Motor Canada, HD Brown/Sidewind Marine, Suzuki Canada and Starcraft & Smokercraft Canada.

“The recreational boating industry generates approximately $8.9 billion in revenues and $5 billion in GDP, and we want to ensure that number continues to grow,” Sara Anghel, executive director/vice-president government relations, NMMA Canada, said. “We’re on Parliament Hill this week to educate our policy makers on the significant impact of recreational boating on Canada’s economy and to find ways to work together with the federal government to expand this positive economic impact.”

NMMA Canada Receives Funding for Boater Training Program

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada announced that it received $87,225 in funding rom Transport Canada to support the Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training program for three years.

The national program is designed to education Canadians to become confident and safe boaters. The Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training program will provide both new and experienced boaters the opportunity to get behind the helm and receive on-water training at the Montreal In-Water Boat Show, the Toronto International Boat Show and the Vancouver International Boat Show from 2014-2016. NMMA has also offered the program at dozens of boat shows throughout the U.S. and has trained thousands of boaters.

The Discover Boating Hands-On Skills Training program has been adapted for Canada in both official languages and will feature instruction by boating experts on a variety of boating curriculum at the above mentioned Canadian boat shows.

BIG programs Awards Grants to Four South Carolina Marinas

Recipients for the 2014 Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program included four grants to South Carolina marinas.

The Charleston City Marina and the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club were awarded grants in Tier 1, and St. John’s Yacht Harbor in Charleston and the Downtown Marina in Beaufort received grants from Tier 2.

Projects compete for Tier 1 level of funding through individuals states, which may receive up to $100,000 for grants each year. This year, 27 states requested a total of $2,485,306 of Tier 1 funds. South Carolina received $69,566. The Charleston City Marina will receive approximately $20,000 to replace electrical receptacles on the MegaDock, and the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club was granted approximately $45,000 to replace its fuel system.

The Tier 2 level is competitive on a nationwide basis, with a maximum award of $1.5 million. Fifteen states requested a total of $16,841,448 for 24 Tier 2 projects. Sixteen of those projects were approved for a total of $14,274,760.

South Carolina will receive $1,172,607 of the federal funds. Beaufort’s Downtown Marina will receive $189,287, and St. John’s Yacht Harbor will receive $983,320.

Both categories require at least a 25 percent cost share, but many projects contribute more. The non-federal cost share for the 16 recommended Tier 2 projects totals $11,307,044. The Tier 2 projects will fund approximately 489 new slips and other amenities, including restrooms, fuel and pumpout stations, and navigational aids.

The BIG program is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, from excise duties charged on fishing tackle and equipment, motorboat fuel and import duties on recreational boats and fishing equipment.

The Boat Village Reach 1,000 Customers, Launching New England Collaborative

The Boat Village, an online service coordination and boat management tool, announced it has more than 1,000 boaters using its service.

The Boat Village offers a free online community where owners can coordinate service online with technicians; search for information or find service recommendations from manufacturers.

The Boat Village also announced that it launched a regional collaborative in New England, its second major regional program to help marine companies gain new business and increase customer loyalty.

The New England launch is geographically much larger than the initial regional launch earlier this spring in South Florida. The New England collaborative includes more than a dozen marine industry organizations.

Marine businesses using The Boat Village Professional edition from My-Villages also get communication and outreach services to promote their digital capabilities, at no additional cost.

In Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut, companies like Boothbay Regional Boatyard, Burr Bros. Boats, Front Street Shipyard, Journey’s End Marina, Lymann-Morse Boatbuilding, Maine Yacht Center, Newport Shipyard, North Atlantic Marine Services, Portland Yacht Services, Yankee Marina & Boatyard and Yarmouth Boat Yard have already come aboard.

IBEX 2014 Registration Now Open

Registration is now open at for the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) taking place September 29 through October 2 at the Tampa Convention Center.

This conference offers several special events and feature areas throughout the show floor and on the water for the thousands of marine professionals who attend. Registration to attend the exhibit hall is free; however, attendees are encouraged to register for the breakfast, seminars, and super sessions before September 9, 2014 for discounted rates.

“The 2014 IBEX Show offers a new city, new technology, and a whole new experience for the marine industry professionals who attend this annual gathering,” Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director, said. “With 99 percent of the booths sold, we are focused on creating dynamic, new content to energize the entire show experience. You won’t want to miss this IBEX.”

This year’s IBEX features new education sessions, a waterfront demonstration, show floor pavilion displays and networking events. For the latest information, visit

BoatUS $500 Cigarette Litter Clean Up Grant Deadline is May 30

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has helped nearly 200 marinas around the country clean up cigarette litter, and now marinas on the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay are invited to apply for a $500 grant to cover the cost of ash receptacles, portable ashtrays and signage. Marinas on these bodies of water have until May 30 to apply at

Past participants have reduced up to 50 percent of cigarette litter from their waters. This year’s program also aims to capture plastic cigar tips that seem to be popping up more often. The program is a partnership with Keep America Beautiful, a nation-wide, non-profit organization that encourages individuals to take greater responsibility for improving the environment in their local community.

With funding from Phillip Morris USA – an Altria Company, RAI Services Company and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, Keep America Beautiful provides each marina with a $500 cash grant to purchase the cigarette ash receptacles and a supply of portable ashtrays for use on boats. Marinas are asked to install the receptacles, distribute the ashtrays and educate their customers about the importance of proper disposal.

New Management at Marinetek Signs Contract in Fort Lauderdale

Marinetek North America (NA), Inc., signed a contract to start work this year on a rebuild at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Pier 66 is located at the heart of the city and serves as one of the marina venues that jointly host the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

The construction plans include a new design that is focused on accommodating megayachts. “The new Pier 66 Marina will hold more megayachts than any other marina in Fort Lauderdale, Pier 66 Dockmaster Charles Walker said. “It will be the most prestigious marina in southeast Florida.

Marinetek will remove the original fixed docks that were installed in the 1950s and replace them with a floating concrete dock system with a high freeboard. Construction has already begun, with the installation of a new seal around the basin and new fixed piers at each end of the property.

The floating docks will have 50 megayacht slips for vessels up to 300 feet in length. The new docks will be installed this summer, in time for the boat show this fall.

Marinetek North America, Inc. also recently reorganized and is now under new management. Former Sales Director Richard Murray has been promoted to president/managing director, and Francis Werner was appointed as the new controller.

IMBC Releases Schedule

The 2015 International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) schedule-at-a-glance is available on the IMBC website.

In 2015, IMBC will include more than 30 educational opportunities including general and breakout seminars, a field trip, and small group workshops, displays by more than 115 industry suppliers, product demonstrations, networking receptions, and more.

In total, the conference includes more than 11 hours of seminars, plus a boatyard field trip, plus 13 exhibit hall hours.

IMBC's educational seminars, workshops, and panel presentations will send attendees home with specific, helpful takeaways, and the conference's receptions are both productive networking opportunities and entertaining. Find specific IMBC details on the website.

Galati Yacht Sales Joins The Boat Village’s SE Florida Regional Collaborative

Galati Yacht Sales has joined The Boat Village’s regional collaborative in southeast Florida to unite with other marine businesses in the region to promote online service coordination and boat management.

Galati Yacht Sales, which has more than 450 boats in brokerage and specializes in Viking, Princess, Tiara, Cruisers, Grand Banks, Maritimo, Rampage and Prestige brands, will use The Boat Village Premium Service to make it easier for owners to coordinate service and maintain their vessels. Galati Yacht Sales will provide their customers with a digital profile of their vessel and all of its relevant information, including digitized operating manuals and a custom maintenance plan based on manufacturer recommendations for the equipment onboard.

“Galati Yacht Sales is one of the great names in boating and we are thrilled to have them onboard,” Kevin Hutchinson, found and CEO of My-Villages, creator of The Boat Village, said. “Having Galati Yacht Sales join the other great names in the marine industry that are already part of The Boat Village is further validation of the need for better boat management tools and online service coordination.”

Marina Projects, Ltd. Achieves ISO 9001 Accreditation

Marina Projects Ltd. received its ISO 9001 Quality Management standard from the British Assessment Bureau. The accreditation allows Marina Projects the right to display the certification mark to demonstrate its conformance to the standard.

“We are particularly pleased to have achieved ISO 9001 certification as it underlines our commitment to our customers and our focus on quality,” said Mike Ward, projects director. “Not many customers get to see their suppliers’ ‘back-office’ activities. This recognition demonstrates we can provide a quality solution from quotation to delivery.”

ISO 9001 was first introduced in 1987 and requires organizations to demonstrate that they do what they say they do and that they have a quality management system in place to ensure consistency and improvement.

MTA/NJ Announces New Scholarship

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) has announced the availability of a new scholarship for its members through the MTA/NJ Education Foundation.

The MTA/NJ Foundation, a 501(c)(3), was established to help promote and encourage boating safety and education. The Foundation began offering an education scholarship in 2006, which was open to all students, and awarded more than $18,000 in scholarships. In its eighth year, MTA/NJ’s education committee reevaluated the scholarship and decided to give back to its members.

The new scholarship, valued at $1,500, is open to members’ children and their employees’ children and can be applied to any higher education program. Applicants can be awarded the scholarship a maximum of two times and may reapply each year as long as the eligibility criteria are still met. Scholarship applications are due on June 16, 2014.

South Carolina Marine Association Joins NMMA

The South Carolina Marine Association (SCMA) has integrated with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and is now NMMA South Carolina.

“The integration with SCMA provides synergies with the larger marine industry in this important boating region,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said. “We plan to explore new growth opportunities for all members where we can leverage our extensive event production and marketing communications experience. Additionally, our government relations and advocacy, market research and statistics, and certification programs will bring new opportunities and create exciting change for our South Carolina boating community.”

To guide the specific needs of NMMA’s members in South Carolina, which includes marine manufacturers, dealers and retailers, SCMA’s board of directors will become an advisory board to NMMA. Suzi DuRant, SCMA’s previous executive director, will remain involved as the executive director of NMMA South Carolina to ensure the needs of the South Carolina boating community are being addressed.

NOAA Reports on Recreational Fishing Economics

U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing generated more than $199 billion in sales in 2012, a gain of seven percent over the previous year, with the economic impact of fishing jobs increasing three percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a new NOAA Fisheries economics report.

Two more fish stocks were rebuilt to target levels in 2013, bringing the number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 34 since 2000, according to another NOAA Fisheries report also released in April.

The Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of U.S. Fisheries 2013 reports taken together show positive trends in the steady rebuilding of the country’s federally managed fisheries off our coasts, and the important role fisheries contribute to the United States economies.

“These two reports highlight the steady rebuilding of U.S. fisheries and the broad and positive economic impact of commercial and recreational fishing to the nation’s economy,” Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries, said. “These reports are an excellent example of the environmental intelligence NOAA uses and provides every day. Fishing is big business and culturally important in our country. On top of that, it supports a lot of jobs.”

According to the economics report, commercial and recreational fishing supported approximately 1.7 million jobs in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, a gain over 2011’s 1.6 million. Recreational fishing generated $58 billion in sales, $19 billion in income, and supported 381,000 jobs in 2012 in fishing and across the broader economy.

Short Appointed to State California Waterways Commission

Randy Short of Almar Management Inc. was appointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission in February 2014.

Short has been president of Almar Management since 2000, prior to that servicing as chief operating officer from 1988 to 2000. Almar Management operates 17 marinas throughout California, Hawaii and Mexico. Short has designed and built marinas in California, Hawaii and Mexico, including the marina at Cabo San Lucas and the Honolulu resort marina at Ko Olina. Prior to coming to the marina industry he spent twenty years in the ski resort business.

Short is also on the board of the Association of Marine Industries and of the Marina Recreation Association. He is also a member of the national Recreational Boating Leadership Council, which is assessing the future direction of the marine industry.

PierVantage Enhances on Winter Release

For the winter 2014 release, PierVantage from CorVant, LLC included more than 50 different enhancements, the first of three major releases this year, CEO Navroze Eduljee said.

With the upgrades, purchase requests can be made directly from the work order or estimate, placing the parts and material needed for projects in a queue for purchasing managers to review and add to the purchase order. The new features also include estimate templates and vendor price book files.

The company said estimate template is designed for common projects with like sets of operations. Each operation and task is pre-populated with the required labor hours and materials. Once customers approve an estimate, the work order is automatically created from the estimate.

The next enhancement to the cloud-based business management solution will come with the summer release.

EPA Enhances Waterway App

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an enhanced version of How’s My Waterway, an app and website to find information on the condition of lakes, rivers and streams across the continental U.S.

The How’s My Waterway app and website,, uses GPS technology or a user-entered zip code or city name to provide information about the quality of local water bodies. The new version of the site includes data on local drinking water sources, watersheds and efforts to protect waterways, as well as a map-oriented version of “How’s My Waterway” designed for museum kiosks, displays and touch screens, available at:

DockMaster Launches Latest Version

My-Villages, which owns the DockMaster suite of marine business software, launched DockMaster 8.0 for beta testing in April, with new navigation, scheduling and dashboard features.

In the coming months, approximately a dozen DockMaster customers, who requested the 8.0 version, will test software.

DockMaster hosted a user conference in Florida earlier this year, where customers saw a preview of DockMaster 8.0.

“Brewer Yacht Yards has been using DockMaster for over 20 years and we believe it is the only complete package for the marina industry,” said Tim Hinckley, Information Technologies Director at Brewer Yacht Yards. “Other solutions are either missing accounting, or point of sale, or mobile extensions or service. But DockMaster is a complete package. Now with the new interface, it’s even better.”

DockMaster 8.0 is scheduled for release in late summer or early fall – and there are more improvements planned thereafter. While 8.0 is in select customer beta testing, the 8.1 requirements are being defined working with a broader customer base. Following the release, DockMaster will be integrated with My-Villages’ The Boat Village Professional Edition, a web and mobile application that will extend DockMaster’s capabilities to engage directly with customers online. The result is an integrated system that can vastly improve communications and coordination and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Consultancy Firm Exhibiting at Seawork International

Marina Projects Ltd., a consultancy firm, will exhibit at the Seawork International 2014 from June 10 to 12 at the ABP Port of Southampton, U.K., along with its operating subsidiaries, Gosport boatyard Endeavour Quay and Whitehaven Marina in Cumbria.

Endeavor Quay services commercial and Ministry of Defense vessels. The large boatsheds, near the entrance on the western shore of Portsmouth Harbour, cater to vessels up to 40 meters LOA. UK Docks and Babcock Critical Services, both based an Endeavour Quay, provide work and services on-site.

Whitehaven Marine, located on the northwest coast of England, serves long and short-term vessels. The protected facility is accessible for four hours either side of high water, and the inner harbor is protected by a 30- x 13-meter sector lock, manned 24 hours a day.

Mark Bowden, Marina Projects’ Operations Director said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to exhibit at Seawork this year. We value our commercial clients at each of the businesses within the group and this provides the prime opportunity to showcase what we can offer to the wider market.”

MTA/NJ Holds Elections and Annual Dinner

On April 17, 2014, the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) held its annual dinner and elections and elected its 2014-2015 officers and directors. Fred Brueggemann of Key Harbor Marina & Yacht Sales in Waretown will continue to serve as president of the association. Walter Johnson, III of Johnson & Towers, Inc. in Mt. Laurel will continue to serve as first vice president and Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales & Marina in Brick as second vice president. Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina in Brick remains the treasurer, and Raymond Bogan of Sinn, Fitzsimmons, Cantoli, Bogan & West in Point Pleasant Beach continues as secretary.

Rick Castellini of Island Marine Center, LLC in Ocean View was elected. Brian Fischer of MESCO in Thorofare and Greg Wright of John B. Wright Insurance in Manasquan were both re-elected to serve another three-year term. The following directors will be continuing their terms: Jim Cerruti of Fair Haven Yacht Works in Fair Haven; Chris Ohrenich of Christopher J. Ohrenich in Cape May and Michael Yachnik of Horizon Marine Group, LLC in Toms River.

Karen Gruppuso of Taylor, Wiseman & Taylor in Toms River was newly appointed by the president to serve as a nominated director for a one-year term. The following directors were re-appointed to serve another term: Karen Davidson of Green Cove Marina in Brick; Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina in Lake Hopatcong; George Fuller of George Fuller's Marine & Machine in Bayville; Ed McCarthy of McCarthy's Marine Sales in Brick and Pat Salinas of Morgan Marina in Parlin.

The active past presidents that will continue to serve on the board include: Ed Harrison, Jr. and Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina in Brick; Tom Leaming of Leamings Marina in Waretown; Paul Terzian of Causeway Marine Sales in Manahawkin; Rick Traber of Pier 47 Marina in Wildwood.

The regional board of governor's includes Pat Salinas representing the northern region, Tom Leaming representing the central region, Chris Ohrenich representing the southern region and Ray Fernandez representing the Lake Hopatcong region.

PIANC Releases Marina Catalog

PIANC released a new publication in April, Catalogue of Prefabricated Marina Elements. The online resource of prefabricated units is available to the public.

The catalog of floating docks, floating facilities, revetments, decking elements, mooring systems, pedestals, bollards, fenders and signals is designed to help designers and contractors choose the best option for their specific application.

PIANC said the document could also be very useful for managers, port authorities and engineers. The proposed catalogue will be focused on prefabricated units used for the construction of the following types of parts: pontoons; floating structures and facilities; revetments and decking elements; mooring systems and others.

Find the catalog online at

NMMA Supports NSBC Life Jacket Campaign

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) encourages boating professionals and boating enthusiasts to help heighten awareness of the different life jacket types that are available, including inflatable life jackets, and demonstrate their comfort and versatility by wearing them to work on May 16.

The annual event, hosted by the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) serves as a fun, educational element just prior to National Safe Boating Week, May 17-23, the official launch of the 2014 North American Safe Boating Campaign.

The NSBC is asking all participants to take a picture of themselves in their life jacket while at work and post it to the “Ready, Set, Wear It!” Facebook page ( or submit directly to the NSBC at

Freedom Boat Club Partners with Baja Marine

Baja Marine of Donzi, Florida, will provide boats to Freedom Boat Club (FBC), as part of new business alliance between the two. Baja Marine affiliate, Liberty Marine Group, will also gain exclusive rights to operate FBC franchiese throughout the state of New Jersey and in other select areas.

“Our group is very excited about opening a number of Freedom Boat Club locations in New Jersey,” Bill Gates, president of Liberty Marine Group, said. “We plan to have our first location in the Point Pleasant, New Jersey, area up and operating by June.”

FBC, headquartered in Venice, Florida, began operations in 1989, and has expanded in recent years, doubling its number of locations in the past five years. FBC officials said the long-term arrangement is a new step in the company’s growth.

Bot Baja Marine and FBC officials hope the partnership will help grow boating and exposure to the boating lifestyle.

Bellingham Marine Completes Fire and Rescue Boathouse

Bellingham Marine supplied the floating docks for a boathouse project for the Portland Fire and Rescue.

The section that supports the 4,200-square-foot fully enclosed boathouse is a post-tensioned unit that provides two 60-foot berths with a 5-foot wide walkway around the boats inside the building. There is also a 15-foot-wide platform at the back of the building for staging of equipment.

Outside the boathouse is a triangular shaped “deflector” float. “The primary purpose of the deflector float is to keep floating debris from getting lodged under the boathouse floats,” Bellingham Marine Project Manager, Derrick Ames, said. “That’s why the float is shaped the way it is and has such a low freeboard. “

The post-tensioned platform and finger piers that serve as the base for the boathouse were assembled in the water at Advanced American’s yard on the Willamette River and then towed to the site. A unique underwater truss system was added to provide rigidity to the floating foundation and tie the three finger piers together.

“The truss system helps stabilize the floats and create a solid foundation for the building,” said Ames. The center finger is not post-tensioned, so the truss helps tie the middle finger pier into the post-tensioned floats.”

Recycle Run Needs Shrink Wrap and Locations

Marinas can get rid of used shrink wrap covers at Dr. Shrink’s 2014 Recycle Run. For the fifth year, the company is working with Bay Area Recycling to puck up and recycled used shrink wrap. Residents of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and select locations in New York can participate. This year the pick ups will be in July.

Also new this year, Dr. Shrink is looking for marinas and storage facilities across the country to serve as drop-off locations or to provide pick-ups for shrink wrap in their area. Participants would be paid to perform these activities. Business owners willing to participate can fill out a form available on

All Recycling Run participants must buy the EZ Fill Bags from Dr. Shrink for $5 and fill them with shrink wrap only, no strapping, buckles, vents or other contaminants. A video showing how to properly prepare the bags is available on the Recycling Run website.

Commerce RI Partners with Maine International Trade Center at Trade Show

Commerce RI’s International Trade Program and the Maine International Trade Center will partner to host an exhibit booth at the 2014 Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS), November 18-20 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“Rhode Island has a worldwide reputation as a center for marine activities,” Paul Harden of Commerce RI, said. “The opportunity for Rhode Island companies to showcase their expertise to a global market is unprecedented.”

The exhibit booth is large enough to accommodate up to six companies with three from Rhode Island and three from Maine. The partnership between the two states broadens the base of eligible companies. Companies from these states are encouraged to participate.

The special exhibitor fee for the “Best of New England” booth is $4,500 and includes pre-show and on-site support and coordination, a networking lunch, media coverage, daily refreshments, a networking cocktail reception and more.

For more information, contact Commerce RI International Trade Director Kathy Therieau at or (401) 278-9139.

HarborWare Factory Goes Green

In 2014, HarborWare used green techniques at its 40-acre factory complex in Arkansas. It started with little changes, painting interior walls with white reflective paint and installing side lights, which act as skylights for the walls. Both help take advantage of natural sunlight.

Then, the factory got an LED lighting system to replace all fluorescent lights. The LEDs are brighter than fluorescents and have a life of 14 years. The LED lights run at 3,500 watts/sec at day at 5,500 watts/sec at night, wheras fluorescents run at 23,000+ watt/sec.

In the final stage, HaborWare will install large solar panels and a power grid to light their facilities with renewable energy. The company said some of the upgrades are cost intensive upfront, but will save money in the long run.

The Boat Village Enhances Mobile Application, Offers Free Marketing

The Boat Village, a mobile communication and service coordination platform, made enhancements to its professional edition. The company said its new features help streamline service coordination.

The online service coordination and boat management tool gives service yards the ability to monitor each client’s vessel. The system automatically sends alerts when service is due. Within the application, the yard can then notify boat owners or send an online service request to boaters to amend or approve.

The new update allows service managers and technicians to coordinate repairs and maintenance online with all their customers, not just the ones subscribed to The Boat Village service.

Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of My-Villages, which created The Boat Village, said, “We heard loud and clear from our service partners that the ability to better monitor, track and schedule preventative maintenance are top reasons for using the Boat Village Professional edition. They made it clear that preventive maintenance is one of their highest priority service lines, and so we created new features to facilitate that for all of their customers.”

My-Villages is also helping customers spread the word about the new digital capabilities. For every marine business using The Boat Village, My-Villages creates and manages a complete integrated and co-branded communication campaign across multiple channels. My-Villages regularly sends out a multi-part, direct-marketing campaign targeting local boaters. Materials are customized by region and highlight the service yards, dealers and marinas using The Boat Village for online service coordination and boat management.

“Coordinating service online is the future, and My-Villages is a front-runner in this,” Paul Engle, president of Bradford Marine, said. “They are leading these efforts in our industry, providing the technology, drawing companies together that are early adopters and then highlighting their efforts. That’s extremely helpful.”

Suntex Marinas Hosts Vendor Event at Liberty Landing

Liberty Landing Marina, a property of Suntex Marinas, will host its third annual Spring Vendor Spotlight Event on April 25, at the Liberty House Restaurant. The free customer appreciation event will feature marine vendors displaying their products and services for both power boaters and sail boaters, and will also include complimentary food and beverages.

"We hold this event around the same time each spring as we mark the anniversary of our marine store at Liberty Landing Marina," Liz Mernick, National Retail Manager for Suntex Marinas, said. "It's one of the ways that we give back to our customers and say 'thank you' for their business."

Some of the vendors participating in this year's Spring Vendor Spotlight Event include: Raymarine, Lehr, Maptech, Lumitec, Marinco, Orion, KVH, PolyPlanar, Taylor-Made, Sierra, Thetford, Revere Survival Products, West Marine and many more! All of the products and services offered at the Vendor Spotlight will be on sale in Liberty Landing's marine store during the weekend following the event.

The event typically draws over 100 people, and Liberty Landing expects even more this year as a result of increased vendor participation. Some enhancements over previous years include more interactive, hands-on displays and demos, and even a full-size boat rigged with an array of products featured at the event.

For more information about the marina or the upcoming Spring Vendor Spotlight Event, call 201-985-8000 or visit

Carefree Boat Clubs Expand to Canada

Steve and Karin Taylor, owners of Carefree Boat Clubs in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, Florida, announced the opening of their third location near Toronto, Ontario at Lefroy Harbor Resorts Marina.

Steve, originally from Canada, said, “A large number of our Florida boat club members are Canadians who enjoy boating in Florida during the winter. Our Toronto location will now allow them to enjoy the benefits of boating with the Carefree Boat Club close to home during the summer months.“

Carefree Boat Club started in 2002 and has grown to 28 locations. The Toronto club is the company’s first international location. Local clubs are independently owned and operated through a licensing agreement. They provide their members with access to a variety of boats, with none of the work of owning a boat. Members can boat for less cost than owning, and have access to multiple locations.

For information on opening a Carefree Boat Club, contact Frank Fahringer at (757) 870-1270 or

ABYC Launches ESD Prevention Campaign

The American Boat & Yacht Council’s Foundation (ABYC) has partnered with the Energy Education Council’s Safety Electricity “Teach Learn Care TLC” campaign to help prevent electric shock drowning (ESD). The campaign includes safety messages focused on the proper maintenance of a boat’s electrical system and safe actions in the water.

An expert investigation for solutions on the dockside mitigation of this hazard is underway thanks to a grant recently awarded by the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Protection Research Foundation and support from the ABYC Foundation.

“We are very impressed with the Energy Education Council and its outreach efforts on this and other electrical safety issues,” John Adey, ABYC president, said. “The additional effort by ABYC’s Foundation along with the Fire Protection Research Foundation will produce tangible results that will make an impact.”

American Boating Congress Welcomes Amy Walter to Agenda

The American Boating Congress (ABC) will welcome Amy Walter, national editor of The Cook Political Report and former political director of ABC News, to the agenda on Wednesday, May 7.

Known as a political journalist covering Washington, Walter served as senior editor of The Cook Political Report from 1997 to 2007. Her political forecasting is respected by both Republicans and Democrats alike, reflecting NMMA's commitment to bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.

For more information and updates on the May 5-7 ABC, visit

Dammrich Reappointed to Consumer Trade Committee

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President, Thom Dammrich, has been reappointed to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) on Consumer Goods for a four-year term. The ITAC on Consumer Goods is one of 16 Industry Trade Advisory Committees, which are jointly administered by the Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

Dammrich was appointed to represent the viewpoints of NMMA members and the U.S. recreational boating industry. Through this committee, he will provide policy and technical advice, information and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative, regarding trade barriers, negotiating and bargaining objectives of trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting its sectors. In addition, Dammrich will perform advisory functions relevant to U.S. trade policy as may be requested by the Secretary and the USTR or their designees.

The committee meets six times a year in Washington, D.C. The members all come from the private sector and serve in a representative capacity to present the views and interests of a U.S. entity in their respective industry sectors.

“The recreational boating industry is uniquely American with 93% of the boats sold in America, made in America. What’s more, the recreational boating industry is a net exporter— and for good reason – American-made boats, engines, and marine accessories are quality products made by experienced manufacturers that evoke the spirit of America and our love affair with being on the water,” Dammrich said.

AMI Offers Operations Manual

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) is offering its Basic Marina Operations Training Guide, as a tool for entry-level marina professionals. It is designed as a self-study course for people who are just starting out in the marina industry. The guide includes information on first aid, security, boat handling and health and safety.

The training guide is divided into Mandatory and Optional modules. Marina operators must complete at least one of the two optional modules. Mandatory modules include orientation, first aid, health, safety and fire protection, customer care/public relations, security, personal safety, berthing/mooring administration, boat handling and environmental management. Optional modules include marina and plant maintenance, and office administration and payments.

For more information, contact AMI at, or order the guide online here.

Maritime Professional Training Appoints New Vice President of Curriculum Development

Maritime Professional Training (MPT) has named Al Stiles as the school’s Vice President of Curriculum Development in a newly expanded role focused on broadening its course offerings in both on-campus and online settings. MPT is the largest private maritime training school in the U.S.

Stiles most recently worked with the Department of Justice for eight years as the Enterprise Learning Technologies Program Officer. In that role, Stiles managed the DOJ’s e-learning development and delivery for 110,000 DOJ employees working in more than 50 federal agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Bureau of Prisons; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Attorneys and U.S. Marshals.

“[Stiles] adds even greater depth to our curriculum development capabilities at MPT and will be instrumental in helping implement our vision for the expansion of MPT into new forms of content delivery,” Amy Beavers, vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Academic Principal at MPT, said. “We are very happy to have him aboard.”

Connecticut Marine Trades Association Annual Elections

The Connecticut Marine Trade Association (CMTA) has announced its officers for the 2014-15 year who were elected at the 60th Annual Membership Meeting held at Sage American Grill & Oyster Bar in New Haven. The officers will serve a one-year term beginning in July and the four directors will serve for three-year terms alongside the current directors.

Officers elected include Chairman Robert Petzold, Petzold’s Marine Center, Inc., Portland; V. Chairman John Johnson, Thames River Properties, New London; 2nd V. Chairman Dawn Schieferdecker, Essex Island Marina; Sec/Tres David Crocker, Crocker’s Boatyard, Inc., New London; and Chairman Emeritus Don MacKenzie, Boats, Inc.

New directors elected include Bill Gardella, Jr., Rex Marine, Inc., Norwalk; Glen Billings, Billings Media Blasting; Cindy Karlson, Bohonnon Law Firm; and Michael O’Learnick, Kellogg Marine Supply.

“CMTA is a long standing association of marine businesses concentrating on legislative, regulatory, and recreational issues to improve boating in Connecticut and ensuring member compliance,” said Chairman Bob Petzold of Petzold’s Marine Center. “With the economy finally turning around, our concerns are still with the actions of the legislature as they deal with tight funding and their history with business. Our hope is they recognize that small businesses are the economic drivers in our state.”

BoatUS Foundation Introduces Recycling How-To Video

BoatUS Foundation has released a short, video tutorial on how to build a fishing line recycling bin. All of the instructions to build a line recycling bin from affordable and easy-to-work-with plastic PVC pipe are explained in a short video at

The line recycling bins are suitable for any location where anglers gather, such as ramps, piers, marinas, docks and popular fishing areas. Bin builders can also get free stickers to put on the outside that give instructions on how to use the bin, as well as “no trash” stickers by emailing

“Once the weather warms up, you’ll be ready to install the bin and can arrange for clean-outs with help from fishing buddies, clubs, marinas or local agencies,” BoatUs Foundation Vice President Susan Shingledecker said.

As the bin fills up, used fishing line can be dropped off at municipal recycling stations, or it can be mailed to the Berkley Conservation Institute where it will be used to make “Fish Habs” – artificial, underwater habitat structures that attract various fish.

RI Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program Gains Momentum

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program is growing. On Friday, March 28, a second class of pre-apprentices graduated the 5 ½-week training program that gives students a foundation of skill on which to launch their careers.

Funded by a grant awarded to the Governor’s Workforce Board RI, the program is coordinated by the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association (RIMTA) with area schools and businesses.

“This term, eight companies offered job shadowing to our students,” RIMTA Workforce Development Coordinator Jen Cornwell said. “I expect that our job placement after graduation will go quickly, as job shadowing stints often turn into full-time offers.”

The Pre-Apprenticeship Program is only one element of a larger plan in Rhode Island to cultivate a strong workforce for the marine trades. As boating business rebounds and more skilled labor is needed, the workforce is graying and not enough young people are choosing the marine industry as a career path. RIMTA, area schools, and the marine industry work in concert to correct this trend.

The next round of R.I. Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program will be held in summer 2014. There is no cost for participants who train in the program. For more information, contact RIMTA Workforce Development Coordinated Jen Cornwell at

Halifax Harbor Contract to Marinas International

Marinas International has announced that it has been awarded the management contract for Halifax Harbor in Daytona Beach, Florida. The agreement comes after a final unanimous vote of 7-0 by the city manager’s staff.

The 550-slip, 60-acre coastal property dates back to 1929. “The management and staff at Halifax Harbor Marina are looking forward to becoming part of the Marinas International family,” Marina Manager and CMM Marc Phillips said. Dallas, Texas-based Marinas International manages storage options for more than 20,000 boaters at 18 marinas in eight states. The organization has four marinas in the state of Florida.

PierVantage Gains New Customers

PierVantage, a cloud-based marine solution, has announced that Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric, Marshall Marine, Pierside Boatworks, and SYS Yacht Sales & Service have signed on for its service.

These businesses will join other boatyards, boat builders and marine facilities who utilize PierVantage to gain a competitive advantage. “We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to be working with some of the most respected boatyards and boat building operations in the world,” Navrose Eduljee, CEO of CorVant, the creators of PierVantage, said. “We continue to see a consistent flow of boatyards and boat builders reaching out to us as they consider upgrading their outdated technology solution or one that was not specifically built for their business.”

PierVantage was designed with input from boatyard operators in the marine industry. It helps marine businesses improve efficiency and increase productivity by giving their customers the tools to better organize and track daily boatyard tasks and routines.

“With the continual product enhancements, organized implementation process and great support, I am pleased with my decision to implement PierVantage for our growing shipyard,” Doug Dixon, general manager and chief operating officer of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and Electric, LLC, said.

Bradford Marine Partners with My-Villages

Bradford Marine in Fort Lauderdale, Flroida., becomes the first brokerage organization in the nation to partner with My-Villages, a mobile technology provider. Bradford Marine will use The Boat Village, a mobile platform that simplifies communication and collaboration, to make it easier for owners to coordinate service and maintain their vessels.

Bradford Marine will provide The Boat Village Premium service to all of its customers, which will allow them to create a digital profile for their vessels and all of their equipment. Also, with The Boat Village, boat owners can receive reminders when maintenance is due and coordinate service online .

Already using My-Villages’ DockMaster suite, Bradford Marine’s additional use of The Boat Village will enable the company to enhance and simplify communication with customers.

“Bradford Marine has been an industry leader for decades and we are thrilled they chose The Boat Village for their customers,” Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of My-Villages, said.

The Boat Village Premium service works on any smartphone, tablet or computer and functions like an electronic medical record and care coordination platform. Records are preserved electronically and the boat’s service history, usage trends, trip logs and other useful information and readily available.

MDCE 2014 Call for Presentations

The deadline to submit an educational session proposal as a potential speaker at the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is March 14.

The event, held Nov. 16-19 in Orland, Florida, will includes presentations directed at an audience of marine dealership professionals, from dealership principals and general managers to employees and managers of such departments as sales, marketing, service, parts, accessories, F&I, boat clubs, boat rentals and marina operations.

MDCE 2014 organizers are looking for presentations on advanced, intermediate and fundamental business topics. Presentation information should be timely, informative and educational in addition to offering concrete takeaways the audience can bring back to their business.

BoatSetter Launches Boat Rental Platform

South Florida-based BoatSetter launched its boat rental platform at last month’s Miami International Boat Show. The website,, was created by marine industry veterans and focuses on boating experience, captain services and provides the largest nationwide network of affiliate marinas in the country .

By logging on to the site, boat owners will fill out a profile and list their vessel for rent. Renters are offered a variety of experiences and activities in addition to the boats and captains to bring those experiences to life. The system also handles the transaction from start to finish once a boat or captain is selected. BoatSetter also provides $1 million in primary liability protection and up to $2 million in hull coverage, which is included in the cost of the rental. On-water support services from BoatUS are also available free-of-charge.

The BoatSetter model is also working with marinas nationwide to help promote and deliver the service and marinas can bring more customers to their facilities. BoatSetter has more than 100 marinas in the program with more signing up daily.

One marina affiliate, Loggerhead Marina Miami, is already confident about the benefits.

“I see it all the time, boat owners who can no longer afford the expense of boating,” Michael Hankins, Loggerhead harbormaster, said. “BoatSetter offers the opportunity to offset costs and it affords us the opportunity to maintain their business. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

IMCI to Speak at Boat & Yacht Thailand 2014 Conference

The International Marine Certification Institute (IMCI) will speak and help organize the 2014 Boat & Yacht Thailand Conference on April 4, at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya.

The conference is dedicated to yachts and small commercial boats and intended for maritime safety experts, researchers, boat builders and operators, tourist companies and authorities.

The 2014 conference will bring awareness of safety issues related to small craft design, operation and regulatory work. The event will also provide a discussion platform for the marine and tourism industry on safety issues, as well as enhance the reputation of marine industry and tourism in Thailand.

Peter Jacops, local inspector for IMCI, will give a presentation on European legislative requirements, the Recreational Sectoral Group as well as on the organization of the ISO small craft technical committee and their published standards. IMCI has a total of 48 inspectors covering more than 20 different countries.

New York Boating Industries Association Reports Optimism for Upcoming Season

According to Upstate New York’s Boating Industries Association (BIA), the marina operators and boat dealers in attendance were optimistic about the 2014 boating season.

“The BIA members are upbeat about the 2014 sales season,” BIA President Bruce Walker said. “Lifelong boaters are passing on the love of boating and safety tips to the younger generations, the economy is picking up, and finance rates have fallen to offer the boating industry in Upstate New York a bright outlook this year.”

In recent years, BIA of Upstate New York added boating safety education to its annual winter Central New York Boat Show held in Syracuse, New York, to attract families, hearing-impaired boaters, paddlesport enthusiasts and water rescue first responders.

Oneida Lake Marina co-owner Debbie Scarpinato of Canastota, New York, said the boating experience that lures buyers, noting the increasing popularity of pontoon boats at the February boat show.

“More and more people are looking at pontoon boats for their affordability,” Scarpinato said. “Pontoons are now made like floating living rooms, comfortable for adults, kids and dogs. They are easy to operate; quieter; can be customized with double decker slides, barbecues, bars, and fishing accessories; and will rock you to sleep at night.”

Another popular water activity projected for the 2014 season is wake surfing. “Wakeboarding is a trend just starting to catch on in New York State,” Chris Beardsley, general manager of The Sailboat Shop in Skaneateles, New York, said. “The lower speed, lower impact makes wake surfing open to more people than waterskiing.”

The Sailboat Shop has recently become the dealer of Tige wakesurfing boats for the area from Central New York north to the Adirondacks and Canada, south to Pennsylvania, west to Medina, and east to Albany and half of New England.

“We studied the wake surfing trend for about five years,” said The Sailboat Shop owner John Jablonski. “Now is the time for us to add this style of boat to our business mix.”

West Marine Grant Program Seeks Applicants

West Marine is seeking applicants for Marine Conservation Grants for up to $30,000 in its ongoing efforts to improve and conserve the marine environment.

Five to 10 grants will be awarded in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 per recipient. Applications are available online at The closing date for entries is May 1, 2014, and winners will be announced on World Oceans Day, which is June 8, 2014.

The 2014 Marine Conservation Grants will focus on projects that enhance fish populations, which include: engage anglers in data collection; enhance marine habitats; and educate anglers about fish barotraumas.

Grants will be awarded through a formal application process. Interested organizations must submit their proposal to West Marine where all applications will be reviewed and winners selected by West Marine’s Marine Conservation Action Team (MCAT).

Preference will be given to organizations that have neighboring West Marine stores and that engage West Marine associates and customers in conservation and data collection efforts.

Technomarine Relocates to New Manufacturing Plant

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Technomarine has announced its relocation to a new manufacturing plant in Montreal, Canada. The plant has a total of 54,000 sq. ft. that is used for welding and assembly of the company’s advanced docking systems.

The new plant is ISO 9001 Certified and still maintains its original offices at its international headquarters in Quebec where design, engineering, administration, sales and project management are still in place.

Technomarine has also obtained licensing in Canada and the U.S. to continue its expansion. The company will next locate a suitable manufacturing plant in the Southeast U.S. to better serve its clients in that area.

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2014 is offering an early bird discount of 10 percent to marina professionals wishing to attend the event. Attendees must register before March 1.

The conference will be held June 2-4 in Istanbul, Turkey, and will feature a line-up of more than 40 industry speakers from 17 countries. Discussions will focus on emerging markets, value of marinas and the best management practices.

The 2014 edition of the conference is presented by the ICOMIA Marinas group and, for the first time, in partnership with METS Organiser Amsterdam RAI and hosted by Turkish marine industry association, DENTUR.

For more information, visit

Freedom Boat Club Opens New Locations

Freedom Boat Club now has locations in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Osage Beach, Missouri, on the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Freedom Boat Club now has a location in Daytona Beach, Fla., thanks. The new franchise in Daytona Beach is due in part to long-time boat dealer, Bobby Parker. is located at the Halifax Harbor Marina and officially opens in mid-February.

Parker said a motivating factor for his decision was that members have access to 75 locations across the nation and 29 in Florida alone. “No other boat club compares, and I wanted to be part of that network,” he said. The new location will open with a variety of 2013 and 2014 model boats, a dual-console Key West, a Hurricane deck boat, two Tracker pontoon party barges and a Tidewater.

Freedom Boat Club’s newest location will be based at Bridgeview Marina, the first in Missouri and the region.

“I am thrilled to bring Freedom Boat Club to Lake of the Ozarks,” Gery Baar, owner of the new FBC location said. “I have enjoyed this lake for years and jumped at the chance to open the Freedom Boat Club franchise here. I think it is going to be positive for everyone involved with our local marine industry. Members of our local club will have access to boats and marinas all across Florida, and 15 other states. And having Freedom Boat Club operating here will certainly attract members from other parts of the country to visit. It will benefit local businesses when visitors discover Lake of the Ozarks and fall in love with it.”

Rather than seeing a boat club franchise as being competition to local boat dealers, Baar believes his FBC franchise will benefit the industry and, ultimately, result in more boat sales and business at local marinas. “Joining a boat club is a great way to introduce people to boating who might not be ready to buy a boat. We need to attract more people to boating to grow the industry for everyone. And I certainly see members falling in love with boating and Lake of the Ozarks and, perhaps, eventually buying a home or condo and/or a boat.”

Baar will begin operations with four new 2014 boats, including a 26-foot bowrider, a 21-foot bowrider with wakeboard tower, a 24-foot deck boat with wakeboard tower and a 25-foot triple-toon. Additional boats of various types will be added based on the preference of members. As more boats are added to the fleet they will be placed at satellite locations, which will be convenient to members at other parts of the lake. At least two additional locations are planned at existing marinas, one on Horseshoe Bend and one on the west side. Marinas have not been selected yet. The Bridgeview Marina location is southeast of the Grand Glaize bridge near the 1-mile marker of the Grand Glaize arm which begins at the 19-mile marker of the main channel.

MICF Makes Leadership Changes

Marine Industry Cares Foundation (MICF) announces more new ventures for 2014. These plans are all part of the broader foundation goal of establishing itself as the international leader in fostering unity within the marine industry and with the communities where they do business. MICF has already raised more than $500,000 for charities serving children and families in need, and expects to greatly increase that total in 2014.

The foundation announces the appointment of David Reed to the position of Board Chairman. Reed is a founding board member of the foundation and has worked closely with now Immediate Past Chair Mole Telfer. Chairman David Reed is publisher and co-founder of The Triton. He grew up on the water living for 12 years on a sailboat travelling the Caribbean, and worked for luxury yachts as a young adult, including on the 197-foot Feadship New Horizon L.

Another change to the organizational leadership and to the MICF board of directors is the addition of Patience Cohn, a native of Nantucket, but long-time resident of Fort Lauderdale and respected South Florida recreational marine industry professional. Cohn is currently the Industry Liaison for the Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

“These recent changes in the Board are in sync with the vision of MICF to really take the organization in a new and dynamic direction in 2014,” Executive Director Gordon Connell said. He added, “Mole Telfer’s leadership has been instrumental to the success of the Foundation to date, and David Reed as Chairman brings a renewed enthusiasm for the MICF goal of making a difference through community engagement and the Spin-A-Thon in 2014.”

Plans Underway for IBEX 2014 in Tampa, Florida

The Tampa Convention Center will host the 2014 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), September 30 to October 2. The marine technology show is for marine professionals – boatbuilders, engineers, designers, composite professionals, and other looking for the newest products and services.

"Last year we announced we were going to rotate the show between Louisville, KY and Tampa, FL and have had a great response from the exhibitors who are looking forward to showcasing their products and services in the Florida market," Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director, said. "Our exhibit space for the 2014 event is already 90 percent sold with leading industry marine product and accessory manufacturers who will be returning as well as dozens of new companies offering new products, advanced processes, and impressive innovations."

The IBEX Education Program, produced by Professional BoatBuilder magazine and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will offer several new features including an Exhibitor Workshop Theater on the show floor, On-The-Water Demonstrations, and dozens of relevant sessions focusing on hot topics and issues.

"The IBEX Seminar Series offers world-renowned technical education from fundamental skills to cutting-edge advanced training and is designed for shop floor crew, seasoned technicians, and company officers," Dunbar said. "The conference program will offer new and exciting updates for 2014 and will be announced in the spring along with the keynote presenters and special events."

ABBRA Hosts Marine Service Manager Course

ABBRA, the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association is partnering with the Maine Marine Trades Association to offer a three-day Marine Service Manager course from March 4 – 6 in Arundel, Maine at The Landing School. The course is a main requirement for service managers seeking to become an ABBRA Certified Marine Service Manager (MSM).

Executive Director of ABBRA, Gordon Connell said, “Our instructors offer boatyard managers and individuals preparing for leadership roles in boatyards a good understanding of their responsibilities and the best management practices that are expected in well-run facilities.” He noted, “We are returning to Maine this year after conducting one in 2012 that had a full class of 25 students and another last year in Rhode Island and had 20 students. Registration is going strong and we anticipate a full complement again in 2014.”

Following the MSM in Maine, another will be offered in West Palm Beach, Florida in July and one in Washington State in November.

The MSM course covers areas such as leadership skills, time management, human resources, workforce development, safety, health and emergency response, maritime law and contracts, job estimating, project management, financial management and a boatyard case study.

Notable marine industry leaders and MSM course instructors include: Pam Lendzion, president of MarineTec Management Company; Leonard Langer, Maritime Attorney with Thompson & Bowie LLP, Portland, Maine; Shirley Adams, director of human resources at Correct Craft, Inc.; Jim Bronstein, president of Marine Business Advisors; and Kellie Crete, safety and loss control manager of The Gowrie Group, Westbrook, Connecticut. Registration can be completed online at

Marine Marketers of America Announce 2013 Neptune Awards

Marine Marketers of America (MMA) today announced the winners of its sixth-annual 2013 Neptune Awards for Marketing Excellence during NMMA’s State of the Recreational Boating Industry breakfast at the Miami International Boat Show.

Seventeen independent judges from all sectors of the industry scored the entries which recognize the very best marketing work in the North American marine marketplace.

2013 Neptune Awards were presented to the following companies and marketing firms in these categories:

Best National Magazine Advertising (Full Page): Grady White Boats for “Etched Center Console,” created by Adams & Longino; Best National Magazine – Spread: The Hinckley Company for “People are Talking,” created by 8 Beacon Partners; Best National Magazine Advertising (Series): Sea Tow Services, International for “Benefits of Sea Tow Membership,” created by Syron Design; Best Regional/Local Advertising: Legendary Marine for “#1 Dealer in North America Campaign,” created by Legendary Marine and Kenton Smith Marketing; Best Product Literature: The Hinckley Company for “Talara 43 Brochure”; Best Digital Newsletter: Sea Tow Services, International for “Sea Tow News,” created by Syron Design; Best Mobile App: Gemeco Marine Accessories for “iNSTALL App,” created by Hawley Communications; Best Video: The Hinckley Company for “What Makes a Hinckley a Hinckley,” created by Digital Salad; Best Social Media Campaign: Mercury Marine for “#HandsomeTransom”; Best Event Marketing/Sales Promotion: Freedom Boat Club for “Yelp It Out for Sales”; Best Marketing Innovation: ACR Artex for “406SurvivorClub”; Best Email Blast: Sea Tow Services, International for “Sea Tow Trial Membership Program,” created by Syron Design; Best Web Ads: Mercury Marine for “Meet the Team,” created by GS Design

Winning entries and images may be viewed on the MMA website – visit

RIMTA Hosts Industry Day

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and IYRS School of Technology & Trades will host the 9th Annual Marine & Composites Industry Career Day on March 22.

This one-day event, which is free to the public, will draw industry experts and employers who come to this annual Career Day with one goal in mind: to connect with individuals with the skills and aptitude for marine and composites careers. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet employers from throughout New England and New York, including builders of boats and composites structures, manufacturers, boatyards and marinas, and marine service providers.

The event includes two seminars—on winning job-search tactics, and on the evolving state of marine technology and its skills requirements. New this year is a Training Center, where attendees can learn how to gain the in-demand skills to launch careers in these two industries. Career Day runs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Newport campus of IYRS. For more information, including a list of companies attending, visit

DockMaster Hosts User Conference

DockMaster will host its latest user conference, Feb. 17 – 18. More than 100 DockMaster customers will gather in West Palm Beach, Florida for the free DockMaster User Conference: OnBoard 2014. Experts and users will exchange information, hear more about DockMaster 8.0, the latest version due out in beta form this March, and get an update on the ongoing integration with The Boat Villiage, the mobile platform for boat ownership and service coordination.

“The industry response to our DockMaster product strategy has been phenomenal, and it is great to see so many new customers come on board,” said Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of My-Villages. “Our goal is to put today’s technology—the best there is—in the hands of marine businesses. It’s vital to our customers, it’s vital to the industry—and that makes it vital to us. It’s our Number One priority, the principle that guides us.”

Acquired by My-Villages late last year, DockMaster is now in use at more than 600 facilities in North America, the Caribbean, Central America and Western Europe, and the numbers continue to increase.

Maine Marine Trades Association Executive Invited to White House

Maine Marine Trades Association’s Executive Director Susan Swanton was invited to the White House on January 31 to take part in event convened by President Obama. The event focused on strategies for helping the nation’s nearly four million long-term unemployed get back into the labor market.

Sector partnerships were one of the strategies featured at the event as a tool to help the long-term unemployed retrain for new well-paying, family-supporting careers. These business-led partnerships bring together multiple firms within the same industry along with local post-secondary educational institutions, training providers, trades associations and workforce investment boards. The Maine Marine Trades Association was part of a successful industry-led partnership known as Maine’s North Star Alliance, which served nearly 200 companies and 2,000 incumbent, new hire and dislocated workers.

Swanton shared her organization’s successes in building such a partnership to employ local residents in the marine trades industry. Other event participants included CEOs from national corporations, small- and medium-sized employers, foundations and other local organizations working to help the unemployed.

ABBRA Honors Past President with Award at 2014 Conference

The 2014 recipient of the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association’s (ABBRA) prestigious Dennis Snow President’s Award is Jonathan Jones. The award, given for significant and lasting contributions to the boatyard and marine service/repair industry, was presented at the ABBRA Annual Awards Dinner & Annual Meeting during its recent Boatyard Business Conference held January 22-24 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Jones is a former member of the ABBRA Board of Directors, a past president of the organization, and is recently retired as the general manager and executive vice president of Haven Harbour Marina in Rockhall, Maryland. “It’s no wonder that the Boatyard and Marina Jonathan managed for 23 years regularly garnered top honors, including Chesapeake Bay Magazine’s Best Resort Marina and the coveted national Excellence in Customer Care citation from ABBRA,” said Past-President and Awards Committee Chair Pam Lendzion. “He also recognizes that training and supporting his staff is the best way to provide quality service. Much of his time and effort on the job was spent creating a culture that makes the boating experience as enjoyable for others as it has been for himself.”

Past recipients of the Dennis Snow President’s Award include Bill Munger, Conanicut Marine Service; Jack Brewer, Brewer Yacht Yard; Dennis Nixon, Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island; Carl Cramer, Professional Boat Builder Magazine; and Frank Herhold, Marine Industries Association of South Florida.

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference

ICOMIA World Marinas announces its line-up of speakers for its 2014 conference. From June 2-4, more than 40 world-class experts will present their views to delegates. Speakers include Gary Groenewold (Westrec Marinas), Matthew Bate (Dogus Marinas Group) and Julian Goldie (The Yacht Harbour Association).
The conference will provide a learning experience for professionals in the marina and nautical tourism fields. A global audience of specialists will come together in the unique environment of Istanbul to exchange knowledge and learn from each other’s best practice.

“The ICOMIA Marinas Group has held events across Europe, the US, Australia and Asia,” said Roberto Perocchio, chairman. “Now, for the first time, it’s going to be held in the eastern Mediterranean. As the connecting link between east and west, Istanbul has a rare advantage in the global marinas industry. The conference promises to be the best to date since our first edition in 1993.”

The theme for the 2014 conference will be Marinas into the future. In addition to the speakers, the event will provide a platform for marina professionals who value the latest marina product developments and innovations.

NMMA Unveils New Grassroots Advocacy Tool

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced a new grassroots advocacy platform, Boating United, for NMMA members, business owners, industry stakeholders and all who hope to ensure that their voice is heard on Capitol Hill on behalf of recreational boating.

Boating United is online community for marine manufacturers, boating businesses,enthusiasts and supporters. The website makes it easy for NMMA members and marine industry stakeholders to directly participate in advocacy efforts.

Users can sign up to receive updates on legislation affecting the industry, learn more about specific bills and contact their Member of Congress to help ensure that our industry’s voice is heard. Boating United’s Action Center allows users to send pre-drafted letters to their specific Members of Congress or for users to write their own.

2014 Boat Shows Start Strong

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reported a strong start to the 2014 boat shows with shows in New York and Atlanta, through January 12.

The Progressive Insurance® Atlanta Boat Show wrapped up with attendance up 25 percent from 2013; it was the best attended Atlanta Boat Show since 2008. Kicking off on Thursday, the show started off strong and the momentum continued throughout the weekend with mild temperatures and heavy media coverage helping to drive attendance.

“This year we had the highest attendance in six years and are thrilled the show produced heavy traffic and more importantly, buyers to our exhibitors. We hope the boat show results are a positive sign for Georgia boating and the industry,” show manager, Larry Berryman, said.

Exhibitors also reported positive outcomes, citing great weekend traffic, heavy sales and solid leads.

“Our Wahoo Docks and Shoremaster Lifts booths both had great success this year! Sales are up, customers have a positive outlook and the year is already off to a great start. We will be busy over the few next weeks following up on the many leads that we gained here at the show. The Atlanta Boat Show is one of the best things that we have done for our business,” John Pack, Wahoo Docks, said.

“The quality of attendees was amazing. Saturday’s attendance was incredible and we are really pleased with the results of the show,” Scott Cunningham, Singleton Marine Group, said.

Beginning in 2015, the Progressive Insurance® Atlanta Boat Show® returns to its traditional timeframe of mid-late January, with dates locked in for the next five years.

“For many boating enthusiasts and their families, the historical start date of the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show in mid- to late- January has become a much-anticipated tradition – an early peek at spring and summer outdoor recreation, as well as a primary sales venue for local boating businesses,” Ben Wold, executive vice president, NMMA, said. “We’re happy to hear that the 2014 show generated some business and an early boost for the industry, and are optimistic that the nation’s oldest boat show will build momentum in the years ahead.”

Kicking off on New Year’s Day, The Progressive Insurance® New York Boat Show® started off strong, with some exhibitors seeing more than 40 percent of their show sales on opening day. Overall, attendance was down 12 percent from 2013.

“It was a very well attended show, and we saw quality attendees here to buy.” Mike Gravenese, Post Marine Supply, said.

“We’ve sold several boats so far, and traffic to the booth was excellent,” Steve Defeo, Bennington Pontoons.

However, the early January start and severe snowstorm that hit New York on Thursday night, followed by bad weather throughout the weekend, weakened attendance. Overall, several exhibitors reported solid leads, seeing eager buyers and sales at the show. NMMA and the industry are excited to return to later winter dates, January 21-25, 2015.

Next up is the Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports, & RV Show®, cruising into McCormick Place January 16-20. For a complete listing of shows, check out

National Honors Announced for Freedom Boat Club Lake Norman

Freedom Boat Club in Lake Norman, North Carolina, has been designated “Rookie of the Year” for its exceptional efforts at the company’s annual meeting in Duck Key, Florida.

“Freedom Boat Club Lake Norman has succeeded on many levels,” John Giglio, CEO of the club, said. “We are thrilled to have this location as part of our expanding network. Lake Norman not only exceeded expectations for memberships sold in 2013 but also received high grades for customer service, community involvement and faithful adherence to our [club] model of excellence.”

Freedom Boat Club has 75 franchises in 15 states. Jeff Weir, along with this father Perry, own and operate the Lake Weir franchise. “We know this is a winning concept,” said Weir. “People love boating but not necessarily all the expensive, time-consuming chores that go along with it. Being a member of Freedom Boat Club means leaving the hassles to us.”

New Membership Program Announced by Marine Industry Cares Foundation

Marine Industry Cares Foundation (MICF) launched a new membership program to further expand Fort Lauderdale’s industry support of local charities. Since 2010, MICF has harnessed philanthropic support of the marine industry, most notably through the annual Spin-A-Thon, and has given back more than $500,000 to agencies serving children and families in need.

“This is a very exciting time for our foundation,” MICF Board of Directors’ Chairman David Reed said. “When a few of us local business owners decided to come together more than five years ago to have fun raising money while spinning, we had no idea we were paving the way for the birth of a non-profit organization which would ultimately support so many children.”

MICF membership is available to all individuals and corporations in the maritime industry. Individual annual memberships are offered for $75 and corporate packages begin at $1,000. A membership credit is given to any organization that is also a member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association, Marine Industries Association of South Florida and/or United States Superyacht Association. Benefits include special discounts and entitlements, with the primary focus of supporting local charities serving those in need.

“The maritime industry is one of the largest revenue generators and employment sectors in South Florida,” MICF Executive Director Gordon Connell said. “We are honored to be a part of this campaign to bring awareness to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. We encourage our members to be more knowledgeable of this issue and take a more active role in protecting all children.”

Coastal Properties Management Announce Sale of Two Marinas to Brewer Yacht Yards

Coastal Properties Management (CPM) recently announced the sale of its Oxford Boatyard and Mears Yacht Haven, both located in Oxford, Maryland, to Brewer Yacht Yards on January 3, 2014.

Mitch Nathanson, owner of CPM, has been owned Oxford Boatyard since 1988 and Mears Yacht Haven since 1994. Oxford Boatyard has been in operation since 1866 offering complete yacht and boat retrofits, major and minor repairs, AWLGRIP fine painting service, engine repowers, rigging, electrical and fiberglass repairs by its large full-time ABYC and factory-certified technicians. Oxford Boatyard also offers marina dockage and land-storage for large vessels of all types, with a 75-ton Travelift and 35-ton hydraulic Yard Boss trailer.

Mears Yacht Haven offers a yacht club setting in its large marina facility with pool, fuel and supplies. Dockage is available on an annual or transient basis, year-round.

Nathanson and staff at both facilities have been working with Brewer Yacht Club to make the transition seamless and beneficial to all its customers and staff. “I could not be more pleased with Brewer Yacht Yard group and this transition of ownership,” Nathanson said. “The Brewer family has such a stellar, professional reputation within the industry; they bring with them a very high degree of knowledge and experience that I feel our customers and staff will only benefit from.”

ABA Signs Agreement with Taylor Made Systems and Ameritex Fabric Systems

American Boatbuilders Association (ABA) named Taylor Made Systems its preferred supplier of choice for glazing and canvas systems. Taylor Made will supply items such as windshields, doors, roof systems and hull windows, while their fabric engineering and manufacturing partner, Ameritex Fabric Systems, will supply items such as bimini tops, t-tops, mooring covers and curtains.

“ABA is pleased to reach an agreement with Taylor Made Systems as the preferred supplier of choice for this wide range of products that are integral to the overall look and functionality of the vessels built by our group of manufacturers,” Jay Patton, president of ABA, said. “They have a real desire to lead innovation in their fields of expertise, which is of the utmost importance to our members.”

“We’re proud to be associated with the ABA,” Allan Petit, president of Taylor Made Systems, said. “Our agreement demonstrates how the ABA believes in Taylor Made’s quality products, state-of-the-art design, engineering services, and excellent customer support. We look forward to continuing our long and positive relationship with all the members of the ABA.”

Green World Products Offers Distribution Rights

Bids for distribution rights are currently being accepted for businesses selling directly to the industrial and environmental marine markets.

Green World Products, LLC has begun expansion plans by licensing a limited number of territories in the United States. DE-OIL-IT, its flagship product, is best known for its eco-friendly ability to clean-up ocean oil spills and toxic land sites, but DE-OIL-IT is also widely used as an effective cleaner/degreaser/degrader on ships of all sizes.

According to Michael Fitzgerald, CEO of Green World Products, “Once DE-OIL-IT comes into contact with petroleum, the remediation process begins. It is complete and irreversible. What’s left is a simple form of eco-friendly carbon, so there is nothing left to clean up. All this is done without the use of butyls, microbes, enzymes, nutrients and other toxic ingredients.”

Fitzgerald also said, “We are offering patented products, protected territories, dealer support and product training to all of our distributors. What we are looking for in return are well established, well connected businesses with a professional sales team that will make the investment needed to sell our products.”

A video on DE-OIL-IT cleaning an ocean oil spill can be seen on its web site home page at: For more information about DE-OIL-IT and its distribution opportunities, call Green World Products at: 407-574-3898 or apply online at: distributor/.

Texas division of Freedom Boat Club Honored as Franchise of the Year

The Texas division of the Freedom Boat Club (FBC), which operates in five locations, was honored as Franchise of the Year at the company’s annual gathering held in December 2013. It is the top honor given by the Freedom Boat Club, among its 73 locations in 15 states.

“Our Texas group was not only recognized for their impressive growth in membership and revenue but also for their exceptional record of customer service,” CEO John Giglio said. “They have been excellent stewards of our company’s brand and culture.”

The Texas division operates at five locations: Lake Austin, Lake Travis, Clear Lake, Lake Conroe and most recently, Galveston Bay.

“We believe in providing hands-on service,” Texas franchise co-owner Scott Isaacks said. “You will often find the owners of the franchise out on the dock, helping members on and off boats. Exceptional customer service is the key to our success. Our best advertising has been word of mouth from our members.”

“Freedom Boat Club is a winning concept,” said Ken Vollbreckt, co-owner of the Texas franchise, who operates the Clear Lake location. “I have been involved in the marine industry for 23 years and this is the most fun I have ever had. It does not matter if you are a first-time boater or a veteran. We provide all the training people need to feel confident at the helm. And I get the reward of seeing a smile on people’s faces as they pull up to the dock for the first time.”

“We work hard to make sure our members are getting the most value out of their time and money,” Bill Marquardt, co-owner and operator of the Lake Austin and Lake Travis locations, said. “We are a true club. Only members have use of our fleet of boats. We do not rent them out to make extra income.”

And though the Texas team is thrilled with its recognition as Franchise of the Year, Isaacks believes the best is yet to come.

“The more people hear and learn about the Freedom Boat Club the more they like it,” Isaacks said. “We have a great model to follow with a track-record of success that is second to none. It is our plan to stay true to that model and to continue to grow.”

New York Harbor Nautical Chart Provides Post-Sandy Updates

Navigation in the New York Harbor will be more safe thanks to an updated version of the harbor’s nautical chart recently issued by NOAA. The new charts include data gathered in the navigational response to the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

The updated edition also includes new depth measurements and shoreline depictions. “This new chart edition is the first product of a multi-year post-Sandy charting plan,” Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, said. “We have NOAA vessels and private contractors surveying coastal areas affected by Sandy through this year and next, acquiring the data we will use to update nearly two dozen East Coast nautical charts.”

The new chart edition is the result of the combined efforts of several federal agencies. NOAA began acquiring post-Sandy hydrographic data in April. A Coast Survey navigation response team, equipped with high-tech surveying equipment, searched for underwater storm debris and mapped the depths surrounding Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

The chart, known as Chart 12334 – New York Harbor, is now available as a paper Print-on-Demand nautical chart, as a free PDF digital download, and as a free raster navigational chart for electronic display systems.

Maryland Clean Marina Program Applies for Funding

Maryland’s Clean Marina Program has applied for funding from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund to prevent the discharge of sediment from boat washing. Once approved, the Clean Marina Program could administer cost-share grants to certified marinas or boatyards for the installation of closed-loop wash water recycling systems, holding tanks for collecting boat wash water, or pretreatment and diversion of wash water to sanitary sewer.

Funding will not be available retroactively for projects already installed. If approved by the Trust Fund, the Clean Marina project will announce grant applications for boatyards in spring 2014. Facilities that are not yet certified Clean Marinas can seek certification at any time to be eligible for the grants if approved.

Safe Harbor Unveils Online Broker Portal

Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance (SHPI) has rolled out its My Harbor broker portal website. This platform enables real-time policy and claim access to empower brokers to be better service customers.

When registered at, brokers are granted instant access to all quotes and policies, as well as the ability to view claims and print loss runs. Brokers can also make non-rated changes through the system.

“Real-time information management and the ability to complete any insurance transaction with speed and ease are defining differences in SHPI services,” SHPI Principal Russ Brown said. “Brokers need better tools to enable them to easily concentrate on their clients’ needs.”

ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference Opening Session

The 2014 American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) Boatyard Business Conference will focus on the theme “Reflect, Rethink & Refocus” on January 23, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The opening session, The Practical Application of Reflect, Rethink & Refocus for Your 2014 Business Plan offers an in-depth look at the experiences of Boston BoatWorks as the builder for MJM Yachts and shares its clear vision and the path it has laid for success, found in renewed purpose.

Session presenters include Mark Lindsay, principal at Boston BoatWorks/MJM Yachts, and Scott Smith, partner at Boston BoatWorks/MJM Yachts.

The closing session is The Leadership at the Edge, a presentation that recounts the saga of legendary Antarctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton.

Another session will focus on transition and succession planning. “Charting a Course for your Legacy,” is a discussion between the panelists and audience on issues, strategies and activities to help business owners preserve and transfer wealth.

For the full conference agenda, visit here.

GatorDock and GatorBridge Launch New Sites

GatorDock and GatorBridge have teamed up to launch newly designed and mobile-ready websites to provide information and resources to engineers and others searching for custom-configured bridges and docks.

The new sites, and, offer new features, such as anatomy pages, which allow for close-up and detailed inspection of the key features of various bridge and dock configurations. The sites also emphasize the many benefits of aluminum as a construction material.

“Our Gator sites offer a wealth of information, from images, videos and renderings to CAD drawings, and the new sites organize that content in an easy-to-navigate and visually pleasing design,” Marketing Director Danielle Walter said. “These responsive sites also allow for proper presentation and user flow on mobile devices, allowing access even on job sites.”

Walter said that the sites got a much-needed overhaul in order to make information more accessible to its customers and potential specifiers.

The City of Tacoma Gives Old Town Dock a New Look

The Old Town Dock in Tacoma, Washington underwent renovations recently after being closed for more than five years. Tacoma hired Reid Middleton Engineers to design the environmentally friendly project. The new design increases light penetration around the dock by 30 percent.

The Eco Series grating from Marina Dock Parts with its 60 percent open area was incorporated in the dock’s decking, which aids the growth of underwater vegetation and benefits the native fish populations. The new design also conforms to the Americans with Disabilities Act with its 24-inch span on center support along with its slip resistant texture and low solar reflectance. Other features include stainless steel screws, LEED conforming, mold resistant and self extinguishing.

Trex Company Committed to Employing Veterans

Trex Company, a manufacturer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing, announced its commitment to employing U.S. veterans. As November marks National Veterans Month, Trex is putting the call out to prospective job applicants with military backgrounds and encouraging them to apply for several open positions.

“Our country relies on this select group of men and women in the military service who dedicate their lives to defend America and our way of life,” Ronald Kaplan, president and CEO of Trex, said. “With this initiative, Trex is committed to help create a successful transition back to civilian life for U.S. veterans.”

Trex works closely with the Virginia Employment Commission when job openings arise and utilizes relationships with military veteran search firms specializing in the placement of military personnel into civilian positions when appropriate opportunities become available.

ABBRA Offers Early Registration Rate

The American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) is offering an early registration rate ($295) until December 8 for its annual conference, January 22 – 24, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference will focus on the operational, legislative, workforce,and technical business issues critical in the day-to-day management of boatyards and marine service facilities. The ABBRA conference is all about the business of running a boatyard whether a boatbuilding, boat repair, service/maintenance or refit facility of today and tomorrow.

The conference hotel is the B Ocean Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida. This recently remodeled and upgraded boutique hotel boasts breathtaking ocean views from each room, excellent restaurants on property and is walking distance from the beach and other popular local venues. The Conference Attendee rate at B Ocean Hotel is $179 plus tax per night and includes breakfast for two each day.

After the early registration period, the cost goes to $495. For more information call 954-654-7821, email or click here.

New Propeller Text Advances Systems and Equipment Course

Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), has incorporated a new textbook for Westlawn students. The textbook is pivotal to Westlawn’s Module 4 course. Propellers: Form Function, Selection, Speed & Powering and Problem Solving was penned by naval architect and Westlawn’s Director Dave Gerr.

Propellers incorporates the latest on propeller selection, sizing and problem solving. It includes topics such as: blade characteristics; engine power curves; estimating boat speed; propeller calculations for displacement and planing hulls; propeller geometry; propeller shaft standards; propellers for variable thrust and high thrust; special propeller considerations and problems; and the theory behind the hull-speed constant.

“This new propeller textbook is part of Westlawn’s ongoing updates to the curriculum,” Gerr said. “It is a process that never stops and is one of the reasons our courses are so comprehensive and our alumni are so successful.”

This is the second propeller book written by Gerr. He also wrote the Propeller Handbook that was published by International Marine/McGraw-Hill in 1989 and has been used as the industry standard reference since then. Propellers incorporates Gerr’s latest research and conclusions on the subject, as a result of the last twenty- five years of experience.

Additional updates on subjects such as aluminum hull structure, mechanical systems, and structural design will be released in the coming months. Only Westlawn students can purchase Propellers: Form Function, Selection, Speed & Powering and Problem Solving.

To learn more about Westlawn, please call (207) 853-6600 or visit

My-Villages Launches Boat Village for MDCE

My-Villages announced that its Web and mobile-based communication and service coordination platform for boat owners and marine businesses, The Boat Village, was officially live for the start of the Marine Dealers Conference & Expo (MDCE).

Having completed an extensive, 12-month, invitation-only testing program with some of the industry’s best-known boat builders, equipment manufacturers and service yards, My-Villages has opened registration allowing owners and businesses to sign up for the company’s free, Premium or Professional editions of its digital collaboration tool.

Service facilities, including yards, dealerships, marinas and yacht management facilities use The Boat Village Professional edition to streamline and optimize service for their clients.

The Boat Village Premium service and Professional edition are cloud-based technologies that run on any computer or mobile device, offering a two-way communications tool to exchange information with boat owners. My-Villages says that it can dramatically improve customer support. It provides access to the vessel’s equipment inventory, operating manuals, usage trends and other critical information, as well as automated maintenance reminders, electronic service requests and a updated service history. Images and video are supported, and technicians can provide real-time status updates on work in progress.

The Boat Village free service provides owners with access to the largest database of manufacturer maintenance recommendations in the industry, as well as advice, videos and other information shared by a community of boat owners and marine professionals. Because The Boat Village allows boaters to share knowledge, it functions much like an industry-specific social network. Individuals can create a profile, follow companies and fellow boat owners and share advice.

The free portion of The Boat Village was rigorously tested in cooperation with companies and organizations like Kadey Krogen Yachts, Westerbeke, Cummins, Marina Life and the ABYC. To test The Boat Village Premium service, the company leveraged its growing Innovation Partner Network—which includes companies like The Hinckley Co., Regal Boats and Saunders Yachtworks—to develop the product.

Marine businesses can create a free account on The Boat Village and begin communicating with customers right away. To learn more about how to use The Boat Village to improve customer engagement and support, or to inquire about becoming a My-Villages Innovation Partner, contact

IMBC Host Hotel Announced

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) has announced it will hold its 2014 event at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina on Jan. 29-31.

Attendees with reservations will receive complimentary WiFi and a discounted breakfast buffet. IMBC will host a Casino Night Reception on Thur., Jan. 30 from 8:15 to 11 p.m. open to all full-conference pass holders.

Discounted room rates start at $205 and are available until Dec. 30. Guests can make a reservation at 954/463-4000 and mention group code IMBC14.

ABYC Certifies MarineMax Employees in Marine Systems

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) certified 21 MarineMax employees in Marine Systems from stores in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Employees were tested on key information from 21 different ABYC Standards focused on boat component selection and installation.

“MarineMax will strive to certify as many employees as possible to offer the best customer service experience to our customers,” said Jim Shepard, operations support manager for MarineMax. “We strive to hold ourselves to the highest standards that our customers have come to expect from MarineMax.”

Employees received their certifications via ABYC’s Fast Trac program developed by the organization’s education department that allows technicians to become certified in a shorter period of time. In addition to Marine Systems, additional certifications in the Fast Trac program include Marine Electrical, Gasoline Engines, Diesel Engines and Standards. Certifications must be renewed every five years. Once a certified technician receives three certifications, they become an ABYC Master Technician.

My-Villages Honors Hinckley Company With Innovation Award

My-Villages has awarded The Hinckley Co. with the first-ever My-Villages Innovation Award on Nov. 4, at the annual Rhode Island Marine Trade Association meeting.

The annual award honors companies that demonstrate leadership in reinventing the way the marine industry cares for customers by helping boat owners better operate and maintain their vessels using new technologies.

“My-Villages’ Innovation Award is meant to honor organizations that have demonstrated a passion for continuous improvement, and I can’t think of a better example than Hinckley,” Kevin Hutchinson, founder and ceo of My-Villages, said.

Jim McManus, ceo at the Hinckley Co., accepted the award during the ceremony.

“We are so proud to receive this,” McManus said. “For decades, we have tried to marry fine craftsmanship with the latest in technological innovation, and we believe that is another very significant step in making the boating experience easier, more convenient and safer for our owners. My-Villages shares our vision, and to be recognized like this is truly an honor.”

Cruzin and Westrec Announce Alliance

Cruzin and Westrec Marinas announced a strategic alliance at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Westrec has agreed to help promote Cruzin to its marina customers at its facilities nationwide. The company earlier helped Cruzin’s beta launch in Ft. Lauderdale with a pilot at Westrec’s Harbour Towne Marina.

Cruzin has a nationwide online community of boaters at, and Westrec saw the advantage of the Cruzin platform as a way to enhance services for its marina customers. “We at Westrec always seek ways to improve the quality of our boater’s experience at the marina and beyond. By introducing our boaters to Cruzin’s peer-to-peer platform, we can help them get the most out of their boats. In many cases one can offset a month’s storage costs with just one or two days rental. That helps make boating more affordable for our customers and will hopefully add value to their experience with Westrec Marinas,” Bill Anderson, president, said.

Cruzin is a fully-insured, boater-to-boater rental and charter marketplace. Boat owners can turn their boats into sources of income by renting them to pre-screened, qualified renters through Both owners and renters are protected by a $1 million insurance program and the towing services of BoatUS.

Marinalife Announces Winners of 2013 Best Marina Contest

Marinalife has announced the winners of the 4th Annual Best Marina Contest for 2013. Saybrook Point Marina , Inn & Spa in Old Saybrook, Connecticut., won Best Transient Marina and River Dunes in Oriental, North Carolina, was voted Best Customer Service.

“We are thrilled to be selected as Best Transient Marina 2013,” Abbie McAllister, marina manager, said. “This recognition welcomes the opportunity for new and repeat marina visitors to take advantage of the award winning facility that the Saybrook Point Marina team prides themselves on each and every day.”

Sherwood Crawford, marketing manager for River Dunes, said the marina was very honored to receive the national award. “We strive to cater to each and every marina visitor in hopes that they leave with every intention to come back and enjoy a fabulous experience at our facility,” said Crawford.

Two-time winner, Nantucket Boat Basin in Nantucket, Massachusetts, was voted runner-up for Best Transient Marina. Dog River Marina in Mobile, Alabama, was voted runner-up for Best Customer Service.

Marina Development Opportunities in Puerto Rico

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has issued a request for proposal to develop a large and diverse area of land at the Former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. The RFP is asking for proposals from qualified developers that have the expertise and ability to design, build, operate, maintain and finance all or part of the 3,400-acre project.

The commercial marina project includes a 72-slip marina that was constructed in the mid-1990s. There is a possibility to expand the marina to 250 slips. Each ship service box provides potable water and 110 V power with an average seawall depth of six to eight feet.

Those interested can contact or to submit proposal ideas. You can also visit for more information.

54th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Announces Transportation and Parking Updates

The 54th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Oct. 31 through Nov. 4, will see new transportation and parking arrangements designed to make attending the show more convenient and easier from all directions.

In addition, the Las Olas Bridge construction will be halted from Oct. 28 through Nov. 6, with all four traffic lanes open during the show.

Attendees of the show can make their way to the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Broward County Convention Center and Sails Marina via bus shuttles, water taxis and riverboats with convenient pick up and drop off locations, as well as dedicated parking lots.

To make travel arrangements, please contact the boat show’s official travel partner, at 866/877-3083 or visit its website.

My-Villages Acquires DockMaster

My-Villages, a leader in marine mobile technology, announced October 9 that it had acquired DockMaster, a nformation management solution for marine retailers, marinas and service centers. It plans to integrate DockMaster software and My-Villages’ consumer and professional application into a new application called The Boat Village, will the companys says will be the largest and most integrated software solution for marine businesses in the industry.

After the integration, My-Villages will be serving more than 600 marinas, dealers, boatyards and marine service centers in North America and the Caribbean, helping them mange the care of tens of thousands of vessels.

Cam Collins, president and chief executive officer of Exuma Technologies, the makers of DockMaster, will become president and chief operating officer at My-Villages, bringing two decades of sales, marketing and operational experience in the marine industry to the job.

“The combination of The Boat Village and DockMaster bridges the information and coordination gap between boaters and marine retailers and service centers,” Collins said. “The Boat Village puts information in the hands of boaters that wasn't readily available before. This integration of these mobile and enterprise technologies will give marine businesses new ways to interact and engage with customers and allow boaters to access information about their boats that was only available in the past by requesting it by phone or in person.”

“Our goal has always been to improve how the marine industry connects, communicates and collaborates,” Kevin Hutchinson, founder and chief executive officer of My-Villages, said. “Bringing these technology products and teams together under one roof accelerates our ability to deliver on our vision of an integrated end-to-end service, similar to what is available in industries like banking, retail and healthcare.”

My-Villages said the new solution will drive operational efficiencies, increase consumer loyalty, vastly improve customer service and coordination, and allow customers to better track business trends.

Marine Travelift Repairs Tall Ship

To haul the tall ship U.S. Brig Niagara, Great Lakes Shipyard used the yard’s Marine Travelift, and work on the vessel will be completed in approximately two weeks.announced. The vessel arrived at for routine drydocking and repairs. The vessel was hauled out.

The historic vessel, owned and maintained by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, is a reconstruction of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s ship that led the Battle of Lake Erie victory against the British during the War of 1812 on September 10, 1813.

This marked the first time Great Lakes Shipyard has hauled out a tall ship using its Travelift, as well as the first time the US Brig NIAGARA has been hauled out anywhere with a Travelift.

IMBC Offers ASCE Marina Design Course

The upcoming January International Marina & Boatyard Conference in the Greater Fort Lauderdale–Broward County Convention Center, January 29-30, features a one-day course on marina design offered by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Registration for the course, which carries 7 professional development credit hours, is $350; presenters include Tim Blankenship, Jack Cox, Fred Klancik, Tim Mason, and Mark Prirello. Presenters promise that by the course’s end, attendees will understand “how a fusion of technical/economic/creative planning can optimize harbor development and economic development goals,” and how civil engineers can provide leadership in integrating the built and natural environments in these projects.

Another seminar course for the intensive event include a session on transforming industrial waterfronts into successful marinas, with discussion of case studies from Keppel Bay, Singapore; Rochester, N.Y.; Saint Joseph, Minn.; Malta; and Curacao. Presenters include Greg Weykamp and Ron Schults, both from Edgewater Resources.

Keri-Ann Baker and Alfred Malefatto from Lewis, Longman & Walker, and Tyler Chappell of The Chappell Group will present a session on successfully getting your marina through the Corps of Engineers permitting process.

Bruce Lunde and Dan Williams of Lunde Williams will discuss how they are transforming and reinvigorating 6 obsolete marinas in the Muskingum (Ohio) Watershed Conservancy District—part of a complex that also includes 12 parks.

PierVantage Signs New Business

PierVantage welcomed a new marine business, Gunboat International, manufacturer of high-performance cruising catamarans, which “went live” on the PierVantage cloud-based business management solution on October 1, 2013. Gunboat selected PierVantage to run its production boatbuilding business in Wanchese, North Carolina.

“We needed to replace our business management solution with something that was designed for boat building rather than general manufacturing,” Peter Johnstone, founder of Gunboat International, said. “PierVantage and the company behind the product came highly recommended by industry leaders who have been working with PierVantage since inception.”

Navroze Eduljee, chief executive officer of CorVantTM, the creators of PierVantage, called Gunboat’s selection of PierVantage “exciting.”

“As it stands today, PierVantage is very strong and capable helping custom boat building companies and service yards manage their operations, but up until this point we have not had the opportunity to work with a semi-production boat builder. Peter and his team have years of experience working in semi-production and production boat building companies, and know exactly what functionality they need us to build to support their production line,” Eduljee said.

CNL To Manage Anchor South Marinas

Anchor South, a Knoxville, Tennessee-based resort and marina management company, announced October 1 that it has signed a multi-year management agreement with CNL Lifestyles Properties, headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

Four marinas in the CNL Lifestyle Properties portfolio will be managed by Anchor South, including Beaver Creek Resort & Marina and the Burnside Resort & Marina – both on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky – and Holly Creek Resort & Marina and Eagle Cove Resort & Marina, both on Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee.

These four resort and marina destinations represent 480 acres of land, 1,031 covered and uncovered boat slips, 139 rental boats and 46 newly renovated 2- to 6-bedroom cabins. They complement Anchor South’s existing properties in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, including Choto Marine Sales & Marina in Knoxville and The Ridges Resort & Marina in Hiawassee, Georgia.

Mitchell E. Jones, CEO of Anchor South, said, “Already successfully owning and managing a variety of resorts and marinas in the Southeast, the team at Anchor South is delighted to have the opportunity to apply our experience and skills in overseeing the continued growth at these four properties.”

CNL Lifestyle Properties has a portfolio of 138 diversified properties in the United States and Canada, including marinas, golf resorts, attractions, senior housing, and ski and mountain lifestyle properties.

“We are very pleased to have selected Anchor South to manage these four resorts and marinas for CNL Lifestyle Properties, said Don Rhodes, vice president of marina properties for CNL Financial Group. “Anchor South’s proven success and desire to provide users of its marinas with the highest level of service and operating excellence made the team at Anchor South the ideal choice for us.”

EU and U.S. Seek To Sync Boating Rules, Standards

On September 18, Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Robert Marx, president of European Boating Industry, signed a joint declaration stating that both organizations want to work together to reduce – and eventually eliminate – unnecessary regulatory costs and unjustified regulatory differences between the EU and the U.S. in the boating industry.

This declaration was signed during the EU-U.S. Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations launched in July 2013.

Marx said, “The U.S. and EU are natural trade partners and have a long tradition of exchanges in the boating industry, both at supply-chain level (e.g. engines, equipment and components) and consumer levels. With similar boating cultures and notions of safety and environmental protection, regulatory differences are making trade complicated and expensive without bringing significant benefits to the final consumers.”

Dammrich said, “The TTIP presents an opportunity to streamline regulations among the US and European boating industries. This move brings us closer to global harmonization of safety and environmental standards, while promoting business growth and trade.”

European Boating Industry and the NMMA submitted to both EU and U.S. authorities a working paper outlining their plans. The key goal is “functional equivalence” between European CE-marked and U.S. certified products, with a procedure for achieving full equivalence on the regulatory aspects, which still differ today for certain products and areas.

Both presidents said the inclusion of the boating industry in U.S.-EU trade agreement could become a significant milestone for improving and simplifying trade conditions between the U.S. and Europe for thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the boating industry.

Marine ConfEx ’14 Launches International Exhibition

What is being described as the first truly international boating industry trade show and exhibition in the U.K. will be held at the Bournemouth International Centre from March 18-14 2014, with 70 percent of delegates to come from abroad. The self-proclaimed mission of Marine ConfEx ’14 is to establish itself as the year’s premier marine industry event.

Andre van Heerden, chief executive of Marine ConfEx ’14, said, “This event is not just a boat show but a dynamic, business-oriented marine conference and trade exhibition. It will be a place to absorb the latest thinking, introduce innovations to the industry and review the newest products and services.”

Event organizers said the dramatic pace of change in boating industry technology motivated the event. They want to bring together international business decision-makers and high-net-worth individuals—with “no sightseers, just delegate or buyers,” Van Heerden said. The 40–session conference program is designed to help attendees catch up on the latest thinking and create sales opportunities for the more than 40 exhibitors. Topics will range from innovation to technology, procurement, and business performance.

Announced sponsors so far include R-Marina, Rotadock and Bartercard, and event organizers say discussions with others are on-going. BMF Wessex, Marine Society, the Sea Cadets and The Bourne Academy have all pledged support. The Sea Cadets (the event’s primary charity) will also act as ‘games makers’ for Marine ConfEx ’14.

For more information, please visit

Social Media Offer to Marine Businesses

Josh Chiles is founder and chief executive officer of Engaged!, a company that helps marine industry clients owners with their online outreach.

In an open letter to all marine industry publications, Chiles is now offering a free review of social media policies and procedures to any marine industry. He promises no charge for the review, which includes a benchmark score of social media practices. As incentive, Chiles is also offering a free copy of his upcoming book, A Social Media Strategy for Marine Dealers (or Manufacturers). Chiles’ firm is the exclusive social media provider for Brunswick Dealer Advantage.

For more information, visit

Freedom Boat Club Growing and Expanding

When Freedom Boat Club (FBC), based in Venice, Florida, launched in 1989, perhaps its most difficult task was convincing wary prospects that it was more than a marketing gimmick or unworkable pipe-dream. The biggest question the upstart company faced: Could the concept work?

“We have learned a great deal through years of experience,” CEO John Giglio said. “And we are not finished learning.”

Giglio believes that his company has not only proven its viability and value in the marketplace but finds itself well positioned to ride a shifting wave of consumer sentiment.

“Market research in the marine industry tells us that people are seeking options to traditional boat ownership,” Giglio said. “Many people simply don’t have enough free time or discretionary income to justify owning a boat themselves.

“We believe that boat clubs are a great option for consumers and a smart way to help the marine industry grow. We serve the useful function of exposing more people to the joys of boating.”

Giglio believes that FBC, the largest and oldest boat club in the nation, will experience an increased rate of growth the next few years. FBC is following up its record-breaking year in 2012 with an even stronger performance in 2013.

In October, with the scheduled opening of its newest location in Sarasota, Florida, Freedom Boat Club will be operating in 71 locations. FBC added five locations in 2012 and has already added an additional 13 in 2013: Scituate, Massachusetts, Northport, New York Lake Charlevoix, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland, Ohio, Lake Norman, North Carolina, Sebastian Inlet, Florida. Islamorada, Florida., Ruskin, Florida., Lake Tarpon, Florida., Panama City, Florida., Pine Island, Florida., and a second location in Venice, Florida.

In addition to emphasizing customer satisfaction and providing support for franchise owners, Giglio has made it a priority to build strong relationships and trust with the major players in the marine industry.

“In the past, some marina operators and boat dealers might have been wary about the presence of boat clubs,” Giglio said. “But we are committed to growing boating as an industry and getting more people enthused about being on the water. And that is good for everyone.”

In recent months, Giglio has developed working relationships with various industry leaders, including the Marina Recreation Association, the International Marina & Boatyard Conference, Association of Marine Industries and several marine trade associations.

FBC has also made it a regular practice to donate boats for special events, such as “Take the Helm” training and National Marina Day. And FBC has been heavily involved with Discover Boating, teaming up to support the Grow Boating initiative.

“I believe we have proven to marina owners and boat dealers that we are good for business,” Giglio said.

Since the start of 2012, FBC purchased more than 270 boats, either new or slightly used.

Wisconsin Certifies Two New Clean Marinas

In September, two marinas became the next two certified Clean Marinas in Wisconsin: Milwaukee Yacht Club and Reefpoint Marina in Racine. These marinas join 18 other certified marinas in the state, implementing new practices to protect water quality, prevent pollution and protect fish, wildlife and public health.

These marinas underwent an evaluation by the Wisconsin Clean Marina Technical Team to earn this designation. Todd Giese, manager of Milwaukee Yacht Club and Carrie Neubecker, manager of Reefpoint Marina are proud of this accomplishment as it promotes their commitment to sustainability while offering a healthy, clean environment for their customers.

Clean Marinas voluntarily adopt best management practices (BMPs) to become a certified marina. Depending on the size of the marina, they may need to adhere to up to 100 practices, including procedures to prevent and clean-up gas spills, offer recycling programs, manage stormwater and improve vessel maintenance practices. A list of Wisconsin’s certified Clean Marinas can be found at

“We’re lucky to live in Wisconsin with more than 15,000 inland lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, the Mississippi River and Lakes Michigan and Superior. There are nearly 250 marinas in Wisconsin -- 120 of which are located on our two Great Lakes’ coasts. Clean Marinas implement practices that help cut costs through reducing waste disposal, conserving water and attracting new customers who appreciate an environmentally friendly operation”, Jon Kukuk, owner of Nestegg Marine (Marinette) and Chair of the Wisconsin Marine Association, said.

IMBC Launches Best Profit Idea Contest

New in 2014, the International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) is offering awards to the Best Profit Idea, submitted by attendees! Submit the best marina and boatyard idea (sorry, vendors do not qualify) by October 30, 2014, for a shot at an iPad, a free year-long AMI membership, and free entry to IMBC 2015. All submissions will be judged by AMI-chosen CMMs. Three finalists will present their ideas at IMBC to a full audience, who will vote for a winner then and there.

Ideas will be reviewed by three Certified Marina Managers and the three best ideas will be announced after November 15, 2013. Use the guidelines below to outline ideas. Submit it to by October 30, 2013.

Submission should:
• Outline profit idea;
• Outline projected revenue;
• Outline implementation;
• Outline actual revenue (if applicable);
• Include background (how idea came about, how the need was identified, etc.), materials (if applicable), and training and team (if applicable);
• Not to exceed 1,000 words; include diagrams if applicable;
• Include speaking background for presenter. Speaking experience for presenter preferred. If applicant does not have speaking experience, AMI will conduct a speaker workshop on Wednesday, January 29.

New Service Faciliites Join My-Villages Partnership

My-Villages announced that four service facilities in Florida and Massachusetts have joined the expanding list of Boat Village Innovation Partners.

Boat Village Innovation Partners are companies committed to leveraging technology to improve how they connect, communicate and collaborate with their customers.

The latest additions include Boat Yard Services, of West Palm Beach, Florida; North Atlantic Marine Services, of Wareham, Massachusetts; Whiticar Boat Works Inc.; and Yacht Concierge USA, both of Stuart, Florida.

“Today’s customers are used to having instant access to information and seamless digital communication—and this technology provides exactly that,” My-Villages founder and CEO Kevin Hutchinson said. “It helps service yards streamline their workflow and provide boat owners exactly what they want.”

The Innovation Partner program draws together marine businesses that want to use technology to streamline communications with customers and increase their business. To do so, partner companies agree to use The Boat Village, a Web and mobile application that allows marine professionals to radically change how they interact with customers.

The application allows service providers to have an inventory of every major piece of equipment on the vessel and its maintenance schedule, so technicians can stay ahead of owners’ needs and take command of the process. Service requests are exchanged and documented electronically, and technicians can provide updates on progress and completions. Perhaps most important, it provides a digital platform for closed-loop communications, reducing email strings and phone tag.

“Today’s boats are complicated machines and today’s owners are educated and sophisticated customers,” Hutchinson said. “Modern yards need modern tools to provide these folks with top-shelf service. The Boat Village’s Professional service allows yards to better harness the expertise they already have and meet those needs head on.”

“My customers are always looking for better ways to handle service tasks and The Boat Village really makes it easy for us to coordinate and get work done,” Jason Smith, president of Boatyard Services, said. “The Boat Village creates automatic reminders about what service items are due, so both our clients and we know when maintenance is needed—in effect, the boat tells us when work should be done. We can then use the system to coordinate jobs, updates and record keeping, which makes it incredibly simple for all of us.”

Marine Surveyors to Meet in October

The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, Inc. (SAMS®) will be hosting its Annual Meeting and Educational Symposium in San Diego, California, on October 16-19, 2013. Marine surveyors from across the country, as well as international members will be attending for the educational opportunities, ongoing SAMS required ethics training, as well as the opportunity to network with fellow marine surveyors.

The educational program put together by SAMS® Vice President of Education Kenneth Weinbrecht, AMS® will cover a wide variety of important subjects for marine surveyors taught by top people in their respective fields, including ethics training, report writing, legal aspects of the marine surveyors business, composite damage assessment and repair, infrared thermography, forensic photography, boatyard safety, electrocution hazards, marine electrical, metal failure analysis, ABYC standards, introduction to the uniform standards of professional appraisal practice and other interesting and educational topics . Interested parties who wish to attend can go to for details.

On Saturday, October 19th, SAMS® will hold its Annual Meeting for members only where elections for the Board of Directors will be conducted and the association’s business, budgets and future meetings will be discussed. SAMS® President, Joe Lobley, AMS® said, "This will be one of our best educational symposiums, in one of the best venues in the US, I am looking forward to a strong turn out from SAMS® members as well as other marine industry professionals who share the desire for quality continuing education.”

The meeting and symposium is being held at the Bahia Resort on Mission Bay, San Diego. Several San Diegans will be participating as instructors including Todd Roberts of the Marine Group, Attorney Phil Weiss, Kate Pearson of the Shelter Island Marina and Todd Schwede, AMS® and Bill Trenkle, AMS® of Todd & Associates Marine Surveyors. Non-members are invited to attend and may be eligible for continuing educational credits depending on their professional association requirements.

AMI Releases BMPs for Marina Electrical Safety

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has released a new manual for marinas: Best Management Practices for Marina Electrical Safety.

The manual is designed to give marina staff an overview of common marina electrical components, potential hazards and how to identify and correct them, and tools that every facility should have on-site. It also offers suggestions for how to work with customers to ensure their boats are safe.

The manual was drafted with input and information from John Adey at ABYC (American Boat &Yacht Council), Chris Dolan with Eaton Marina Power and Lighting, Mark Stafford at Marinas International and Captain John McDevitt. It includes photographs for easy identification of problems and common testing equipment, and a checklist to encourage regular assessment of electrical systems.

The concept for the manual came after last summer's electric shock drownings prompted proposed legislation in Kentucky and West Virginia that could have severely impacted how marinas installed and monitored their electric systems – one instance requiring all marinas to replace their current systems to meet the latest codes.

Wendy Larimer who coordinated the writing of the manual said, "Our feeling was that marinas could keep their facilities safe by regularly monitoring the existing electric and knowing what to look for in potential dangers. New regulation is not the answer to prevent the tragedy of electric shock."

The manual is available at no cost to AMI and ABYC members and for twenty dollars to non-members. Go to to order.

ABBRA /ABYC Webinar - Using Mobile Devices to Streamline Your Boatyard

American Boat Builders & Repairers Association is teaming up with ABYC to present their Using Mobile Devices to Streamline Your Boatyard webinar on Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.

The one-hour webinar will be presented by Cam Collins, president and CEO of Exuma Technologies, makers of DockMaster and RVMaster.
The presentation will include information on how mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing the way those in the industry communicate and run businesses; how mobile devices are changing customer expectations; and ways mobile devices can help make technicians more efficient on the docks or in the yard.

For more information or to register for the webinar, contact Sandy Brown at 410-990-4460, ext. 101 or via email at

IMBC Adds Engineering Track

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has added Marina Design & Engineering courses to its focused breakout sessions during its annual International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC). The track will be held Jan. 29-31, 2014, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“We have a number of attendees looking for content specifically focused on design and engineering,” Gary Groenwold, AMI chairperson, said. “We added this track to meet the needs of our members and the industry and to grow our attendee base.”

Marina Design & Engineering track will focus on marina design from an engineer’s approach, wind load capacity and fire and safety techniques.
To learn more about IMBC, visit or call 401/682-7334.

Recipients of the Neil Ross Scholarship Chosen

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has chosen the Marine Trade Association of NJ (MTA/NJ) and the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains (CAHMPC) to receive the Neil Ross Scholarship awards to be given to two individuals within the two organizations.

MTA/NJ chose Melissa Danko, its executive director, to receive the award and attend the International Marina and Boatyard Conference. CAHMPC selected Mick Kronman, harbor operations manager at Santa Barbara, who will attend the Advanced Marina Manager training.

Danko was chosen by the MTA/NJ Board out of recognition for her efforts to bring support, funding and relief to the many marinas that suffered damage during Super Storm Sandy. “Melissa leads our association in such a way that she has earned the respect of not only our members but the leaders of the marine industry around the country,” Frederick Brueggemann, president of MTA/NJ, said. “Melissa has guided us in the creation and implementation of a special relief fund, a program to assist those members that were most affected by the storm.”

CAHMPC’s board chose Kronman due to his long-standing support of higher education for CAHMPC, seeking to become a Certified Marina Manager himself. “Mick, like many, has had some challenges over the last few years, but he has always faced them with a positive and can-do attitude,” Brad Gross, CAHMPC board member, said. “Mick is a model of the type of professional we all believe should represent our industry as a Certified Marina Manger.”

Michigan Sea Grant to Host Clean Marina Workshop

Learn about Clean Marinas and Sustainable Coastal Communities efforts across the Great Lakes Region during a free workshop Friday, Sept. 20 in Harrison Township, Michigan.
Certified marina leaders will discuss the benefits of becoming certified as well as some of the challenges in seeking certification. Additional speakers will address relevant environmental issues facing coastal communities — from the importance of maintaining coastal habitats to examples of environmentally sound reconstruction projects.
“It’s going to be a great workshop for certified marinas, those interested in seeking certification and anyone with an interest in sustainable coastal development,” Josh Gunn, Clean Marina Program Extension Educator with Michigan Sea Grant, said. “We have a strong lineup of speakers from all over the Great Lakes who will bring their unique perspectives to the workshop, providing insights, tips and lessons learned. Plus, the event is at the Lake St. Clair Metropark, one of the most beautiful coastal locations in Southeast Michigan, and it’s during the Boating and Outdoor Festival.”

Marina Dock Age Editor Anna Townshend will present results from a 2013 survey about Clean Marina practices, costs and benefits.

Advanced Marina Management Course Being Offered

IMI has partnered with the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains (CAHMPC) to offer its Advance Marina Management (AMM) program. The course is being held Sept. 22-27 in Dana Point, California. The course allows those interested in becoming a Certified Marina Manager (CMM) the final step in doing so.

The AMM program is profit-management training course designed for senior marina professionals. The AMM course examines such topics as profit-center management, policy and procedure manuals, business strategy, and more through small groups, interactive workshops and case studies.

The case study aspect of the course includes placing students into groups where they are tasked with redesigning an actual marina, which has been pre-selected as the case study site. Students are then required to present their redesign in front of a panel of industry leaders. To sign up for the course, students must be an AMI member or receive written permission to attend. There is an 18-person limit for the course.

Marina Fire Safety Advocate Retires

Gene Spinazola has announced his retirement after more than 28 years of working in the marina industry. Spinazola, a long-time member of the Association of Marina Industries, was also a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) where he served on the NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standards for Marinas and Boatyards committee for more than 15 years.

Known for his presentations on “Fire in the Marina,” Spinazola was recognized last year by the University of Wisconsin as an outstanding lecturer in the Docks and Marinas program. In addition to his conference presentations, Spinazola developed a mobile marina fire fighting system. The Marina Fast Attack System is currently being used in 34 states and 11 countries.

The company Gene Spinazola, P.E. and Associates has been sold to EMP Industries in Tamper, Florida, where Spinazola will work as a consultant.

2013 Wortley Award Accepting Submissions

Submissions for the 2013 Wortley Award are now being accepted. This award recognizes the most important contribution to the improvement of the design, construction, operation or maintenance of docks and/or marinas in North America during the 2012 calendar year. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013. Additional details, including entry forms and rules for the Wortley Award can be found at

The winner will be profiled in a 2014 issue of Marina Dock Age magazine, and the recipient of the award will be announced at the Docks & Marinas © course, held November 18-20, 2013 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The 2012 Wortley Award was presented to Daniel S. Natchez of Daniel S. Natchez and Associates Inc. for its innovative design and construction of an environmentally sustainable and engineering efficient rehabilitation of a shoreline in the Yonkers JFK Marina Park for the City of Yonkers, N.Y. The design its interdisciplinary team produced met the challenges of preserving the shoreline integrity in a public park built on a landfill, while providing additional public access.

In recognition of his many significant contributions to the marina engineering and design profession, the Wortley Award is named for C. Allen Wortley, founder and long-time Director of the Docks & Marinas course at the University of Wisconsin.
For more details on the award or the Docks and Marinas© class, contact Howard Rosen at

UW-M to Host Docks and Marinas Course

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will present the 39th annual Docks and Marinas© course in Madison, November 18-20, 2013. This year’s program features a number of new topics, each presented by a nationally recognized expert. Join with marina industry professionals from consulting firms, government agencies and universities to get the latest, unbiased, and quality information on docks and marinas.

This year’s class features presentations on such topics as:
Mooring fields; drystack storage; electrical hazards; gangway design; hurricane protection; invasive species; marina market trends; accessibility; stormwater; and ice protection.

The course is designed to provide attendees with multiple opportunities to speak directly with the instructors as well as with the other attendees. In addition, as a special feature, you can also attend a new one-day class, Modern Marina Design. This class provides you with the latest methods and concepts in marina design, using case studies and workshops. Attend both classes and save!

For detailed information or to register, go to

Marinalife Hosts 4th Annual Best Marinas Contest

Marinalife is hosting its fourth annual Best Marinas Contest with voting open now through October 1, 2013. Members and boaters can vote on the Best Transient Marina and Best Customer Service marina by visiting

The winning marina will be featured in the Winter 2012-2013 issue of Marinalife Magazine and will receive a marketing package valued at $2,000.

Last year, Nantucket Boat Basin in Nantucket, Mass., was voted as the Best Transient Marina and runner-up was Charleston City Marina in Charleston, S.C. The Best Customer Service Marina went to Kingman Yacht Center in Cataumet, Mass., and there was a tie for runner up between Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Hilton Head, S.C., and Magothy Marina in Severna Park, Md.

NMMA President Highlighted Economic Impact of Boating

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President Thomas J. Dammrich discussed the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry at the Longworth House Office Building on July 24. The session took place before the House of Representatives to discuss the economy and jobs outlook with constituents, and presented the latest data on the demographics and economic impact of recreational boating.

The recreational boating industry generated an estimated $121 billion in value in 2012. The industry’s rising tide supports 964,000 American jobs and 34,833 businesses, generates $40 billion in annual labor income and drives $83 billion in annual spending.

The NMMA’s complete economic value report can be found within the Statistics section’s Research Library on

ABYC to Release Update to Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft

The annual update to the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft was released by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) on August 1 in Supplement 53.

For Supplement 53, ABYC Standard S-31 Environmental Considerations for Electric/Electronic Components Installed Onboard Boats was added. Some of the revised ABYC Standards include A-1 marine liquefied petroleum LPG systems, A-3 galley stoves, H-2 ventilation of boats using gasoline, P-17 mechanical steering systems, T-17 compass installation, and more.

ABYC Standards C-1 primer bulbs and C-2 carbon canisters were also published and are available for purchase on the ABYC website. “It is imperative that those in the industry have access to the current standards. The simplest and most cost effective way to get the standards is to join ABYC,” said Brian Goodwin, ABYC Technical Director. “It’s never too soon to start analyzing the standards to make sure your product and repair work meets ABYC content.”

To purchase the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft, and for more information on how you can join ABYC, or a Standards committee, please visit

ABBRA Announces Theme and Dates for Annual Boatyard Business Conference

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has announced the theme and dates for its upcoming 2014 Annual Boatyard Business Conference entitled “Reflect, Rethink, Refocus: Business Leadership for Tomorrow’s Boat Building and Repair Industry.”

The two-day conference will be held Jan. 22-24, 2014, at the B Ocean Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach and will focus on business issues impacting boatyard owners, operators, managers, boat builders and boat repair businesses.

“We’re building on our 2013 conference success and will once again offer relevant topics and speakers who can provide our attendees with substantive and useful information that they can take away, or ideas they can apply in their operations,” Gordon Connell, executive director of ABBRA, said. “ABBRA’s conference is historically known for the camaraderie and bonds that are developed among our members and for the opportunities that they have to interact with their various suppliers, vendors, and marine business colleagues.”

Registration for the event opens in October. For more information about the conference or for sponsorship details contact Gordon Connell or John Fitzgerald, president, at or

AMI Scholarship Recognizes Outstanding State Trade Associations

The Marine Trade Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) and the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains (CAHMPC) were presented with the first annual Neil Ross Scholarship Awards through the Association of Marina Industries (AMI).

The award recognizes a state or trade association that has done outstanding work on behalf of the marina industry. A deserving member from each association is then selected to receive the $1,000 scholarship that can be used for any AMI training.

MTA/NJ was chosen based on its efforts to bring information and funding to marinas hit hard by Super Storm Sandy. CAHMPC was selected because of the work it put into bringing marina management training to the west coast and for recruiting new students to ensure marina managers have the skills needed to best serve boaters in various marinas across the country.

“These two associations exemplify the value that trade associations have to marinas across the country,” said AMI Chairman Gary Groenewold. “We are happy to recognize the efforts that state trade groups put forth to make our marinas more successful.”

The scholarship was formed in recognition of Neil Ross and his numerous contributions to AMI and to the marina industry overall. Ross was the founder of the International Marina Institute, which helped to set the standard in education for the marina industry worldwide. He also facilitated the creation of the Certified Marina Manager (CMM) and worked to advance professional marina management.

Drystack Conference Announces Seminars

The upcoming International Marina Institute’s Drystack Conference will host a variety of seminars at the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 27 and 28.
Seminars include ways to optimize your facility’s space with mechanical drystack; how to determine project feasibility of drystack storage; marina storage contracts; and much more.

Specific seminars include Optimize Your Facility's Space with Mechanical Drystack; Determining Project Feasibility of Drystack Storage; Drystack Planning and Design-PIANC Working Group Report; Loggerhead Marina-Jupiter, a Case Study in Drystack Marina Rehabilitation; New Logistics for Dry Storage; Dry Storage Transformations, Past and Present; Marketing Strategies for Drystack Storage; and Marina Storage Contracts: How Secure is Your Rack?

The Drystack Conference is a professional-development opportunity for those interested in the latest in drystack technology as part of their daily business responsibilities. The conference, sponsored by Bellingham Marine, will feature a day and a half of educational seminars, exhibits, and networking receptions. For more information on the conference or to view a description of the seminars, please visit

Great Lakes Clean Marina Network Updates Online Classroom

The online Clean Marina Classroom has been updated to include certification standards from many Great Lakes states and beyond. The classroom consists of nine educational units that focus on marina operation and maintenance. Each section outlines best management practices and practical ways to implement them.

New features of the online course include identifying regional best management practices that are aligned with the Great Lakes Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guide; updated state and federal laws; and more photographs and examples of best practices in the Great Lakes region.

The online course was initially based on the Michigan Clean Marina Guidebook used by marinas as part of the certification process since 2004. This updated regional course was developed as part of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Green Marina project grant.

For more information on this updated training program, visit

Dillon Marina Joins ValvTect

Dillon Marina in Dillon, Co., has joined nearly 600 marinas and fuel docks nationwide by offering ValvTect Marine Fuels.

“Dillon Marina wants to give its customers the very best boating experience by offering ValvTect Marine Gasoline. ValvTect Marine Gasoline prevents problems with ethanol blended gasoline, that we are required to sell, provides our boaters with better fuel economy and lower maintenance costs,” said Bob Evans, Certified Marina Manager at Dillon Marina. “These benefits save our customers money and improve their overall boating experience.”

Dillon Marina is located on the shores of Dillon Reservoir and is one of the world’s highest marinas. The marina has 260 long-term slips, and 36 short-term slips and occupies a 56-acre footprint on six acres of land and more than 6,000 feet of docks.

ValvTect Petroleum President Jerry Nessenson welcomes Dillon Marina to its network of Certified ValvTect Marinas. “Dillon Marina is a first class marina, which dates back nearly 40 years and features some of the best boating and water activities in Colorado,” said Nessenson. “Dillon Reservoir and Summit County now have a premier location to fill up your boat with high quality ValvTect Marine Fuel.”

IMBC Adds New Product Demos

The International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) has announced the addition of new product demos to its 2014 show. The new demos will offer an enhanced method to market show participants’ products and booths at IMBC. Those interested can sign up to conduct a live, interactive demonstration at their booth to show a new product and how it works while gaining higher visibility within IMBC’s marketing materials.

The cost for a new product demo is $750, and participants will receive one 15-minute time slot for the demonstration; a microphone and sound system that will allow attendees gathered at the booth to hear the demonstration; a short description and picture of the product in the IMBC program; a short description and picture of the product on IMBC’s website; new product demo marketing in IMBC promotional materials; and an announcement broadcast throughout the exhibit hall prior to the start of your demonstration.

Demonstrations will be held on January 30 and 31 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. To sign up for a demonstration, fill out the New Product Demo Registration Form. Space is limited.

NMMA to Host State of the Industry Discussion

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is hosting a discussion on the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry from 2 to 3 p.m. on July 24, 2013, in Room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

NMMA President Thomas J. Dammrich, in cooperation with the co-chairs of the Congressional Boating Caucus, U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller (MI-10) and U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre (NC-07) will be addressing the rest of the members of the boating caucus about the “State of the Recreational Boating Industry and Implications for the U.S. Economy.” All are welcome to attend and represent their state and district.

To RSVP, please call Jeff Gabriel, NMMA’s Legislative Counsel, at 202/737-9776 or email him at

ABYC Releases Boating Safety Checklist

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has released its newest iPhone app for the boating market. The Boat Essentials-USCG Safety Gear app is a free, mobile checklist for the new or experienced boater to help them identify the safety items required to have onboard.

To download the app, click here.

The app was developed by Ken Cook Company as a result of the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Nonprofit Grant. It includes suggestions on items that will make the boat safer and more comfortable. The app can be used on powered and non-powered boats that operate in U.S. waters. Other features include the ability to store information on up to three boats; file and save float plans; add boating contacts; receive maintenance guideline alerts; access supplies list; date reminders. The information is also available in paper form.

Bellingham Marine Announces Annual Photo Contest

Bellingham Marine is now accepting entries for the company’s 7th annual calendar photo contest. The marina builder and dock manufacturer pays tribute to the marina industry through its annual calendar, featuring stunning images of marinas from around the world.

Individuals and marinas interested in submitting photos are invited to do so by August 31, 2013. Submissions can be sent to

“We encourage marinas to download the poster and hang it for tenants to see,” said Roxie Comstock, manager of business enhancement for Bellingham. “The contest is a great opportunity for marinas and dock owners to show off their property and for tenants to get involved.” The poster announcing the contest and contest rules can be downloaded from the company’s website.

Last year, more than 100 photos were submitted from professional photographers, boaters, marina staff and others. With the popularity of the calendar continuing to spread, the company estimates that more than 3,500 calendars will be distributed worldwide in 2014.

Submitted photos must feature one of Bellingham’s trademarked products (Unifloat, Unideck Unistack, or Bellingham’s timber dock system). Photos of residential and private docks manufactured by Bellingham Marine are eligible as well. Photos must be of high resolution and high quality. If you are not the photographer of the photo being submitted, please make sure photo rights can be extended to the company for use in the calendar. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Winners will be announced in November 2013.

IMI Announces Study Tour Schedule

The International Marina Institute (IMI) announces its 7th annual Study Tour Marinas and Boatyards schedule. The Study Tour is a two-day mobile training course that provides participants with an in-depth look at the operations of different types of marinas and boatyards in South Florida. At the end of each day, tour attendees will participate in a facilitated roundtable discussion and SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of each marina before heading to a networking dinner.

Marinas and boatyards involved in this year’s Study Tour include Aquamarine Hidden Harbour, Bradford Marine, Lauderdale Marine Center, New Port Cove Marine Center, Palm Harbor Marina, The Port Condominium, Rybovich Superyacht Marina & Refit Facility, Sunrise Harbor Marina, and Town of Palm Beach.

To learn more about the Study Tour, please visit or contact IMI at 401/247-0314.

WQIS Make New HIres

WQIS has announced the addition of Senior Vice President John Ryszetnyk and Vice President of Underwriting John Moy to help renew the passion that WQIS has for the marine pollution liability insurance industry. The departure of three former staff members has made this transition possible.

“We were in a relative plateau,” said Richard Hobbie, WQIS CEO. “We were cruising when the departure of those members created this space to really motivate our company to reach above that plateau. In the past months, we have vastly improved all departments, especially taking measures in our service to make sure that every single client is taken care of with a genuine human touch.”

Also joining the WQIS team is Ryan Puttick as the new assistant vice president of claims after a nine-year run as the claims director at Charles Taylor P&I Management.

“Fresh talent really helps breathe new life into even the most secure businesses,” said Ryszetnyk. “Getting comfortable is never a good thing for a company.”

Inventory and Profits Webinar for Maritime Companies

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) and the American Boat Builders & Repair Association (ABBRA) will cohost a July 25 webinar, Optimizing Inventory, as part of an educational series that helps maritime companies, boat builders, manufacturers, marinas and yard facilities. The series will also help service technicians better manage their inventory while improving profitability.

Stephen Bullard, senior sales director at PierVantage Marine Management Solution, will lead the webinar. Bullard has more than 20 years of marine service management experience, has logged more than 15,000 miles sailing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is a 100-ton master captain.

Topics to be covered include Inventory Management Organization, Purchasing, Parts Management, Inventory Accounting and Physical Control, Evaluating the Inventory Management Function. The topics will be followed up by a question and answer session.

“More than ever the new economy dictates that inventory management is one of the keys to successful cash flow management,” says Ed Sherman, ABYC’s Director of Educational Programming.

ABYC and ABBRA members can find more information about registration here. Non-members looking to register should call ABYC at 410/990-4460, ext. 101.

AMI Launches Patriot Marina Day with New Partner

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) announced a new partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money and gives scholarships to families of wounded or lost veterans, in celebrating Patriot Marina Day during the weekend of July 4th.

AMI is encouraging all marinas across the country to participate in this event. With matching funds, small donation receptacles, fishing derbies or other activities, marinas can bring people's attention to this important foundation and allow everyone to enjoy the waterfront at the same time. To register or to find more information and ideas for ways to celebrate, click here.

Two Marine Trade Associations Award Scholarships

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Foundation awarded two education scholarships to students pursuing careers in the marine industry. The Cape Cod Marine Trades Association also announced the recipients of its 2013 scholarship awards. The Association presents scholarships each year to Cape Cod Technical School marine program students who are selected by their instructors and will continue their education in the marine trades upon graduation.

A $1,000 scholarship has been presented to Joseph Smith, graduating from the Marine Services Program at the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich. Smith has been accepted to study at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

A second $1,000 scholarship has been awarded to Sabrina Kanaley of Falmouth, graduating from the Upper Cape Cod Technical School in Bourne. Kanaley ranked 7th in her class and plans to attend the Landing School in Maine where she will study Boat Building.

These Cape Cod Marine Trades Association scholarships support an ongoing effort to promote professional growth as essential to maintaining and building Cape Cod’s maritime culture.

The MTA/NJ Foundation was established to help promote boating safety and education and to award Education Scholarships to encourage education and professional development in the marine trades field.
This is the eighth year that the Association has been able to award scholarships to deserving students. 

The $1,500 MTA/NJ scholarship was awarded to Bryce Tocci of Brick, N.J.. Bryce has lived on the water his whole life and has repaired his own boats for many years. Bryce is graduating in June from Brick Township High School and Ocean County Vocational Technical School and will be enrolling in the Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Orlando, Fla.

In addition to MTA/NJ's Education Scholarship, the Automotive Training Center in Warminster, Pa. sponsored a half scholarship to its Marine Technician Program. The recipient of the Automotive Training Center scholarship was William Dominguez of Toms River. William is graduating from Toms River High School South as well as Ocean County Vocational Technical School, Toms River Center. After completing training, William plans on moving back home to Toms River and pursue his career in the marine field.
The MTA/NJ also awarded two outstanding student awards for the purchase of tools for the trade. Bryce Tocci from the Ocean County Vocational Technical School and William Calton from Monmouth County Vocational School were the recipients of the awards.
"All of these individuals have worked hard to pursue their goals and have demonstrated their dedication to the future of the marine trades industry. We are very fortunate and thankful to all of our supporters who enable us to award these scholarships to these deserving students," said MTA/NJ Executive Director Melissa Danko.

Dr. Shrink Offers Free Marketing to Its Customers

Dr. Shrink Inc. is now offering customized marketing services to its customers to help prepare companies for the fall storage season. Services will provide customers with marketing materials, training and repairs of heat tools.

“At Dr. Shrink, we have always taken pride in offering excellent customer service and part of that service is offering marketing assistance to our customers at no added cost,” said Mike Stenberg, president at Dr. Shrink Inc. “We’ve seen how marketing can grow and develop a company and we want to share our experiences with our customers and support them as they try to grow their business.”

Dr. Shrink offers assistance with logo, flyer, advertisement and press release creation in addition to professional photo support. Other services provided by Dr. Shrink include social media strategy development and website templates for a small fee. For more information on Dr. Shrink’s marketing offerings click here.

President Obama Visits Ellicott Dredges

President Barack Obama stopped by Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 17 to deliver a policy speech on infrastructure to a crowd of more than 500 people. During his speech, the President noted that Ellicott dredges and dredge exports “literally helped create our global economy.”

After inspecting a completed Series 670 Dragon dredge headed for West Africa with Ellicott’s Sales Vice President Paul Quinn, the President called Ellicott’s dredges the “best machines money can buy.”

The President said, “This company still has a set of core values that’s lasted for generations. Just like the folks who came before you … to sell products all over the world; to grow not just a business, but a community, and by doing that, you’re growing our country.”

The presidential visit was another milestone in Ellicott's long history of building innovative and state-of-the-art dredges for customers both in the USA and around the world.

1 2
Paul Quinn (L) and Dredge Assembly Manager George Allen (C) stand with the President aboard an Ellicott 670 "Dragon. President Obama speaks to crowd in Ellicott factory.

PierVantage Signs New Boatyards

PierVantage™ announced that it signed on Kittery Point Yacht Yard in St. Eliot, Maine, Concordia Company in South Dartmouth, Maine, Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Conn., and Schooner Creek Boat Works in Portland, Ore., to use its cloud-based software solution. PierVantage said it is built specifically for boatyards, full-service marine facilities and boat building operations.

“The addition of Kittery Point Yacht Yard, Concordia, Derecktor Shipyards and Schooner Creek Boat Works is a sign that marine companies are feeling good about their growth prospects and looking to deploy new technology to improve their efficiency and productivity, increase profits, and become more competitive,” said Navroze Eduljee, CEO of CorVantTM, the creators of PierVantage.

“I don’t think changing operating software platforms is something any business owner or its employees look forward to. It is difficult to change from something that is not broken. We wanted a platform whose architecture and flexibility was built for tomorrow,” said Tom Allen, president of Kittery Point Yacht Yard. “With PierVantage’s cloud based solution, we don’t need to worry about evaluating our software platform every 10 years to keep up with the times -- release updates are seamless. Not having to worry about maintaining dedicated server platforms is a big plus and having access to our data from anywhere enhances both our efficiency and customer service.”

Governor Names Connecticut Marina Day

Governor Dannel P. Malloy (D-CT) proclaimed June 8, 2013 as Connecticut Marina Day in honor of the state’s many marinas that provide its residents and visitors with recreational activities along its waterways.

In his official statement, the governor said marinas are both a recreational boating facility and a community asset that contributes substantially to the community by providing a safe, reliable gateway for members of the boating community and welcomed guests.

“Connecticut marinas provide this state, and visitors of this state, a place where friends and families, united by a passion for the water, can come together for recreation, rest and relaxation,” said Governor Malloy.

Connecticut Marina Day coincides with National Marina Day, which takes place a day later on June 9.

IGY Marinas Hosts New Sportfish Contest

IGY Marinas announced its inaugural Million Dollar Sportfish Challenge. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) all-tackle world record catch contest takes place from select IGY marinas and runs from May through December 2013.

The destinations chosen for the sportfish challenge include privately marinas as well as marinas under management agreements. The IGY marinas participating in the Million Dollar Sportfish Challenge include American Yacht Harbor, in St. Thomas, USVI; Montauk Yacht Club in New York, N.Y.; Blue Haven Marina in Turks & Caicos, La Amada Marina in Cancun, Mexico; Marina Cabo San Lucas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia, Wis.

“IGY Marinas is home to a number of top nationwide sportfishing tournaments, and sees this contest as an opportunity to give back to the anglers that we have been fortunate to host for so many years,” says Bert Fowles, vice president of marketing and sales for IGY Marinas. Anglers will compete for a million dollar prize.

For further information on the IGY Marinas Million Dollar Sportfish Challenge, please contact us at or visit

More than 1,000 Marinas Offer Discounts Through BoatU.S. Program

BoatU.S. has announced that it has more than 1,000 marinas in the BoatU.S. Cooperating Marina Program, which offers discounts on fuel, repairs, transient slips and even fishing guide services.

Approximately 360 marinas in the group offer up to 10 cents off per gallon of fuel, and more than 320 marinas and boatyards offer repair discounts. Of the participating marinas, 600 offer up to a 25 percent discount on transient slip fees – or essentially four nights for the price of three. Some marinas offer up to $15 off repairs or 10 to 15 percent off any other service.

The BoatU.S. Cooperating Marina Program is a free marketing program open to all boating and fishing businesses from marinas to fishing guides. In exchanges, businesses offer discounts to BoatU.S. members, and BoatU.S. promotes participating businesses to boaters through the online Services Locator.

The goal of the program is to bring business to participants so the discounts need to be enough to encourage members to choose participating facilities over their nearby competitors, but not enough to financially hurt participants.

Those in the Cooperating Marina Program also receive $250 each year to promote their participation in the program and a $10 spiff for each new BoatU.S. member they signup, if they want to sell memberships.

For more information, contact David Mann, BoatU.S. membership programs manager, 888-333-2628;

New Marina Course Offered at Ports 2013 Conference

A new, one-day marina design course will be offered as part of Ports 2013 Conference in Seattle, Wash., on August 25. Using case studies, the presentations will demonstrate how to apply a highly integrated planning and design approach to small craft harbor development. This short marina design course is based on the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Manual 50: “Planning and Design Guidelines for Small Craft Harbors.” The course will conclude with an interactive marina design workshop where all attendees will participate.

By the end of the course, participants will have a strong understanding of ASCE’s new guidelines for the design of small craft harbors and learn how a fusion of technical, economic and creative planning can optimize harbor design and economic development goals. Attendees will also come away with an understanding of how civil engineers can play a leadership role in integrating the built and natural environments for marina projects. The ASCE Manual 50 will be available for purchase the day of the course.

For more information on the course or to register, click here.

NOAA Launches Mobile Charts App for Testing Period

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is testing its MyNOAACharts, a new mobile application that allows users to download NOAA nautical charts and editions of the U.S. Coast Pilot. The app was released on May 20.

The app is only designed for Android tablets for the testing period. It has GPS built-in capabilities, allows users to find their positions on a NOAA nautical chart, and can be used on land or water. Users can zoom in any specific location with a touch of the finger, or zoom out for the big picture to plan their trip. The U.S. Coast Pilot has geotagged some of the major locations – embedding geographical information, such as latitude and longitude, directly into the chart so it is readable in the app – and provides links to appropriate federal regulations. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play app store.

“Expanding the app across a multitude of platforms, ensuring easy accessibility to over a thousand charts and nearly 5,000 pages of U.S. Coast Pilot, will take considerable resources,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA Office of Coast Survey. “We can do it if the boating community likes the app. We truly want the users to let us know if the app meets their needs.”

The beta test for MyNOAACharts will expire this Labor Day, Sept. 2. The decision to release a finished version of the app will be decided by Coast Survey and based upon usage and user feedback. For more information on MyNOAACharts, click here.

Disaster Preparedness Focus of NMBA Conference

Norris L. Beren, executive director of Risk Reduction Education, Inc., has been hired by the National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) conference committee to discuss disaster preparedness at its upcoming conference, after several members felt the brunt of Hurricane Sandy last October. The author of two books, a Web-based training program and dozens of articles on preparedness, Beren has provided preparedness training for many major corporations, and has worked with more than 1,000 companies.

Beren presents the value and potential return on investment in creating a culture of preparedness throughout a business, which includes keeping the company running after a disaster, protecting shareholder value and surviving the difficult environment that could follow.

This year's conference agenda will highlight the latest economic trends affecting the marine industry, provide updates on legislative issues that continue to shape the lending environment and feature a presentation on reducing risk without reducing reward.

NMBA’s 2013 Conference will be held Sept. 8-10 at The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa in Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, Wis
For conference details or to register, click here.

American Boating Congress Brings Record Numbers to Capitol Hill

Attendance at the 2013 American Boating Congress (ABC), May 8 – 9, increased 25 percent from 160 attendees to 200, compared to last year. The number of co-hosts increased 138 percent from 13 to 31.

The increase in participants from all sectors of the recreational boating community resulted in more than 250 meetings with Members of Congress, up 34 percent from last year’s 187 visits, creating a more unified voice and making the boating industry’s presence known on Capitol Hill.

ABC gives members of the U.S. recreational boating industry a platform to meet with legislators and other decision makers on Capitol Hill, hear from prominent economic and political speakers and participate all while meeting with colleagues from around the country.

The event activities included multiple planning meetings and a variety of distinguished legislators and industry leaders addressing topics and issues impacting recreational boating. ABC also included luncheons and special awards and honorees.

Speakers included Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); Frank Peterson, President of RBFF; Ken Walsh, US News & World Report chief White House correspondent; RADM Lee, United States Coast Guard; and Deerin Babb-Brott, Director, National Ocean Council Office. Speakers addressed economic concerns, sequestration, health care and legislation, as well as insight into their impact on recreational boating. ABC attendees also met with Senators, members of Congress and Congressional staff to directly address policies in face-to-face meetings

The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) recognized Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J. 2nd Congressional District) with its annual congressional award for his significant contributions to boating recreation. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, was given the Center for Coastal Conservation's Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportfishing, given each year to a federal legislator who is dedicated to promoting the sound conservation and use of ocean resources. The Center for Coastal Conservation also honored Phil Dyskow, the former president of Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., who received the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award. The evening included a BoatPAC reception attended by more than 200, including Members of Congress and ABC attendees, to discuss ways to continue working together on behalf of the entire recreational boating industry.

In addition to a robust conference program and successful meetings with Congress, the Congressional Boating Caucus was honored at a closing reception bringing federal legislators and industry stakeholders together under one common theme: support for the recreational boating industry as a whole. NMMA President Thom Dammrich said, “I look at the boating industry as an ecosystem. If bad legislation and regulation adversely affects one part of the industry, it harms the entire industry. We must continue to work together to gain ground on Capitol Hill.”

NMMA also released updated economic impact data for the recreational boating industry during ABC. The information reflects 2012 data from across the U.S. Each data sheet contains state and district information that includes the total annual economic value of recreational boating, which has an economic impact of $121.5 billion annually. The information also shows that nearly 35,000 recreational boating-related businesses across the country provide more than 338,000 jobs, and that Americans spend $51 billion related to more than 12 million registered recreational boats each year.

Mark your calendar for next year’s American Boating Congress, which will take place May 6-7, 2014.

IMBC Releases Agenda for 2014

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) released a schedule for the 2014 International Marina and Boatyard (IMBC) Conference. View the 2014 IMBC Schedule here.

The 2014 agenda includes IMBC events, such as themed networking events and seminars broken into specific tracks. The three days includes two full days of educational sessions, exhibit hall hours and evening receptions.

"The positive feedback we receive each year helps us plan for future events," AMI Chair Gary Groenewold, CMM, said. "Consistency within the overall timeline was a clear, easy choice."

IMBC Facts
Attendance: IMBC attracts more than 700 marina and boatyard industry professionals each year.

Top three reported reasons for attending:
Educational seminars
Exhibit hall and exposure to cutting edge technology

Amount of education time: more than 10 hours of seminars, plus a marina and boatyard field trip, exhibit hall hours and networking receptions

Number of hours the exhibit hall is open: 13

Number of exclusive exhibit hall hours: 7.5

Average temperature in Fort Lauderdale: 77 degrees

Number of flights daily in and out of the Fort Lauderdale Airport: more than 700

Celebrate National Marina Day; Enter New Photo Contest

Now in its 12th year, National Marina Day, sponsored by the Association of Marine Industries (AMI), has merged with the efforts of Discover Boating to promote the entire marine industry and boating lifestyle in one nationwide event called Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, Saturday, June 8.

AMI encourages marinas to reach out to its partner organizations, such as American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), The National Safe Boating Council’s Wear It! Campaign, Ocean Conservancy, State Clean Marina Programs, US Coast Guard Auxiliary and ValvTect, for free NMD resources. For example, ABYC will host free boat system checks, and ValvTect will provide free trophies for marinas to award to the person who traveled the farthest to attend NMD.

All recreational boating businesses are encouraged to get involved. Suggested activities include: on-water, hands-on training; open houses; showcase of boats and related marine products; free demo rides with sales follow-up; and safety demonstrations.

To help celebrate the annual event, Marina Dock Age is holding a National Marina Day photo contest. To enter, take photos of the day’s activities on June 8 – the staff, the decorations, the boaters, the community, the docks, or the boats. The photo that best captures the spirit of the day will be featured in the magazine.

Please send digital photos to Anna Townshend, email to Mail a disk or USB drive to 319 N. 4th St., Suite 650, St. Louis, MO 63102. Files should be 300 dpi, and at least 9 x 12 inches. The deadline for the photo contest is June 17. For more information about the photo contest, visit

For more information on National Marina Day and its partner resources, visit

Recovery Grants Available for Sandy Victims

Small business owners and nonprofits impacted by Hurricane Sandy can now apply for recovery grants of up to $50,000 per location at the website of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Those eligible, including marina owners, can use the money toward working capital, inventory, equipment, renovation and new construction at the place of business.

Under the program, businesses with multiple locations in New Jersey may receive more than one grant that totals no more than $250,000. To be eligible, applicants must have suffered at least $5,000 in damages from Superstorm Sandy. Grants will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and priority will be given to applicants located in the nine most impacted counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.
Businesses must have applied and been denied or accepted for a Small Business Administration disaster loan to be eligible.

The $260 million Stronger New Jersey Business Grant Program is one of the initiatives approved by the NJEDA on April 30. It also approved $25 million to fund a tourism marketing campaign to assist Hurricane Sandy-impacted communities and promote the state’s tourism assets; and $12 million for securing a firm to operate the grant program under the supervision of the Office of Recovery.

For more information regarding the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant Program or application process, contact the NJEDA Office of Recovery at 855/SANDY-BZ or

Applications for recovery grants can be found here. Sign up here for NJEDA’s notification list for more information on Sandy assistance programs.
The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey also launched the new Go Boating NJ campaign to provide boaters throughout the region with current information on the condition of New Jersey’s waterways and popular boating areas.

The Go Boating NJ campaign will highlight, through on-the-water videos and photos, some of NJ's most popular boating areas to give boaters firsthand knowledge and visuals that these waterways are open and ready for them this season. The campaign also hopes to include video interviews with boaters and marina owners.

WQIS Welcomes New Staff

The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) welcomed John Ryszetnyk, as new Senior Vice President. A graduate of Kings Point, The United States Merchant Marine Academy, John holds a USCG 3rd Mate Unlimited Tonnage License and is a former U.S. Naval Officer. This will be John’s second term at WQIS, having previously served as an Underwriter from 1999 to 2003.

“There’s a great energy in the office right now and I’m looking forward to working with the team to renew our commitment to service while continuing to build and strengthen relationships,” Ryszetnyk said.

Along with John, two more team members are joining WQIS: Angela Konetzni and James Q. Stevens. Konetzni, previously an assistant claims manager at WQIS, has returned after a short hiatus and will be working as a consultant in the claims department. Stevens is the former head of marine insurance for Scottsdale Insurance Company and will key his more than 40 years of experience in WQIS’s continued initiative of providing superior service and systems integration.

ABC Hosts Policy and Industry Speakers

The 2013 American Boating Congress (ABC) will feature an influential group of policy specialists and industry authorities, as well as legislative and regulatory officials. On May 9, ABC will present its general session, featuring the following speakers:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who served previously as Secretary of State, Governor of West Virginia; Deerin Babb-Brott, director for the National Ocean Council Office: Rear Admiral Dean Lee, United States Coast Guard, as the Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities, and as the Fifth District Commander in Portsmouth, Va.; Kenneth Walsh, White House Correspondent, and reporter for U.S. News and World Report; and Frank Peterson, president of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

IMI to Host Study Tour and Dry Stack Conference

The 7th annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour, hosted by the International Marina Institute (IMI) will take place October 29-October 30. The tour will be based at the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Study Tour is a two-day mobile training course that provides an in-depth look at the operations of different types of marinas and boatyards in South Florida. At the end of each day, attendees participate in a facilitated roundtable discussion and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of each marina before heading to a networking dinner. For more information or to register, visit
This year's study tour will take place just after IMI's Drystack Conference. Larry Halgren will host IMI's 10th Drystack Conference, October 27-28.

"I'm honored to partner with IMI on this event," said Larry Halgren, Halgren & Associates, LLC. "Facilitating the conference gives me the opportunity to assist IMI in its goal of providing training to the marina industry."

The Dry Stack conference will be held at the B Ocean Hotel, where the Study Tour will depart and return to each day. Following the Study Tour is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

For more information, visit or call 401/247-0314.

Structurmarine Announces New Hire; Signs PR Firm

Structurmarine has signed with Martin Flory Group to help showcase its marina projects and create publicity for the marina developer throughout North America.

"Structurmarine brings the same level of commitment and craftsmanship to every project, no matter the size or budget," said Laura Martin, Martin Flory Group president. "We do the same with our PR programs, providing the best service possible for every client. We're excited to bring greater recognition to Structurmarine's beautiful developments." Structurmarine also named Bruno Nolet as sales director for North America and the Caribbean. Nolet previous worked in both marine engineering and sales for Structurmarine. As he seeks to increase marina sales across his territory, Nolet said, “We’re seeking out potential partners and possible joint ventures, with the goal of expanding Structurmairne’s presence at the local level.”

ABBRA Extends Wage Survey Deadline; Offer Prizes

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has extended the deadline for its 2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey for Marine Service Employees, formerly known as the Annual Wage Rate Survey. The survey will gauge and compare the rates, salaries and benefits in the current market.

Those that answer by April 30 will be entered in a drawing for a one-year (2014) complimentary ABBRA membership for 2014 or one complimentary registration for the 2014 ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference.
The survey will be segmented by state and region, by revenue and number of employees, and seeks information on a broad range of the most common jobs in today's boatyards. The survey will ask for information on hourly wages, average vacation time, health benefits and retirement plans.

For more information, call 954/654-7821. To complete the survey, visit here

ValvTect Petroleum Welcomes Three New Facilities

ValvTect Petroleum announced that the Dana Point Fuel Dock located in Dana Point, Calif., Harbour Town Yacht Basin on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, and Del Rey Landing in Marina Del Rey, Calif., now offer ValvTect Marine Fuels.

Operated by John Van Dixhorn since 1986, the Dana Point Fuel Dock services Dana Point Harbor’s two marinas with more than 2,500 guest slips and transient boaters visiting the area. “We are totally committed to supply our customers the finest products available. Especially fuels that are specially formulated for marine engines that help prevent problems caused by ethanol and ultra low sulfur diesel that we are now required to sell,” Dixhorn said.

Jerry Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum said, “By Dana Point Fuel Dock offering ValvTect Marine Fuels, it gives us an important position in the southern California market. In addition to providing ValvTect Marine Fuels to the harbor’s 2,500 slip holders, it makes ValvTect’s specially formulated marine-grade fuels available to cruisers cruising south to San Diego and Mexico.”

For more than 40 years, Harbour Town Lighthouse has welcomed boaters to this iconic, resort style marina. “ValvTect Marine Fuels provide our boaters with better fuel economy and lower maintenance costs, which improves their overall boating experience,” said Nancy Cappelmann, harbormaster at Harbour Town Yacht Basin.

“Harbour Town is a first class yachting center and resort with many amenities including special events, shops, restaurants and sporting activities. East Coast cruisers and those traveling the Intracoastal now have another premier location to fill up with high quality ValvTect Marine Fuels,” Nessenson said.

Del Rey Landing is one of the largest man-made marinas in the world, and is the only fuel dock servicing the marina’s nearly 5,300 vessels. It is one of only four marinas on the West Coast capable of accommodating megayachts up to 250 feet in length.

“We are pleased to offer ValvTect Marine Fuels as part of our commitment to provide only the highest quality products and services,” said Greg Schem, developer and operator of Del Rey Landing. “We built the marine industry’s most advanced fuel dock to accommodate Marina Del Rey’s thousands of local boaters and to provide dockage for weekend cruisers as well as superyachts visiting the Los Angeles area.”

Jerry Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum Products, said, “We are honored to have Del Rey Landing join the nationwide network of Certified ValvTect Marinas. Along with its advanced high speed dispensing system and extensive amenities, it will provide boaters in the Los Angeles area and West Coast cruisers a safe and convenient fueling location to obtain ValvTect Marine Fuels.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison Adds New Course

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Engineering Professional Development will present two short courses for marina owner/operators, consulting engineers and marina designers, “Rehabilitating Docks and Marinas,” May 13–14, and “Modern Marina Design,” May 15–16. They complements the Docks and Marinas Course and Conference, which the university will present for the 39th consecutive year this coming November.

The “Rehabilitating Docks and Marinas” class provides the tools to ensure the long-term competitiveness of marinas. Attendees will be able to understand how market trends will an impact and learn how to use that understanding to develop a strategy that explores the cost-benefit of alternative rehabilitation options. This course is specifically designed to help facilities determine their condition and remaining useful life, enabling marinas to adopt a strategy to achieve long-term competitiveness.

“Modern Marina Design” presents the latest in marina design methods and concepts, by effectively combining innovative engineering with environment and economic approaches.

The instructors for “Modern Marina Design” are all nationally respected experts in the key aspects of marina design. Each is an author of a chapter in the recently issued “Planning and Design Guidelines for Small Craft Harbors.” The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published this Manual of Practice #50, and one of the instructors, Fred Klancnik, served as the Chairman of ASCE’s Marinas 2020 Committee, and editor of the new manual.

As a special offer, course attendees can purchase the manual at a reduced price. For information on these courses visit: or contact Howard Rosen directly at:

My-Villages Announces New Marine Industry Innovation Partners

My-Villages announced new partnerships, expanding the company’s MVIP program, which brings together marine companies to innovate with My-Villages. It uses online and mobile technologies to improve the experience of boat ownership and customer service.

Joining The Hinckley Company, the first My-Villages Innovation Partner (MVIP) to come aboard in December 2012 are Marine Professionals Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Saunders Yachtworks of Gulf Shores, Ala., and Yacht Tech based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“Our growing list of Innovation Partner companies is evidence that the marine industry has a strong desire to enhance the way we engage our customers, using both web and mobile technologies to connect, communicate and collaborate, while simplifying boat operations and marine maintenance,” said My-Villages founder and CEO Kevin Hutchinson.

The MVIP program draws together marine businesses that have agreed to use and/or market My-Villages’ digital application—available for web browsers, smartphones and iPads—that allows boat owners and marine professionals to communicate and collaborate online. They can enhance the product and make it available to their own customers.

The service app provides access to a boat’s equipment inventory, service history, relevant manuals, usage trends, trip logs and other useful information. It also supports automated service reminders, electronic service requests, real-time status reports on work in process, and the ability to upload images and video. The result is a seamless service that removes operational inefficiencies and addresses questions owners may have about routine maintenance and repairs, thus improving service for boat owners, while providing service yards and technicians with new tools to build and operate their business.

“We know it’s going to change the customer relationship experience for the better, and we’re committed to being at the forefront of that revolution,” said Marc Currei, president of Marine Professionals Inc.

The Innovation Partners program builds upon the My- Villages digital community, an online “boating village” that allows individuals and businesses to share expertise and advice free of charge. More than 30 companies signed on as BETA partners for the free service—including Hinckley, Kadey- Krogen Yachts, Dometic, Cummins, Westerbeke and others— and continue to contribute to the community. Additional Innovation Partners will be signed in coming months.

IMI Plans Drystack Conference; Call for Presentations

International Marina Institute (IMI) will conduct the 10th Drystack Conference Oct. 27 – 28, at the B Ocean Hotel, 999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The conference will offer seminars about the latest in drystack technology, exhibits and networking receptions.

The IMI's annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour will follow the conference, Oct. 29 – 30. It will consist of tours of area marinas and boatyards as well as discussions on each property.

IMI has also posted a "Call for Presentations" on its website. Proposal topics should focus on the business of drystack storage, current trends, new technologies, and recent and upcoming projects.

Seminars can be designed for intermediate to advance levels of experience and should be geared toward IMI's audience, which includes internationally acclaimed marina-industry professionals, Certified Marina Managers, Certified Marina Operators, and marina managers, owners, and operators.

IMI asks that information be timely, informative and educational without overt company or product promotions.

Deadline for submissions is April 5, 2013.

For more information, visit, email IMI, or call the group at 401/247-0314.

Pink Shell Marina Opens

Pink Shell Resort's new marina officially opened Feb. 20. It is located in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. Owner Boykin Management Company construction of the marina on Sept. 4, 2012. Renovations cost more than $1.2 million.

The marina now offers 41 floating slips for boats up to 100 feet for transient, long-term and group dockage, 30-, 50- and 100-amp power pedestals, potable water, high-definition Direct TV, WiFi, pumpout service, slips to accommodate boats up to 100 feet long, service facility and ship’s store.

“Our new marina provides boaters with a destination that is only minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and the barrier islands of Southwest Florida,” said Ellis Etter, regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Boykin Management Group.

Marina guests will have access to Pink Shell Resort amenities, as well as boat rentals, charter fishing excursions, and the well-known Colgate Offshore Sailing School.
Pink Shell MarinaPink Shell Marina

Northern California Marine Association Integrates with the NMMA

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced the integration of the Northern California Marine Association (NCMA) and its members with NMMA. NCMA voting members unanimously approved the change.

The move is part of an effort to expand the recreational boating market. NCMA and its members will be part of NMMA under the recently formed NMMA West.

NCMA members not already NMMA members will now receive paid NMMA membership through May 31, 2015. NCMA’s Board of Directors also will become an advisory NMMA Board, with representatives appointed to the NMMA West Board of Directors. NCMA joins the former Southern California Marine Association, which earlier merged with NMMA.

In June 2012, NMMA opened Associate memberships to include to boat dealers, retailers and distributors. The new approach models marine industry associations worldwide by including all industry segments as part of its membership.

“NMMA’s robust resources, in addition to its role as a leading producer of boat and sport shows, will help us to revitalize shows in northern California,” said Gary Clausen, NCMA president. “We were pleased by the feedback NMMA received from the June 2012 integration with the Southern California Marine Association (SCMA).”

FEMA Extends NJ Deadline for Sandy Disaster Assistance

New Jersey residents and businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy now have until April 1, 2013, to register for individual disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline extends business registration with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Disaster Loan Assistance. For businesses, such a loan is the best opportunity for disaster assistance. 

Representatives of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) stress that registering for an SBA Disaster Loan also is essential if marina owners want to later obtain a grant under the Community Development Block Grants. The MTA/NJ will update everyone about grants when more information is available.

For more information or to apply, call the SBA at 800/659-2955.

American Boating Congress Open Early Registration

Early Bird Registration for the American Boating Congress (ABC), coordinated by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is now open. Register for the meeting, taking place May 8-9, 2013 in Washington, D.C., to create a louder voice for recreational boating on Capitol Hill.

The American Boating Congress (ABC) lets attendees meet elected officials to discuss recreational boating concerns and speak with Congressional representatives. They also will learn more about the Congressional process, how to stay involved, and hear from elected officials, policy makers, and other speakers.

The NMMA government relations staff will provide the latest facts about water access, E15, legislation, taxes, small business concerns and more. Save with the discounted Early Bird registration rate of $200.

For more information, email Melissa Gurniewicz at or call 312/946- 6281.

BoatUS Foundation Voting Open for $10K Grants

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is asking the public to help it select winning projects in the 2013 Grassroots Grants Program. The program provides non-profit groups up to $10,000 to educate boaters about safe and clean boating. Go to either or to cast a vote.

Voting began Feb. 20. Seven grant proposals are listed. Those with the most votes by midnight (EST) on March 6, 2013, will have their projects funded.
Grant funds are donated by the half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). In 25 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 million to organizations that developed creative projects to promote safe and clean boating on local waterways. Up to $50,000 altogether is available for grants this year. 

This year's contenders are:

  • Access Monterey Peninsula, Inc. of Monterey, Calif.
  • Littleton Firefighters Foundation of Littleton, Colo.
  • United State Coast Guard Auxiliary 1st District Northern of Weymouth, Mass.
  • Annapolis Green of Annapolis, Md.
  • The Bass Federation of Ponca City, Okla.
  • Professional Anglers Association (PAA) of Kilgore, Texas
  • Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean of Granville, Vt.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water provides educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers to reduce fatalities, increase stewardship of America's waterways and keep boating safe.

Marinalife Expands Website with Service Locator

Marinalife launched a Service and Maintenance Locator feature on its website that provides detailed information about specific services provided by boatyards and repair yards around the country. With the new service boaters can search by city, state, or facility name and use an advanced search to filter by the type of repair they need. Facilities and services listed range from hull repair to rigging installation and repair, travel lift and engine services to moorings, rack storage, warranty service work and more.

This new online service benefits both the boater and the yard. Service, maintenance and repair yards now have a way to be easily found by the boating public. In addition, facilities may choose to be a featured partner with Marinalife and receive premium placement within search results. Results of service facilities in the directory also often include videos, photos and fuel prices, and may offer Marinalife membership discounts through the Marinalife Discount Card.
Marinalife is offering all boatyard and repair yards a free listing in the Services section of the website – Those interested in participating should email Marinalife at to complete a form to be included in the directory.

Joy McPeters of Marinalife said, “We decided to launch this service because boaters look to Marinalife not only for advice on where to make marina reservations, but also as a trusted source for cruise planning, marina reviews, discounts and insurance. Now they can come to us for information about where to get service for their vessel.”

Marinalife has also partnered with ABBRA (American Boat Builders and Repairers Association) to help promote the services of their members to the boating public. ABBRA members are designated with an ABBRA logo next to their listing within the service and maintenance locator.

Pam Lendzion, President of the Board said, “ABBRA recognizes Marinalife as a great vehicle to connect boatyards with boat owners. ABBRA is proud to partner with Marinalife to enhance the boaters’ experience and take the hassle out of boat maintenance and repair. ABBRA member boat builders and repairers pledge to maintain the highest standards of workmanship, integrity, and honesty in dealing with their customers.”

Dr. Shrink Debuts Website

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyShrinkwrap supplier, Dr. Shrink, recently revamped the customer order process on its website and added feature for learning more about the world of shrinkwrap.

 At, users now have secure retail and wholesale accounts that are used with their own user name and password. The Dr. Shrink account will remember all past orders and keep them on file so users will always have access to the list of items they've purchased in the past. 

Customers can now ship internationally and can also ship via freight for Dr. Shrink bulk size shrinkwrap rolls and large orders.

Blogs, how-to videos, weekly bundles and featured products are now all on the same site.

Accmar Forms New Partnership with Best Marine Solutions

Miami-based Accmar Equipment announced a new partnership with Best Marine Solutions (BMS) - a partnership that will ensure that each and every marina in the U.S. has an opportunity to evaluate Accmar Equipment pedestals as part of its product selection.

"Increased competition in the marina power pedestal market should be welcomed,” President of Accmar Equipment Company Juan Pizarro said.
Based in St.Petersburg, Fla., BMS is a new company established by EMP Industries, a marina pumpout & water recycling system manufacturer. President Tom Callahan said, "BMS is leveraging the former EMP sales team and partnering with select and quality product manufactures, like Accmar, to create an industry alliance - intended to offer the best quality products, pricing and service to the marina industry, throughout the United States and beyond.”

By partnering with BMS as a key vendor, Accmar Equipment Company said it hopes to become a leading source for aluminum encased power pedestals, dock fire safety equipment and dock accessories.

"By partnering with BMS, Accmar Equipment ensures that marinas just learning about our products, will have the opportunity to evaluate and compare Accmar's products, pricing and quality against the typical menu of marina dock products,” Pizarro said.

My-Villages Launches Mobile Service For Boat Maintenance

My-Villages, the web and mobile technology company, introduced its new premium service at the Miami International Boat Show. Available in its beta version, the company said its product will improve efficiency for boatyards and technicians.

My-Villages’ premium service—available for smartphones and iPads—makes boat maintenance simple. It provides marine professionals with immediate access to a boat’s equipment inventory, service history, relevant manuals, usage trends, trip logs and other useful information. The service also supports automated service reminders, electronic service requests, real-time status reports on work in process, and the ability to upload images and video to support an electronic service request, work estimate, or shared expert advice.

The result is a system that gives yards and technicians new tools to build and operate their business. My-Villages’ premium service will also soon allow service yards to better manage multiple clients and boats through integration to third-party billing systems currently used in the industry.

My-Villages announced the beta release of its free service, the boat village, at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. The company committed at that show to bring out its premium service in early 2013. The premium service builds upon the existing My-Villages digital platform, which allows businesses to create a profile with links to social media, blogs, websites or other online content and create specialized electronic communities to share expertise and advice.

More than two dozen brand-name marine companies now serve as My-Villages beta partners for the free service, helping to craft products that serve both owners and the industry..

"Saunders Yachtworks has been a beta partner on My-Villages’ free service from the start, and our entire team is excited by what we have seen to date," said John Fitzgerald, president. "We have thoroughly investigated their free program. We believe, combined now with the premium service, that the products My-Villages offers represent the clear future for the yacht service and maintenance industry. We believe My-Villages will help us communicate better with our customers, allow us to better monitor, track and schedule ongoing maintenance protocols, and ultimately deliver a greatly enhanced service experience for our customers."

Students Get Industry Lessons At Baltimore Boat Show

Center of Applied Technology (CAT) – South students received a behind the scenes, in-depth marine professional experience at the Progressive Baltimore Boat Show, thanks to the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA).

On March 1, approximately 20 career and technology students from five local high schools (Annapolis, Broadneck, South River, Southern and Severna Park) enrolled in CAT South's Marine Repair Technology program met with factory representatives, NMMA leaders, show managers and dealers, as well as hear a formal presentation on the state of the marine industry and advice on marine industry careers.

“One of ABYC’s best contributions to our industry is ensuring that students who are interested in a career in boating get all the standards-based tools and knowledge they need to be successful in their future careers as a marine technician,” ABYC President John Adey said.

The students also participated in NMMA’s Fred’s Shed, an interactive experience for boat show visitors who are interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading their own boats and engines. Instructor Larry Jenc, who is ABYC Certified, was Fred at this show, helping add to the boat owner’s experience and student lessons. It is industry recommended and stressed to the boating public that boats be built and repaired to ABYC standards.

The marine repair program prepares students for a career, or advanced training and post-secondary education, in the marine industry with regards to marine manufacturing, maintenance, repair and design. Students are later encouraged to test for ABYC’s Standards Certification that address specific compliance issues relevant to engineers, installers, compliance inspectors and marine surveyors.

New ‘Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!’ Event Offers Kayaking

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyThe popular sport of kayak fishing will be part of the next “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” seminar, hosted March 9-10 at the Matlacha Community Park in Fort Myers, Fla.
The event is held in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! is a national organization dedicated to attracting more women to sportfishing and to promoting conservation and responsible angling.
During the two-day, hands-on event, FWC educators will demonstrate ethical angler habits, such as safe hook removal, release techniques, fish venting and more. Local fishing guides will provide instruction on kayak fishing and angling techniques. The second day offers an optional fishing trip from kayaks, pontoon boats and flats boats.

“We have chosen to host our Gulf Coast event at Matlacha, a beautiful part of the state with bountiful fishing,” Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! founder Betty Bauman said. “It’s a refreshing location, perfect for beginners, those who have fished before or any lady with fishing on her bucket list!”

HOSTAR Boat Mover Cleans Up After Sandy 

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyIn the fall, BoatMax in City Island, N.Y., received its first HOSTAR Yardstar 35 self-propelled boat mover. The unit had its first big test. cleaning up the yard after Superstorm Sandy.

"Without the Yardstar, there wouldn't have been a Sandy cleanup," BoatMax owner Frank Virgintino said.  "Working with the unit was like having 20 extra men."
"We used the Yardstar to right boats by using its hydraulic arms to go underneath the boat and tilt it.  Then, we could lift up the whole boat," BoatMax general manager Ken Landi said. "Without the unit, we would have used forklifts and a travelift. Our travelift is 26 feet wide, which would have meant that we would have had to move everything out of the way to right one boat. It also would have taken a lot more time."

HOSTAR's Yardstar 35 can handle powerboats up to 60 feet and sailboats up to 68 feet.  The self-propelled unit has a capacity of 70,000 lbs. It's powered by a John Deere industrial diesel engine with complete instrumentation and full enclosure. It also has two, 2-speed hydraulic drive units with brakes at the rear and two hydraulic drive/steering motors at the front.  The operator's station has joystick controls.

The Yardstar has six, fully adjustable hydraulic arms to handle up to an 8-foot draft, forward-facing rear arms and inward-canting forward arms. It
also features a hydraulic walking beam suspension to lift/lower each side with pilot-operated, double locking valves on all cylinders.

"We haven't been able to use our Yardstar too much so far, since we only got it in the fall, but when righting boats, we only needed one machine, the Yardstar. Before we needed to use two forklifts and a travelift and now we only need one machine. We couldn't use the travelift with sailboats, but we can use the Yardstar," Landi said.

NMMA Applauds Nomination for U.S. Secretary of the Interior

On February 6, President Obama nominated REI CEO Sally Jewell to become the next Secretary of the Interior. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) expressed its support of this nomination.

NMMA said Jewell has shown a solid understanding of the many issues required to oversee the Department of the Interior’s large portfolio of public land and water, and a keen business sense.

The Secretary of the Interior oversees a department that is critical to the country’s economic recovery and the protection and preservation of America’s natural resources, cultural and tribal communities, and public lands legacy.

NMMA praised the White House administration for choosing “what some would call a Washington outsider,” for showing that it values specific outdoor industry experience over partisan politics for this position.

NMMA President Thom Dammrich said of the nomination, “NMMA applauds the nomination of Sally Jewell for Secretary of Interior and will support Ms. Jewell in any way we can. We hope to work together to promote public water access, and outdoor recreational activities, particularly recreational boating.”

Professional Marine Realty Helps Marinas for Sale

“Turnaround management” — reforming an existing business to maximize operating income as quickly as possible — is a relatively new concept in the marina business. So is the ultimate goal of Professional Marine Realty, to sell the business at the best price it can.

Due to increasing competition and shifting markets, no business can take economic stability for granted.

Richard Graves of Professional Marine Realty said, “Our objective is revamping an existing business for sale that is underperforming due to poor financial management and marketing.”

The company also serves as the selling broker. Business brokers at Professional Marine have more than 70 years of combined experience in managing and marketing marinas and other pleasure boating businesses. Marina management and marketing experience give it the insight to maximize the worth of a marina in a short time. As turnaround specialists, the company said it offers a fresh view of problems, along with solutions that may not be visible to business insiders. For full details, visit, call 954/734-9376, or email

NJ Marine Trades Association Continues Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts

Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Executive Director Melissa Danko, along with MTA/NJ Board members, is meeting with Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin to discuss waterway debris management, dredging, permitting and a number of other items critical to rebuilding. Many plans under consideration include a statewide surveying/marking of state channels to identify hazardous debris and shoaling. It is important that New Jersey’s leadership is aware of the economic importance of the recreational boating industry.

The MTA/NJ also met with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) this week to discuss funding opportunities and financial support for marine businesses that need immediate assistance. The MTA/NJ is lobbying for the immediate restoration of the I BOAT NJ program for grant assistance, working with federal legislators, and urging the federal fisheries declaration that could provide additional funding.

Lastly, the MTA/NJ continues its push for the creation of an Office of Boating Waterways. The proposal includes the merger, consolidation or streamlining of existing state functions into the creation of a new Office of Boating and Waterways to serve as the sole source agency in state government responsible for managing boating and waterway programs. Creation of the office would show that all of New Jersey’s waterways are a vital resource to not only the marine trades industries but those that depend on them. It would also be a promotional tool. This office is even more critical because New Jersey needs a coordinated effort to support recreational marine trades.

For more information, please contact Melissa Danko at 732-292-1051.

Marine Marketers of America Extends Deadline for Neptune Awards Entries Due by Jan. 23

The Neptune Awards, which recognize best work by marine marketers, will take place this year in conjunction with the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s morning breakfast meeting on Feb. 14 at the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS). Due to holiday deadlines, the final date for submissions to the Marine Marketers of America (MMA) for the awards is extended to Jan. 23. Complete details about the Neptune Awards, including entry guidelines and entry form, are posted on the newly re-launched MMA website 

Also, MMA has announced the program for its bi-annual general membership meeting, scheduled 3 p.m. Feb. 14, at the boat show in the convention center. Ellen Valentine of Silverpop will speak, with two additional industry social media experts to follow. The event will conclude with a social mixer.

For more information, visit the MMA website

Aluminum Pontoon Boats Lead Increased Boating Trends in Canada

During 2012, the Canadian recreational boating industry recorded a 13 percent increase in new boats and engine sales. All sales totaled $2 billion, reported Sara Verni, public relations manager of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada. Canadian manufacturers’ exports of boats and engines picked up in 2011 to $479 million, up 50 percent from the previous year, the first sign of significant growth in exports for the industry since 2009.

“An increasingly stable U.S. economy combined with a modest increase in Canadian consumer confidence helped contribute to healthy growth within the Canadian recreational marine industry in 2012,” said Sara Anghel, executive director of NMMA Canada. “The 13 percent increase in new boats and engines signifies the industry’s recovery from the recession and creates momentum for 2013.
“Canadian marine manufacturers have begun to broaden their horizons for exporting beyond North American borders,” she noted. “Australia, the European Union and the Middle East have become bigger trading partners for the Canadian recreational boating industry.”
The increase took place from October 2011 through September 2012, compared to the same period the previous year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) second annual 2012 Canadian Statistical Abstract. The Abstract reveals statistics about Canada’s recreational boating retail sales, participation and boater demographics, the overall retail market, imports-exports and economic factors that influence the industry.

The leading boat trend in Canada is aluminum pontoon boats, experiencing a 23 percent increase in sales. Another trend is sport jet boats that experienced a 13 percent increase in sales. In 2012, more than one in five Canadian households owned at least one recreational boat.

One free copy of the Abstract will be available beginning in February 2013, to all NMMA members, to download at Members may purchase a printed copy for $70; non-members can purchase it for U.S. $750. For more information about the abstract, contact Sara Anghel at or call 905/951-4048.

Clean Marina Roundtable Added to IMBC Lineup  

Organizers of the International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) have announced that a roundtable discussion titled “Clean Marina Round Table:
Where are we . . .Where are we going,” has been added to the conference program. 

Moderated by Dave White, Great Lakes Program Coordinator and Recreation/Tourism Specialist of the Oswego branch of NY Sea Grant, it will take place 9-11 a.m., Jan. 30 in the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Room 305. It is free to attend for IMBC full conference registrants.

For more information, call 401/682-7334 or email IMBC is produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI). AMI is a nonprofit membership organization providing management training, education, and information about research, legislation, and environmental issues affecting the marina industry. 

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane Sandy 

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyAlthough Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast, its effects were felt in the Midwest. Bob Abbott of Cleveland, Ohio, credits Dr. Shrink’s premium shrinkwrap for boat protection.

“Shrinkwrap is amazing, especially after seeing the aftermath of Sandy,” Abbott said. “We are on Lake Erie and even though we didn’t get hit directly, we experienced winds up to 78 mph and had two marinas nearly wiped out.”

Abbott wrapped both his boat and a friend’s in Dr. Shrink shrinkwrap and stored them in a parking lot.

“They were still pulling sunken boats out a week later at the marina next to us. Our shrinkwrap was not damaged at all,” said Abbott.

Dr. Shrink Inc. is a full-service, full-circle supplier of wrap. The material comes in widths from 12’ to 50’ wide. For more information, visit

ADP Lightspeed Introduces Loyalty Program

ADP Lightspeed recently introduced a cardless, points based rewards program called Lightspeed Loyalty Rewards. Designed to help dealerships develop long-term relationships with their customers, the program allows a dealer to distribute points to customers for sales, service, accessory, and parts purchases. Dealers can also award points for participation in events and owner groups. Customers redeem the points by logging into their Rewards Account and either printing a gift certificate or sending the certificate to a mobile device.

“Lightspeed Loyalty rewards will bring back customers to the dealership and turn them into repeat customers,” said Greg Smith, general manager of ADP Lightspeed. “The program is completely integrated with Lightspeed and requires very little training to get started.”

The back-end reporting tool inside Lightspeed Loyalty Rewards give dealers the power to manage points, view balances, and create special events and promotions. Point balances are updated and customers are notified with every transaction, automatically.

“We are extremely excited to offer this to our dealers,” said Laurn Rice, vice president of Sales at ADP Lightspeed. “We saw a need in the market for a cardless, integrated loyalty product and we found the solution with Lightspeed Loyalty Rewards.”

Floating Solar Platform Captures Energy for Four Counties

Poralu Marine installed a floating solar platform at Canoe Brook, N.J., a town about 15 1/2 miles from New York. New Jersey American Water initiated the floating solar park. Eneractive Solutions, an engineering firm specializing in energy solutions, guided the pilot project, which created and implemented a viable 112-imagekilowatt (kW) photovoltaic system. It generates 136,000 kW annually for a water treatment plant, serving 78,000 homes in Essex, Union, Morris and Somerset counties with about 40.1 million gallons of water per day.

Poralu Marine did the engineering of the floating section, the interface with the photovoltaic panels, and the anchorage system.

The solar platform, composed of a floating pontoon structure with photovoltaic panels, is anchored with a Seaflex system, which uses a flexible form of anchoring that stabilizes floating structures under large fluctuations in water level.

The floating pontoons have an aluminum structure supported by polyethylene floats, which the company said can withstand punctures, and are covered with Ecostyle™ decking from Poralu Marine, which using 100 percent recyclable polypropylene.

Poralu Marine said the platform is also designed to allow a large amount of sunlight to pass through, protecting aquatic life. It also said the design solution met specific technical and financial constraints with the green electricity project. Project constraints included installing the solar panel with high platform stability, low maintenance and longevity, to meet predetermined budgets.

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