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July 2017

NMMA Releases Industry Sales by Category Abstract

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has released the Industry Sales by Category and State 2004-2016 section of the 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract.

NMMA members receive complimentary access to the digital version of this section of the report and non-members can purchase copies. The full 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract can be ordered at a cost of $225 for members or $3,999 for non-members. More information can be found at

Data in the industry sales section includes expenditures by state, and type of boat. The report shows that recreational marine expenditures were $36 billion in 2016, a rise of 3.2 percent of the previous year. Spending on new boats was up 7.6 percent with a total of $9 billion and spending on pre-owned boats rose by 2 percent to $9.2 billion.

Only one section of the 2016 abstract—Boat Registrations—still needs to be released which is expected to occur in later July. The full abstract should be released in August.

BoatUS and Freedom Boat Club Offer On-Water Training

BoatUS and Freedom Boat Club have partnered to offer discounted on-the-water training courses at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina in South Carolina on July 29-30, 2017.

The three-hour classes take place on 19- to 22-foot powerboats with on-board instructors. The class size is limited to just four per boat and prices start at $149 and vary depending on the course.

Courses available include “Intro to Boating” covering docking and close-quarter handling; intermediate classes that teach open-water handling, how to take wakes, and using trim/tilt for boat balance; and a women-only class, "Women Making Waves."

For more information visit

Informa Announces FLIBS Improvements

Informa Exhibitions has introduced its plans to improve and enhance this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show for both attendees and exhibitors.

On-site improvements include new plastic and fiberglass floating docks, electrical equipment, trucks and better flooring for the tents. Attendees will also find improved wayfinding signs.

Informa is also adding software to enable consumers to better plan their visit and to find sales sheets, marketing materials and videos that can be downloaded throughout the year. Exhibitors will also benefit from this software as it will help them track sales leads based on consumer searches.

With the show attracting about 100,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors, Informa also improved its hotel booking resources through a reservation system affiliated with the show.

This year’s FLIBS is scheduled for Nov. 1 to 5 and will have displays at seven locations: the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach and Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, the Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

ORIR Meets with Secretary of the Interior to Tout Public-Private Partnerships

Members of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) met with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and members of Congress to discuss the value of public-private partnerships on public lands and waters.

The ORIR identified nearly 30 areas for immediate private investment on public lands that could occur if Congress changed the rules for such investment. The projects identified would total more than an $80 million investment and represent just the first of potentially thousands of projects.

Public-private partnerships are not new as there are marinas, boat rentals, lodges and many other activities on public lands that are privately operated; however, the ORIR would like to see an expansion in the availability of such partnerships.

The outdoor recreation industry generates $887 billion in direct spending and supports 7.6 million jobs in the U.S. with recreational boating providing an estimated 472,000 jobs and producing $36 billion in expenditures each year.

Following the meeting was a showcase of American-made outdoor recreation equipment that was part of “Made in America” week in Washington D.C. Chaparral, Sea Ray, and Tracker Boats, and their respective dealers, Hoffmaster’s Marina, Prince William Marine Sales, and Bass Pro Shops, provided boats for the display, which also included RV’s, off-road vehicles, fishing gear and more.

NSBC Introduces Get Connected Campaign

The National Safe Boating Council introduced a new campaign, aimed at encouraging boaters to use their engine cut-off device, every time they go boating. The “Get Connected” campaign features a series of branded messages and resources, including videos, public service announcements, a fact sheet, press release, social media posts and printable promotional materials. The messaging is designed to educate boaters about the different engine cut-off device technologies that are currently available on the market, and how they can proactively make a day on the water safer.

An engine cut-off device is a proven safety device used to stop the boat’s engine should the driver unexpectedly fall overboard. The boat operator or their passenger can unexpectedly fall overboard when the boat hits a wave, wake, takes a sharp turn, runs into a submerged object, suffers steering failure, and more. Traditionally, a lanyard attaches the boat operator to the system. Wireless devices are now gaining popularity as well.

Get Connected campaign resources can be found in the attached resource kit and at www. The NSBC’s Get Connected campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Maine Boatyard Achieve OSHA SHARP Award

Padebco Full Service Boatyard & Custom Boat Builder in Round Pond, Maine is the 60th business in the state to be recognized by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).

SHARP certification requires small business employers to partner with OSHA’s consultation services program, participate in a comprehensive on-site audit similar to an OSHA inspection, correct any identified hazards, and operate with an exemplary worksite health and safety plan. There are fewer than 2,000 SHARP certified companies across the United States.

“Padebco is committed to workplace safety and we are very proud to attain SHARP certification. We value our crew, and their workplace safety and health is paramount to Padebco Full Service Boatyard & Custom Boat Builder. We are grateful for the assistance of SafetyWorks!, Maine's Department of Labor on-site consultation services,” said Leon and Sara MacCorkle, owners of Padebco.

IBEX Expands Educational Sessions

This year’s International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will feature 56 educational seminars, 15 tech talk workshops and nine super sessions for a combined 80 opportunities for boat builders, manufacturers, boatyard and marina personnel to increase their knowledge and skills.

The American Boat Builders and Repairers Association, the American Boat and Yacht Council, the National Marine Electronics Association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Professional BoatBuilder magazine are all assisting with the development of the IBEX seminar series as official education partners to the show.

Marina Dock Age magazine and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas are new education partners this year. Marina Dock Age is leading sessions focusing on the areas of operations that cross both boatyard and marina businesses, such as general efficiency, and more specific focus on the issue of copper bottom paints and alternatives.

The MRAA seminar highlights means for manufacturers to improve their relationships with dealers to help increase sales and profits.

IBEX will take place September 19-21 in Tampa, Florida. For more information, visit

Boaters Asked to Vote for Best Marina

Voting has opened for Marinalife’s annual Best Marina Contest.

The contest recognizes marinas that consistently provide excellent customer service and quality experience as judged by boaters. The two categories of awards are for Best Large Marina (over 100 slips) and Best Small Marina (under 100 slips). First, second and third place awards winners will be chosen.

Boaters are asked to cast their vote at by October 1. Marinas are encouraged to promote the contest to their customers.

Maine Marinas Receive Federal Grants

Two Maine marinas will receive more than $1.8 million in federal boating infrastructure grants while the state of Maine will receive $405,280 in Clean Vessel Act funds to install and upgrade ten pumpout stations.

Spring Point Marina in South Portland and Yachting Solutions, LLC in Rockland will receive more than $1.8 million in federal boating infrastructure grants, leveraging an additional $1.6 million in non-federal matching investments.

The grants are administered through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services with funds coming from excise taxes on boat fuel and engines and fishing equipment.

Yachting Solutions plans to expand its boat basin to provide 2,200 linear feet of new dockage for transient vessels, including power, in-slip fueling and will also convert upland structures to a boaters’ lounge. The company is matching the $1 million grant with non-federal funds of $737,941.

Spring Point Marina is constructing 916 linear feet of dockage with power and water for up to 30 transient boats. They are using $877,830 in non-federal funds to match the $843,405 grant.

"Maine marinas are a critical part of our state's working waterfront. In serving vessels that are traveling along the coast, they directly support hundreds of jobs and help connect thousands of customers to local economies," U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District Maine, said in a news release.

MMTA Promotes Local Boating

The STAY LOCAL BOAT MA Transient Boater Referral Program has begun its ninth year.

Promoted by the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, the program encourages boaters to visit local destination marinas where they receive a discount, from ten to twenty percent off on dockage. The town surrounding the marinas reap the benefits of more tourism dollars from boaters who enjoy local restaurants, shops and facilities.

Boaters receive a discount card that includes a list of the participating marina. This year fifteen marinas have already enrolled.

For more information, visit

Congressional Boating Congress Asked to Support the Boating Industry

Leaders of the boating industry held briefings on Capitol Hill for members of the Congressional Boating Congress and their staffs to highlight how Congress can help protect the recreational boating industry and its $121 billion impact on the U.S. economy.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) hosted the event, which featured industry experts from Brunswick Corporation, BoatUS Foundation, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, Safe Harbor Marinas and NMMA. The group asked the 80 in attendance to support key boating safety and infrastructure programs.

Specifically NMMA introduced the industry’s infrastructure priorities; Brunswick Corporation provided an analysis why engine cut-off devices and Emergency Locator Beacons should be supported in U.S. Coast Guard reauthorizations; BoatUS Foundation gave insight into the problem of Aquatic Invasive Species and the need for consistent management across the U.S.; AIWA described the crucial need to provide funds to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to its authorized depths; and Safe Harbor Marinas discussed the value of public-private partnerships to address the aging infrastructure on properties owned by federal and state water managers.

Freedom Boat Club Collaborates with Safe Harbor Marinas

Safe Harbor Marinas (SHM) is collaborating with Freedom Boat Club on a nationwide promotion.

SHM customers who obtain a new SHM Platinum Card can receive customized rates and “stand by” access to the Freedom Boat Club fleet that is housed at SHM locations. The club operates from 14 SHM locations, but there are plans to expand to more locations in the future.

Baxter Underwood, CEO of Safe Harbor Marinas added, “This partnership demonstrates the power of our complementary national platforms. Together, we are offering Safe Harbor Members the ability to boat across the entire country with the nation’s premiere boat club.”

Freedom Boat Club has 16,000 members in 23 states and Canada making it the largest boat club in the nation.

Suntex Expands Its Portfolio in California

Lake Don Pedro Marina and Moccasin Point Marina in Tuolumne County, California, have been purchased by Suntex Marina Investors, LLC.

The facilities are located on Lake Don Pedro, the sixth largest reservoir in California. Moccasin Point Marina on the eastern side offers boat and slip rentals and a convenience store, while Lake Don Pedro Marina sits on the western shore and is a full-service facility with fuel, houseboat, ski boat, fishing boat and personal watercraft rentals, bait and tackle and other supplies.

These facilities join the other 45 Suntex properties located across the United States.

$14.7 Million for BIG Program This Year

In a ceremony held in Yorktown, Virginia, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke announced $14.7 million is the available funding for the 2017-18 Boating Infrastructure Grant (B.I.G.) Program.

B.I.G. provides grant money for the construction of boating facilities and amenities for transient boaters. To date the program has awarded more than $180 million for projects that include docks, power, water, restrooms, moorings, fuel docks and pumpouts.

The grants come through the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund that gets its money predominantly through an excise tax on boat gasoline and fishing tackle, making it a public pays, public benefits fund. Grant recipients must match at least 25 percent.

Private marinas, yacht clubs and municipal marinas can apply for these grants through their states. This year’s deadline to have the grants to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, administrator of the funds, is September 11.

For more information on the program visit

Law Permits Alcohol Sales at Smith Lake Marinas

Through a tweak in legislation, marinas on Smith Lake in Alabama can now be permitted to sell alcohol on-site despite being located in dry counties.

A 2016 law allowed for the formation of community development districts in dry counties which were mostly residential developments with golf courses and marinas with restaurants, but the law did not include Smith Lake and its 642 miles of shoreline.

The law was amended this year to designate commercial areas along Smith Lake as community districts opening the door for alcohol to be served on -premises at marinas that have at least 30 boats slips, an on-site restaurant with seating for at least 100 and obtain a business license with ABC Board approval.

Only one restaurant license is permitted per community development district, but each marina that serves alcohol under the law becomes a stand-alone community district. There are at least six marinas that would qualify, but so far just Trident Marina in Cullum County has become a community development district.

While alcohol can be served and consumed on land, it is still illegal to possess alcohol on boats on the lake.

Proponents of the law change cite the economic value of alcohol sales as the county will receive tax revenue from those sales and businesses will benefit from increased sales overall.

NBSAC Seeks Applicants

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council is seeking applicants to fill seven council seat vacancies. The council advises the U.S. Coast Guard on boating safety matters and meets at least twice a year.

Councilman serve terms of three years with a maximum of two full terms. Applications are to be made to the USCG by August 29 with positions opening on January 1, 2018. The application should include a resume and cover letter.

The council is seeking three representatives of state officials responsible for boating safety programs, two representatives of recreational boat and equipment manufacturers and two representatives of national recreational boating organizations or the general public.

For more information on NBSAC applications, please contact Jeff Ludwig, US Coast Guard, at 202.372.1061 or

June 2017

MS Marina Achieves Clean & Resilient Designation

Long Beach Harbor in Mississippi has been designated a Clean and Resilient Marina by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

The harbor met a series of best management practices and construction criteria, as well as complying with Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Quality rules and regulations. For the “clean” side of the award the criteria covered activities such as fuel handling, waste management, and boat cleaning. To achieve the “resilient” part of the award the facility elevated their harbor house about flood level, and had power pedestals built to be easily removed in the event of a storm.

Achieving the designation was a joint effort of the port commissioners, harbor master and city leaders. The harbor joins Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, and Pass Christian to become the fourth in the state to receive the award.

Florida Bill Addresses Anchoring and Abandoned Vessels

Florida has passed a bill that will help address the state’s problem with derelict and abandoned vessels, while also promoting public access.

HB 7043 was passed following and eight-year pilot program that was conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the cities of St. Augustine, Stuart, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Monroe County/Marathon Key/Key West. The study examined means to regulate anchoring while maintaining the anchoring rights of boaters, and also ways to reduce the state’s growing problem of abandoned and derelict boats.

The bill provides anchoring regulations for boats in and around mooring fields or other waterway infrastructure, adds penalties for boaters whose vessel registration has been expired for more than six months, allows local governments to require proof of pumpout for boats anchored more than ten days in a no-discharge-zone, and makes it illegal to tie a vessel to an unpermitted, unauthorized, or “unlawful object” that is affixed to submerged lands of the state.

Marine Travelift Partnership Gives Customers More Purchasing Power

Through a partnership with M2 Lease Funds, marina and boatyard operators can now lease and finance Marine Travelift equipment, such as boat hoists and forklifts, allowing them to save capital funds for future needs.

M2 Lease Funds provides fixed rate financing, seasonal payment options, and 100% financing on both new and used equipment. Through their non-tax capital lease, customers can also take advantage of the Section 179 tax deduction that allows the normal depreciation of equipment that usually spans over five to ten years, to be taken in the first year of ownership.

The lease program enables businesses to purchase the latest equipment with the newest innovations, potentially increasing their efficiency while lowering costs.

RIMTA Graduates First Superyacht Crew Training Class

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has graduated its first class of students from its four-week Superyacht Crew Training Program.

The course was a pilot program coordinated with Sarah Baines of Ship to Shore crew placement agency. The purpose was to give students an introduction to the lifestyle of the charter industry as well as the skills needed for employment. Hands-on training on several vessels was part of the course work.

Students who want to continue will take a Standard Training Certification and Watching course and look to find a live-aboard job in the fall.

Outside of the new training program, RIMTA is also offering five Summer Boatbuilding Programs for those 14 to 16 years old.

Go Boating NJ Campaign Continues For Another Year

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Go Boating NJ campaign is being continued for another year.

The program was started in 2013 as a means to share information on boating recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy filled in channels, destroyed marinas and navigational aides. The campaign gave boaters a place to learn how they could safely get out on the water.

The campaign has moved forward to promote boating and serve as a resource for not only finding launch sites and pumpouts, but also to find safety information, boating rules and regulations and clean boating practices. The website, serves as the main clearinghouse for information, but social media outlets and news releases are also part of the campaign.

Sponsors are being sought for the Go Boating NJ campaign to directly support the boating industry. Donations requested are $500 for MTA/NJ members or $900 for non-members. Sponsors will be listed on the campaign website, social media outlets and news releases.

Saunders Yachtworks and Marina Pez Vela Form Strategic Partnership

Saunders Yachtworks of Alabama and Marina Pez Vela of Costa Rica have formed a strategic partnership to better service boaters traveling the Gulf of Mexico and Central America.

Saunders Yachtworks is a full-service yacht yard for vessels up to 130 feet while Marina Pez Vela is a full-service marina with 195 wet slips and dry storage.

Marina Pez Vela also cites the value their staff will have in learning from and training with the expert technicians and craftsmen at Saunders. Saunders expects an increase in sales and service through the partnership.

“We’re thrilled to be affiliated with a yard in the States that has this level of expertise,” Duchesneau said. “Having the technical and managerial staff at Saunders available to provide education and training to our staff will allow us to take our service offerings to the next level,” said Jeff Duchesneau, General Manager of Marina Pez Vela.

Both companies will support each other at regional events like sportfishing tournaments and boat shows.

MTA/NJ Hands Out Student Awards

Three New Jersey students are the recipients of funds from the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey Foundation (MTA/NJ) to further their educational pursuits both in and out of the marine trades.

The MTA/NJ Foundation awarded a $1,500 scholarship to Arianna Hoffman whose mother is employed by Clarks Landing Marina in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. The Family Scholarship is given to trade association members’ children or their employees’ children for any higher education program.

Dan Wallach won the MTA/NJ outstanding student award for purchase of tools of the trade. Wallach is a student at Ocean County Vocational Technical School. Another Ocean County Vocational Technical School awardee was Matthew Erikson who received the Automotive Training Center Marine Technician Program scholarship to further his training. Erikson plans to become a Marine Technician once his training is completed.

The MTA/NJ Foundation has awarded $20,000 to students since 2006.

Knight Boat Docks Acquires S-K Marine

Pontoon dock manufacturer, S-K Marine has been acquired by Knight Boat Docks. The Washington based companies agreed to the acquisition upon the retirement of Norm Haikkila, founder of S-K Marine.

Knight will the S-K Marine brand and sell the product alongside their marina-grade commercial docks and EZ-Dock products.

The S-K manufacturing will move from Cusick to Deer Park Washington and all S-K employees have been offered employment with Knight.

S-K Marine was founded in 1975 as a pontoon boat manufacturer, but after nearly a decade of boats, Haikkila recognized pontoon floats could be used for docks and so gradually changed the company to dock fabrication.

FLIBS Will Remain at Bahia Mar Through 2050

Under a 30-year lease extension the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will remain housed at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel and Yachting Center through 2050.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), which owns the show, and Informa Exhibitions, the managers and producers, signed the lease that includes a 10-year extension option. The extension prompted the Fort Lauderdale City Commission to vote to allow Bahia Mar to submit a plan to redevelop the 39-acre property to better fit the needs of the boat show.

This year’s event will be held November 1 through 5 at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina and the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward County Convention Center.

PCC Joins AMI Affiliates

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has formed an affiliate partnership with the Pacific Coast Congress of Harbormasters and Port Managers (PCC).

All PCC members will automatically become AMI members and receive all the benefits of membership including access to International Marina Institute training programs and discounts to products, conferences and events. The partnership also allows PCC to extend its voice as a part of AMI’s national presence.

PCC joins the Tennessee Marina Association, Virginia Marine Trades Association, Marina Association of Texas, Midwest Marina Association and Boating British Columbia, as affiliates of AMI.

MBIA Contributes $20,000 to Marine Scholarship

The Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) is directly contributing $10,000 and providing an additional $10,000 matching grant to the Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation (RBIEF).

The RBIEF, founded in 1986, is a non-profit dedicated to supporting training and professional development to those in the recreational marine industry.

The scholarship funds are offered to MBIA members or their families for costs associated with professional development in the marine industry.

"We are pleased to support RBIEF, as it is a true benefit to our members and addresses a critical industry need,"”" MBIA board chairman Tom Haag, vice president of Colony Marine in St. Clair Shores, said in a statement. "Our goal is to create awareness for the many jobs available in our industry and help fill the employee gap and to build marine education programs in Michigan."

Belmar, NJ Beefs Up Fire Rules for Boat Storage

The City of Belmar, New Jersey, is proposing new boat storage regulations in the marine commercial districts designed to help prevent a repeat of a fire that occurred in February at Seaport Inlet Marina on the Shark River.

The new setback and safety standards would require all boats stored on racks to be at least 10 feet from all property lines and stacked no more than three levels, storage systems to be equipped with a fire extinguishing system, and boats and boat parts to be properly secured on the racks.

The fire at the Seaport Inlet Marina occurred when a worker was using an open-flame torch to apply shrink-wrap and the material caught fire. Twelve boats were destroyed and the surrounding neighborhood had to be evacuated. While no one was injured, the nearby residents raised concerns over the marina operations.

During the Fire Prevention Bureau’s annual inspection of the marina, 29 violations were found which have now been remedied. The facility now has an established procedure for shrink-wrap operations, a better delineated fire lane, fire proof cabinets for chemical and paint storage, and $5,000 worth of fire extinguishers. In addition, a sprinkler system will be installed in the rack storage area.

Maryland DEM Issues New General Permit for Discharges

The Maryland Department of the Environment (DEM) finalized the newest edition of the General Permit for Discharges from Marinas, effective August 1. Marinas and boatyards that allow boat maintenance or equipment cleaning on-site are required to get this permit, which allows for discharge from storm water and associated wastewater.

DEM updates the permit every few years and facilities need to remain in compliance with any new permit requirements.

Those wishing to obtain a permit must submit a Notice of Intent form, a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan and a check for appropriate fees.

Free training sessions on how to comply with the new permit are being held by the DEM on June 22 and July 14, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1800 Washington Boulevard in Baltimore, Maryland. The Maryland Clean Marina Program is also available to assist.

For more information on the permit visit

Lauderdale Marine Center Is Home to World’s First Marine Foreign Trade Zone

Lauderdale Marine Center of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is now home to the world’s first marine Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). The designation, received June 7, was the culmination of months of work by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, United States Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, industry experts and the marine center. The FTZ opens up many opportunities for marine businesses in the area.

Boats made in foreign countries can now come to the FTZ without having to pay an import duty and brokers can show and demonstrate these vessels to U.S. buyers legally within the FTZ. Outside of the FTZ import duties are imposed and dealers cannot show or sell foreign-made vessels. New builds brought to the states within the past three years can use the FTZ to file for a refund of previously paid duties.

The FTZ designation also benefits refit projects as duties can be deferred on imported parts and once the work is complete, the vessel can leave U.S. waters without having to pay duties or taxes.

Lauderdale Marine Center is expecting to see more brokers and builders bring and keep their inventory at the FTZ, which will help business development in the South Florida marine industry.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville Designated First Clean Marina

Hendricks Creek Marina on Dale Hollow Lake in Kentucky was designated a Clean Marina under a new program implemented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District.

The Cumberland River Basin Clean Marina Partnership in a partnership between the Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Kentucky Wildlife Resources Agency and the Cumberland River Compact. Modeled after the TVA Clean Marina program the initiative recognizes marinas that implement best management practices to reduce water pollution and erosion and work to promote environmental stewardship and clean boating practices.

Family owned and operated since 1953, Hendricks Creek Resort and Marina encompasses a full service marina with a 5,600 square foot service center, 24 houseboat rentals and seven cottages.

Florida Supreme Court Keeps Property Tax Exemption for City Marinas

The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously that city-owned marinas are not required to pay property taxes.

The decision came after owners of Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce filed suit in 2011 claiming that property-tax exemptions for government property should not apply to publicly owned marinas, in this case, Fort Pierce City Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf Marina. The lawsuit was against the city, the redevelopment agency, the St. Lucie County property appraiser and the Florida Department of Revenue.

In a brief, Harbortown owners claimed they were “disadvantaged by the differential tax treatment,” citing that property taxes were the second largest expense for a private marina and public marinas not having that expense had an unfair financial advantage. Their attorneys also argued that the intent of government properties not being taxed was that they served a municipal or public purpose which was not meant to include commercial facilities such as marinas.

However, Justice R. Fred Lewis of the Supreme Court issued a 24-page ruling stating that public marinas help meet transportation and recreational needs of coastal communities and ensure waterfront access.

"Municipalities across the state have struggled in recent years to protect both a view of and access to the water to the citizenry from the profit-oriented grips of developers seeking to privatize the waterfront through the construction of towering condominium and apartment buildings that block the waterfront from those who do not have the means or simply do not want to live in a condominium,"”" Lewis wrote.

IGY Marinas Partners with Boatyard

IGY Marinas has partnered with the mobile application Boatyard, which enables boaters to use their smartphones to schedule maintenance, captains, cleaning, fuel delivery and other services.

To further enhance the services, IGY Marinas’ Anchor Club Strategic Partners have been pre-loaded onto the app allowing for direct order and payment, as well as easy service scheduling to loyal customers. The app is currently being tested in five pre-loaded devices at One Island Park in Miami Beach. Once IGY ensures all their customers needs and requirements are met by the app, they will expand its use to other facilities.

Boatyard is available through iTunes and can be downloaded to all Apple device platforms.

MMTA Celebrates KIDS Boating Day

The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA) has named Saturday June 10 as Massachusetts KIDS Boating Day.

Events were held to encourage kids to get out on the water. Touch a Boat events were scheduled for Hingham, Newburyport and Nantucket and a KIDS Marina Open House at Charlestown Marina in Charlestown. Activities include tours of boats, boat rides, sand sculpture contests, boating safety education, boating themed exhibits and more.

Chairman Bill Straus of the Massachusetts Legislature’s Boating Caucus said, “Educating young children on the safety of boating and at the same time allowing them to enjoy all that boating has to offer prepares them for a lifetime of linking these experiences of safe boating on our waterways.”

For more information, visit

VA Marina Wins Clean & Green Business Award

Dandy Haven Marina of Hampton, Virginia, has won the Hampton Clean & Green Businesses Award.

The award was presented at the Hampton Waterways Restoration Project meeting, at Fort Monroe Community Center, on May 11.

Located on the Back River, Dandy Haven Marina is a family owned storage and repair facility established in 1964. From the beginning the marina recognized that recreational and commercial fishing are the two industries most impacted by water quality, and so the marina is determined to promote clean water.

The marina supports the efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Hampton watershed restoration, subaquatic grass transplantation/restoration (in association with The National Aquarium in Baltimore), sea horse habitat surveys, underwater bomb detection validations, and donation of concrete drainage pipe to Virginia’s Back River reef program. Since 1985, they have provided transportation for a William & Mary group that survey and protect seabird nesting sites, and they host the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Back River Tide Gauge.

Dandy Haven hosts two shoreline clean-ups each year, leases 49 acres of oyster grounds in support of restoration, and is a certified clean marina.

Andrew Gurkin, who received the award at the presentation, is a graduate of Chesapeake Bay foundation VoiCeS Program, is a novice vessel operator trainer for the National Safe Boating Council’s “Marina Pro” program, is a certified CERT emergency preparedness trainee, and is Past Vice-President of the Virginia Marine Trades Association.

ABYC Accepting Donated Vessels

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Foundation is accepting donations of new and used powerboats, sailboats and personal watercraft to raise funds for its programs.

"Proceeds from these donor boats will directly support efforts to train technicians and provide resources to the boating industry to design, manufacture and repair boats and equipment to the highest industry standards, resulting in safer product and a superior boating experience," said ABYC president John Adey.

Donors complete an online form about the boat they wish to release, the vessel details are reviewed to ensure the boat qualifies and then the boat is sold with proceeds going to the ABYC Foundation.

Donors will receive a tax deduction for supporting the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Sales are being conducted by Certified Sales Inc. which has partnered with ABYC.

MyTaskit Sees Rapid Growth

MyTaskit, a software platform for service work coordination, now has more than 1,000 commercial users, triple the number from just one year ago and the company has seen a 700 percent increase in registered boat owners who manage their service work and vessels with the online program.

The growth stems, in part, from the introduction of MyTaskit in the Great Lakes region, and through a contract with Suntex Marinas to have MyTaskit as its vendor or choice for service work coordination and management. Prime Marina Group also signed up to use MyTaskit at their multiple properties.

Rising Fuel Taxes in CA Will Help Boating Programs

California is raising its excise tax on gasoline and diesel fuel, which means funding for the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) will also rise.

A bill (CA SB 1) was recently passed in the state to designate a small portion of the new excise tax for the DBW. The excise taxes on gasoline and diesel will rise by 12 cents and 20 cents respectively, and the special diesel fuel sales tax will increase by four percent. These taxes combined with higher car registration fees should raise $52 billion in the state over the next ten years. This will add nearly $800 million to parks, off-highway vehicle and boating programs.

HydroHoist’s HP Extreme Wins Another Award

NWSA And BoatUS Present 2017 Leadership in Women’s Sailing Award The BoatUS/National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA) presented its 2017 Leadership in Women's Sailing Award to Linda Lindquist-Bishop.

The award is given to an individual with a record of achievement in inspiring, educating and enriching the lives of women through sailing.

From racing 470’s and Lasers in her early teens, to becoming the first female sailing master at her yacht club, Lindquist-Bishop has been a leader in sailing. She raced J24’s and then went on to lead the SC70 team that broke every record on the Great Lakes. From there she made history as a member of the first all-women’s America’s Cup team on America3 and has gone on to sail on more than 100 teams over the past 28 years, winning two world championships.

Lindquist-Bishop founded the non-profit Rising Tide Leadership Institute to teach the correlation between skills needed in high-technology sports and skills needed to compete and lead in the global economy. She is also president of Courageous Thinking Inc. and a regular public speaker, using these roles to help create leadership opportunities for women in sports and business, and challenging women to break glass ceilings and achieve their dreams.

The award was presented by NWSA President Linda Newland at the NWSA Women’s Sailing Conference held in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Marine Travelift 100 BFMII Delivered to The Port of Coos Bay

Marine Travelift 100 BFMII

Marine Travelift 100 BFMII

The Port of Coos Bay in Oregon is the recipient of a new Marine Travelift 100 BFMII mobile boat hoist.

The 100 metric ton machine will increase the port’s lifting capacity allowing for service to a much wider range of vessels traveling along the west coast. The port is home to three local marine businesses that support repair and construction services that will also benefit from the added capacity.

The new lift features a wireless remote control, LED light package, and sound suppression kit. The lift also comes with an additional bolting flange that allows for widening of the machine in the field to accommodate the port’s future planned slip expansion project.

"From large steel construction to fiberglass construction, all of our customers have been extremely happy with the triple strapping fore and aft in order to distribute weight more efficiently – particularly with our wooden boats,” said John Buckley, Harbormaster at the Charleston Shipyard.

IBEX Industry Breakfast to Feature “Miracle on Ice” Goalie

Jim Craig to Keynote IBEX Industry Breakfast

Jim Craig to Keynote IBEX Industry Breakfast

The 2017 International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference's (IBEX) Industry Breakfast will feature a keynote by the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” US Hockey Team Goalie Jim Craig.

In the 1980 Olympics, the US Hockey team beat the Soviet Union becoming one of the most extraordinary sports wins of all time. The success was attributed to exceptional teamwork with Jim Craig known as the “heart and soul” of the team. Craig’s work ethic and determination on the ice turned into a successful 30-year sales career where he turned his teamwork principles into business methods. He will share his thoughts on how to develop a team-oriented environment that will help businesses overcome many challenges.

The breakfast will be held on Tuesday, September 19th from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel in the Grand Ballroom. The event will also include several boating industry awards’ presentations from IBEX, the National Marine Manufacturers, National Marine Representatives Association and Boating Industry.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at

NMMA Recognizes Boat Dealers with CSI Awards

For the first time the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has awarded its Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Awards to boat dealers, recognizing 785 dealers for excellence in customer satisfaction in sales and another 691 for excellence in customer service.

Previously the CSI Awards honored only boat and engine manufacturers, but this year NMMA used dealer satisfaction data collected through the Marine Industry CSI program to honor boat dealers. Those achieving a 90 percent or higher standard of excellence in customer satisfaction over the past program year receive the award.

Customers who purchase a new boat or engine between January and December in a given year, are surveyed to measure their satisfaction with the dealer and the buying process. Last year data was collected from 122,000 customers.

"Boat dealers play a vital role in fostering customer satisfaction and upholding a positive ownership experience through their approach to sales and service and it’s critical that we not only measure and understand their role, but recognize those dealers who excel at serving boaters," notes Robert Newsome, vice president of engineering standards and membership for NMMA.

The complete list of 2016 CSI Awards can be found at

Celebrate National Fishing & Boating Week

June 3 to 11 is National Fishing and Boating Week—a week of events and activities to encourage more people to participate in boating and fishing.

As part of the celebration many states offer free fishing days and several organizations hold events such as fishing derbies, boat parades, and how-to clinics. Current boaters and fishermen are asked to teach someone new about the fun on the water and share photos and stories on social media.

On users can find places to boat and fish, and through Twitter feed @Take_Me_Fishing, users can post #FirstCatch photos.

For more details visit TakeMeFishing.Org.

SOBA Presents Congressional Award

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) received the 2017 Congressional Award from the State’s Organization for Boating Access (SOBA).

The award recognizes a Congressman or Senator who has made significant contributions to public boating access.

Senator Scott is a member of the Congressional Boating Caucus and a leader in conservation and promotion of recreational boating facilities and opportunities both in South Carolina and nationwide.

New OR Law Allows Butanol

Governor Kate Brown of Oregon has signed OR SB 19, which lifts the ban on butanol as a gasoline additive.

This is a positive for recreational boating as tests conducted through the National Marine Manufacturers Association showed butanol did not harm marine engines. It has a higher energy value than ethanol and does not attract water causing phase separation.

The bill further permits the State Department of Agriculture to adopt rules to compel gasoline retailers to clearly disclose the percentage of additives in gasoline that consumers are purchasing at the pump.

Renovation Planned for Saquatucket Harbor Marina

The town of Harwich, Massachusetts, has requested a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, to dredge, and renovate Saquatucket Harbor marina.

The plan is to demolish all existing floating docks, conduct maintenance dredging of the town and Federal Navigation Project anchorages, and reconstruct and reconfigure the marina’s float system to add more berthing.

The permit request includes a proposal to use any sand-based dredged materials to renourish a nearby beach, while other sediments will be taken to Rhode Island Sound Disposal Site. The estimated volume of dredging is 17,100 cubic yards.

May 2017

HydroHoist’s HP Extreme Wins Another Award

HydroHoist Marine Group’s HP Extreme won Boating Industry’s 2017 Top Product of the Year award.

The HP Extreme is a personal watercraft port with patented roller-support, polyethylene construction using Expanded Polystyrene (ESP) Foam, and adjustable rollers that accommodate all models of watercraft. It also includes an “air pillow” bow stop, flat anti-skid surface, and simple load and launch.

This is the second award for the HP Extreme, which also received the Innovation Award from the Marine Recreation Association of California.

"The HP Extreme is the easiest load and launch of any PWC docking platform on the market, with features unmatched by any in the boatlift industry," said HydroHoist President and CEO Mick Webber.

Life Jacket Loaner Program Guide Now Available

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water has created the “How To Set Up a Life Jacket Loaner Program” guide to provide instruction on how to put together a site, publicity materials and information on free and discounted resources.

This is a no-cost program that allows any boating location, such as marinas or yacht clubs, to set up areas where boating patrons can borrow life jackets. Educational and promotional materials can be ordered or simply downloaded and printed. Through a partnership with Stearns, the BoatUS Foundation is also able to offer discounts on life jackets with a minimum order of twelve on vest-style Type II and Type III jackets.

For more information visit

Freedom Boat Club Celebrates National Safe Boating Week

In recognition of the kick off to National Safe Boating Week, Freedom Boat Club employees across the U.S. wore life jackets to work on Monday, May 22.

The organization further celebrated the week by distributing a boating safety social meme and poster, and sharing safety-oriented blogs and images. Seventeen of the southwest Florida corporate locations, along with several other locations, hosted safety-themed member contests, including a promotion inviting Facebook friends to create t-shirt slogans in recognition of Freedom Boat Club’s existing “Boat Safe. Have Fun” safety program.

Finally, the company asked members to “Take the Pledge” in ensuring skippers remain sober and responsible for their passengers. “Take the Pledge” is a Sea Tow Foundation initiative under its “Designated Skipper” program. For more information, visit

Registration Opens for IBEX Seminars

Registration is now open for the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) seminar series. With more than 70 educational sessions, there are topics of interest to most in the boatbuilding, design and repair industries.

This year’s series includes eight tracks: Design & Engineering; Composite Methods & Materials; Onboard Systems; Marine Electrical Systems; Manufacturing Management & Policy; Survey & Repair; Boatyard & Marina Operations; and IBEX Extras. Beyond the seminar series, IBEX also offers free Tech Talk Workshops and pre-conference Super Sessions.

The Tech Talk workshops are free to all attendees. The fee to attend the seminar series is $60 with a ten percent discount to those who register before August 25 and the. Super Sessions will be priced separately. Continuing Education Units are available.

For questions about the Seminar Series, please contact Sarah Devlin, education director,

IBEX will be held at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, Monday, September 18 through Thursday, September 21.

Marine Travelift Completes Annual Service School

To ensure its distributors and service technicians are trained on the latest technological advances in travelift equipment, Marine Travelift’s Customer Care team completed its annual service school.

The two-week course held at the company’s Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin facility, covered new innovations in remote diagnostics and display modules that can reduce maintenance costs and increase efficiency, and included troubleshooting for new machine improvements. The new remote diagnostic system simplifies communication by allowing offsite technicians to troubleshoot and upload new programs. The overall goal is for technicians to be able to better serve customers.

"We rely on Marine Travelift’s service school to keep up-to-date with global innovations in hoist technology," said Kim Edds, operations manager of Shul-Mar Equipment. "Marine Travelift’s continuous investment in their product, particularly the remote diagnostic system, allows us to work in tandem with the factory to provide more efficient service to our boatyard customers."

IMI Kicks Off Safety Webinar Series

The International Marina Institute, a subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries is starting a twelve-month webinar safety series on June 7.

Each month a different topic will be covered in a one-hour session, running from noon to 1:00p.m. Eastern time.

The first session focuses on the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard. This includes information on product labeling, safety data sheets, and other means to ensure hazardous material identification is easy for your employees.

Kellie Crete of the Gowrie Group will host the first webinar. Crete works with commercial and non-profit organizations as head of Gowrie Group’s Safety & Loss Control Practice.

For more information visit International Marina INstitute: Safety University - Webinar Series

"Kids In Boating" Gives Grants

The first round of grants has been awarded through the Massachusetts Marine Trades Educational Trust’s (MMTET) "Kids In Boating" program, which provides funding for non-profit youth programs in Massachusetts that work to get kids on the water.

Seven awardees received a total of $6,600 with grant amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500. The recipients include: Bourne Community Boating, Sail Salem Community Boating, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, Greater Fall River RE-CREATION, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, Crossroads MA and Outward Bound.

For more information visit:

Cornell University To Study The Impact of High Water

Cornell University is conducting a survey to measure the impact of high water levels to waterfront properties along southern and eastern Lake Ontario.

Through rapid response funding from New York Sea Grant, the project was started in response to stakeholders who asked for a standardized method to collect data on high water impacts to identify vulnerable areas and to help in community flood risk planning.

A pilot survey was sent out in Sodus Bay in Wayne County, New York. Responses are being accepted until August 31, 2017. The survey can be taken at

As a next step, a survey for the St. Lawrence River region is currently being developed.

IGY Marinas’ Outreach Event Returns June 10

Inspire Giving Through You, IGY Marinas’ annual day of giving back will be held on June 10. The day brings together IGY Marinas staff, partners and customers to spend a day working with nonprofits in the communities where IGY Marinas are located.

"We are looking forward to this summer’s ‘Inspire Giving through You’ community outreach events, as they allow us to team up with multiple participants from our industry and beyond to gain better exposure for the charities and entities we are seeking to support. Getting the industry excited about improving their communities not only benefits the nonprofits, but also the destinations as a whole. This ultimately improves the quality of life in the region, bringing more travelers to the area, more volunteerism and more economic impact," said Tom Mukamal, CEO of IGY Marinas.

This year’s events will include a clean-up on the Santa Fe River in Gainesville, Florida; beautification of the Montauk Harbor in Montauk, New York; clean-up and repair of Camp Homeward Bound in New York; collecting school supplies for the children at Baháí Rojas in Bocas del Toro, Panama; a shore clean-up and recycling initiative in Petersburg, Florida; landscaping the Jack and Jill Children’s Learning Center in South Florida; and helping to feed the homeless at the Central Union Mission in Washington, DC.

Volunteers and donations are still needed. For more information contact Kay Mellinger at

CMTA Receives Co-Host Marketing Awards at ABC

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) received the American Boating Congress (ABC) Co-Host Marketing Award.

The award is given each year to the co-host of ABC who shows the best effort in promoting and marketing the event to their audiences, building enthusiasm for boating advocacy and well as encouraging attendance. This year’s event had 25 co-hosts from recreational boating industry organizations.

Soon after ABC closed last year, the CMTA launched their marketing campaign to promote this year’s event. The association used daily and weekly newsletters, emails and social media, and also met with Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy to encourage his support of the Boating Caucus and to ask him to welcome members to his Capitol Hill office during ABC 2017. CMTA also created a presentation for its annual meeting touting the importance of ABC to the recreational boating industry.

The award was presented by Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association that organizes the ABC each year.

Photos are now being accepted for the 2017 Marina Dock Age Photo Contest

This year Marina Dock Age is looking for photos that show off the boating and marina lifestyle at your facility. Whether it’s a shot from an event or a typical day of work, a candid of your customers or employees, or a picture of your marina or a boat, we want to see it.

The winner and all runner-ups will be featured in the July/August 2017 issue of Marina Dock Age. The deadline for submissions is June 16.

Email your high-resolution images (300 dpi) to Anna Townshend at

NECA Features Electric Shock Drowning for Electrical Safety Month

National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has joined with the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) for Electrical Safety Month with a special education campaign and resources.

This year’s theme is "Decoding the National Electrical Code (NEC) to Prevent Shock and Electrocution" and features information specific to electric shock drowning.

"The NEC is updated every three years to include the latest in proven safety technology, and the NECA is committed to educating the public about the important upgrades that can help prevent shock and electrocution,” said NECA Director of Safety, Wes Wheeler. "This year’s resources focus on common hazards including non-safeguarded electrical outlets and lesser-known causes such as electric shock drowning."

Campaign materials for electric shock drowning contain information on what electric shock drowning is such as that it has no visible warning and causes paralysis of muscles, and provides information on what to do if you see electric shock drowning.

The literature also highlights that the new NEC requires marinas and boatyards to have ground-fault protection and suggests boaters ensure the facilities that store and service their boats are in compliance.

To see the flyer available for this issue visit

MIASF Named 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) was awarded the 2017 Economic Development Partner of the Year award by Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

The award was presented during a luncheon that was attended by 600 members and guests of the Alliance and featured a keynote by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Adam Putnam.

The award was given in recognition of MIASF’s position as the largest marine trade organization in the southeast and its dedication to promoting, protecting and growing jobs in the marine industry both in Broward County and regionally. In addition, MIASF has worked with the alliance to establish South Florida as a global marine research hub, and also hosts the annual International Marine Hub Luncheon during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

New Leadership at NMTC

At its annual spring meeting, the National Marine Trades Council (NMTC), named Melissa Danko, executive director of Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, its new chairman.

Created in 1972, NMTC is an informal organization of marine trades association representatives from across the country. The group meets twice a year to discuss topics of interest to trade associations, from boat show logistics, to current legislation, to association administration.

Danko, the 2015 recipient of the Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year award and long-time champion of the marine industry both in New Jersey and nationally, takes over leadership from Nicki Polan, executive director of Michigan Boating Industries Association.

Polan commented, "It is a very rewarding experience to chair a group comprised of your peers and the past two years have been great. NMTC has been meeting for more than 40 years and, while we are all very busy, we always make time for this group recognizing how valuable shared experiences and information can be."

For more information on NMTC contact Melissa Danko at

Celebrate Michigan Boating Week June 10-16

"Michigan Boating Week" will be held June 10 to 16, 2017. This annual event highlights the value of the recreational boating industry both economically and as family-friendly pursuit, improving the quality of life of Michigan citizens.

A host of free boating events that are open to the public occur during Michigan Boating Week and can be found on and The week is a collaborative effort of the Michigan Boating Industries Association, Michigan State Waterways Commission, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Pure Michigan.

Michigan has the third largest boating market in the country with a million registered boats and a $7.4 billion economic impact. The state offers 1,300 public access sites, 1.064 marinas and 80 Harbors of Refuge.

Pumpout Washington Keeps Waterways Clean

Ten million gallons of raw sewage has been diverted from Puget Sound, Lake Washington and other Washington state waterways due to the Washington Clean Vessel Act.

Pumpout Washington, a collaborative project of Washington State Parks, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Washington Sea Grant, has been providing outreach, training and education to boaters and boater organization on the damaging effects of dumping sewage and the best management practices to keep sewage out of the waterways.

One of the most successful efforts has been a hands-free, spill-free pumpout adapter kit that was redesigned by Washington Sea Grant. The kit makes it easier for boaters to use pumpout facilities. In 2016, 2000 of the adapter kits were distributed to 50 marinas.

Also key to the program’s success is the continued education and promotion of the value of installing and using pumpout facilities. Since 2010, 65 new pumpout facilities have been installed in the state for a total of 150. Representatives from Pumpout Washington raise awareness of pumpout use at boat shows, festivals, yacht clubs and through local Coast Guard Auxiliary branches.

The team at Pumpout Washington plans to expand services to more remote waterways that also have heavy boat traffic, particularly near the San Juan Islands, Sucia Island.

For more information about the program, including a Google map showing pump out station locations in Washington state, visit

The Ridges Marina Acquired by Suntex

Suntex Marinas has acquired The Ridges Marina on Lake Chatuge in Georgia.

The property has over 300 covered slips, a fuel dock, ships store, pontoon rentals and an on-site restaurant, Lake Chatuge Lighthouse. An adjacent resort provides tennis courts, a pool and fitness center. Plans are for extensive reinvestment in the marina over the next year.

“We are really looking forward to being part of the Suntex family of marinas,” The Ridges Marina general manager Michael Kennedy said in a statement. “Our team is already working hard with Suntex management to bring about several exciting enhancements to the property in 2017.”

“The Ridges Marina is truly a beautiful location with fantastic amenities and unlimited potential,” said Bryan Redmond, founding principal of Suntex.

The Ridges joins 34 Suntex marinas across the country.

ActiveCaptain Acquired by Garmin Ltd.

Garmin Ltd. has acquired Active Corp., the developer of ActiveCaptain—a user-generated marine database of information about marinas, anchorages, points of interest and marine hazards worldwide.

ActiveCaptain has 250,000 users and hopes to expand that number, while integrating with Garmin Products, although no specifics have yet been determined.

“There is really nothing else out there that compares to the depth and breadth of the ActiveCaptain database,” Garmin president and CEO Cliff Pemble said in a statement. “Mariners rely on ActiveCaptain to make their voyages better informed and more enjoyable, and we are delighted to add this technology to the Garmin portfolio.”

Karen and Jeffrey Siegel, the founders and sole employees of ActiveCaptain will become employees of Garmin International.

IBEX Accepting Entries for the 2017 Innovation Awards

Entries for the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) 2017 Innovation Awards are now being accepted.

The award recognizes top visionaries and new boating products. A panel of industry journalists will review the entries which will also be displayed along Innovation Way during IBEX.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 19, during the Industry Breakfast

Entries will be accepted until August 4. Entry forms and more details can be found here

MyTaskit Partners with Valsoft

With the goal of building an extensive software product for the marine industry, MyTaskit and Montreal-based Valsoft have formed a partnership, that also brings back the DockMaster name for one of MyTaskits most popular business management products.

Both companies have agreed to continue selling, marketing and enhancing both DockMaster and MyTaskit Pro which is used for the coordination of work tasks.

“When Valsoft approached us, they were looking to invest in the continued success of our marine software products,” said Kevin Hutchinson, MyTaskit CEO and founder. “As our discussions evolved, we found that by committing to a strategic collaboration, we would be able grow the capabilities and demand for both of our products. This partnership focuses on delivering more extensive product solutions to our existing customers and the marine industry as a whole, while also opening up opportunities to partner with other niche marine software providers.”

Valsoft has acquired the intellectual property for DockMaster and intends to keep looking to acquire additional software companies that are complimentary to DockMaster.

All contacts and offices will remain unchanged for MyTaskit.

Registration Opens for IBEX

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) has opened registration. The event will be held September 19 to 21 at the Tampa Convention Center, in Tampa, Florida.

With 600 exhibitors and an estimated audience of 7,000, IBEX is North America’s leading recreational marine industry trade show. This year’s show will feature a new Marina & Yard pavilion, and new Country Pavilions from South Korea, Australia, and China. IBEX also houses a Composites Pavilion, Electronics Pavilion and Compliance, Standards and Education Pavilion and hosts an Education Conference, and Industry Breakfast.

IBEX is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and RAI Amsterdam. For more information, visit

NMMA-Canada Study Shows Recreational Boating Generates $10 Billion

A new study by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)-Canada reports the recreational boating industry in Canada generates $5.6 billion in GDP, supports nearly 75,000 jobs, and has revenues of $10 billion.

The study, “The Economic Impact of Recreational Boating in Canada: 2016” further found that the boating industry generates $2.9 billion in annual salaries and wages, contributes $868 million in annual taxes and subsidies, and that Canadians own 8.6 million boats. All figures cited were an increase of 11 percent of more over numbers from 2012.

The recreational boating industry for this report is defined as boat and accessory manufacturers, Reboat and accessory dealers, marina operators, repair and maintenance shops, schools and boat clubs, and other related companies.

The study was conducted by Hickling Arthurs Low on behalf of NMMA Canada and in cooperation with the recreational boating industry’s national marketing program, Discover Boating Canada, and Canada’s regional marine trade associations.

The complete study is now available for NMMA members to download at and

METSTRADE 2017 Will Continue to Expand

METSTRADE 2017 has already sold 92 percent of its floor space for this year’s 30th anniversary event in Amsterdam, from November 14 to November 16.

Three pavilions for the superyacht, construction and materials and marina sectors are growing. The Superyacht Pavilion is nearly booked with the U.S. again showing a strong presence.

Also gaining more attention is the Construction and Material Pavilion that will be 10 percent larger this year and feature information on composites and alternatives for boat building materials.

The Marina & Yard Pavilion has a new layout allowing for expansion.

An Electric & Hybrid Showcase will focus on innovative forms of propulsion that are environmentally friendly and offer opportunity for “greening” construction.

METSTRADE 2017 is expecting 1,500 exhibitors and 120 of them are new this year. Show organizers believe this points towards the show attracting the next generation of maritime companies.

For more information visit

MRA Offers Legal Training Seminar

The Marine Recreation Association (MRA) is offering a training seminar “Legal Issues in Your Daily Operations,” on Tuesday, July 11 at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond, California.

The seminar will cover common problems such as best practices to minimize liability exposure from vendors and customers, how to comply with the latest from the Americans with Disabilities Act, and ways to avoid suits and penalties under the Clean Water Act.

Presenters for the half-day session are Lynn Krieger, Partner, Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard, and Smith, LLP and Michael Vinding, Esq., Brady & Vinding. For more information, click here.

Washington Passes New Pilotage Bill Passes

The Northwest Marine Trades Association (NMTA) Pilotage Bill (SB 5262) has passed in Washington, allowing for superyachts to be exempt from having to hire a harbor pilot on the Puget Sound.

Strongly supported by NMTA, the bill exempts private yachts and small passenger vessels of less than 1,300 gross tons and no more than 200 feet from needing a pilot once they complete the pilotage exemption process.

According to NMTA, the exemption will encourage more superyachts to visit Washington and bring more business to marinas, boatyards and other marine businesses.

NMMA Urges Support of Modern Fish Act

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is urging the marine industry to support the H.R. 2023 Modern Fish Act.

The act, introduced by U. S. Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA), Gene Green (D-TX), Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Rob Wittman (R-VA), would allow for alternative management of recreational fishing, reexamine fisheries allocations while rebuilding fishery stocks, establish exemptions for annual catch limits and improve recreational data collection.

Fisheries management for years has only considered commercial fishing, but with urging from the recreational industry, there is now a recognition of the value and significance of recreational fishing, which this bill would further highlight.

NMMA is asking industry to reach out to their congressmen to urge support of the Modern Fish Act. To find out more visit

NADRA Touts Deck Safety Month

May is Deck Safety Month ® and according the North American Decking and Railing Association (NADRA), the time for deck builders, contractors and inspectors to promote deck safety to their customers.

NADRA is offering a marketing toolkit to industry professionals to help them spread the word about deck safety. The kit contains infographics and logos, flyers, and press release and social media content, as well as a 10-poinit consumer checklist, and deck evaluation and inspection forms. The evaluation form is a detailed guide on how to evaluate the integrity of the deck structure, stairs surface and railings.

NADRA, in partnership with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), has created the Deck Inspection Certification Course to improve contractors’ skill sets and make them more marketable to consumers. The course is an ASHI-approved continuing education program.

For more information, visit

MacDougall’s Sees High ROI With MyTaskit Module

A study completed at MacDougall’s Cape Cod Marine Services in Massachusetts revealed the boatyard’s purchase of MyTaskit Pro’s Coordination Module provided a return on investment of 15 times in just the first month, reduced billing time by 44 percent, and reduced administrative hours by 80 minutes per day.

The research was conducted by Marine Business Advisors, an independent research firm, in late 2016.

MacDougall’s had been using My Taskit Pro’s Operations module, but has just added the Coordination Module which enabled it to move its paper-based system for work orders, time sheets and job cards to an online system. As a result, cash flow and operational efficiencies improved and productivity increased. Time spent on informational gathering was reduced by half as was time spent on internal communications. Unauthorized overtime was also cut by 50 percent.

"Implementation of the Coordination module decreased the time to close our month by reducing the time to finalize billing by an average of eight days," said Terri Cardosi, MacDougalls' Cape Cod Marine Services comptroller. "This allows our company to better track our financial position and make changes as necessary."

The full study can be found at

Outdoor Industry Association Releases Annual Economic Report

The 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economy Report has been released by the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA).

The report highlights that the outdoor recreation economy annually generates $887 billion in consumer spending, $65.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $59.2 billion in state and local tax revenue. In addition, outdoor recreation sustains 7.6 million American jobs, while also providing health benefits which lower health care costs.

Specific to the boating industry, water sports, including boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, surfing, scuba and stand-up paddle boarding, add $139.9 billion in direct spending, $10.6 billion in federal taxes and $9.6 billion in state taxes. Water sports also provide 1,234,876 jobs with $43.8 billion in wages.

Outdoor Recreation Industry Offers Suggestions to DOI and USFWS

Members of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) hosted a meeting with 30 of their representatives and officials from the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), including new Secretary Ryan Zinke, and the U.S. Forest Service. The purpose was to discuss how to improve visitor experiences on public lands and waters.

The group discussed the role public-private partnerships can have in improving infrastructure, increasing opportunities and modernizing facilities. Particularly noted was that public-private partnerships can capitalize on industry efforts such as Discover Boating and TakeMeFishing, to promote awareness and support for outdoor recreation.

ORIR members identified the crucial role that access plays in outdoor recreation noting streamlining the permitting processes and building partnerships between state fish and wildlife agencies and the recreation industry can help enhance access. Ideas were offered to reduce the maintenance backlog at recreation facilities including extending concessions contracts, service hours and seasons, restructuring fee retention and finding more efficient fee collection systems, and reducing barriers to private investment.

Secretary Zinke noted that his priorities included cultural changes within DOI, a focus on infrastructure, and support for public-private partnerships. He plans to work with the business community and also a reorganization of DOI to better meet the needs of the various divisions that impact recreation.

Among participants in the meeting were representatives from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), BoatUS, American Recreation Coalition, Bass Pro, and American Sportfishing Association.

New England Boatworks Receives RI Clean Marina Designation

New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, received the state’s Clean Marina designation.

The facility encompasses 28.75 acres of land and 8.5 acres of boat basin and houses a boatbuilding operation, full-service marina, refit and repair services and haulout and storage. The complexity of the marina makes it the largest and most diverse Clean Marina recipient in the state’s program.

Outside of completing the voluntary best management practices of the Clean Marina Program, New England Boatworks is also working with Clean Ocean Access to install a trash skimmer at its fuel dock. Funded by 11th Hour Racing, reduces marina debris and raises awareness of the types of debris that land in coastal waters. Two similar skimmers collected more than 6,000 pounds of debris in four months in Newport Harbor.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Volvo Ocean Race skipper Charlie Enright and Janet Coit, director of the state Department of Environmental Management spoke at the award ceremony.

Recreational Boating Groups Ask President to Reconsider the Renewable Fuel Standard

The American Sportfishing Association, BoatUS, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas have sent a letter to President Donald Trump and lawmakers highlighting the damaging effects that the Renewable Fuel Standard has had on the boating public.

The Renewable Fuel Standard went into effect in 2005 as a means to lessen the country’s dependence on traditional gasoline and oil. The law mandates levels of biofuels that must be blended with gasoline. However, the blended fuels proved to cause damages to boat and other small engines.

Despite the prediction that use of gasoline would continue to rise creating the need for more renewable fuels, gasoline use has dropped, yet the law mandates more corn ethanol be blended into fewer gallons of gasoline.

Due to the damaging effects, the law prohibits the use of blends above 10 percent in boat engines, yet marine industry argues that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has done little to inform consumers which fuel to use when they are at a fuel pump. With higher blends coming to market this has increased the likelihood of misfuelling.

The letter said the RFS “has discriminatorily affected the boating public — groups of boaters and anglers who purchase fuel for their boats,” according to BoatUS. “We write to ask that you to set a new course for the RFS — one that takes into account the objective concerns expressed by the boating community.”

AZ Governor to Consider Bill to Remove Ban on Isobutanol

A bill that would remove Arizona’s ban on gasoline blends containing isobutanol has been approved by the Arizona legislature. HB 2368 has been sent to Governor Doug Ducey for his signature.

Following testing by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Department of Energy, isobutanol proved to be less damaging to marine engines and more resistant to phase separation than ethanol. Isobutanol has consequently become a more preferred fuel alternative, but its current availability is limited.

The Oregon Senate will soon be voting on a similar bill in that state.

TN Rains Disrupt Boating Season for Area Marinas

East Tennessee’s heavy rains raised Noris Lake by 6.5 feet above its average summer pool. This has left marinas dealing with underwater docks and floating debris.

At Norris Lake Marina, dock hands are checking winches that hold the dock cables in place every few hours and have had to ferry customers to their boats because the decking was underwater. The water rose so quickly staff stayed on site 24/7 to ensure the safety of the docks and boats.

The marina also rents boats, but stopped over concerns the boats would run into problems with all the floating debris that is on the lake.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which manages the lake, is asking boaters to use caution and wear lifejackets. The authority is also working to get the lake levels back down to summer pool levels but acknowledges this will take some time as there is so much water

XL Lifts Now Distributes MYMIC Equipment Checklist Apps

XL Lifts is now an authorized distributor of MYMIC Training Technologies’ Electronic Marine Equipment Checklist (eMEC) and Heavy Equipment Checklist smartphone apps.

MYMIC designs the checklists to ensure all the most pertinent safety-related components of the user’s equipment are included, such as tire condition, engine belts and finger guards. Having the checklists readily available in apps provides an automated way to conduct pre-operation inspections on heavy equipment, such as forklifts and hydraulic trailers.

The apps simplify maintenance inspections as users can scan a bar code on each piece of equipment and the manufacturer’s recommended inspection form automatically launches. Inspection reports are recorded and stored in the cloud and available anytime through the Web or a smartphone. Having readily available reports also puts a facility in compliance with OSHA safety standards. Download a free demo at Launches New Environmental Focus

METSTRADE Online Community is hosting information and discussions on sustainability and environmental issues across all marine industry sectors.

These themes have been regularly presented at METSTRADE annual event, so adding the topics to the was a natural extension. METSTRADE 2015 hosted The Future of Yacht Recycling and in 2016 presented Sustainability in the Marine Industry. These topics will be the launch pad for the new online discussions with articles being presented on the website each week.

The first Sustainability article was published this week.

Kids In Boating Opens Grant Application

Kids In Boating, an initiative to support non-profit youth boating programs in Massachusetts, is now taking applications.

Started by the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association and Massachusetts Marine Trades Education, Kids In Boating is designed to get more kids out on the water in a safe and smart manner. The goal is to look for opportunities where support can be given either financially or through ideas or events, to existing youth programs.

“By getting more kids involved in boating at an early age, they are more apt to continue boating when they are older,” said Randall Lyons Massachusetts Marine Trades Association executive director.

In addition, by creating an interest in the boating environment at a young age, this may lead to opening the door to more career avenues for marine related jobs in the future, Lyons said.

Grant amounts will range from $500 to $1,500 with a preference given to Massachusetts Marine Trades Association members and organizations. The program is sponsored by 3A Marine, Robalo Boats, MyTaskit and Newburyport Marinas.

Join The BoatUS Life Jacket Loaner Program

BoatUS has improved its application process for Life Jacket Loaner locations.

The program allows marinas, boat clubs, waterfront restaurants and government agencies to apply to become a location where free children’s life jackets are available for short-term use. Each location receives a free kit that includes 12 child life jackets in a variety of sizes and promotional materials. There is no cost to set up a loaner location and the BoatUS Foundation simply asks owners to track jacket usage with a sign-out system.

There are 550 Life Jacket Loaner locations across the U.S. that loan life jackets over 140,000 times each year. For more information, visit

Suntex Acquires All Loggerhead Marina Properties

Suntex Marina Investors, LLC (Suntex) has acquired all eleven Loggerhead Marina properties located throughout Florida. This acquisition makes Suntex the largest marina operator in Florida.

Loggerhead facilities have a combined 3,000 slips that are located in luxury locations along both coasts of Florida. All the marinas are certified Clean Marinas and also participate in the Responsible Boating Initiative.

In addition to the overall marina purchase, Suntex has also committed to maintain a philanthropic partnership with Loggerhead Marinelife Center, becoming one of its largest corporate donors. The Loggerhead Marinelife Center is a non-profit focused on ocean and sea turtle conservation. The center includes a sea turtle hospital, houses a variety of coastal and ocean-based exhibits, and provides outreach programs to children. About 300,000 guests visit the center each year.

“Not only are the Loggerhead properties the perfect complement to our existing marina portfolio, they share our deep and driving commitment to the environment and clean and responsible boating,” added Mitchell E. Jones, principal of Suntex. “Every Loggerhead property participates in the Responsible Boating Initiative and we will apply those same practices to all of our Suntex locations.”

“We are honored to receive such a sizeable donation from Suntex Marinas,” said Jack E. Lighton, president and CEO, Loggerhead Marinelife Center. “As a non-profit organization, our vital work is dependent on the generosity of companies like Suntex Marinas. What is even more important for the environment is that Suntex is spreading our message beyond our location and applying our Responsible Boating Initiative to all of its properties. As a conservationist, the greatest gift you can receive is to be joined by others equally dedicated to your cause.”

The Suntex portfolio of 43 marinas are located in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma. For more information about Suntex or the Loggerhead Marinelife Center visit,

MD Clean Marina Offers Two Webinars on Climate Resilience

Maryland Clean Marina Program is offering two webinars in partnership with the Chesapeake Bay Program's "Businesses for the Bay” aimed at providing information on maintaining resilient and sustainable marinas.

The first webinar, Helping Small Businesses Build Climate Resilience will be held on April 26 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The session will include information on risks to businesses from climate change and extreme weather, challenges to making businesses more climate resistant, recommendations for engaging small businesses on resilience and resources that are available. Register here.

The second webinar, Creating A Culture of Sustainability: Increasing Buy-In Through Communication will be held on May 3 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. The webinar will address how to integrate environmental programming into your company’s identity and encourage your staff to play an active role in environmental programs. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Environmental Excellence Program will present. Register here.

Resource Guide Available from AMI

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has releases its 2017 Professional Marina Resource Guide, which lists more than 100 companies in more than 55 categories that provide products and services to the recreational marina industry.

Updated annually, the guide is available for free on the AMI website.

Colorado Marina Reopens After Windstorm

North Shore Marina on Lake Pueblo in Colorado, has reopened after a March 24 windstorm caused substantial destruction.

The docks are still not open to the public, but boaters can access their vessels after checking in with the office. Estimates are the facility and boats incurred more than $1 million in damages.

South Marina, which also sits on Lake Pueblo, was hit by the storm too, but, despite damages, was able to remain open. Both facilities are managed by private concessionaires for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Bellingham Marine Supports Recovery Efforts in Australia

Bellingham Marine sent staff to Queensland Australia to assist in the recovery efforts following Cyclone Debbie.

The company set up a “ready-to-repair” hotline for marinas to call to request assistance. Bellingham employees on site reported that many marinas were heavily damaged with several nearly gone. Jetties, piers and vessels were destroyed.

With wind gusts up to 162 mph and a 26-foot storm surge, Cyclone Debbie made landfall near Airlie Beach on March 28.

New Study Shows Decline in First-time Boat Buyers

A study commissioned by Grow Boating indicates there has been a 20 percent decline in first-time boat buyers since 2005 and a decrease of one million boat owners since 2000.

The study, “First-Time Boat Buyer,” further found that the number of boaters under the age of 50 has fallen from 55 percent to less than 35 percent. The shrinking group of first-time buyers is a cause of the aging boat owner.

Another challenge that the study uncovered was that today’s buyers are wary of sharing their personal information until they make a purchase, which limits the ability of manufacturers and dealers to access traditional leads.

To help the industry better market to potential boaters, “First-time Boat Buyer” identified six types of first-time buyers: younger men who like to tinker with boating equipment, water sports enthusiasts, status seekers, families, nature lovers, and those who grew up boating.

“The way people shop today is very different than in 2005, and through this in-depth analysis we, as an industry, have to realize that traditional leads may soon be harder to come by, and there is a need to identify more impactful ways to connect with potential first-time buyers,” Grow Boating President Carl Blackwell said in a statement.

ABC Releases Education Webinar

A webinar designed to educate attendees of this year’s American Boating Congress will be held on April 26.

The session will include information on what to expect at ABC 2017, the current political landscape, the boating industry’s top legislative issues, and how to effectively communicate with legislators on Capitol Hill.

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) staff Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of federal and legal affairs at the National Marine Manufacturers Association; Erica Crocker, director of political advocacy and engagement; and Michael Pasko, director of government affairs will present and answer questions.

Register here.

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Announces New Dates

The 58th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) will take place Wednesday, November 1 through Sunday, November 5.

The event was previously slated to run Thursday, November 2 through Monday, November 6 following its historic Thursday to Monday format, but exhibitors and visitors had been asking for a change.

"Over the past 57 years, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has evolved from a local boat show into a truly international exhibition," said Phil Purcell, CEO/President of MIASF. "In today's world of financial transactions, it is no longer necessary to use Monday as a banking day, and with more frequent client visits and exhibitor opportunities on Wednesday, we think it's in the best interest of both exhibitors and consumers to activate the Wednesday of show week and deactivate Monday," he concluded.

Organizers plan to retain the new schedule into future years.

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) owns FLIBS, and Show Management produces the event—the largest in-water boat show in the world.

Locations for the show include: the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

MTA/NJ Elects New Officers

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey elected its new officers on April 6, during the group’s annual dinner in Shore Lake, New Jersey.

Jim Cerruti of Fair Haven Yacht Works in Fair Haven was elected as president, Ed McCarthy of McCarthy's Marine Sales will be first vice president, and Brian Fischer of MESCO is the new second vice president. Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina remains the treasurer and Raymond Bogan of Sinn, Fitzsimmons, Cantoli, Bogan, West & Steuerman continues as secretary.

Newly elected to the board are Eric Traber of Pier 47 Marina, Aaron Held of Octopus Yachts: Marine Electrical Systems, and Debbie Mooers of Grassy Sound Marina. Board members re-elected to serve another three-year term are Mark Cassidy of Cassidy's Breton Woods Marina, George Fuller of George Fuller's Marine & Machine, Karen Gruppuso of Coastal Environmental Consulting, LLC, and Pat Salinas of Morgan Marina.

Rick Castellini of Island Marine Center, LLC, Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina, Inc. and Greg Wright of John B. Wright Insurance will continue their terms as directors.

The active past presidents who continue to serve on the Board include: Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales & Marina, Fred Brueggemann of Key Harbor Marina & Yacht Sales, Ed Harrison, Jr. of Baywood Marina, Tom Leaming of Leamings Marina, Paul Terzian of Causeway Marine Sales, and Rick Traber of Pier 47 Marina.

New Marina Traineeship Program Kicks Off in Australia

The Marine Industries Association’s new traineeship program will kick off its first class on May 2 in Sydney, Australia.

The Certificate III in Marina Operations, announced in December 2016 by the Marina Industries Association (MIA) and the Registered Training Organisation Safety Corp, is designed to provide core skills for entry level marina employees.

The traineeship includes both on-the-job and off-job training components and covers a wide range of topics from broad based customer service and communications, to more specifics of how to fuel a boat and use a VHF radio. Topics also include safety and first aid, work procedures, regulations and seamanship.

Customer services, safety and first aid, fueling vessels, using the VHF radio, work procedures, communications, regulations and seamanship.

Save Our Seas Act Would Reauthorize NOAA Marine Debris Program

U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Save our Seas (SOS) Act of 2017 to reauthorize NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and address the threat of marine debris to the world’s oceans.

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which approved the act allowing it to continue to move forward to the full Senate.

The Marine Debris Program supports research and actions to prevent and reduce the impacts of marine debris that threatens the environment, navigational safety, the economy and human health. The SOS Act of 2017 allows the NOAA administrator to continue to authorize funds for cleanup and response to severe marine debris events such as results from hurricanes and tsunamis. It also encourages the executive branch to work internationally to prevent and reduce marine debris globally.

Florida Supreme Court Hears Case Against Tax-Exempt Government Marinas

Treasure Coast Marina has taken its claim that it is unconstitutional for public marinas to be exempt from paying property taxes all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.

Under state law governments do not have to pay property taxes on publicly owned properties. This case in particular is against City Marina, owned by Fort Pierce. Treasure Coast Marina is arguing that the City Marina is a commercial enterprise and is not used exclusively for municipal purpose and therefore should be taxed as any other commercial business.

This case has been ongoing since 2011 at which time the circuit court ruled in favor of Treasure Coast Marina. However, last May, the Fourth District Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s ruling.

A win for Treasure Coast this time would mean all currently exempt publicly owned marinas across the state would have to pay property taxes. Attorneys for the state argue this would have a significant impact on these marinas and open the door to all publicly-owned facilities having to pay property taxes.

Attendance Rises at Palm Beach Boat Show

Attendance at the 32nd annual Palm Beach International Boat Show was up 14 percent over last year.

The show, owned by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and managed by Show Management, also had its largest display of boats in the history of the event. The number of boats in the 80- to 100-foot category rose by 17 percent and the in-water boat numbers rose by six percent.

The Palm Beach show is ranked in the top five of worldwide yachting events showing $1.2 billion worth of yachts and accessories.

Manatees Are Moved Off the Endangered List

The West Indian manatee has been downlisted by the U.S. Department of Interior from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The new designation comes as the number of manatees has been increasing and their habitat has improved in large part due to the conservation efforts public and private organizations and citizens in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean nations. Conservation activities have included retrofitting water control devices at locks and levees, reducing boater collisions through speed regulations, recycling fishing gear programs to prevent entanglement, establishment of sanctuaries for wintering manatees, and rescue, rehabilitation and release efforts.

While the manatee is no longer considered in danger of extinction, it will likely become so without ESA protections. The manatee is still protected on the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the downlisting does not take away its federal protections.

By the 1970s just a few hundred manatees remained but through conservation efforts today there are an estimated 6,620 manatees.

New Clean Marina Certified in Michigan

The Michigan Clean Marina Program has named Toledo Beach Marina in LaSalle, Michigan, as its newest certified marina.

The facility joins fifty other marinas in the state that are designated as Clean Marinas due to their voluntary efforts to preserve and protect the waterways. To become certified each marina must pledge to participate, attend an online course, conduct a self-evaluation of their environmental practices, and then participate in an on-site visit by a Clean Marina Program consultant who evaluates the marina’s environmental stewardship.

Facilities are certified for three years and then can apply for recertification.

“We welcome Toledo Beach Marina to the Clean Marina Program,” Michigan Boating Industries Association executive director Nicki Polan said in a statement. “More boaters are becoming aware of the program and are searching out these certified facilities as places they want to patronize.”

MRA to Host Safety Seminar

The Marine Recreation Association (MRA) is holding a seminar on safety and maintenance from 9 a.m. to noon on May 9 in San Pedro at the California Yacht Marina-Cabrillo Marina and on May 10 in San Diego at Island Palms Hotel & Marina.

Speaker Larry Halgren of Halgren & Associates will present information on managing risks through actions such as developing an Emergency Management Plan, having a well-maintained marina, and adhering to marina rules and regulations. The discussion will include many examples of things, that if not addressed, can injure or kill employees and customers.

For more information visit

Oregon May Require Paddlers to Obtain Permits and Take Safety Classes

HB 2320 has been introduced in Oregon as a bill to require boaters using non-motorized boats to purchase a permit, and complete a safety course. The bill further establishes a fund within the State Marine Board that can be used to issue grants for boating access and education projects.

The bill was prompted by the fast growth of paddling activity, which now exceeds motorboats use in the state, but accounted for nearly fifty percent of boating deaths.

Specifically, HB 2320 requires the State Marine Board to set standards of safety and competency for paddlers using both online and on-water education. Paddlers must purchase a permit and be able to display it when they are on the water. In addition, the bill requires those floating in inner tubes, or on air mattresses and surfboards to wear lifejackets.

Individuals will be able to purchase a one-year permit for $12. Those who rent non-motorized boats will also need to purchase permits at a cost that varies from $60 to $200 depending on the number of boats in the rental fleet.

The fees collected from the permits will be put into the Non-motorized Boating Program Fund to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that want to provide education on boating safety for paddlers. The grant funds can also be issued to government agencies to purchase or lease land for water access projects and to construct, renovate or expand boating facilities for paddlers.

View the full bill.

Registration Opens for MDCE 2017

Registration has opened for the 2017 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, with special pricing for April registrants.

Marine retailers and their teams save $65 per person and MRAA members receive an additional $75 discount if they register for the full conference this month.

The MDCE 2017 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, December 10 to 13. The event features four educational tracks, pre-conference workshops, keynotes, networking events, the MDCE Learning Lab, and dealer-to-dealer roundtables.

EDSON Pump Division Debuts New Website

Finding and buying Edson pumps is now easier through its redesigned website.

New features include tabs for product support, and recent projects, plus tabs for finding nearby dealers and Clean Vessel Act grant program coordinators. There is also a new section on applications for use of Edson pumps.

Edson, based in Massachusetts, sells pumpouts and related equipment and parts, as well as monitoring systems for real-time reporting on volume and use.


AMI Introduces New National Marina Days

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has kicked off National Marina Days Summer of Giving to run from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2017.

Marinas across the country are being asked to hold events at their facilities this summer to celebrate the recreational boating industry, but at the same time to raise funds and give back to charities and communities that they value.

AMI is suggesting that marinas support Folds of Honor which is a charity that provides educational scholarships to families of fallen and disabled service members.


IMI to Hold CMM Training in Minnesota

The International Marina Institute (IMI) will be holding an Intermediate Marina Management School (IMM) August 13-17 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The IMM focuses on marina operations, policies and procedures, and is the first step for the participant to become a Certified Marina Manager or Certified Marina Operator. Applicants are required to have at least one year of experience as a marina manager or in a marina leadership position for a marina of 50 or more slips and with a minimum of $500,000 gross revenues.

IMI, a subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries, has partnered with the Midwest Marina Association to hold this training, ensuring the coursework is relevant to operators in that part of the country.

Register at

West Marine Offers Grants

West Marine is now accepting applications for the 2017 BlueFuture grants.

The $1,500 grants are available to non-profit, community based organizations that encourage learning in the marine sciences and aquatic conservation through activities such as providing boatbuilding instruction or teaching boating, fishing or surfing skills.

The BlueFuture Fund was created in 2015 with the purpose of funding grants.

A panel of West Marine judges will review applications to select 25 winners. Applications are accepted between April 1 and May 1 with winners announced in mid-May.

Lindsey Johnson, West Marine’s communications director said, “The more money we raise, the more grants we can award, and that means having a greater impact. Essentially, supporting BlueFuture means you’re joining a nationwide movement to get kids out on the water in a variety of capacities — we encourage anyone who’s interested to consider making a contribution through our website or to visit one of our stores during a BlueFuture fundraiser.”

Registration Opens for 2017 SOBA Conference

Registration is now open for the States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) annual conference to be held August 28 to August 31, in Anchorage, Alaska.

This year’s theme, Pure and Wild Access, highlights the challenges of providing boating access over undeveloped land and unspoiled landscape. Some specific topics include clean harbors, invasive species control, access design, and focused sessions on the Boating Infrastructure Grant and Clean Vessel Act grant programs. The conference also includes a full day workshop on federal programs and a one-day tour of area access sites and marinas.

SOBA has been holding their annual conferences since 1987 as a means to bring together government administrators, engineers, educators, marine industry organizations, non-profits, and consultants to find means to improve boating access. Attendees come from most of the 50 states, as well as U.S. Territories.

For more information, visit

Michigan Sea Grant Seeks Project Proposals

Michigan Sea Grant has released a request for proposals for projects that support the Great Lakes Clean Marina programs. Two grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded to projects that evaluate and support Clean Marina Program sustainability or expand the territory for Clean Marina certifications. Proposals are due April 17, 2017.

A 50 percent non-federal match is required and projects must be completed by April 2018. Administrators of Clean Marina programs, Sea Grant offices, and industry groups from any of the eight Great Lakes states (IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, PA, WI) are encouraged to apply. Awards will be announced April 26, 2017.

Questions should be directed More information can be found here.

NMMA Releases 2017 Policy Agenda

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has released a new reference guide of the top legislative issues impacting the recreational boating industry. Intended to be an additional informational and educational tool, 2017 Policy Agenda—Marine Manufacturing: Powering the Nation’s Economy, compliments this year’s American Boating Congress’s (ABC) issue workshops, all of which will help the marine industry better represent itself on Capitol Hill.

Workshop topics this year include access and conservation, boating safety, recreational fishing, workforce development, fuel policy and environment, health and safety compliance.

ABC will be held May 15 to 17 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. For more information visit

Insurance Discounts Available for Bellingham Marine Clients

Marinas that have Bellingham Marine docks will now receive up to 10 percent in additional credits if they have insurance under the Hanover Marine program.

“Catastrophic losses can be difficult to underwrite so we look for any advantage we can, one of those advantages is Bellingham built docks,” said Tim Lucas, National Program Manager for Harbor Risk.

“We are so confident in Bellingham Marine that we have built into our rating system an automatic credit to the dock rate for any client that has Bellingham built docks.”

Bellingham Marine is a marina design-build construction company specializing in floating docks, platforms and wave attenuators.

RBFF to Host Webinar on Hispanic Outreach Opportunities

On Thursday, April 20, at 3:00 p.m. the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) will host a free webinar to educate the industry on reaching out to the Hispanic community.

Representatives from Lopez Negrete Communications and Tippit & Moo Advertising will share information on the importance of fishing to the Hispanic community, barriers to participation, best practices for outreach, and family dynamics.

A national, non-profit, RBFF’s mission is to increase participation in recreational boating and fishing through its brands Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar.

Click here to register for this RBFF webinar.

MI Senator Introduces a Bill to Fund Clean Marinas

Senator Osmek (MI-R) introduced a bill to provide funding for the Michigan Clean Marina Program.

S.F. 2219 would transfer $100,000 from the state clean water fund to the Department of Natural Resources to administer a grant for the program. The Michigan Clean Marina program is managed by a group of volunteers and receives no dedicated funding, instead relying on small grants and in-kind services.

The bill has been referred to the Environment and Natural Resources committee.

Tennessee Marina Recovers from Tornado

Four Corners Marina in Antioch, Tennessee, was hit by a tornado on March 1 that heavily damaged docks and sent several boats to the bottom of Percy Priest Lake.

Sixteen boats have to be removed from under a crushed covered dock, and crews estimate all structures should be removed within two weeks. The salvage company, marina owners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers worked together to determine how to safely remove the damaged boats which were, in some cases, holding up the damaged roof. Oil and fuel leaking into the lake waters is also a concern and part of the clean-up effort needs.

Damages were mostly confined to just one dock, but more than fifty boats were damaged and losses are estimated to be more than $1 million. While several people were on their boats when the tornado hit, no one was injured.

A salvage company has been hired to remove the damaged docks and structures and the owner has already hired a contractor to begin rebuilding.

Superyacht Summit Coming to West Palm Beach

The fourth annual Superyacht Summit will be held Tuesday, March 21 at the West Palm Beach Marriott in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The event attracts representatives from marinas and shipyards, the media, designers and engineers, captains, yacht brokers, manufacturers and service providers.

This year’s summit will feature “America’s Strengths in the Superyacht Sector,” “The First 100 Days: How the New Administration Will Impact the Superyacht Industry,” and “Cybercrime: Are You At Risk.” In addition to these presentations there will other professional and personal development sessions and networking opportunities.

For more information visit

Attendance Was Up at Atlantic City Boat Show

Organizers reported that attendance was up eight percent at this year’s Progressive® Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show®. With 38,164 attendees, exhibitors reported healthy sales and strong leads.

“Super Thursday,” a day set aside for special sales and incentives contributed to the increase in visitors. The event had an 81 percent increase in attendance compared to the same day one year prior.

Also, helping increase numbers this year was the involvement of local media, which used broadcast and online coverage to boost interest in the show. Affiliates from ABC, NBC and CBS all covered the event.

New Lobby Group for Recreation Briefs Congressional Staffers

The newly formed Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR) briefed U.S. Congressional staffers on the economic impact of the outdoor recreation. The group is composed of leaders from sixteen recreation industry associations who are working to lobby Congress on prioritizing recreational needs and interests.

The goals of ORIR include fast tracking implementation of the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act, prioritizing recreation related infrastructure improvements, forming more public-private partnerships on public lands, and balancing recreation and conservation in federal agency decisions.

Outdoor recreation supports 6.1 million jobs and generates a $646 billion economic impact. ORIR explained that by expanding access to public lands and waters, those figures can easily increase.

Industry Loses Long-time Advocate

Long-time boater and marine industry advocate Suzi DuRant, 67, passed away February 25 following a battle with ALS.

While DuRant began her career working in public affairs and banking in Washington D.C., her passion led her to leave that life and embark on a sailing adventure, leading to a lifetime of work in the marine industry.

DuRant spent many years with her husband Nelson chartering boats from Maine to the Caribbean, and then spent time managing marinas along the Chesapeake Bay. In 1996, the couple moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to live on a boat and open Palmetto Props.

Helping to run the business was not enough for DuRant who also volunteered with the South Carolina Marine Association and wrote articles for boating magazines. In 2006, she became executive director of the SCMA, helping the association assume control of the state Clean Marina program when no one else wanted it, and tirelessly lobbying South Carolina legislators on issues that impacted the maritime community. As the leader of the association, she also produced the Charleston In-Water Boat Show working with an all-volunteer staff.

DuRant represented the industry on the state’s Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Task Force and on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association Board of Directors and the Association of Marina Industry’s legislative committee. She was also a familiar face at meetings of the National Marine Trades Council, American Council of Marine Associations and the American Boating Congress.

Outside of boating, DuRant was a passionate gardener and a confirmed Francophile who loved fine food, wine and conversation.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm at the French Huguenot Church, 136 Church Street, Charleston, SC with a reception to follow at 44 Queen Street. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests supporting Suzi’s Team in the MDA Muscle Walk in Charleston by using this link: or making a donation in Suzi’s name to the MDA of Charleston, SC, c/o Muscular Dystrophy Association, 121 Executive Center Drive, #138, Columbia, SC 29210

For more information see

Suntex Acquires Georgia Marina

The Ridges Marina in North Georgia was recently acquired by Suntex Marinas.

Located on Lake Chatuge, the facility has 300 covered slips, a fuel dock, ships store and pontoon rentals. On site is also a restaurant, and next door is a resort with tennis courts, a pool and fitness center. The lake is a two-hour drive from Atlanta, Greenville and Chattanooga making it a popular vacation destination.

The addition of The Ridges brings 34 marinas to the portfolio of Suntex with locations in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and Oklahoma.

Working with the current staff, Suntex plans extensive reinvestment at the facility over the next year.

IGY Marinas Give Back to Communities

IGY Marinas held its annual Inspire Giving Through You event the first weekend in March, drawing more than 400 volunteers from the company’s staff, customers and partners.

The event is held as a day to support charitable organizations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Volunteers completed projects in Colombia, Mexico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and the Turks and Caicos.

Projects included the construction of an outdoor play area, painting a foster home, renovating a transit home, building a carport and installing fencing for a fire station, and rebuilding a school’s ceiling. Staff and customers from Yacht Haven Grande Marina and American Yacht Harbor began construction on the Hydrologic Environmental Learning Center to which the marinas have agreed to provide long-term support.

IGY Marinas is also organizing summer outreach events for the next Inspire Giving Through You day that will occur June 10.

A New Bill Introduced to Curb Ethanol

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Reform Act (H.R. 1315) has been reintroduced by Congressmen Goodlatte (R-VA), Costa (D-CA), Womack (R-AR) and Welch (D-VT).

The bill aims to decrease the mandated amount of ethanol that must be contained in gasoline, eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements and caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline at ten percent.

Studies by the National Marine Manufacturers Association have shown that ethanol blends above ten percent are harmful to boat engines and the association says the Environmental Protection Agency has not ensured lower ethanol blends will remain available for the boating public.

Suntex Chooses MYMIC as Safety Training Partner

MYMIC Training Technologies has been chosen to develop and oversee a new corporate safety training program for all Suntex Marinas. The company will implement a employee training program and safety awareness at all Suntex Marina locations.

The 35 Suntex properties will benefit from MYMIC’s site safety audits, online and instructor lead training, and smartphone app for equipment inspections. This new partnership will ensure all Suntex employees receive consistent training and maintain the same safety awareness.

Tom Delotto, CMM, Northeast Regional Manager for Suntex Marinas noted, “Suntex places the safety of customers and employees first on our list of operating priorities. By linking already established internal systems with cutting edge MYMIC overview programs, we will equip property managers with every modern safety and control process available.”

Invasive Species Treatments Begin in California Delta

On March 1, the California Department of Parks and Recreation Division of Boating and Waterways began herbicide treatment for aquatic invasive species in areas around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The department will also be using mechanical harvesting methods to reduce the presence of South American spongeplant, Uruguay water primrose, water hyacinth, curlyleaf pondweed and Brazilian waterweed, none of which have any known natural controls. Treated areas are monitored weekly to ensure herbicide treatments have no adverse impacts on the environment, public health or agriculture.

Last year 4,296 acres were treated and 4,447 acres were treated in 2015. The department estimates this year will cover an even greater area. Funding for this treatment comes from the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund which receives money from boaters’ registration fees and gasoline taxes.

Submersed aquatic vegetation will be treated from March 1 through July 2017. Floating aquatic vegetation will be treated from March 1 through November 30, 2017 in areas south of Highway 12, and from June 1 through November 2017 in areas north of Highway 12.

Details for the project can be found at

U.S. Interior Secretary Acts to Expand Outdoor Recreation

New U. S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced two orders on March 2 that would overturn the ban on lead fishing tackle in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters, and would expand access to outdoor recreation opportunities.

Secretarial Order No. 3346 overturns the lead ban stating that there was a need for additional review and input from stakeholders on the ban. Secretarial Order No. 3347 expands access to outdoor recreation while also promoting conservation stewardship and game and habitat management.

The department is directing federal bureaus and agencies to identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded.

"The order also requests input from the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife," Department of the Interior staff stated.

California to Adopt Boater Education Requirements

Under a newly passed law (SB 941) California boaters who operate motorized vessels will be required to pass a California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and National Association of State Boating Law Administrators approved boater education course.

The new requirement takes effect on January 1, 2018, for persons 20 years of age or younger. By the year 2025, all boaters will be expected to carry a California Boater Card indicating proof of completion of a boating course.

A grandfathering exemption is available to anyone who completes an approved class by the end of 2017 and applies for a card before July 1, 2018. The DBW and Boat U.S. Foundation are offering a free online boating safety course right now which qualifies as an approved course.

New Video Highlights the Value and Logistics of Boat Clubs

A session on the value and impact of boat clubs was held at the recent International Marina and Boatyard Conference, and a video recording of the session has now been released.

Covering topics such as docking logistics, fueling practices, insurance requirements and overall best practices and top revenue generating opportunities of having boat clubs as part of marine business, the video should be of interest to anyone considering adding a boat club to their marina operation.

Presenters include Sam Chavers of SunTex; Sam Lowry of MarineMax; Jeremy Holcomb of Legendary Marina; Travis Staats of Camachee Cove Marina; and John Giglio of Freedom Boat Club.

The video can be viewed and downloaded at

Wiggins Hosts a High School Class Tour

Wiggins Lift in Oxnard Plains, California, recently hosted a welding class from Channel Islands High School. The students took a tour of the Wiggins facility, watched the welders at work and heard from Wiggins employees about the different operations on-site. There was also opportunity for a question and answer session.

Wiggins Lift produces forklifts and travelifts for drystack storage, as well as products for military, mining agriculture, and construction and material-handling applications.

New Marina and Boating Center to Open in Northwest Florida

North Light Yacht Club and Emerald Coast Marine have combined their businesses to become Emerald Coast Marine Center, a full-service boating destination in the Florida panhandle.

“NLYC was originally established as a dry storage and wet slip marina in 2008. While it excelled in marina operations and customer service, the company’s growth was limited by the lack of an on-site sales and service marine dealership,” said Jeff Orbin, vice president of marketing and development.

The new venture will include an indoor showroom, a new service, parts and accessories department, a boater lounge, boat rental operations and an expanded event calendar. In addition, the existing pool and spa will be upgraded and complemented by a tiki bar, which will be managed by a new waterfront bistro.

METSTRADE Award Donates to a Marine-Related Charity

Marine-related public charities are invited to apply for the registration proceeds from the METSTRADE 2017 DAME Design Award.

The DAME Award is given annually to recognize innovate new products in the recreational marine industry. The registration proceeds amount to about €18,000 annually.

METSTRADE Show is an annual global recreational marine equipment show attracting over 20,000 attendees from over 100 countries. This year’s even will be held in Amsterdam from November 14 to November 16.

To apply for the proceeds, visit

MN Clean Marina to Hold Workshop

The Minnesota Clean Marina program is hosting a workshop designed to have marina representatives learn about the program and leave the workshop with a completed clean marina application.

The event will be held on March, 9, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at 6 Smith Restaurant in Wayzata.

Minnesota Clean Marina Program is a voluntary incentive-based program with a mission to encourage marina operators and recreational boaters to protect the water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures.

The program, which began in 2009, is managed by a group of volunteers who are also marina professionals. They have certified twelve marinas across the state.

For more information, contact 952/471-9515.

East Coast Boat Shows Bring Out Crowds

February brought out boat buyers on the East Coast. The Progressive Insurance Miami Boat Show and the Progressive Insurance New England Boat Shows wrapped up another successful year.

This year’s Miami Boat Show had a seven percent rise in attendance with an estimated 35 countries being represented.

Nearly 100,000 attendees visited the 550 boats and yachts that were on display, with 90,000 visitors taking advantage of the water taxi and shuttle bus service that the show provided to transport people from outside locations to the event grounds.

Organizers expect the 2017 data from the event will show it met or exceeded the $600 million economic impact of the 2016 show and that it continues to directly support 6,500 full-time jobs.

On the other end of the East Coast, the Progressive Insurance New England Boat show recorded 46,471 attendees at its nine-day event. While heavy snow hampered attendance on the first four days of the show, the weekend brought record attendance. The 2017 event numbers were down eight percent from 2016 attendance, but well ahead of previous year’s attendee data.

Phased Expansion Plan for Two Michigan Marinas Receives Criticism

The plans for two marinas in Presque Isle are being opposed by citizens and boaters.

In October 2016, the Marquette City Commission passed a plan that would increase dockage rates by 15 percent in 2018 and 5 percent annually through 2024. The plan would also replace just one pier, instead of the entire facility, reducing the number of slips to 32 from the current 56. Fuel service and on-site staffing would also be eliminated.

The city stipulates in the plan that replacing the remainder of the pier system would come if and when there was a waiting list of fifty boats and the pier replacement fund balance reached $350,000.

The Presque Isle Concerned Citizens group is vigorously opposing the plan, while the city says they need to be mindful of the impact the current marinas are having on the city budget, citing a current negative amount operating budget for the facilities.

Despite opposition the city plans to apply to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Commission for a grant to replace the single pier.

Hands On Skills Training Highlighted in Miami

Discover Boating’s Hands On Skills Training (HOST) provided training to 407 participants at the Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show® and Strictly Sail Miami®.

A survey of participants indicated 54 percent of those taking the powerboat training and 82 percent of those taking the sail training are considering buying a boat. Also, 87 percent of all participants said they wanted more training.

Started in 2010 as part of the marine industry’s Grow Boating program, HOST is intended to build boating safety through education and training, but also encourage non-boaters to get on the water and try boating. More than 6,000 people have participated in HOST events across the country.

Georgia Certifies First Clean Marina

Hideaway Bay Marina has received the first Clean Marina designation in the state of Georgia.

The Clean Marina certification was given by South Carolina’s Clean Marina program in partnership with South Carolina Marine Trades Association, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health and Environmental Control and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. While Georgia recently revived its own Clean Marina program, one did not exist when Hideaway Bay wanted to apply, so South Carolina agreed to work with the facility’s owners.

Clean Marina is a voluntary program administered through state agencies or non-profits with the purpose of helping marinas adopt best management practices to prevent pollution and guiding marinas in complying with state regulations for issues such as stormwater runoff and oil spill control. Marina owners complete a checklist of actions they undertake at their sites and then the state programs conduct a site visit to certify the facility as meeting the clean marina standards. Once certified, marinas receive a clean marina flag and can use the clean marina logo for promotional purposes.

“This is an important accomplishment for Hideaway Bay Marina as it demonstrates our commitment to environmental leadership,” said Michael Dueling, Hideaway Bay Marina’s manager.

Wendy Mackie Appointed to State Advisory Council

Wendy Mackie, CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association was appointed by Rhode Island’s Governor to the Rhode Island Manufacturing Advisory Council.

The council will work to expand job training initiatives, like those RIMTA produces for the marine trades, and will develop incentives for manufacturers to expand by hiring new workers, launching new product lines and buying new equipment.

Members of the council include individuals from industry, government and the non-profit sector.

ABBRA Hosts Rhode Island Certified Marine Service Managers Course

The American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) is holding a Certified Marine Service Managers (CMSM) Course from March 27 to March 30 at the Viking Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island.

To receive the CMSM designation, individuals must be employed in a leadership role in a boatyard or marine service business, show a working knowledge of the boatyard business and have the desire to advance and demonstrate their management and leadership skills.

The course content includes the topics of law, safety, financial and project management, human resources, marketing and contracts and time management.

Instructors are: Dennis Nixon, University of Rhode Island, Pamela Lendzion, MarineTec Mgt Co.  Kellie Crete, The Gowrie Group, Shirley Adams, Adams & Assoc. and Nicole Jacques, Rhumbline Communications.

For more information, visit here.

MTA/NJ Plans Annual Conference for March

The 2017 Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Conference and Expo will be held on March 16, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Eastern Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood, New Jersey.

The event educates marine business owners, operators and employees on issues of importance to their businesses.

The agenda for this year includes a state of the industry presented by Matt Gruhn, president, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Carl Blackwell, National Marine Manufacturers Association; Carmelo “Tony” Torraca, Esq. and Kevin J. Thornton, Esq. from Cooper Levenson will cover liability, risk assessment, business disputes and litigation; advice for “making your business exceptional” from leadership coach and author Chris Ruisi; trends in digital marketing presented by ARI Network Services; safety basics by Robert Smith of MYMIC; state regulatory updates from DEP and DOT; and information on fisheries management and working with the new administration presented by Jim Donofrio of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

To register, visit here.

Golden Boat Lifts Launches New Dock Company

Golden Boat Lifts has launched Golden Marine Systems, which will design, engineer and manufacture floating aluminum docks and gangways. Mike Shanley, who has 35 years of experience in the marina industry, has been named president of Golden Marine Systems.

The new products, built from marine grade aluminum and stainless stell, will come with a ten-year warranty and life expectancy of 35 years.

For more information, visit

VMTA Receives Tourism Grant

The Virginia Marine Trades Association (VMTA) was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Program.

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program grants are matched by partners with the goal of stimulating new tourism marketing through shared marketing dollars.
The VMTA grant was matched by contributions from several marinas and marine organizations to total $8,500 that will be used to build a website and marketing campaign to attract boaters to Virginia’s waters.

Consociate Media, an integrated marketing and communications firm based in Tidewater, Virginia, has been selected to design and execute the project. Stephanie Heinatz of Consociate Media said, “The story of boating in Virginia is a great one to tell and showing people the beautiful assets all of our coastal towns have to offer will not only benefit the businesses where boaters choose to spend their time and money, but it will also help a new generation of boaters learn to love the water and provide an economic boost to the coastal regions.”

Research by the VTC has shown that marketing campaigns that have received grants have increased visitation by fifteen percent and brought sixteen dollars of direct visitor spending for every dollar invested in grants.

Gowrie Group to Offer an OSHA Outreach Training Program

Kellie Crete of the Gowrie Group will be teaching a ten-hour OSHA Outreach Training Program designed for workers and employers of marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs.

The course will provide information and training on workplace safety and health hazards and workers’ rights, with specific material on fall protection, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, electrical safety and more.

The course will be held March 21 and 22 in Westbook, Connecticut. The price is $200 with a $50 discount for marine trade association, and ABBRA members, and Burgee Program clients. Register here.

WMA to Hold Educational Workshop

The Wisconsin Marine Association (WMA) is holding a pre-season workshop to prepare marine business owners for the summer boating season.
The workshop will include sessions on changes to the National Electrical Code and the impact on marinas; how to limit liability; tips for providing WIFI as an amenity; an introduction to new products and information on membership with WMA.

Some of the speakers will be Jack Demski with Ansay & Associates, Mark Miller from Tricon Services and Ed Lethert with the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association.

The event will be held March 14, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, Rothschild, Wisconsin. The cost is $30 for WMA and Midwest Marine Association members.

For the full agenda and registration form, visit here.

NTSB Recommends Education for All Boaters

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a report, “Shared Waterways: Safety of Recreational and Commercial Vessels in the Marine Transportation System,” which calls for all boaters to meet a minimum level of boating safety education.

Citing the increase in both commercial and recreational traffic over the last several decades as creating a significant risk, the NTSB indicated the U.S. Coast Guard should require recreational boaters to pass a course that is equivalent to or meets the standards of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

“Just as operators of motor vehicles upon our nation’s roadways are required to demonstrate a standard of understanding of the rules of the road in order to make roadways safer for all vehicles, large and small, so too must operators of recreational vessels understand and practice the rules of the road upon our nation’s maritime transportation system to make waterways safer for all vessels, larges and small,” said NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart.

The report further recommends that the U.S. Coast Guard, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the National Water Safety Congress identify boating safety risks and appropriate training and education to mitigate these risks.

To read or download “Shared Waterways: Safety of Recreational and Commercial Vessels in the Marine Transportation System” visit,

MMA Announces 2016 Neptune Award Recipients

Marine Marketers of American (MMA) presented their Best Diversity Initiative to the Recreational Boating Leadership Council for its New Markets Task Force, “Proven Strategies for Engaging New Markets.”

The award was just one of MMA’s 2016 Neptune Awards for Marine Marketing Excellence. This year’s competition included 99 entries in 16 categories. Entries come from organizations that produce and publish marketing materials for the marine industry. Award categories range from national magazines to newsletters, video to product literature and diversity initiatives.

A full list of award winners can be found at

Boatsetter Partners with GoFree

Boatsetter, a peer to peer boat rental marketplace has chosen GoFree® Connected Vessel System to provide vessel tracking and remote management for boaters in Boatsetter’s network.

Boatsetter connects those wanting to rent a boat to licensed captains and boat owners throughout the world. By partnering with GoFree boat owners can monitor vessel security and engine information, and boat renters can record their trips from location to navigational data.

“The GoFree Connected Vessel System offers users unique features that no other boat rental company has – a powerful tool that facilitates effective communication and creates a more positive boat rental experience,” said Leif Ottosson, CEO of Navico, the parent company of GoFree.

For more information visit or

Snag-A-Slip Gains Financing for an Expansion

Snag-A-Slip plans to add 30 new employees, add hundreds of marinas to its network and renovate its online and mobile applications, thanks to the $1.2 million in financing the company just received.

The company is part of a growing trend of aggregate booking sites, which has been around for some time in the hotel industry, with site such as and Travelocity. The goal is to enable users to book reservations at marinas as they cruise the waters, getting real-time updates on what is available and what amenities each marina has to offer.

Snag-A-Slip currently works with 350 marinas in the U.S. and Canada, but hopes to boost that number to 550 by the end of this year. The app is free for marinas to list and boaters to use, but marinas do pay a fee for each reservation booked through the app.

New House Co-Chairs of the Congressional Boating Caucus

Representative Lois Frankel (D-Florida) and Representative Tom MacArthur (R-New Jersey) were announced as co-chairs of the Congressional Boating Congress for the 115th Congress.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association works to encourage participation in the Congressional Boating Caucus, which currently holds 120 members. Comprised of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives, they advocate for issues of importance to the recreational boating community.

This year’s co-chairs are supporters of boating and angling with Representative Frankel having been a co-sponsor of the Deferred Importation Bill in 2016 and an advocate for the United States Coast Guard to update engine regulations.

Virginia Marina Destroyed by Fire is Purchased

Dozier’s Port Urbanna marina in Urbanna, Virginia, was recently purchased by the owner of Bridge Marina.

A fire in February 2016, killed two people and destroyed piers, docks, a boathouse and storage facility at Dozier’s Port Urbanna. The facility had been for sale prior to the fire and so the owners decided not to rebuild.

Barbara Mullins, owner of Bridge Marina, bought the property to expand their marina, which sits adjacent to the Dozier’s site. "This gives us a little more work space," Mullins said. The new site will give them an additional three and a half acres.

Connecticut Senate Considers Boating Bills

The Connecticut state senate is reviewing three bills which would benefit boaters and make the state’s boating industry more competitive by decreasing or eliminating sales tax on vessels and trailers.

Senate bill 478 would exempt vessels, engines and trailers from sales and use tax. Senate bill 80 would exempt the same from the state’s sales and use tax, and Senate bill 81 would decrease the sales and use tax from 6.25 percent to three percent on vessels and engines sold in the state.

Bill Looks to Make Dredging Easier for NJ Marinas

New Jersey Senators Jim Whelan and Jeff Van Drew have sponsored a bill that would limit shellfish habitat rules around marinas and certain other areas. The bill has passed out of the Senate subcommittee and now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

S-2369 is in response to Department of Environmental Protection shellfish rules that restrict dredging in potential shellfish habitat areas. Proponents of the bill say the cost to dredge becomes prohibitive in waters where there is a potential for shellfish, and this unduly harms the marinas and other businesses that rely on deep water for safe passage of vessels.

The bill would only apply to maintenance dredging projects and not to new development or expansions of existing development.

IBEX to Introduce New Marina and Yard Pavilion

Marina and boatyard attendees at this year’s International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) will have a new pavilion to visit that focuses on equipment, products and services specifically for their segment of the industry.

Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director said, “In an effort to better serve our current marina and yard attendees, we are creating a dedicated Pavilion to showcase the new product and technology development in this important sector of our industry.”

This year’s event also includes the Composites Pavilion, Electronics Pavilion, and Compliance, Standards and Education Pavilion all housed in two exhibit halls.

In addition to the pavilion the IBEX educational sessions that highlight new processes, technical workshops, product information and training are also being expanded to include more content for marina and yards.

The 27th IBEX will be held September 19 to 21 at the Tampa Convention Center. Visit for more information.

Wisconsin DNR Seeking Comment on a New General Permit

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment on a proposed new general permit for small scale dredging in the Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers and streams. The permit would cover maintenance dredging of previously dredged areas and for removal of accumulated animal and plant deposits.

The new general permit would be valid for five years and would allow applicants to remove up to 25 cubic yards of material from streams and inland lakes, and up to 100 cubic yards from the Great Lakes.

The public comment period on the general permit runs until March 3, 2017. There will be two public hearings to provide information and seek comments on the proposed permit. These will be held February 14 in Madison, Wisconsin and February 16 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

BoatUS Encourages Members to Petition the New Administration

BoatUS is asking its 500,000 members to petition the Trump administration and congress to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that requires the blending of biofuels, such as ethanol, into the nation’s gasoline supply.

The use of ethanol blended fuel, E10 or higher, has caused damage to boat and other small engines and the maritime industry has responded with repeated requests to the government to reform ethanol mandates.

BoatUS cited the facts that higher ethanol blends are becoming more common at gas stations but pumps are poorly marked increasing the likelihood of boaters putting in the wrong gas, and increasingly limited availability of safe E0 gas, along with potential damage to engines, as the reasons for Congress to reform the RFS.

Go to to submit comments.

Providence Boat Show Brings Strong Sales

The Providence Boat Show presented by Washington Trust reported a ten percent increase in attendance at this year’s event and over 140 exhibitors.

Held the first weekend in February, the show included boats from Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) to 30 foot power boats, free seminars on sport fishing and seamanship, an indoor pool with SUP demonstrations and educational seminars.

Exhibitors commented that the attendees were more experienced boaters who were serious buyers which resulted in strong sales. East Coast Paddle Sports reported 17 sales, exceeding their target, and commented that sales were split between those new to the sport and those looking for a board to keep on their boat.

“One of our biggest challenges we face as an industry is getting new people involved in boating—and that is something the Providence show is perfectly suited for,” said Wendy Mackie, CEO of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), which owns and manages the show. “We focused on affordable ways to get out on the water in our marketing—and the success of that strategy proved that a small regional show like ours can be a strong marketing opportunity for the marine trades while also helping to cultivate new boaters.”

AMI Is Taking Its IMM Training West

The Intermediate Marina Management training, one of the courses required for the Certified Marina Manager award, is being held in Seattle, February 19-23.

The Association of Marina Industries is partnering with Boating British Columbia, California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains, and Pacific Coast Congress of Harbor Masters and Port Captains for the training.

The week-long course focuses on marina operations, policies, and procedures and covers topics such as law, leadership, marketing, and safety. It is also a prerequisite for the Advanced Marina Management class. Together the classes lead to the Certified Marina Manager award which recognizes those who meet a set of professional standards

For more information contact, 401/247-0314 or visit

Industry Mourns the Loss of Gene Spinazola

Long-time marine industry leader Gene Spinazola died January 14, 2017 in Sebastian, Florida, at age 78.

Spinazola grew up and graduated high school in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. He attended Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) graduating in 1961 with a marine engineering degree. He shipped with Texaco as a ship building superintendent before working for General Dynamics in Groton, Connecticut, as a Nuclear Test Engineer in their submarine program.

In 1964, Gene returned to MMA to teach Nuclear Power Engineering and stayed in this position until his retirement in 1995. At MMA, he developed the Marina Management and Small Vessel Operations program, a non-traditional college degree program that continues today, and which lead the way to twelve additional non-traditional programs and record enrollment. He also started the Cadet Shipping Program, and was director of the placement office. In addition, after a fire on the MMA training ship, State of Maine, Spinazola developed a Shipboard Fire Training program that was the first maritime academy United States Coast Guard approved program in this country, and is still used today.

Outside of his work at MMA, Spinazola applied his shipboard firefighting expertise to the marina industry and ultimately founded Gene Spinazola PE & Associates, a company specializing in marina and boatyard fire prevention and training. He also designed and built the mobile "Marina Fast Attack" fire-fighting systems that deliver high pressure water and firefighting foam at 100 gallons per minute (380L/M). (See MDA: “Marina fires: Get the right help the first time.”- July/August 1999, “Marina fires: to fight or not to fight - is that the question?” – November 1999, “Why marinas should partner with local fire department” – July/August 2007.) He was a frequent presenter at recreational boating conferences, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison Docks and Marinas Course, International Marina & Boatyard Conference, IBEX and also contributed many articles to frequent contributor of articles to several trade publications including MDA, and nationwide. he taught fire prevention and firefighting at many marina/boatyard courses.

Spinazola and his wife, were avid boaters, spending several winters living aboard their 43-foot powerboat, Buffle Head, in Florida, and cruising the coastal waters of Maine in the summer. He was also a sports enthusiast, playing football and baseball in school, and an avid golfer all his life.

He leaves behind his beloved wife Katherine, son Francis “Joe” Spinazola, daughters Deborah Hudson and Carol Pier, and 11 grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife Jean in 1991, and a son Sean Spinazola in 2008.

NOAA Appoints Randall Lyons to National Sanctuary Advisory Council

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has appointed Randall Lyons, executive director of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association to serve on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Lyons will serve a three-year term as a business industry alternate member. The council includes seventeen non-governmental voting members, one non-voting youth member and six governmental ex-officio, non-voting members. The non-governmental members represent local user groups, conservation and other public interest organizations, scientific and educational organizations, or those interested in the protection and use of Sanctuary resources. 

The advisory council is tasked with providing advice and recommendations for the management of the sanctuary and acting as liaisons between their communities and sanctuary staff to ensure the public knows about the sanctuary and issues and concerns of citizens are brought to staff.  

AMI Announces New Board of Directors and Graduating CMM/CMO’s at IMBC

During last week’s International Marina & Boatyard Conference, the Association of Marina Industries (AMI) introduced both their 2017 officers and directors and the newest class of Certified Marina Managers (CMM) and Certified Marina Operators (CMO).

This year’s officers for the AMI Board of Directors are Brad Gross, chair; Joe Riley, CMM of Windmill Marina Association, Inc., vice chair; Chris Petty of Suntex Waterfront Management, treasurer; and Chris Dolan of Marina Electrical Equipment, Inc. secretary.

Newly elected to the board is Jason Johnson of Marine Travelift who joins returning board members: Keith Knowlton, CMM of Riverside Yacht Club; Ronaldo Souza, CMM of Westrec Marinas; Austin Cameron of VIP Marina, LLC; Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina; John Chiazza of USI Insurance Services LLC, Inc.; Bob Evans, CMM; Jeff Rose, CMM of Safe Harbor Marinas; Michael Short, CMM of Vancouver Marina; Mitch Jones of Tennessee Marina Association; Kevin Thompson of Bellingham Marine; David Bluestone of Morningstar Properties; Rick Chapman, CMM of Port of Sunnyside Club, Inc.; Alex Laidlaw, CMM of Westrec Marinas; and John Swick, CMM of Safe Harbor Marinas.

The training arm of the AMI, the International Marina Institute (IMI), held its award ceremony for new Certified Marina Managers (CMMs) and Operators (CMOs).
This year’s CMM recipients are: Cory Ginsky, Black Canyon/Willow Beach, Willow Beach, Arizona; Jake Rowe, Pelican Isle Yacht Club, Inc., Naples, Florida; Timothy Baugh, Pelican Petes, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Gili Wojnowich, Yacht Haven Grande Marina, St. Thomas, USVI; and Tony Anderson, Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, Bullfrog, Utah.

CMO recipients include: Timothy Baugh, Pelican Petes, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Ricardo Ermel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Martin Leemaster, Bay Harbor Lake Marina, Bay Harbor, Michigan; Shane Spinner, Bridge Bay, Redding, California; Joe Monroe, South Beach Harbor, San Francisco, California; Lisa Buie, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland, Ohio; and Kelley Poe, Charleston, South Carolina.

This class joins 340 CMMs and 24 CMOs worldwide. To become a CMM or CMO candidate, marina professionals must first satisfy specific criteria and then complete both Intermediate and Advanced Marina Management classes with IMI to gain proficiency in financial management, sales and marketing, regulations, and personnel skills. For more information, visit

Wisconsin Marine Association Announces New President

The Wisconsin Marine Association (WMA) announced that Michelle Shrider of Bayfield, Wisconsin, will become the new president of the organization on March 14, 2017. Shrider will replace Jon Kukuk from Marinette Wisconsin, who led the WMA since its inception in 2008.

Both Shrider and Kukuk were founding members of the organization and have served on the board since 2009.

A Certified Marina Manager, Shrider was a manager at Port Superior and currently serves as manager of Washburn Marina. She also spent eleven years managing a charter boat fleet.

She has served on regional and national marine industry boards, including the Association of Marina Industries (AMI), and American Boatbuilders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) and is a member of the Midwest Marine Association, the National Marine Electronics Council, and the Association of Marine Technicians.

The WMA focuses on the needs of marinas and other marine industries in Wisconsin. For more information visit

New Ferry Service Starts from Berkeley Marina

To give commuters an alternative from sitting in traffic, on January 27, 2017, Tideline Marine Group Inc., started running a daily ferry service between Berkeley Marina and San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

The ferry holds 45 passengers and for now only operates on Fridays, but the company plans to expand service throughout the week as demand increases. Leaving from the Berkeley Marina at K Gate, the trip takes about 20 minutes in each direction. One-way passes sell for $8, or passengers can purchase a six-pack pass for $48. Discounts, a Clipper Card option, and other special programs will be unveiled as the business expands.

NMMA Announces Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award Recipient

Frank Marciano, president, Dometic Americas, will be the recipient of the 2017 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award.

Presented by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the award recognizes individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation

“NMMA congratulates Frank Marciano on his exemplary work in the recreational boating industry and is proud to bestow upon him the Alan J. Freedman Award,” Thom Dammrich, NMMA president, said. “Frank’s attention to detail and commitment to marine product excellence and customer service have helped paved the way for marine manufacturing’s growth and innovation.”

California Looks to Eliminate Second Home Mortgage Tax Deductions

The California legislature has introduced Assembly bill 71 that would eliminate the tax deduction for interest paid on mortgages for second homes. The legislative intent it so put the money saved on this deduction toward affordable housing programs.

This change would impact the boating industry as currently boats with amenities like sleeping quarters, heads and kitchens qualify as a second home making the tax deduction a means to minimize the costs of boat ownership.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is working with its lobbying partners to eliminate the portion of the bill that abolishes the second home mortgage deduction.

USFWS Releases Order to Ban Toxic Ammunition and Fishing Tackle

U. S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe released Order No. 219 aimed to eliminate the use of toxic ammunition and fishing tackle for all activities on federal lands and in federal waters. The order is to go into full effect by January 2022.

The order is in response to studies that showed toxic lead levels in birds considered a result of lead ammunition that is ingested directly by birds and from birds ingesting fish that have been contaminated by lead fishing tackle. Six states have bans on the use of lead fishing tackle in certain instances to protect wildlife.

California’s Department of Toxic Substance Control has gone a step ahead of the federal government and proposed regulations that the California Sportfishing League says will essentially make the manufacture and use of common fishing tackle illegal in the state. Opponents of the order point to the fact that in 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was petitioned to ban lead fishing tackle, but found there was not enough evidence to show that lead tackle presented an unreasonable risk to health or the environment.

The regulation is opposed by many small businesses, tourism and hospitality organizations. An online petition has been started by the California Sportfishing League that asks the Trump administration to revoke Order No. 219. The petition can be found at

USFWS manages 96.2 million acres of public lands and 548 wildlife refuges.

Lapointe Inducted Into NMMA Hall of Fame

Denys Lapointe has been inducted into the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)-Canada Hall of Fame.

Lapointe, vice-president of BRP’s Design and Innovation Centre, is known for his innovation within the industry having been a key member of the design teams that built the Sea Doo brand beginning with its first product in 1988 up to the most recent production of the Sea Doo Spark.

“Denys has contributed greatly to the advancement of the marine industry over the years and has propelled our industry forward through his perseverance in creating intelligently designed products that meet consumer interests,” said Sara Anghel, NMMA executive director and vice president of government relations.  

The NMMA Hall of Fame was established in 1988 to recognize individuals who provide lasting contributions to the advancement of the marine industry, pursuing quality, innovation and perfection within their areas of expertise.

Dockwa Acquires

Dockwa, a mobile app company that allows users to reserve transient dockage at marinas across the U.S. has acquired, a searchable marina directory that features 15,000 marine locations worldwide.

According to Dockwa, the initial plan is to enhance the website to focus on online marketing and customer service, and increase product offerings and overall traffic.

The next step will be to integrate into the Dockwa platform to make it easier for boaters to research and reserver dock space at a wider selection of marinas.

The acquisition of also encompasses the domains,,, and

“The company vision of Dockwa is highly aligned with the vision of,” said Mike Melillo, CEO of Dockwa. “Both connect marinas with boaters and provide marinas with the online tools and data necessary to make informed decisions about their business strategies. By unifying these platforms, we can more rapidly advance technological adoption in the industry and help our customers achieve their growth goals.”

Yank River Marine to Get New Marine Travellift 820

Yank River, located in Dorchester, New Jersey on the Maurice River, will be getting an 820 metric ton travel lift from Marine Travelift of Wisconsin. The purchase will allow Yank River to expand its services and haul larger vessels such as tugboats, ferries, barges and commercial fishing boats. The additional capabilities are estimated to provide up to fifty new full-time, year-round jobs for people in Maurice River Township.

“The addition of the 820 C at the Dorchester location will help to free up space at our Tuckahoe location which is often at capacity,” said Bette Jean Yank, owner of Yank Marine Services. “It will also mean a great deal to our customers to allow them the choice of location for service.”

Marine Recreation Association Regional Seminars Focus on New Wage Laws

The Marine Recreation Association (MRA) is holding two seminars to educate business owners on the effects of new wage and hourly laws. Topics will include the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees in terms of the new overtime law; a summary of California’s mandatory paid sick leave; law changes in the rest and meal periods; and items required to be on every employee’s pay stub. The seminars are presented by Larry Levy the owner of Employee Relations Management Consultants.

Seminars will be held at the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor on Wednesday February 15, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to noon and at the Best Western in Lodi, California, on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

To register visit

Georgia Brings Back Its Clean Marina Program under New Name and Leadership

After losing leadership and funding during the recession, the Georgia Coastal Resources Division is once again housing and managing the state’s Clean and Resilient Marina program.

Managed by Lorene Reid, the program’s main focus is to encourage marinas across the state to install pumpouts to remove the waste from the holding tanks in boats. With federal funds available to cover 75 percent of the cost of the pump and installation, there is little reason for marinas not to get aboard with this initiative.

Currently only eleven of the estimated thirty marinas along Georgia’s coast are participating in the program. But Reid believes more will sign on.
“A lot of marinas are going to want that [clean] status to set them apart from other marinas,” Reid said.

Reid believes the initial cost of the pump, and the minimal profit that a pump generates are disincentives to some marinas. Under the federal program marinas may only charge a boat five dollars for a pumpout which does little to compensate for the $12,000 investment.

However. to an area that sees a lot of transient boats the service can be a draw as an amenity rather than an expense.

Suisun Marina Channel to Be Dredged

The City Council of Suisan, California approved a proposal to contract with Moffatt & Nichol to dredge the Suisan Marina.

The dredging project, which includes work in both the marina channel and in Whispering Bay, will cost approximately $3.9 million, with the city paying $405,000. The remainder of the cost will be funded by the Victorian Harbor and Marina Village maintenance assessment district and the Fairfield-Suisan sewer district.

The marina was last dredged in 2008. This project will differ in that the perimeter levees located at Pierce Island will also need to be raised to accommodate more dredging materials.

The dredging is expected to begin in August 2017.

Portland Redevelopment Project Awarded a $1.5 million Boating Infrastructure Grant

The redevelopment of Portland, Maine’s former St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad manufacturing site, just got a $1.5 million boost from a Boating Infrastructure Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

With a private match of $5.3 million, the marina project is just one small part of the company CPB2’s plan for a mixed used complex. The overall project encompasses 10 acres upland and thirteen submerged acres in Portland Harbor.

Designed by Applied Technology and Management of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., the marina located at 58 Fore St. will have 220 slips on concrete docks and will include 42 slips for transient boats, 19 slips for dinghies used by owners of larger boats anchored in the harbor, and the remainder will be for long-term tenants.

“It is a lot bigger and massive than what is out there now, and designed to withstand the conditions,” said Kirby Marshall, associate principal from Applied Technology and Management.

While the developers received master plan approval from the Planning Board in December, they still need permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state Department of Environmental Protection, Portland Harbor Commissioners and city before the marina construction can begin.

The marina project was one of 18 to earn Boating Infrastructure Grant funding, and one of two to receive the maximum $1.5 million grant. Boating Infrastructure Grants provide funds for the construction of docks and amenities that serve transient boaters. The program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and monies come from the Sportfish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund.

Association of Marina Industries Holds Annual International Marina & Boatyard Conference

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference, managed by the Association of Marina Industries, was held last week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The conference events began Wednesday with a day-long symposium by the American Boat Builders' & Repairers Association and IMBC’s annual field trip which allowed 120 attendees to visit area marinas including, Pier Sixty-Six Marina, Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Marina, and the Lauderdale Marine Center.

The conference kicked off with a keynote address by Steve Gilliland who challenged the 400 people in attendance to "do what you love and don't ever lose your passion because once you lose your passion you will no longer enjoy the ride."

Other keynotes were provided by Marcus Sheridan who spoke about earning customer’s trust, and Thom Dammrich who provided statistics from the Recreational Boating and Leadership Council’s New Market Task Force that illustrated the importance of reaching out to a more diverse population.

Breakout and workshop sessions at the conference included topics on dredging projects, working a full-service marina, techniques for generating slip revenue from boatlifts, understanding marina electrical equipment, marine law, fire safety, marina design, the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG), and workers' compensation.

IMBC Sells Out Exhibit Floor

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) will take place this week, starting January 25 through 27, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Broward Convention Center. For the first time in its history, IMBC has sold out its exhibit floor space prior to the show, including more than 140 booths from more than 120 companies.

In addition to the exhibit floor, the conference offers many education sessions, including “Doing Good, Doing Well: Entrepreneurship and Building a Mission-Oriented Organization” by Major Dan Rooney, Founder, Folds of Honor; “Strategies and Best Practices for Engaging New Markets,” by Thom Dammrich, president, NMMA; “What Is New in Latin America,” by Esteban Biondi, Applied Technology & Management; “Marina Industry Looming Challenge - Servicing New E-Boats / EV Customers While Maintaining Efficient Operating Costs,” by Anthony Baro, E2SOL LLC / Efficient Energy Solutions; and “The Win/Win of Work Based Learning,” by Susan Swanton, executive director, Maine Marine Trades Association.

For a complete look at all of the workshops at IMBC, visit our website.

GEVO’s Isobutanol Gains Initial EPA Approval

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just approved the pathway for an ethanol alternative, bringing boaters one step closer to being able to purchase ethanol free fuel.

Isobutanol, produced by GEVO, is a renewable biofuel that can help reduce the dependency on petroleum based gasoline and achieve the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program.

Tested by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the American Boat and Yacht Counil (ABYC), the Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory and the U.S. Coast Guard, Isobutanol proved to cause no negative impacts to marine engines, unlike higher ethanol blends.

Isobutanol which is made from feed corn starch currently generates D6 RINs. RIN’s which can be sold and traded, are serial numbers assigned to biofuels for the purpose of tracking their production, use and trading. RIN’s are required under the RFS program and carry a monetary value. The lower the RIN number the more valuable the product is in the marketplace. GEVO is currently working to meet a 50 percent or greater Green House Gas (GHG) emission reduction which would reduce its RIN number.

“We are pleased that there is now a route for advanced fuels that provides protein that contributes to the food system. We expect that the approval of this pathway will open up new business opportunities for Gevo, while driving sustainable environmental improvements,” said Dr. Patrick Gruber, Gevo’s CEO.

Meeco Sullivan Expands Production Capabilities

Following a record year with more than 200 contracts, Meeco Sullivan is increasing its production.

The company is hiring more line workers and expanding shifts at its Warwick, New York, facility and adding capabilities at its McAlester, Oklahoma, plant to include eight new welding machines and a plasma cutter, more workers on its assembly, accessories and frame lines, and a production schedule of six days a week with four 12-hour shifts and two eight-hour shifts.

Ralph Morley, national sales manager for Meeco Sullivan commented, “Given our expanded capabilities and enormous capacity, we have been able to meet all agreed upon delivery dates and are well positioned to comfortably handle our forecasted work load for new contracts in 2017.”

A sample of its current contracts includes: ï Wolf Creek Marina- Nancy, Kentucky ï Dale Hollow State Park Marina—Burkesville, Kentucky ï North Shore Marina—Austin, Texas ï East 55th St. Marina—Cleveland, Ohio ï Point Venture Marina—Leander, Texas ï Port Liberte Marina—Jersey City, New Jersey ï Haven Harbour Marina—Rock Hall, Maryland ï Norton’s Shipyard & Marina, Greenwich, Rhode Island.

MRA Hosts Second California Boating Congress

Sponsored by California’s Marine Recreation Association, the California Boating Congress is an opportunity for industry to advocate for issues affecting the marine businesses. The event features presentations by MRA lobbyist Bill Krauss and Lisa Mangat, Director of California State Parks, as well as briefings on boating and fishing access, mandatory licensing, predatory lawsuits, fishing regulations, abandoned vessels and economic impacts from vessel taxation.

Speakers include: Marko Mlikotin, California Sportfishing League, Corrina Dugger, Division of Boating and Waterways, Nvi Dhillon, Morrison & Foerster LLP, and Sonke Mastrup, California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Following the formal program, attendees will visit their representatives at the Capitol.

For more information visit

Yacht Miami Beach Unveils New Show Layout

The 29th annual Yachts Miami Beach, the city's in-water luxury yacht show, will introduce a new look and layout at the 2017 event. The yacht show is set to take place from February 16 to 20 on Collins Avenue, across from the legendary Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels.   
Show Management and the International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA), which co-own the show, engaged design company EDSA to reimagine Yachts Miami Beach. 

"EDSA has translated our vision for engagement between exhibitors and buyers into a new, strategic and aesthetically pleasing design for Yachts Miami Beach," said Dane Graziano, senior vice president and COO for Show Management. "We have expanded show marketing this year to share our excitement about this great new experience planned for Miami Beach boat show weekend in February."     
Spanning more than a mile along Collins Avenue from 41st Street to 54th Street, the show's new layout highlights its picturesque, waterfront location along Indian Creek Waterway. Attendees enter through five artfully designed show entrances, each with attractive wayfinding graphics and an information booth. Entry to the show is $20 per person per day. For the first time ever, guests can arrive at the show aboard water taxis, connected to new, convenient parking locations.

Foot traffic has been redirected from the sidewalk along Collins Avenue to the show's network of new floating docks, where guests will find food and beverage concessions in a welcoming environment where they can spend time and enjoy the show.

To make travel arrangements, contact the show's official travel partner,, at (866) 877-3083 or visit

NPS Offers Concession Opportunity at Fire Island National Seashore-Watch Hill and Sailors Haven

The National Park Service has released a prospectus for a concession opportunity for Fire Island National Seashore in New York, at its Watch Hill and Sailors Haven locations.

The concession operation includes marinas, food and beverage service, and retail sales at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven, and campground services at Watch Hill. The Watch Hill Marina has 188 moorings; the marina at Sailors Haven has 44 moorings. The food and beverage service at Watch Hill includes indoor seating with potential for 100+ seats and space for outdoor service. Food and beverage is offered at Sailors Haven via window service. All concession services are open to the public.

The proposed Concession Contract will be for a term of ten years and is anticipated to begin in 2018.The current contract averaged just over $1 million gross receipts per year for 2013 through 2015, the last years for which complete data is available.

The Prospectus and any subsequent modifications (including responses to any questions received) is published on the NPS web site: The Prospectus includes additional information about the business opportunity, the evaluation questions, and instructions for submitting proposals. The NPS will accept proposals until April 25, 2017 at 4:00 PM eastern time.

The NPS held a site visit prior to the release of this prospectus but will not offer a site visit between the release of this prospectus and the date proposals are due because the waterways between Long Island and Fire Island are sometimes impassable during the winter months.
Watch Hill and Sailors Haven are located within Fire Island National Seashore approximately 6 miles across the bay from Patchogue and Sayville, NY, respectively. There are no paved roads on Fire Island connecting Watch Hill and Sailors Haven to each other. Watch Hill and Sailors Haven can be reached via ferry (Davis Park Ferry Company for Watch Hill; Sayville Ferry Company for Sailors Haven), private boat, water taxi or by walking from nearby communities on Fire Island. The mainland ferry terminals are accessible from the Long Island Railway as well as by car.

For more information about Fire Island National Seashore, visit the park’s website, or on and

MMTA Launches Boat Auction; Raising Funds to Support Youth Programs

The Massachusetts Marine Trades Educational Trust (MMTET) and the Kids in Boating Initiative, both affiliates of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA), are conducting a boat auction and fundraiser from January 19 to February 19. The auction will raise money for two causes to help strengthen recreational boating.

The William Armstrong Scholarship Fund, was named in honor of Bill Armstrong, a Boston boat dealer and founding member of MMTA. The fund provides finanacial assistance to high school seniors or recent graduates in Massachusetts, who are pursuing an education or training to work in the recreation marine industry.

The second cause, the Kids in Boating initiative, is focused on developing support for youth boating programs in the state and to help implement efforts to get more kids on the water.

The boat, motor and trailer donation was made by Robolo Boat sand 3A Marine Service Inc. of Hingham, Massachusetts.

The auction will begin at the MMTA/MMTET Business of Boating Conference on January 19 and will end at 3 p.m. on the final day of the New England Boat Show, on February 19. The highest bidder will win the boat package and delivery. To make a donation or to bid, please visit the auction site at: Or contact Randall Lyons at or at 508/221-1378.

Expert Panel on Boat Clubs to Address Marina Revenue-Generating Opportunities at IMBC

A special panel representing marina owners/operators will address the revenue-generating opportunities and key considerations associated with boat clubs during the International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Five industry panelists are slated to share their experiences and best practices during this session including Sam Chavers of Suntex and director of Marina Operations, Marina Jack; Sam Lowrey, director of Real Estate, MarineMax; Jeremy Holcomb, vp of Marina Operations, Legendary Marina; Travis Staat, real estate manager of Camachee Cove Marina; and John Giglio, president/CEO of Freedom Boat Club. Veteran industry marketer Wanda Kenton Smith will moderate the session.

“Each panelist will share his organization’s boat club history, followed by a moderated session addressing the most common questions marina operators have about boat clubs,” said Kenton Smith. “We will conclude with an open mic Q & A session from the audience.

“Our goal is to help educate marina operators about how boat clubs operate and what the most important considerations are including dock logistics, along with sharing proven revenue streams that clubs can generate for a marina,” said Kenton Smith. “We are very fortunate to have organized such a stellar panel of marina experts in this niche and believe their collective experience, insight and feedback will be especially valuable to marina owners contemplating the boat club model and its potential impact on their business.”

The “Boosting Marina Revenues with Boat Clubs” session is slated for Friday, January 27 from 2:15 – 3:15 pm. For information about IMBC, visit


The National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) is offering a $3,000 scholarship to individuals pursuing education and a career in the maritime trades. High school seniors, and college and vocational students are encouraged to apply.
"Bringing energetic, talented young people into the marine trades is vital to the collective health of our industry," said Keith LaMarr, NMRA president. "We encourage schools to promote this scholarship widely to their students."
The application can be downloaded at and is due April 1, 2017. 
Several NMRA members donated to the 2017 scholarship fund. Midwest Outdoor Marketing reached the Admiral level of giving, while ComMar Sales, GSW & Associates and Macaroni Marketing contributed to the Captain's level. Haimes Coleman Group, Marine Marketing Solutions, Schmitt & Ongaro Marine, The Merifield Company, and William F. Miller & Associates backed the scholarship at the Ship's Crew level.
Contact National Marine Representatives Association, PO Box 360, Gurnee, IL 60031. 847-662-3167; Fax: 847-336-7126. info@nmraonline.org

Sea Hawk Paints Adds New Distribution Partner

Sea Hawk Paints, a premium nautical coating provider, welcomed West Marine on January 5 as its newest authorized distributor servicing the company’s wholesale customers via West Marine Pro business-to-business division, retail consumers at select West Marine store locations, and DIY customers online.

West Marine will provide its customers with Sea Hawk’s comprehensive lineup of premium quality antifouling paint and primer marine coating products.

“West Marine is the ideal addition to the Sea Hawk family of distributors,” said Erik Norrie, Sea Hawk CEO. “As one of the world’s largest purveyors of marine products, West Marine has the geographic reach to provide customers looking for premium quality marine coating products with just-in-time availability of a wide assortment of Sea Hawk antifouling paints and primers.”

ABBRA Conference to Address Shortage of Proficient Technically Skilled Workers

American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has designed its annual symposium to address the most important issue critical to the growth of boatbuilding, refit, repair and service businesses. The day-long event will be held at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center on January 25 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., leading into the IMBC.

The symposium will be preceded by ABBRA’s annual meeting, reception, awards ceremony, and CMSM certification on January 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel.

A proficient technically skilled workforce remains the biggest obstacle to businesses that build, repair and service boats. Pamela Lendzion, executive director of ABBRA said, “admittedly we are not the only industry with a demand for skilled workers and jobs that need to be filled. In this competitive labor market, we cannot afford to be complacent and wait for skilled workers to walk through our door. We need to be proactive and work together as business owners and industry leaders to develop career awareness strategies to attract workers to our industry and training models to up-skill existing workers and to train entry level workers for a career in the recreational marine industry.”

ABBRA’s Symposium on January 25 will help business owners design a plan and form partnerships that will help them build the skilled workforce needed for the sustainable growth of their business. It will consist of brainstorming and informational sessions titled “Leading a Multigenerational Workforce,” “Finding and Developing Your Future Workforce,” “On-the-Job Earn and Learn Training Models,” “How to build a Sector Partnership,” and a session on where to obtain funding assistance for technical skills training and up-skilling of your workforce.

Richard Schuhmann, president of the Landing School, will deliver the keynote address. Speakers include Susan Swanton and Rich Difede, both pioneers in workforce development in the recreational marine industry, Michael Corbit from Career Source Palm Beach County, and Scott Ellsworth with Jobs for Americas Future. Christopher Niles will return with his insights on the Current State of the Economy and Richard Merlino will present a session on the Future of 3D Printing.

To register to attend the ABBRA Annual Meeting, Reception and Symposium, click here.

NMMA Reports Boat Sales to Increase through 2018

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) expects unit sales of new powerboats to increase between six and seven percent in 2016, reaching an estimated 250,000 boats sold this year. In addition to unit sales of new boats, recreational boating industry dollar sales are expected to rise between 10 to 11 percent from $8.4 billion.
“With the U.S. boating industry having one of its strongest years in the last decade, and manufacturers saying, ‘we’re back!’, it’s likely we will reflect on this period as a golden age for our economy and our industry,” notes Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Economic indicators are working in the industry’s favor—a continuously improving housing market, strong consumer confidence, growing disposable income and consumer spending, and low interest rates all contribute to a healthy recreational boating market. Looking ahead, 2017 is likely to bring new dollar and unit sales gains on par with or better than 2016, and this trend will likely continue through 2018.”
Top 4 Boating Trends to Watch in 2017
Big boats are back—New yachts and cruisers are expected to see gains between one and three percent in 2016, and that trend is likely to continue into 2017 as consumer confidence and spending remain strong.
Affordable, versatile boats helping a new generation become boaters—To attract new, younger boaters, manufacturers are making smaller, more affordable boats (watersports boats, pontoons, day boats, etc.) that provide an all-in-one experience from fishing to cruising to watersports.
Intuitive marine technology—As consumers turn to their smartphones to manage numerous aspects of their lives, manufacturers are responding with boats that provide a more intuitive experience—one that makes certain aspects of operating a boat as simple as pushing a button.
Shared experiences—The boating industry is exposing a new demographic to life on the water through shared experiences from boat rental apps to shared boat ownership opportunities.
U.S. Recreational Boating by the Numbers
• Annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services totaled $36 billion in 2015 and are expected to climb three percent in 2016 to $37 billion.
• Annual U.S. retail sales of NEW boats, marine engines and marine accessories totaled $17.4 billion in 2015 and are expected to grow to $19.1 billion in 2016.
• There were approximately 238,000 NEW power boats sold in 2015. The NMMA expects this number to grow to more than 250,000 in 2016.
• The recreational boating industry in the U.S. has an annual economic impact of more than $121.5 billion (includes direct, indirect and induced spending), supporting 650,000 direct and indirect American jobs and nearly 35,000 small businesses.
• Leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories in 2015 were the following states:
1.       Florida: $2.6 billion, up 11.4 percent from 2014
2.       Texas: $1.4 billion, up 8.2 percent from 2014
3.       Michigan: $842.5 million, up 10.5 percent from 2014
4.       Minnesota: $661.5 million, up 10 percent from 2014
5.       New York: $643.3 million, up 7.6 percent from 2014
6.       North Carolina: $634.6 million, up 9.4 percent from 2014
7.       Wisconsin: $616.5 million, up 10 percent from 2014
8.       California: $576.3 million, up 5.4 percent from 2014
9.       Louisiana: $528.1 million, down 0.3 percent from 2014
10.   Alabama: $512.3 million, up 11.9 percent from 2014
• There were an estimated 958,000 pre-owned boats (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) sold in 2015, an increase of 1.9 percent.
• There were an estimated 12.1 million registered/documented boats in the U.S. in 2015.
• Ninety-five percent of boats on the water (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) in the U.S. are small in size at less than 26 feet in length—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.
• Boating is predominantly “middle-class” with 72 percent of boat owners having a household income of less than $100,000.
• 95 percent of all Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water

IMBC Marina Tour Goes by Boat

The International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) will host the 2017 IMBC field trip by boat to five Fort Lauderdale marinas – Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Marina, Lauderdale Marine Center and Pier Sixty-Six Marina.

Carl F. Wolf of Marina Management Services, Inc. will lead the tour. Wolf is a certified marina manager (and an MDA columnist). He has taught courses for the International Marina Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Docks and Marinas course.

The tour will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., January 25. To register, visit the IMBC website.

ABBRA Annual Meeting & Symposium Set for January

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) is set to host its annual meeting and symposium January 24 to 25 at the Renaissance Cruise Port Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The event will focus on some of the most important issues that are critical for the growth of boatyard and boatbuilding businesses, preceded the night before by a reception, awards ceremony and Certified Marine Service Managers certification.

Symposium topics will include leading a multi-generational workforce; on-the-job earn and learn training models; finding and building your future workforce; state of the economy; how to build a sector partnership; the future of 3D printing; and financial management for the non-financial manager.

Registration rates are $150 for members, $100 for spouses/partners, and $185 for non-members. Breaks and lunch is included in the price and schedule. To register, visit or call 401/236-2466.

Must-Have Training for Marina Operators—“Marina Safety Awareness”

Association of Marina Industries (AMI) MYMIC Training Technologies and USI Insurance Services have partnered to deliver online training course—offered in both English and Spanish—to help marinas’ new and seasonal employees better understand marina operations to improve customer service and reduce risk.

MYMIC Training Technologies developed the Marina Safety Awareness Training course with the goal of reducing accidents and injuries among marina personnel. This game-based course lets trainees interact with a virtual marina, where they identify and learn about the potentially hazardous areas of a marina. It is part of MYMIC Training Technologies new learning management system (LMS) or online classroom that lets a marina’s employees train from anywhere, at any time.

All an employee needs is a smartphone, personal tablet or computer with an internet connection to access their company’s specific LMS content with their username and password. Marina owners can give new employees a basic understanding of the inner workings of the marina. As Brad Gross, AMI chair said, “… In today’s fast-paced digital world, this training offers marina managers another tool for training their new and seasonal employees quickly and efficiently.”

For marina owners and administrators, an additional benefit is their ability to track employees’ progress in the series of in-depth training modules that are offered. AMI members, meanwhile, can use coupon code AMI17 at checkout for a 10 percent discount. Certified marina managers and certified marina operators can apply this training toward their required annual continuing education units.

USI Insurance Services USA, the endorsed AMI risk management partners, is also offering this product to the AMI homepage under the USI tab as an additional service to participating marinas, and is one more program among the many that they offer as part of their online safety and compliance programs available to AMI members.

To learn more about this online training, visit:

For more information on USI visit, or For more information, call 866/367-6622 or visit MYMIC Training Technologies at

Call for Presentations at MRA Conference & Trade Show

Presenters interested in participating in the 2017 Marine Recreation Association (MRA) conference are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration by the MRA board of directors. Typical presentations should fit a 50-minute timeframe focused on marina and boatyard industry marketing, management, development, regulation, new technology and other topics of interest, in a multi-media and/or roundtable format.

As in the past, this important industry gathering will be focused on enhancing guest services and customer satisfaction, improving marine operations and regulatory compliance, and optimizing fiscal results and business growth. The three-day conference will include seminars and roundtable discussions covering key marine industry management, operations, and marketing concerns, and an extensive marine trade show featuring industry vendors and contractors exhibiting a broad range of products and services.

"Participating speakers will have an opportunity to present themselves, and their company, in a position of industry leadership, by sharing expertise and knowledge to help raise awareness and understanding on many industry topics for a diverse group of industry attendees," said Mariann Timms, MRA operations administrator. "The MRA continually seeks seminar courses that bring unbiased and new information about emerging issues and ideas impacting the industry to our members, and our Conference and Regional Training Programs are ways we accomplish that objective."

Presentation proposals for the 2017 conference must be submitted no later than Tuesday, January 17, 2017, via email to Proposals must include title of the presentation, a brief overview of the subject matter and presentation format, and name and short bio of the presenter.

The MRA will review submitted proposals at the board of directors annual planning meeting, and will notify presenters of their status no later than Friday, February 24, 2017. 

Marine Marketers Accepting Entries for 2016 Neptune Awards

Marine Marketers of America (MMA) is accepting entries now through January 11, 2017, for the 2016 Neptune Awards, recognizing excellence in the marine marketing field.

The annual competition is open to any company or organization producing and publishing marine industry marketing materials between January 1 and December 31, 2016, and the awards will be presented at the Miami International Boat Show in February.

“This has been a great year for innovation and creativity in the boating marketplace, and we encourage our industry peers to submit their work in the Neptune Awards program, a prestigious long-time program which is celebrating its ninth year,” said Wanda Kenton Smith, president of MMA.

Entries will be accepted for all 14 current standing categories, including: national magazine ads, national magazine ads in a series, web banner ads, product literature, newsletters, email promotion/blasts, regional/local marketing, video, mobile apps, social media campaigns, marketing innovation, special event/sales promotion, websites and diversity initiatives.

“Last year, there were 97 entries in 13 categories, with a record-breaking total of 47 companies and advertising agencies participating, said Sally Helme, vice president of MMA. “There was great diversity in terms of company size and type, and the standard of work, overall, was very high.”

Neptune award guidelines and entry forms are posted at, where you can also view last year’s winning entries. For more information, contact Sally Helme at 401/845-4405 or

Suntex Marinas Partners with MyTaskit; Also Merges with Marina Jack Holdings

Suntex Marinas has recently partnered with MyTaskit, a comprehensive task sharing and business management software solution, as their vendor of choice for boat management and marina service coordination.

Suntex Marinas, a Dallas-based organization, said MyTaskit’s open API ensures a seamless integration to its existing systems, and will allow a smooth roll-out to its nationwide network of marinas. Suntex Chief Financial Officer Tom Tipton said he expects that the technology’s robust platform will improve operations and customer service across the board.

“MyTaskit brings clarity and improved productivity to every aspect of our business,” said Tipton. “There is a multitude of activity happening day in and day out at any given marina, from repairs and maintenance to general operations. MyTaskit not only helps us run a better business, but also elevates the level of service we are able to offer to our customers.”

The Suntex relationship signals even more growth for MyTaskit, which has seen rapid adoption across the marine industry since its 2015 launch. MyTaskit founder and CEO Kevin Hutchinson said that he was excited about the new partnership, and that it further confirms the industry’s demand for a technological shift.

“We’re always proud to be affiliated with leaders in the marketplace, and Suntex is one of the best in the industry. We are excited about the efficiencies MyTaskit is going to bring to their business and service offerings,” said Hutchinson. “Marinas like Suntex are recognizing that there is a better way to operate. Paperwork and traditional business management tools are fast becoming cumbersome and inefficient, and we couldn’t be happier that MyTaskit is able to fulfill that need with a comprehensive and easy-to-use software platform.”

Suntex has also merged with Marina Jack Holdings, LLC, and affiliates of SRS Holdings, LLC, parent companies of Marina Jack and Oleary’s Tiki Bar in downtown Sarasota, Florida; as well as Bayfront Yacht Works & Marina, Bayfront Excursions, and Turtle Beach Grill on south Siesta Key, Florida.

“We are very excited to welcome Marina Jack to our portfolio of exceptional properties,” said Bryan Redmond, founding principal of Suntex. “Marina Jack is one of the preeminent marina and hospitality sites in the U.S. and in 2015 was recognized by a marine trade publication as ‘National Marina of the Year.”’

All employees and management personnel of Marina Jack’s restaurant and marina subsidiaries will be kept throughout the transition.

“This is without question a merger of strengths from an operational and managerial standpoint,” said Robert L. Soran, CEO of Marina Jack. “We share a vision of future growth opportunities for our people and our combined companies.” Soran will have an equity interest and board advisory capacity with Suntex.

The Suntex merger includes two local marina entities. With direct, no-bridge access to the Gulf, Marina Jack’s marina operations is an iconic marina-based hospitality center located in the heart of town. The marina features slip accommodations for vessels up to 228 feet, with 316 wet and dry slips, a full-service fuel dock, ship's store and an on-site yacht services department.

The same management and operations personnel who developed Marina Jack into an award-winning marina recently purchased the former Turtle Beach Marina in September of 2015. Now known as Bayfront Yacht Works & Marina, this south Siesta Key business features a full-service boat yard with haul-out capabilities for vessels up to 65 feet. Bayfront Yacht Works & Marina adds an additional 60 dry and wet slips to the portfolio, along with a rapidly growing boat and watersport rental business known as Bayfront Excursions.

The merger also includes three well-known restaurant entities. As Sarasota’s oldest continuously operating restaurant, Marina Jack is comprised of three dynamic hospitality venues featuring a mix of casual and upscale dining. Marina Jack offers a full-service private event room popularly used for weddings and group events with unparalleled views of Sarasota Bay. The restaurant also operates the Marina Jack II, a 96-foot passenger vessel known for Sarasota’s best sightseeing and sunset dinner cruises.

Oleary’s Tiki Bar & Grill, located adjacent to Marina Jack along the Sarasota Bayfront, is the area’s only “Key West” themed restaurant. This casual tiki bar backdrop features live entertainment daily and a dining area directly on the beach. Furthermore, Marina Jack’s management and ownership team acquired Turtle Beach Grill on south Siesta Key in September of 2015. With indoor and outdoor seating just steps away from Siesta Key’s Turtle Beach, this family friendly dining venue underwent extensive renovations and improvements to accommodate locals and visitors alike.

Trex Wins Top Honors at NADRA

At the North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) annual National Deck Competition, TrexPro® deck builders earned a total of 17 awards in 13 categories, including the first place overall prize.

Capturing top honors was TrexPro Paradisaic Building Group of Bowmanville, Ontario. The company’s First Place Overall-winning project showcased Trex Transcend® decking in Gravel Path, a pristine, low-luster gray tone with deep, realistic wood graining. Paradisaic also picked up a First Place for Alternative Deck over $50K, Second Place award in the Limitless Creation category and Third Place in the Alternative Deck ($25K-50K) category. Other TrexPro winners included:

• Amazing Decks of Ambler, Pennsylvannia – First Place, Limitless Creation; Second Place, Open Porch; Second Place, Unique Feature; Third Place, Alternative Deck Over $50K; and Third Place, Open Porch.

• My Deck, LLC, of Flemington, New Jersey – First Place (Tie), Alternative Deck $25K-$50K; First Place (Tie), Alternative Deck $25K-$50K; Second Place, Alternative Deck $25K-$50K.

• America’s DeckBuilder, LLC of Barnegat, New Jersey – First Place, People’s Choice Award-Builder; and Third Place, Illumination.

• Barrett Outdoors of Millstone Township, New Jersey – First Place, Commercial Project and First Place, Unique Feature.

• Decksouth Inc. of Alpharetta, Georgia – Third Place, Enclosed Porch.

Mr. Shrinkwrap to Represent Express Heat Tools

Global shrink wrap supply and service company Mr. Shrinkwrap announced its newly formed relationship with Express Heat Tools. Mr. Shrinkwrap will represent the line as one of a select few North American Master Distributors.

Kevin Comerford, president of Mr. Shrinkwrap said, "The Express Heat Tool brand is a strong complement to our offering as we are known for carrying high-quality heat tools to satisfy a variety of customer demands. The Express line of tools fills a void in the market for a well-designed, very high output heat tool that makes heating very large areas of shrink wrap much faster."

Since 1991, Mr. Shrinkwrap has evolved from a local boat covering service to a thriving business with a national scope, offering on-site shrink wrap services and becoming a leading distributor of shrink film, poly film, heat guns, shrink wrap tape, preservation tape, stretch wrap, self-adhering films, and shrink wrap supplies.

WMA Launches Inaugural Conferences; Honors Clean Marinas

In November, the Wisconsin Marine Association (WMA) hosted a conference, “Sharing Solutions and Building Success,” held in Rothschild, Wisconsin. Marina operators and owners, service managers, dealers, marine industry suppliers and consultants and representatives of industry manufacturers had questions, comments and experiences to share on each topic.

Handling of hazardous materials, building marina resilience to major storms, recruiting and keeping excellent tech employees, digital marketing techniques, myths and facts about E15 fuels and how to prevent fuel problems, retail store strategies, Clean Marina topics and more were covered over the two days.

Matt Gruhn, president of the MRAA, delivered the keynote address, “The New Era of Boating,” providing insights into growth expectations and the challenges and opportunities of the changing industry.

The two-day conference was the first its kind for the WMA. “This gave us an opportunity for in-depth question and answer sessions that really got to the heart of what our members are concerned about,” said Jon Kukuk, president of the WMA. “And there were great conversations at the banquet and other networking opportunities. Because we’re Wisconsin based we really hone in on what matters to Wisconsin marine businesses.” In addition to the presentations, industry partner members showcased their products and services.

The WMA administers the Wisconsin Clean Marina program as part of its mission to protect Wisconsin’s freshwater resources. Seven marinas received their “Clean Marina” certificates at the conference for meeting Clean Marina requirements, either for the first time or as recertification. The award recognizes marinas and boatyards that implement best management practices that protect water quality, public health and fish and wildlife habitat.

A 2017 conference is being planned for early December.

The Wisconsin Marine Association, launched in 2009, includes members of recreational boating facilities and marine businesses dedicated to the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and experience to improve, protect, and advance the interests of the marine industry of Wisconsin.

California Association Annual Awards Recipients Honored

At the 68th Annual Training Conference and Trade Show held this year from October 10 to 14 in San Pedro, the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains honored several deserving recipients with their annual awards.

“Port Captain of the Year” is the recognition given the outgoing president for their year of service to the association. Ryan Mullany of the Los Angeles Port Police was recognized for not only his year as president, but also for a culmination of service to the association that started with being a director in 2012. Mullany, a 12-year port police employee, expertly steered the association through another successful year.

Rod Taylor, regional vice president of Forever Resorts, was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his presidency of the Clean Marinas Program for the past five years. Certificates of appreciation are the association’s recognition of outstanding assistance by a non-member. Taylor’s leadership and contributions to the Clean Marinas Program have ensured this important industry-led initiative remains the premier clean marina, harbor and boating best-management practices program in the nation.

For the third time now, Mick Kronman of Santa Barbara was recognized as this year’s State Harbor Master of the Year. This is awarded to a member who, through actions or deeds, epitomizes the position of harbor master, or through extraordinary efforts advances the objectives of the association, or who provides extraordinary or heroic services related to the maritime services. As a director on the association board, Kronman was behind the scenes helping pen important position letters, writing Slack Tide articles and providing guiding input to the board. Within his organization, he constantly and successfully strives to improve his operations, policies and procedures. For this and more, Kronman was honored for his undying commitment to the association and industry.

Plank Ownership and Life Membership are awarded to former corporate or affiliate members who, because of their past contributions or long membership of at least ten years, have earned the privilege of Plank Ownership and Life Membership. Two important members of the association and industry were recognized this year.

Brad Gross has served on nearly every CAHMPC board of directors since 2002, including president in 2005. Gross, also a three-time State Harbor Master of the Year, has expertly steered many important board committees, and even when off the Board, has always lent his time and effort to assist the board and advance the objectives of the association. Gross began his maritime career in Southern California first as a deckhand and then a 100-ton licensed captain and operations manager for a major charter operator. In 1996, he took a position as harbor master in Berkeley Marina, a position he held until 2000.

In 2000, Gross moved to a Wharfinger position with the Port of San Francisco, then went on to the harbor master position with the city and county of San Francisco in 2001 at the San Francisco Marina and Yacht Harbor. In 2007, he returned home to Southern California as director for OC Dana Point Harbor, a position he left earlier this year for retirement.

In all his harbor master positions, Gross was responsible for multi-million dollar operating budgets and complicated renovation projects. He is a certified marina manager, and serves on the boards of the association of marina industries and the Clean Marina Program. It was with honor that Gross’ shipmates proudly bestowed Plank Ownership and Life Membership upon him.

After serving a combined 41 years in two different harbors, Steve Scheiblauer of Monterey Harbor, is retiring next February from what will be 22 years there. His active and effective participation in the association goes back decades, including serving as president in 1988 when he was with the Santa Cruz Port District.
While Scheiblauer has not served on the board of directors for many years, he is often sought and always assists the board and association members however he can. Having started in the maritime services in 1965 as a lifeguard for the cities of Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, he left southern California in 1971 to become a lifeguard for the city of Santa Cruz, where he quickly promoted to lifeguard supervisor.

In 1975, he became a deputy harbor master for Santa Cruz Port District, and then promoted to harbor master in 1978. Scheiblauer left Santa Cruz for Monterey in 1995 to be that city’s harbor master, where he serves to this day. During his long tenure, he has effectively and positively touched and worked on all things harbor, boating, fishing and marina related.

From being a competitive swimmer and swim coach, overseeing two harbors for over four decades, leading commercial and recreational fishing advocacy issues for over 35 years, to saving lives and mentoring countless employees, compatriots, peers and the general public, he is a public servant and harbor master in the finest tradition.

NMRA Elects New Officers and Board Of Directors

The National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) has elected its officers and board of directors to govern the organization in 2016–2017. One new officer and two board members have joined the leadership group.

Keith LaMarr of Macaroni Marketing was elected NMRA president and Neal Trombley of Gulf Atlantic Marketing is vice president. Clayton Smith of Waters & David Co. is the new treasurer, and Patrick Churchman of Midwest Outdoor Marketing left the NMRA board of directors to serve as secretary. Rob Gueterman of GSW & Associates is the current past president.

New to the NMRA board of directors is Aaron Freeman of Wickes Marine and Ivan Cross of The Merifield Co. They join current board members Jim Cressy of Cressy Marketing, Craig Coatney of Coatney Sales, Scott Kolodny of ComMar Sales, and Paul Rieger of Wm. F. Miller & Associates.

IMBC Prepares for Upcoming Conference; Registration Open

Registration for the International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) is now available at IMBC, entering its 15th year, is taking place January 25 to 27, 2017, at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and is produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI).

Full conference passes start at $389 and include unlimited access to all educational seminars, round tables, workshops, food and beverages, entry into the exhibit hall, and admittance to all networking events. This year's biggest events include the new IMBC Pub Crawl, an AMI member meeting followed by a first-time attendee reception, and IMBC's opening night Exhibit Hall Party on January 25.

This year, the dozens of seminar and workshop offerings provide a balanced selection focusing on four key areas: operations, service and repair, design and engineering, and best industry practices. Sessions range from developing new revenue streams, planning successful dredging projects, preparing for the upcoming changes to the marine electrical safety program to solid succession planning. All are presented by leaders in their respective fields. Each day of intense learning closes with receptions and socials for continued industry networking.

"IMBC remains a one-stop shop for marina professionals and the annual event for our industry," said AMI Chair Brad Gross, certified marina manager. "It is where we gather to keep well-informed on trends, discuss new ideas, talk to suppliers about new products hitting the market, and create important professional relationships. It is how we improve our businesses and find information to ensure continued success." 

As well as full conference passes, IMBC offers one-day passes and exhibit hall passes. As always, AMI members receive a discount on all passes. In addition to the perks of full conference and one-day passes, the marina and boatyard field trip may be added for $60 for AMI members and $90 for non-members. Exhibit hall-only and guest passes may also be purchased.

Pre-registration will be available until Friday, January 20, 2017. Onsite registration will begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. For more information or to register, visit

ABBRA Marine Service Manager Certification Course

American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) held a marine service management (MSM) course in October at the Quadrant Marine Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia. The course was taught by experienced industry professionals and was designed for individuals presently working in, or working toward leadership roles in boatyards and marine service centers by providing broad-based and focused management training.

By the end of the course, participants gained exposure to new ways of dealing with the issues and challenges that are common throughout the boatyard, boat repair and boat building industry from their peers and seasoned instructors. Participants left with a concrete understanding of how to:

• Improve themselves, their work habits and leadership skills, including time management, scheduling, work force management and corporate communication;
• manage repair and retrofit projects in the context of operational workflow;
• meet environmental management and safety standards.
• build and deliver a highly functioning customer service system, increase customers' satisfaction and revenue taught;
• avoid common legal issues and understand the basics of maritime law and how it affects boat yard operations;
• successfully navigate the lucrative world of warranty work.
• Deal with emergencies such as fire, storms and accidents; and
• much more including administrative efficiency, facility management and codes and standards.

In addition to the lectures and interactive discussions, the course included a boat yard study tour. The participants performed a SWOT analysis on three boatyards, using their newly gained insights to identify problems, recommend improvements and propose corrective measures. They were required to work as a team and present the strategies in a report that comprised their final class exercise.

An important feature of the MSM course was its intensive participatory characteristics that helped attendees establish strong and lasting networks of contacts in the industry and throughout the country.

NPS Hosts Site Visit Ahead of Call for New Concessionaire

The National Park Service (NPS) will offer a site visit on October 6 for facilities included in an upcoming concession opportunity for Fire Island National Seashore at its Watch Hill and Sailors Haven locations.

The concession operation includes marinas, food and beverage service, and retail sales at Watch Hill and Sailors Haven, and campground services at Watch Hill. The Watch Hill Marina has 144 night moorings plus an additional 29 day moorings; the marina at Sailors Haven has 44 night moorings. The food and beverage service at Watch Hill includes a restaurant with indoor seating (with potential for 100+ seats) and space for outdoor service. All concession services are open to the public.

The proposed concession contract will be for a term of ten years and is anticipated to begin in 2018. The current contract averaged just more than $1 million gross receipts per year for 2013 through 2015, the last year for which complete data is available.

NPS expects to release the prospectus for the new concession contract in 2016. The site visit precedes the prospectus release in order to allow interested parties to see the locations during the operating season. The prospectus will be posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website ( and on the NPS Commercial Services website ( when it is released.

If you are interested in attending this site visit, contact Concession Specialist, Martin Tjiattas, via email at by 4:00 p.m. October 4.

Edson Hosts Dealer Awards at Newport Boat Show

Edson International hosted the Edson Awards for Excellence in Portraying Company Image at the Newport International Boat Show in Newport, Rhode Island, from Sep. 15 to 18. Presented by Edson Chairman Will Keene, the awards were given to companies that exemplify pride and professionalism. Winners in each category receive $1,000 credit toward their 2017 show contract costs from the show producers.

“Exhibits were judged by an independent group and assessed on cohesive branding throughout; eye-catching and inviting set-up; well-dressed, friendly, knowledgeable staff; brochures and business cards readily available; and a neat and clean environment,” Keene said.

2016 winners: Best In-Water Powerboat Display: MarineMax, Clearwater, Florida; Best In-Water Sailboat Display: Beneteau USA, Annapolis, Maryland; Best Free-Standing Display: Sunbrella, Burlington, North Carolina; Best in Tent Display: 727 Sailbags, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; Best Overall Display and Edson Star of the Show: Beneteau USA, Annapolis, Maryland.

ABYC Launches Online Learning Platform

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has launched a new online marine training platform, which hosts multi-module courses, interactive learning tools and on-demand webinars. Students will have the opportunity to learn at their own pace and save on travel expenses to attend on-site courses.
“ABYC is strengthening its position as the marine industry’s leader in technical training with the introduction of the online learning platform,” said Matt Wienold, ABYC education development manager. “Our members and technicians need more flexibility and this new opportunity will be an excellent supplement to ABYC’s educational offerings.”
According to a study from the Brandon-Hall Group, online learning requires 40 percent to 60 percent less employee time than learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting.
“ABYC’s online courses will let employers and students say when, where and how new skills are learned,” Wienold said.
The live courses include basic marine electrical and corrosion mitigation and marine accident investigation. Additional courses are under development, many of which are free and will earn students continuing education credits.
The online courses feature audio, visual and video content. With interactive quizzing throughout each course, students receive immediate feedback on their progress and direction for further exploration on areas that require more attention.
To learn more about the ABYC’s online educational offerings, visit

IBEX Offers Expanded In-Water Displays and Education

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), held from Oct. 4 to 6 at the Tampa Convention Center will feature expanded docks exhibits for in-water displays, and three full days of technical education and training.

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) will award the Innovation Awards during the annual industry breakfast on Oct. 4, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel. IBEX will be held from Oct. 4 to 6 at the Tampa Convention Center directly across the street from the Marriott.

The Innovation Awards honor achievement in product development in 13 areas of the marine industry: boatbuilding methods and materials; deck equipment and hardware; furnishings and interior parts; mechanical systems; electrical systems; inboard engines; outboard engines; boatyard and dealer hardware and software; propulsion parts, propellers; boat care and maintenance; OEM electronics; trailers, parts and trainer accessories; and safety equipment.

Sea Hawk Paints Unveils New Corporate Positioning Video

Sea Hawk Paints, a nautical coating manufacturer based in Clearwater, Florida, launched a new video in September. The video marks a change in how the company communicates to its customers, the marine community and the press. Using the company story, as told by company President David Norrie and CEO Erik Norrie, the video positions Sea Hawk Paints in a unique light as it approaches its 40th anniversary.
“Sea Hawk is a specialty marine coatings company that is all about taking care of people’s boats,” said Erik Norrie. “Our new brand video better communicates that we are a unique, family owned and operated business that handcrafts the very best antifouling paints and coatings for the marine industry, right here in America,” Norrie said.
The video presents the company as contemporary and evolving, reflects the strength of its artisanal nature, and underscores its owner’s commitment to providing boat owners around the world with the high quality service and solutions for protecting and enhancing the longevity and performance of their vessels. The video emphasizes Sea Hawk’s family of core values, which include hard work, integrity and standing behind its products. The video will reside on the company’s website, YouTube channel, Facebook page and be used to train its worldwide network of certified applicators.
To view the video, please go to

Aqua Marine Partners Acquires Palm Island Marina

Aqua Marine Partners (AMP) of Cape Haze, Florida, has acquired Palm Island Marina from Garfield Beckstead, Dean Beckstead and Terry Lynch. AMP, an owner and operator of marina properties, closed on the acquisition on August 26.

The approximately 290-slip marina will be renamed Aquamarina Palm Harbour. Situated just minutes from the Boca Grande Pass, the property is located in the heart of a popular tarpon fishing hotspot. Known primarily for its resort-style facility, with a swimming pool, established restaurant, the marina is in close proximity to the Palm Island Resort and its beaches.

Aquamarina Palm Harbour intends to maintain its operational association with Palm Island Resort and continue the water taxi shuttle service to or from the marina and the resort. The landing site will remain adjacent to the marina’s restaurant tenant, Johnny Leverock’s, which is currently being refurbished and anticipates its grand re-opening shortly.

“We are thrilled to be growing our AMP family,” said Andrew Sturner, founder and chairman of AMP. “We have recently expanded our team to acquire additional marinas and this particular marina is a gem - one that has been maintained and is in a fabulous location. AMP intends to improve and expand the marina and will invest in the operational and aesthetic aspects of the physical property.”

Aquamarina Palm Harbour has two dry storage buildings with expansive aisles for larger boats, deep-water wet slips, travel lift operations for larger boats requiring a full-service boat yard, award-winning customer service scores as a premier and now platinum level mercury service team while maintaining and enhancing all environmental and safety standards as a designated Clean Marina by the state of Florida.

ABBRA Awards Ten new CMSM Credentials; Schedules Course for British Columbia

At the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) Annual Award Ceremony & Symposium, held in Portland, Maine, from June 26 to 27, ten new Certified Marine Service Managers (CMSM) were recognized.

The CMSM designation was created by ABBRA to enhance the professional image of marine service personnel working in today's busy, dynamic and technologically advanced boatyards. Its key purpose is to encourage the highest standards and provide educational opportunities for the professional development and training needs of the owners and operators of boat building and repair yards, their service managers and lead employees who are recognized as the future leaders of the boat building, repair and service facilities throughout the U.S.

The courses focus on boatyard operations best business practices, policies, procedures and government compliance.

ABBRA awarded the CMSM credential to the following: Joseph Treadwell - Gaines Marina & Services, Rouses Point, New York; Michael Waldow - Hartge Yacht Harbor Galesville, Maryland; Kirk Ritter - John Williams Boat Company, Mount Desert, Maine; Kevin Green - Conanicut Marine Services, Jamestown, Rhode Island; Patrick Desmond - 3A Marine, Hingham, Massachusetts; Anne Killeen - Point Judith Marina, Wakefield, Rhode Island; Stephen Ecker - Maine Yacht Center, Portland, Maine; Jillian Jacobs - New Meadow Marina, Freeport, Maine; Paul Lemoureax - Front Street Shipyard, Belfast, Maine; Max Johanson - Johanson Boatworks, Rockland, Maine.

The ABBRA CMSM course is being held in Sidney on Vancouver Island, B.C., from Oct. 16 to 18, hosted by Quadrant Marine Institute at the Sidney Pier Hotel.

Suntex Acquires Marina Jack

Suntex Marina Investors, LLC announced an agreement with Marina Jack Holdings, LLC and affiliates of SRS Holdings, LLC to acquire its properties – Marina Jack and Oleary’s Tiki Bar in downtown Sarasota; Bayfront Yacht Works & Marina, Bayfront Excursions, and Turtle Beach Grill on south Siesta Key, Florida.

“We are very excited to welcome Marina Jack to our portfolio of exceptional properties,” said Bryan Redmond, founding principal of Suntex. “Marina Jack is one of the preeminent marina and hospitality sites in the U.S. and in 2015 was recognized by a leading marine trade publication as National Marina of the Year.”

Marina Jack was the Marina Dock Age 2015 large Marina of the Year winner.

The marina features slip accommodations for vessels up to 228 feet, with 316 wet and dry slips, a full-service fuel dock, ship's store and an on-site Yacht Services department. The same management and operations personnel who developed Marina Jack into an award-winning marina recently purchased the former Turtle Beach Marina in September of 2015. Now known as Bayfront Yacht Works & Marina, this south Siesta Key business features a full-service boat yard with haul-out capabilities for vessels up to 65 feet. Bayfront Yacht Works & Marina adds an additional 60 dry and wet slips to the portfolio, along with a rapidly growing boat and watersport rental business known as Bayfront Excursions. The merger also includes three well-known restaurant entities.

Suntex adds Marina Jack to its portfolio of 34 Marinas in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and St. Maarten.

Registration Open for Docks Expo

The Docks Expo will be held from November 30 to December 2 at the St. Charles Convention Center. Registration is open, and a lineup of education sessions have been announced.

The Docks Expo is held in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Docks and Marinas course. The annual trade show is designed to connect marina and boatyard operators with the latest products and services to help them manage, maintain and improve their business and facilities. Docks is organized by the publishers of Marina Dock Age magazine.

The show will begin Wednesday, November 30 with education session from 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibitor floor opens from 3 p.m., before the cocktail reception from 5 to 6 p.m.

Speakers and topics for the education sessions include Anna Townshend, Marina Dock Age editor, Annual Marina Industry Survey Results; Sam Chavers, director of marina operations at Marina Jack, Value-Added Amenities for Customer Retention and Long-Term Profits; Dan Natchez, president of Daniel S. Natchez and Association Inc., Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance; Carl Wolf, CMM, director of business services, Marina Management Services Inc., Customer First Impressions and the Effect on Your Bottom Line; Jack Cox, principal and coastal engineer at SmithGroupJJR, Living Shorelines and Resiliency in Marina Design; Sarah Orlando, Ohio Sea Grant Extension educator and Ohio Clean Marinas program manager, Clean Marinas; Kim Lisa Taylor, founder and principal at Marina & Resort Investments, LLC, Crowdfunding for the Marina and Boatyard Industry; Michael Marzahl, president of XL Lifts Inc., Marina Drystack Boat Handling and Forklift Trends; and Gregory Weykamp, ASLA, LEED AP, president and principal, Edgewater Resources, LLC, Sedimentation Management and Dredge Funding.

The education sessions will also include a number of panel discussions on important topics – Floating Wave Attenuators; Marina Electrical Safety and Regulations and Marina Insurance; Environmental Products and Practices; and Marina Insurance, Policies and Claims.

More about the schedule, hotel and travel information, and to register, visit, or see the brochure enclosed along with this issue.

Hoty Marine Groups Adds to Its Marina Portfolio on Lake Erie

Hoty Marine Groups announced the addition of Battery Park Marine Service in Sandusky, Ohio, to its marina portfolio. Battery Park Marina will remain an independent operation.

Moving forward, Battery Park Marine Services, which provides winterization, storage and repairs for watercraft, including power and sailboats, will be headquartered at Venetian Marina, located at 2035 First Street in Sandusky. Hoty Marine Group plans for major capital improvements to the building and grounds in order to enhance the level of service for its customers and provide additional protection and security.

Hoty Marine Group and its affiliates have owned and operated marinas along the shores of Lake Erie for 30 years. Since 2010, Hoty Marine Group has added 68,000 square feet of boat storage buildings to its portfolio at Venetian and Son Rise Marinas. The purchase of Battery Park Marine Services adds an additional 96,000 square feet of inside heated storage capabilities.

Interestingly, nearly 20 years ago, the Hoty family had pursued a purchase of this property and with the deal nearly inked, buried a cross on the site. In a twist of events, the property was sold to another buyer, and the Hoty’s sunk their investment dollars a few doors away, renovating the former Barr Rubber plant and constructing Son Rise Marina. With the ink now dry and that cross still buried on the property, the Hoty’s are renaming the site Cross View Marine Services.

IMI to Host ‘Marina 101’ Course and Study Tour in Florida

The International Marina Institute (IMI), a subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries (AMI), will host a four-hour marina industry introduction course on October 31 at the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay hotel. The course is for those with little or no marina experience looking to build a career in the industry.

The course offers two sessions, approximately two hours each. The first session will look at the here and now of marina operations and the second will look into the future and what one needs to know about being a part of a marina for the long-term.

The course is held prior to the 10th Annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour. 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. Each day also includes a rountable discussion and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of each marina.

The cost of the annual study tour is $1,195; the cost of the Marina 101 course is $100 with the study tour and $250 without tour registration. For more information on the course, visit here. Click here for more on the study tour.

Dockwa Secures $2M in Funding for Technology Innovation

Dockwa announced that in one year since its last round of funding, the company secured an additional $2 million to continue growing. Since launching in May 2015, the company has launched free iPhone and Android apps, grow to more than 400 marina and 20,000 boater members.

The Dockwa service offers a unified booking and marketing platform for marinas. It connects boaters to marinas, no middle man or concierge service. With the new funding, the company hopes to expand its marina footprint and roll out new technology features for boaters and marinas. Most recently, Dockwa expanded to the Midwest, with service at the Chicago Harbors 13 locations.

Dockwa also recently announced new partnerships with ActiveCaptain to integrate marina reviews in the Dockwa platform. Dockwa also recently partnered with GetMyBoat and Boat Ed to promote boating access for boaters of all experience levels.

Marine Industry Cares Foundation to hold 2nd Annual Chairman’s Gala

The second annual Marine Industry Cares Foundation (MICF) Chairman’s Gala will take place January 28, 2017.
The black-tie “Masquerade Casino Night” will be held at the Gallery of Amazing Things in Dania Beach, Florida. As a fundraiser that supports MICF and programs such as the Marine Industry Immersion Summer Camps and the MICF Youth Creative Arts Contest, the evening will be a night for south Florida’s marine industry and the broader community to come together in support of children and families in need.
Additionally, the MICF Chairman’s Gala will serve to honor the 2017 Class of MICF Chairman Honorees. These are outstanding individuals or organizations who are named for their contributions to the foundation and/or the community.
A beneficiary of the Gala, the MICF Marine Immersion Summer Camp was started in 2015 as a two-week program introducing high school students to the marine industry through field trips to local businesses, camp visits by industry professionals, and hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) projects. The projects included a boat propeller design and race challenge and a ROV-build challenge run under the guidance of both industry professionals and local engineering teachers.

The summer camp began with just one school in 2015 and expanded to two schools in 2016. The goal is to continue increasing local schools’ participation to help grow our Summer Marine Camp Program.

Suntex Acquires Kentucky Dam and CrossTimbers Marinas

Suntex Marinas of Dallas, Texas, an owner and operator of marina properties, announced it is the new owner of Kentucky Dam Marina on Kentucky Lake and CrossTimbers Marina in Oklahoma.

In addition to new ownership, Kentucky Dam Marina will now be managed by Anchor South Investments, based in Knoxville, Tennessee – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suntex Marina Investors, LLC. The transition took effect July 13.

“Kentucky Dam Marina is a prize for boating enthusiasts everywhere,” said Mitchell Jones, president of Anchor South Investments. “We are excited about the opportunity to enhance their customer experience.”

Located 25 miles east of Paducah, beside the Kentucky Dam Village State Park, the Kentucky Dam Marina is the largest marina on Kentucky Lake, which in turn is the largest lake by surface area east of the Mississippi River. Near the confluence of the Mississippi, Cumberland, Tennessee and Ohio rivers, the marina sits in a boater’s paradise with a nearby 18-hole golf course, airport, lodging and more. The property was built in 1974 and has since provided boaters with lifelong memories for the entire family.

The marina boasts a full-service dock with a pump-out station. Its 400 slips include annual slips ranging from 30 feet to 100 feet and transient slips accommodating boats upwards of 100 feet. Boat rentals, supplies, storage units, parts and service are also provided on-site. Guests enjoy premium comforts such as courtesy transport, restrooms, showers, laundry and free Wi-Fi.

“We are very proud of the quality of properties that we add to the Suntex family,” said Johnny Powers, CEO of Suntex. “Kentucky Dam Marina is an extraordinary facility and our members are really going to enjoy all the new plans we have in store.”

Current marina members will receive communication from Anchor South with additional details concerning the transition.

CrossTimbers Marina is just 18 miles north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and situated in a deepwater cove along the eastern shore of Skiatook Lake. As the 11th largest lake in Oklahoma, it is a popular boating and fishing destination. The marina is a sanctuary for both avid and casual boaters and is considered the most prestigious marina destination in Northeast Oklahoma.

Incorporating the finest docks in the industry, built to meet the highest environmental, safety and design standards, the marina is a professionally managed, state-of-the-art facility. Slip holders are provided 24-hour gated security, private restrooms with shower, and dock attendants are available to assist with fueling and pump-out services. Day guests have full access to a land-based marine store offering nautical sportswear and products, an award-winning dining experience at the Lakeside Grill, as well as the ability to captain their own craft by renting a variety of stylish, high-quality boats.

“This is an exciting period of growth for the Suntex family,” said Chris Petty, principal of Suntex Marinas. “We are very particular about the properties that we add to our portfolio and only consider high-quality resorts with a proven track record. Developed by Ron Howell and managed by Dustin Huff, CrossTimbers built up a healthy member-base and has tremendous potential for expansion. It is a truly unique location for our members to visit and experience.”

AMI Announces New Membership Alliance with MAT

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) welcomed the Marina Association of Texas (MAT) as its newest membership alliance.

The Marina Association of Texas is a nonprofit, volunteer-led 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. MAT, the first association of its kind in the nation, was organized in January 1973 with a mission to improve, protect and advance the interest of the marina industry in Texas. Members come together to share their ideas, knowledge and experiences for the mutual benefit of all within the industry.

This alliance will help both associations to extend their voices and reach. Through the new relationship with MAT, AMI will also increase the number of its affiliate relationships with State Marine Trade Groups, which already includes the Tennessee Marina Association, Midwest Marina Association, Virginia Marine Trades Association, and Boating British Columbia.

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Sets Speaker Lineup

RAI Amsterdam, in partnership with the ICOMIA Marinas Group and the Holland Marine Industry Association (HISWA), has released the speaker lineup for the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, from November 17 to 19 in Amsterdam.

With this year’s theme ‘Future of marinas in a changing world’ in mind, over forty world-class experts will present their views and inspire the delegates. Keynote speaker Adjiedj Bakas will share his distinct - somewhat provocative but always positive - vision on the world and future developments. The conference offers an exceptional learning experience for professionals in the marina and nautical tourism fields. Three days of innovation, inspiration, best practices, insider-insights, market solutions and site visits will provide the knowledge and tools to get ahead in the global marina industry.

With more than 40 speakers from in and outside the industry, representing leading organizations from all over the world, the ninth edition of ICOMIA World Marinas Conference promises to deliver a very high program quality. Speakers include Gary Groenewold (Westrec Marinas), Elio Ciralli (Envitek), Carol Fulford (Marina World) and Kenny Jones (IGY Marinas).

The topics of the plenary sessions will be the state of the global marina industry, new opportunities in emerging markets different approaches to marina management and uniting public and private sector. Breakout sessions will provide delegates with the opportunity to learn about and discuss new ideas in marina development, innovative solutions in marina operations, marketing and customer care, the diversity of regulations and legislation related to marinas and boating, financing, and environmental legislation. On Friday morning 18 November there will be a special matchmaking event, invaluable for on-going business success. Registration for this event will be available mid-September. See for more detailed program information.

The conference also includes social events and marina tours. For more information, please contact the Marketing Communications & PR manager: Sigrid van der Wel, phone: +31 20 549 3097, +31 6 3041 0546, or via email: , or website:

IBEX to Offer Two Sold Out Exhibit Halls to Explore in Three Days

The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will offer thousands of the newest products and innovations expanding over three floors and two sold out exhibit halls for 7,000 plus marine industry professionals to explore from October 4 to 6 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. IBEX, a trade event for boat building, design and maintenance, will offer more than 550 exhibiting companies, of which more than 100 are new, as well as valuable networking events and educational opportunities.
For the first time, more than 150 exhibitors will be located on the first floor of the Tampa Convention Center, which will open at 9 a.m. each day of the show, one hour earlier than the third floor exhibit hall. The first floor exhibit hall is new for 2016 and will feature many new companies and products to the marine industry. The first floor will also feature registration, the IBEX Café & Lounge, the press room, the seminar series and speaker's lounge.
The second floor of IBEX, will feature the NMMA Lounge, the 2nd Floor Lounge, as well as the Tech Talk Theatre - the schedule for which can be accessed here.

The third floor of IBEX will feature the Composites Pavilion, which will include the Future Materials showcase, a collection of new materials, processes, and technologies gathered from a wide variety of sources and Composites Tech Talk. The third floor will also feature The Electronics Pavilion, which will host the Connected Boat; the Compliance, Standards, and Education Pavilion, which will host the Compliance Coffee on Wednesday morning; The SS 316 Lounge, sponsored by AmeriTool Mfg. Inc.; and Innovation Way, which includes all the IBEX Innovation Awards product entries. The 3rd floor exhibitors will include, Garmin USA, Taylor Made Group LLC, Mercury Marine, Protomet Corporation, Teakdecking Systems and hundreds of others. 
To register for IBEX 2016 click here, and follow the registration form.

METSTRADE Show Held in Conjunction with ICOMIA in November

The Marina & Yard Pavilion – part of the METSTRADE Show – will overlap with the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference. The METSTRADE Show, from November 15 to 17, while the World Marinas Conference runs from November 17 to 19, both in RAI Amsterdam.

The METSTRADE Show provides a platform for almost 1,400 exhibitors from more than 40 countries to showcase their products to more than 22,000 visitors. It combines new products, seminars and unrivalled networking opportunities for visitors to connect across countries, technologies and industry sectors.

In addition to a wide range of country pavilions, METSTRADE Show features three thematic pavilions that represent smaller self-contained shows within the larger concept. One of these is the Marina & Yard Pavilion (MYP), which has become the annual meeting place for professionals in the marina and yard construction and management sector over the past decade. More than 50 exhibitors have already registered for the 2016 edition – more than last year’s final total – with others expected to join in the weeks ahead (see exhibitor list on

At the 2016 METSTRADE Show, the MYP will also play host to the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (IWMC), which will deliver an innovative program of topics, speakers and events under the theme ‘The future of marinas in a changing world’. Highlights include marina development (new ideas/trends and the refurbishment of aged marinas), regulations (water planning regimes and zones, concessions and financing, environmental legislation), management and operations (innovative solutions, staffing and training, marketing and customer care) and cooperation between the public and private sectors.

The conference will consist of three days of activities highlighting innovation, inspiration, best practices and market solutions, providing attendees with the tools required to get ahead in the global marina industry. Despite being some four months away, the top sponsor positions have already been occupied by market leaders. The Platinum sponsor is marina builder Marinetek, while Poralu, Seaflex and D-Marin are Gold sponsors. Four other companies have registered for a Silver package and two for a Bronze package.

Both conference will be next to each other in the RAI Convention Centre: the IWMC will be organized in the Amtrium complex, while the MYP is located in the adjacent Hall 5.

Marine Businesses in Chesapeake Bay Form The Mid-Atlantic Superyacht Marketing Committee

Fourteen regional organizations in the Chesapeake Bay area have come together to form the Mid-Atlantic Superyacht Marketing Committee, working in conjunction with the United States Superyacht Association.

Comprised of representatives from Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency, Baltimore Marine Centers, Cape Charles Yacht Center, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Coastal Properties, Marinalife Magazine, Marine Trades Association of Maryland, National Harbor, Oasis Marinas, Ocean Marine Yacht Center, Suntex Marinas, Trans-Atlantic Agencies, Triton Marinas and the U.S. Superyacht Association, The Mid-Atlantic Superyacht Committee will work to position the Bay as a destination for superyachts, which are boats larger than 80 feet long.

Many ports of call such as Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland; Cape Charles and Portsmouth, Virginia; and National Harbor, D.C., feature facilities large enough to accommodate large yachts. With the passing of updated Bay Pilot regulations, which state that Bay Pilots are no longer needed on vessels under 200 feet with a draft of less than 12 feet and a boat sales tax cap, Maryland has made it more inviting for large yachts to visit its waters.

The Mid-Atlantic Superyacht Marketing Committee is striving to build the region’s market share and enhance its competitive position in this highly sought after global market. For more information about The Mid-Atlantic Superyacht Committee, visit

EPA Proposes Higher Ethanol Mandate; NMMA Organizes Opposing Congressional Support

In May, the EPA announced its plans to further increase the country’s ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate for 2017. By next year, the EPA is raising the mandate to 700 million more gallons of renewable fuel to 14.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol with gasoline.

The overall supply of E15 blends or higher will increase to approximately one billion gallons. The new mandate will also reduce ethanol free fuel supplies by 5.1 billion gallons to about 200 million gallons.

At the time the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) released a statement saying, the 2017 RFS proposed ethanol volumes released by the EPA this week once again fail to meet basic marketplace realities and represent another step backwards with regard to this unworkable mandate. By increasing the required amount of ethanol to record-levels in 2017, the EPA is not only denying consumers choice at the pump, but also putting the public at risk of misfueling.”

The EPA mandate is still a proposal and open for public comment. Proponents of the mandate are encouraged to send an official comment o the EPA. Send an easy-to-use comment form straight to the EPA system, through the Boating United website ( The group of boating businesses and support work to shape policy that supports recreation boating interests.

On June 21, 45 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to EPA Adminstrator Gina McCarthy, questioning the agency on what it has done to protect boat owners and other small engine equipment consumers, from accidentaly misfueling with E15 and higher blends of ethanol. The bipartisan letter, spearheaded by the NMMA, requests pertinent information on the agency’s consumer outreach efforts to date, and on what plans the agency has to better educate our consumers in the future.

NMMA said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR), Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) were all instrumental in finalizing the letter and recruiting their colleagues to sign on to the effort.

Jerry Nessenson Longtime Petroleum Industry Executive Retires from ValvTect Petroleum

Gerald (Jerry) Nessenson, founder and the longtime president of ValvTect Petroleum Products™ (ValvTect) announced his retirement from ValvTect as of June 1, 2016. After attending DePauw University on a football scholarship and serving in the Marines, Nessenson began his 50-year career in the petroleum industry with Texaco in 1966. In 1969, he joined Bell Fuels™ (Bell), then a small Chicago heating oil distributor, to expand Bell into the emerging private brand gasoline and diesel fuel market. While serving as vice president, he helped build Bell into one of the largest gasoline, diesel fuel and lubricant distributors in the U.S. at that time.

During Nessensen’s time at Bell, hje developed a multi-state network of private brand gas stations, truckstops and car washes and a private brand lubricant business; became one of thje first non-refiner fuel distributors to ship gasoline and diesel fuel through pipelines from thje Gulf Coast to thje Midwest; became one of thje first blenders of ethjanol (thjen call Gasohol) in the U.S. and and importer of ethjanol and methjanol from Brazil.

During the 70s and 80s, Nessenson continued to pioneer in thje fuel industry, supplying Bell customers withj crude oil during thje oil embargoes, converting one of thje first gas stations in thje Chjicago area into a convenience store and opening one of thje first self-service stations in Illinois, and building and operating the largest gas station built in the United States at the time in 1983.

In response to the EPAs effort to phase out lead from gasoline, In 1986, Nessensen began marketing ValvTect (named for valve protection) Lead Substitute additive to Bell’s gasoline distributors whjo supplied marinas, farms and older authjomobiled thjat needed an anti-wear additive like lead. Thje next year Nessensen purchased thje ValvTEct line from Bell, and began marketing nationwide. Because major brand refiners did not allow distributors to add fuel additives to their branded gasoline, eventually Nessensen launched the private brand ValvTect Marine Fuels, specially formulated fuel for marine engines, for the marine market.

In 2004, when ethanol was found to cause problems in marine engines, under Nessenson’s leadership, ValvTect developed ValvTect Ethanol Gasoline Treatment, which is formulated to prevent ethanol fuel related problems.

Nessenson sold ValvTect fuel additives through a network of certified ValvTect distributors, who purchjased unbranded gasoline and diesel fuel from refiners and marketed it as ValvTect Marine Fuels, through a network of Certified ValvTect Marinas. ValvTect Marine Fuel is now marketed in more than 40 states by nearly 100 Certified ValvTect Distributors and nearly 700 Certified ValvTect Marinas.

Priming For Rapid Growth, Kasco Marine Inc. Expands Marketing Team

Kasco Marine, Inc. announced May 9 the addition of Hilary Simonson to its in-house marketing team.  Simonson joins the team as Kasco’s expanding product line and brand strategy are in rapid growth mode.

“I am excited to be a part of Kasco. I look forward to working with the team to further develop their already great brand reputation and feel fortunate to be joining such a well-respected company that prides itself on top quality service,” said Simonson.  A seasoned marketing strategist, Simonson brings a broad range of experience to the company with more than a decade of success in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies, such as United Healthcare, General Mills and Best Buy.

In her time away from the office, Simonson can be found volunteering for a variety of animal rescue organizations and spending time with her own rescued dogs and cats.

AMI Partners with Midwest Marina Association

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) and the Midwest Marina Association (MMA) have entered into a membership alliance that will welcome all MMA members as full members of AMI. This means MMA members will have access to all AMI services, products and benefits in addition to those they already receive from MMA.

“AMI has continuously had a healthy active relationship with its Midwest membership and is excited to extend its reach to an even larger Midwest marina audience,” said Brad Gross, AMI Chairman.

This alliance will help both associations to extend their voices and reach. Through the new relationship with MMA, AMI will also increase the number of its affiliate relationships with state marine trade groups, which already includes the Tennessee Marina Association, Marina Association of Texas, Virginia Marine Trades Association, and Boating British Columbia.

Members of the new alliance will benefit from access to national networking, learning events, discounts on training, scholarship funding for education and access to the latest industry news.
For more information, visit or call 866-367-6622 or MMA at 651-439-2118 or

RIMTA Wins Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Award

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has been honored by the Rhode Island Governor's Workforce Board (GWB) as recipient of the 2016 Workforce Innovation Award. The presentation was made at the GWB Annual Meeting, held on May 19 in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Governor’s Workforce Board Chair Constance Howes made the award presentation. RIMTA was chosen as this year’s recipient for its ingenuity and diligence in strengthening its workforce, shaping its industry, and positioning Rhode Island as a worldwide leader among its peers. “RIMTA has been, and remains, a staunch advocate for its members, an articulate voice for its industry, and a workforce innovation powerhouse in the State of Rhode Island," according to written remarks at the awards presentation.

Honored guests and speakers at the ceremony included Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Rhode Island Senator Erin Lynch Prata, and R.I. Department of Labor and Training Director Scott Jensen.

In selecting RIMTA as this year’s Innovation Award recipient, the Governor’s Workforce Board not only looked at the organization’s accomplishments in workforce development, but how those achievements have served to strengthen an important business sector in the state. In only five years, RIMTA has grown from an organization with 170 members and an annual budget of $170,000 to 280 members with a $1.3 million budget.

RIMTA training programs target the industry’s diverse workforce needs, including a Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program that is an important pipeline for hands-on, entry-level workers; a Summer Marketing Program that attracts Millennial-aged individuals into the industry; and boatbuilding programs for youth at area high schools. Programs for youth and college-age students not only attract younger career seekers but also help RIMTA and its members to better understand what excites these young people about the boating experience—which is critical information for the future growth of the industry.

RIMTA CEO Wendy Mackie accepted the award on the organization’s behalf, and included in her thanks insights into the approach that drives everything that RIMTA does.

“Our innovation doesn’t stop at workforce development,” said Mackie. “The only way we can be effective is with a holistic approach—of educating our workforce, promoting the joys of recreational boating and our members’ achievements, and advocating for our industry … We have a mantra that drives us, knowing that we need to be smarter and more efficient and always on a path to perfection.”

ICOMIA Hosts Congress in Italy for 50th Anniversary

The 2016 International Federation of Boat Show Organizers (IFBSO)/International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) Congress was held in Trieste, Italy from June 7 to 10. It was hosted and organized by ICOMIA member UCINA Confidustria Nautica, the Italian Marine Industry Association.

The first two days of the Congress included various committee meetings, such as the Environment Committee, where Albert Willemsen, ICOMIA Environment Consultant, gave members the latest news regarding chemical substances used in boatbuilding and throughout all levels of the supply chain that may be categorized as hazardous and thus become altered or phased out of production. As a result of this development ICOMIA will issue a bulletin to members and industry explaining the issues regarding consistent and sufficient transparency relating to substance identity and potential changes in substance compliance/availability.

On Thursday afternoon, June 9, delegates enjoyed tours of two local boatyards: Alto Adriatico Custom and Italia Yachts. The IFBSO/ICOMIA joint session, held on Friday morning, June 10 featured London based ‘European Travel Ventures’ - the innovative founders of The Yacht Week, an initiative focused on shared sailing experiences for Millennials. The ICOMIA working session followed on Friday afternoon and featured industry updates from ICOMIA’s members.

The final meeting of Congress was the 50th ICOMIA Annual General Meeting, where Jouko Huju (Finnboat) was appointed new President of ICOMIA; succeeding Thomas J Dammrich (NMMA). Andrea Razeto (UCINA) and Simon Cook (BIA Australia) were appointed Vice Presidents. The AGM also played host to the final farewell of ICOMIA’s longest serving representative Paul Boomsma, who retired as Honorary Treasurer; he is succeeded by Peter Methven, OBE.

NMMA Canada Receives Funding to Support Boating Safety In Canada

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada is developing a new boating safety initiative with the help of a grant from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat. NMMA Canada will receive $312,000 over the next three years as part of the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SARNIF) to create a safe boating application for smartphones to educate boaters and improve safety awareness.

A Government of Canada contribution program, SARNIF provides support for new products or initiatives that help to improve the National Search and Rescue Program. These may include training programs, search and rescue equipment, research and development or awareness campaigns.

"NMMA Canada is dedicated to promoting safe boating practices and this support from the National Search and Rescue Secretariat through SARNIF will help reach a larger audience with this important information," said Sara Anghel, executive director/vice-president of Government Relations, NMMA Canada. "An educated boater is a safe boater and NMMA strongly supports boater education." 

The project aims to deliver safety information to boaters through a dedicated and easily accessible smartphone app. App content informs boaters and the general public across Canada about safe boating practices and water safety.

Similar to information provided by Discover Boating Canada on their website,, this app will include boating safety checklists, how to properly operate a boat, marine weather resources, emergency procedures, navigation and buoy visual references.  With nearly half of all Canadians spending time on the water, ensuring relevant and up-to-date information about boating is essential.

"Feedback to the content released by Discover Boating Canada has been positive and this app will provide further opportunity for Canadians to obtain up-to-the-minute information about boating safely in Canada," adds Anghel.

For more information about NMMA's new online boater safety app, please contact NMMA Canada.

Registration and Conference Sessions Now Open for 26th IBEX

Registration for the 26th International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) is now open. All marine industry professionals can register for IBEX online today to participate in the world-renowned training and technical education conference October 4-6 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.
"The opening of registration coincides with the announcement of our 2016 education conference; a selection of topics from in-depth technical seminars to trends impacting the marine industry, which again promises to deliver education you can't get anywhere else," said Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director.  "In addition to our training and technical education, we are pleased to announce our keynote speaker for the Industry Breakfast is Kevin Harrington, entrepreneur and Original Shark on the ABC hit, Emmy winning TV show, Shark Tank."
Details about The IBEX Education Conference is available online.

IBEX kicks off on Tuesday, October 4 at 7:30 a.m. with the industry breakfast, featuring the presentation of the IBEX Innovation Awards and the announcement of the NMMA Hall of Fame winners. The keynote speaker for the event will be Kevin Harrington, the inventor of the infomercial, and original shark on the ABC hit TV show Shark Tank. Since the 1980s, Harrington has launched over 20 businesses that have grown to more than $100 million in sales each. Today he operates a private consulting firm, which works with companies to increase distribution.
Register online for IBEX to visit with top marine exhibitors, attend the Industry Breakfast, and/or participate in the Seminar Series. Current 2016 exhibitors wishing to register for IBEX, received an email with registration details.

ABBRA to Present Annual Awards at June Ceremony and Symposium

The American Boat Builder & Repairer Association's (ABBRA) will present double honors presented to Hodgdon Yachts, in East Boothbay and Southport, Maine, as recipients of 2015 Boatyard of the Year and Boat Builder of the Year Awards. Michael Keyworth will receive the Dennis Snow President’s Award and John Williams Boat Company will receive the 2015 Excellence in Customer Care Award.

ABBRA's first Boat Builder of the Year and the 2015 Boatyard of the Year awards will be presented to Hodgdon Yachts and Hodgdon Yacht Services at the ABBRA Annual Award Ceremony & Symposium to be held in Portland, Maine, on June 26 and 27. The Boat Builder of the Year award recognizes a boat building facility whose building process and product has made a lasting contribution to the recreational marine industry. The Boatyard of the Year award is given to the boatyard facility that demonstrates excellence in all facets of their company.

From wooden schooners in the 19th century to prepreg carbon vessels in the 21st century, the five generations of Hodgdon boat builders is the longest history of a family of boat builders in the USA. Since its humble beginnings in 1816, Hodgdon has evolved into a leader in advanced composite construction, while maintaining exceptional skills for world class traditional building techniques. The shipyard has launched over 400 vessels and most recently has been recognized for its groundbreaking work for the build of Comanche, a 100-foot long carbon fiber racing yacht, in only 13 months. Hodgdon Yacht Services marked the expansion of Hodgdon Yachts into the yacht and pleasure boat repair and refit sector in 2014. The full service company now offers maintenance, repair, and refit services for recreational boats, yachts and superyachts, dockage and storage.

The President's Award is being presented to Michael Keyworth for his significant and lasting contribution to the boatyard industry. He has promoted and supported environmental awareness and stewardship in the boatyard industry for many years, including working with Sea Grant on a modeling program that will help marinas and other coastal businesses adapt their facilities for potential sea-level rise. Keyworth has been a leader on the legislative front in Rhode Island regarding matters that affect the industry, and he has been a champion of workforce development and technical training, helping to develop industry recognized technical training programs. Michael Keyworth joins a distinguished group of industry leaders who have received this award.

The Excellence in Customer Care Award will be presented to John Williams Boat Company, a full service boatyard and custom boat builder who has built a successful business by consistently focusing on customer satisfaction. John Williams Boat Company was founded over 40 years ago as a quality boatbuilding company. When the company added full repair and refit services, they continued to give each customer their undivided attention which has earned their customer's loyalty for many years.

Slipstream Premium Marine Fuel Stakes Territory in New Jersey

Advanced Fuel Solutions Inc. (AFS) announced May 27 the addition of six New Jersey locations to its growing roster of marinas representing Slipstream Premium Marine Fuel.

The locations—Morrison’s Marina (Beach Haven), MarineMax (Somers Point), Causeway Marina (Manahawkin), Drum Point (Brick), Southwicks (Beach Haven) and Chadwick Island Marina (Lavallette)—will be serviced by Slipstream distributor Taylor Oil Company, an early adopter of the brand.

“Slipstream is, in our estimation, the highest quality diesel and gasoline marine fuel additive available on the market today,” said Taylor Oil General Manager Ron Francesconi. “Beyond the superior performance of the fuel itself, Slipstream is helping these marinas to differentiate themselves and build customer loyalty within their markets.”

Introduced to the market by AFS in 2014, Slipstream is commercially blended with fuel performance enhancers to ensure greater efficiency and improved engine performance. The premium additive brand offers treatments for both gasoline and diesel engines, eliminating fuel deficiencies, optimizing performance and reducing maintenance costs and downtime.

“We feel that the marine fuel market warrants a new and improved product that utilizes today’s most advanced chemical technology to meet the challenges associated with 21st-century gasoline and diesel,” said AFS President Paul Nazzaro. “We created Slipstream to give boaters a better choice at the dock, to give marinas a higher performing fuel with which to distinguish themselves, and to raise the standard of quality, service, and innovation in the marine fuel industry as a whole.”

Slipstream marina partners have access to comprehensive signage, technical and marketing support, as well as fuel quality oversight to ensure that every gallon of Slipstream gasoline and diesel meets the highest standards of performance.

Suntex Offers Exclusive Captain’s Club Membership

Suntex Marinas, an owner and operator of marina properties, announced June 14 it has partnered with Marinalife to offer its coastal customers a one-year complimentary membership to the Suntex Captain’s Club.

Available to transient, annual and seasonal boaters, the Captain’s Club membership offers customers value-added services and benefits that will make boaters’ and guests’ time on the water fun, convenient and more affordable.

The program brings complete access to thousands of discounts and specials for dockage, fuel, services, restaurants and hotels, as well as specific offers exclusive to Suntex Marina properties. The Captain’s Club membership is much more than a discount program. Every customer receives a personalized profile that holds existing reservation itineraries, reservation history and a logbook for notes. Marina reservation services are available covering the United States, Canada, Bahamas, Caribbean and Central America. Pre-planned itineraries as well as customizable cruises tailored to any boating lifestyle are stored and include popular cruising grounds throughout the Great Loop, Intracoastal Waterway, the Bahamas, Caribbean and Florida. To keep boaters on the move, there is also a Fuel and Service & Maintenance Locator that allows members to identify ethanol-free gasoline and high-speed fuel pumps, as well as obtain fuel dock hours and locations.

“The Suntex experience goes well beyond the top-rate facilities we manage,” said Chris Petty, principal of Suntex Marinas. “The Captain’s Club is a perfect example of the lengths we go to for each of our guests. Whether we are providing the resources that help in the planning of routes, making marina reservations or recommending a perfect place to eat dinner, we want to help our customers craft their perfect moment on the water.”

Captain’s Club membership comes with a one-year subscription to Marinalife and a choice of one additional one-year subscription to a leading marine publication – either PassageMaker, Yachting, Southern Boating or Cruising World. The free Marinalife Mobile App gives users access to a database of marina and travel related information on Apple mobile devices including up-to-date listings and NOAA charts.

The Captain’s Club subscription also includes a free boat show ticket (up to a $43 value) to any Show Management Boat Show – Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, Palm Beach International Boat Show, Sarasota, and any individual TrawlerFest show – and the Newport International Boat Show.

For more information on Suntex Marinas, please contact or visit

Seven New Dockwa Marinas Join Roster

Seven new marinas joined Dockwa recently to help them manage reservations by using its marina software. Dockwa is an app for boat skippers, allowing them to see, reserve and pay for available transient slips at marinas in 16 states.

Marines include Prescott Park Pier in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Burnham Harbor in Chicago, Illinois; Baker’s Marina on the Bay in Highlands, New Jersey; Eagle Mountain Marina in Fort Worth, Texas; Havre de Grace Marina in Havre de Grace, Maryland; Thunderbolt Marine in Savannah, Georgia; and Downtown Hampton Public Piers in Hampton, Virginia.

Oklahoma Marina Organizes Public/Private Partnership Summit

CrossTimbers Marina in Sperry, Oklahoma, and its owner Ron Howell, have organized a Public/Private Partnership Summit to promote recreational lake development with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through effective public/private partnerships.

Key public/private leaders and investors on Corps lakes in five state areas (Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas, representing the Corps Southwest Division) will gather on October 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants in the summit will review the results of past and current lake development partnerships, and a tour of CrossTimbers and its development, as a “demonstration model lake.” The summit will discuss proposed improvement to facilitate more and better recreational lake development in the area, also including discussions of best practices for lake development, such as Clean Marina and other green programs.

Registration for the event begins at 8 a.m. Lunch is included during the discussions, and the CrossTimbers open house and tours go from 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
For more information, contact Ron Howell at

AMI Introduces Marina Economic Impact Calculator

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) released its Economic Impact Calculator, a tool that lets marinas input gross revenues to calculate their impacts on local and regional economies. This calculator estimates the economic impacts generated by marina operations in seven different regions of the U.S.

Many owners can make sure of this information to justify construction of expansion plans, to obtain grant funds, such as Boating Infrastructure Grants, or to prove the value of their business to local community leaders. enders can also benefit from this tool by having a knowledge of the properties that they are looking to finance or that they have acquired.

The tool will aggregate user results by region providing a comprehensive picture of just how economically valuable marinas are to local, regional, and the countrywide economy.

The model was funded by sponsorships from Anchor South, Safe Harbor Marinas, Suntex Marinas, the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains, Westrec Marinas, and Kentucky Marina Association and Tennessee Marina Association, along with $40,000 in funding from AMI.

Visit the model at Use of the calculator is free but limited to just one use annually per facility.

Bellingham Marine Design Wins Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award

Marina at Keppel Bay, designed by Bellingham Marine, has become the first marina in Asia to win the Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award by The World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC). The award was presented in April at a ceremony held during the Asia Boating Forum 2016.

“It’s an honor for one of our projects to be presented with PIANC’s prestigious Marina Design Jack Nichol Award,” said Everett Babbitt, president and CEO of Bellingham Marine. “I can think of no greater accolade for our company than to be affiliated with an award that pays tribute to the late Jack Nichol and his work in the marina industry.”.

Receiving the award on behalf of Marina at Keppel Bay was Mr. Trevor Fong, GM, Marina at Keppel Bay. He said, “Since our establishment in 2008, the team at Marina at Keppel Bay has been working hard to forge ahead to improve and upgrade our marina. At the same time, in caring for the environment, we also benchmark ourselves against the highest standards of environmental stewardship.”

Dr. Eng. Elio Ciralli, chairman of PIANC RecCom, said, “Our commission unanimously decided that Marina at Keppel Bay, which embodies excellence in design under functionality, sustainability and aesthetics points of view, to be the winner of the Marina Excellence Design Jack Nichol Award 2016.”

The marina’s 168 slips are Bellingham’s floating concrete pontoon system. The Marina also features Singapore’s first individual pontoon berthing structure for superyachts and the first modern reticulated vacuum sewer pumpout system. Other important design features include a wide entrance channel and fairways; wave protection for a calm, wellflushed basin; and extra-wide stable pontoons and floating platforms, which serve well for events.

Second Annual Docks Expo Moves to New Venue

The 2016 Docks Expo will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri, from November 30 to December 2. Docks is presented by the publishers of Marina Dock Age magazine, and held in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Docks and Marinas course.

Docks will include a trade show exhibition of the latest products and manufacturers in the marina industry, educational presentations and food and beverage breaks for networking. A call for presentations will go out in June.

At the conference, Marina Dock Age magazine will also present the 2016 Marina of the Year awards in two categories (large and small.)

Docks is a great venue for marina owners and operators; engineers, architects, designers and planners; and manufacturers, suppliers and other professionals in the marina industry. For more information, visit

BoatU.S. Celebrates 50 Years

This year BoatU.S. celebrates it 50th anniversary. In 1963, Princeton University and Yale Law School graduate Richard Schwartz was stunned to discover that boat manufacturers had no liability for meeting government safety regulations, and the U.S. Coast Guard has no jurisdiction over the manufacturers to enforce boat safety standards, so the Coast Guard was going after boat owners. The next year, Schwartz registered the name Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) to fight for the interests of boaters. Along with Dick Ellison, Schwartz lauched BoatU.S. in 1963 based on a vision of service, savings and representation for the nation’s boat owners. The organization logged its first 100 members.

BoatU.S. has been involved in countless issues and launched groups such as the BoatU.S. Consumer Protection Bureau, the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating and Safety, the BoatU.S Marine Insurance Program, the Boat Finance and Documentation program, the Clean Water Trust campaign, Trailer Assist & Towing Progam.

Department of Ecology Updates NPDES Permit for Some in Western Washington

The Washington Department of Ecology is updating the water quality permit, or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, that requires boatyards to control stormwater and wastewater discharges. Ecology said the Boatyard General Permit applies to approximately 70 boatyards in Western Washington.

A boatyard, as defined for this permit, is a service business engaged in construction, repair and maintenance of small vessels, at least 85 percent of which are 65 feet of less in length, or revenues from which constitute more than 85 percent of gross receipts.

The boatyard general permit includes both technology-based and water quality-based limits or benchmarks depending on the source of the wastewater and the receiving water.

Ecology is updating the permit to include new discharge limits for lead from boatyards located on Lake Union and the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Recent monitoring shows persisting lead pollution in these waters.

The updated permit would also end paper reports on required water quality monitoring. Permitted boatyards would submit the information electronically

The draft permit was made available on March 16. The Department of Ecology accepted public comments on the proposed changes through April 29, and two public hearings were held April 19 and 20. The current boatyard general permit expires on May 31, and Ecology expects to reissue the final permit in late spring.

NMMA Creates New Format for 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced a new format and release schedule for the 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, which contains thousands of data points and insights on the boating industry. Each section of the abstract will be released individually as the statistics are available.

“NMMA’s annual Statistical Abstract is the most comprehensive collection of industry data available and a trusted source for recreational boating statistics—our revamp of the format and corresponding release schedule makes the data even more valuable because it’s now timelier and therefore much more useful to the industry,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “With the data being available immediately after it is gathered and analyzed by our team, the industry can utilize it to better understand our changing industry.”

The first section report to be released is an 11-year look at outboard engine sales trends: NMMA Outboard Engine Sales Trends 2004–2015. This report is now available for download by NMMA members here. Members must be logged in to to access the report.

When each section is released, reports can be downloaded here. NMMA members receive unlimited complimentary access to the digital versions of each section as they’re available in addition to the full-compilation report, which will be released in August. Print editions of the full report are available for $200 for NMMA members and can be pre-ordered now.

The 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is also available for purchase by non-NMMA members. Please contact to order the report(s) and get immediate access to pertinent boating industry market research.

MTA/NJ Elects Its New Officers and Directors, Presents Sponsor Awards

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) held its Annual Dinner and elections at The Mill in Spring Lake, New Jersey on April 21. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno attended the event and addressed the members, discussing the challenges of running a marine business, the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and the reduced sales tax on boats. Assemblyman David Rible was also in attendance and spoke before the membership.

"It was an honor to have the Lt. Governor and Assemblyman Rible attend our event and speak with our members," stated Executive Director Melissa Danko. "They have both been incredibly supportive of our industry, and it was a great opportunity to speak with them and thank them for all that they have done."

The Annual Dinner also included the election of the 2016-2017 Officers & Directors. Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales & Marina in Brick will continue his term as President of the Association. Walter Johnson, III of Johnson & Towers, Inc. in Mt. Laurel will continue to serve as First Vice President, and Jim Cerruti of Fair Haven Yacht Works in Fair Haven will continue his term as Second Vice President. Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina in Brick remains the Treasurer and Raymond Bogan of Sinn, Fitzsimmons, Cantoli, Bogan, West & Steuerman in Point Pleasant Beach continues as Secretary.

The following directors were re-elected to serve another two year term: Rick Castellini of Island Marine Center, LLC in Ocean View; Ed McCarthy of McCarthy's Marine Sales in Brick; Brian Fischer of MESCO in Thorofare; and Greg Wright of John B. Wright Insurance in Manasquan.

The following directors have been elected to serve a one-year term: Mark Cassidy of Cassidy's Breton Woods Marina in Brick’ Karen Davidson of Green Cove Marina in Brick; George Fuller of George Fuller's Marine & Machine in Bayville; Karen Gruppuso of Coastal Environmental Consulting, LLC in Toms River; and Pat Salinas of Morgan Marina in Parlin. Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina in Lake Hopatcong was elected to serve a two-year term.

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

The Regional Board of Governors includes Pat Salinas representing the Northern Region, Tom Leaming representing the Central Region, Rick Traber representing the Southern Region, and Ray Fernandez representing the Lake Hopatcong Region.

"It is truly an honor to serve and represent the NJ marine industry again this year, as President of the MTA/NJ," stated Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales & Marina. "With the dedicated staff and volunteer Board of Directors by my side, I am confident we can tackle any and all challenges or issues our industry may face."

The MTA/NJ also held its Sponsor of the Year Awards at the Annual Dinner. The MTA/NJ established this award 11 years ago to show its appreciation and to recognize the leading sponsors and supporters of the Association. This year, the MTA/NJ was pleased to be able to award three very deserving companies sponsorship recognition. The Top Sponsor of the Year awards went to: Interlux Yacht Finishes of Union; John B. Wright Insurance with offices in Waretown and Manasquan; and Travelers Ocean Marine of Edison.

Safe Harbor Marinas Acquires Four Major California Marinas

Safe Harbor Marinas has acquired four California coastal marinas located between San Diego and the San Francisco Bay. The acquisitions are part of the company’s ongoing effort to grow its inland and coastal portfolio.

The acquisitions include Ballena Isle Marina, Ventura Isle Marina, Anacapa Isle Marina and Cabrillo Isle Marina. Ballena Isle Marina is located in historic Alameda in the San Francisco Bay. The marina is host to the Ballena Bay Yacht Club and a variety of yacht races originate from its naturally protected harbor.

Ventura Isle and Anacapa Isle Marinas are both at the entrance to Channel Islands National Park, a world-class boating destination. Both properties are a short drive from Los Angeles. Cabrillo Isle Marina, located in the heart of San Diego, is known for sweeping views and easy access to Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean. Together, the four marinas contain nearly 1,900 slips.

“We are very excited to welcome these four properties into our portfolio,” said Marshall Funk, CEO of Safe Harbor Marinas. “Each of these marinas has a strong reputation and is a premier property in its own right. They make an excellent addition to the Safe Harbor network.”
With the addition of the four California properties, Safe Harbor Marinas now owns and manages 35 marinas in 14 states.

Laurel Marina Under New Ownership, Management

Suntex Marina Investors, LLC, based in Dallas, Texas, is the new owner of Laurel Marina in Bristol, Tennessee. In addition to new ownership, Laurel Marina will now be managed by Anchor South Investments, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suntex Marina
Investors, LLC.

In conjunction with the announcement of new ownership and management, Suntex has promoted Jim Yancey from vice president at Laurel Marina to general manager. Yancey has been with Laurel Marina for 22 years and will continue to serve Laurel Marina’s approximately 2,400 customers with his unmatched wisdom and experience with the property and guests.

Laurel’s previous owner, Dale Thomas, is retiring after owning and managing the marina for more than 40 years. According to Thomas, the current Laurel Marina & Yacht Club president and CEO, the sale is bittersweet. Thomas said, “The marina has been in my family since 1950. Laurel Marina & Yacht Club was the first marina on South Holston Lake. I purchased it from my uncle in 1976, and since that time we have grown the business from a small boat dock to what is now, the largest marina in Northeast Tennessee.” He added, “We have always strived to be the best in the region by being industry trend setters. The fine folks at Anchor South and Suntex plan to not only retain, but increase, the services and amenities so important to our customer base and the region.”

Laurel Marina is a 550-slip marina located on South Holston Lake situated in the beautiful mountains of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia near Bristol, Tennessee. “Laurel Marina is the perfect addition to Suntex’s portfolio of premier destination marinas, and we look forward to further enhancing the customer experience on South Holston Lake with the facilities enhancements and continued excellence in customer service,” commented Johnny Powers, Suntex CEO.

Anchor South Merges with Suntex Marina Investors

Anchor South Investments, LLC and its property management company Anchor South Management, LLC, both based in Knoxville, Tennessee, have joined Suntex Marina Investors, LLC, based in Dallas, Texas.

The Anchor South companies are now wholly-owned subsidiaries of Suntex. Anchor South will continue to be headquartered in Knoxville and headed by president of Anchor South Investments, Mitchell Jones, while Suntex will continue to be based in Dallas and led by Johnny Powers, founding principal and CEO.

With this merger, these combined marina investment companies will collectively own and operate 29 marinas in the United States and Caribbean. Over $200 million in equity and over $200 million in alternative funding are collectively being used to acquire select marinas across the United States that meet the strict “institutional quality” standards of Suntex and Anchor South.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Anchor South. Their team shares our passion and commitment for offering the best in customer service and the highest quality of marina life experience possible, while also delivering strong financial results for our investors, owners, and stakeholders,” said Bryan Redmond, founding principal and head of acquisitions at Suntex.

“As well, we are excited about this new partnership and confident that together, we will continue to grow and provide our marina tenants and guest with memorable experiences each and every time they visit one of our properties,” Mitchell Jones commented. Alicia Jones, president of Anchor South Management added, “This is an exciting step forward for all of us as we bring together these two great and complementary companies. Joining forces with Suntex will allow us to position the combined company as the most sought after investor and operator in this exciting segment of the industry and enhances our ability to deliver quality experiences to boaters across the U.S. and Caribbean.”

Johnny Powers concluded, “We will stay true to our guests, our brands, and most importantly our core values of faith, integrity, and service while driving enhanced performance for our investors as we continue to grow together.”

Marinetek Platinum Sponsor of ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2016

With many companies showing interest in sponsoring the 2016 edition of the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, it is marinas builder Marinetek that is the sole platinum sponsor of the event. Swedish Seaflex has signed a golden sponsorship agreement, while Dutch based company Roodberg and Marina Planet from Italy are silver sponsors.

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2016 is organized by RAI Amsterdam in partnership with the ICOMIA Marinas Group and the HISWA Holland Marine Industry Association.

Interactive Forum
“The future of marinas in a changing world is a captivating topic,” said Kristian Räme, Marinetek vice president of international sales. “Marinetek wants to support and promote this gathering to help it become an interactive and beneficial forum between clients, key influencers, and the marina industry. When outlining the future of marinas, it is essential to include the views of the end-users, marina owners, and those of the waterfront developers.” Seaflex, the Swedish manufacturer of environmentally friendly mooring solutions, is one of the gold sponsors, while hoisting and transportation systems producer Roodberg has signed a silver sponsorship agreement.

Sponsor Packages
The ICOMIA World Marina Conference series gathers an exceptional global audience of professionals - skilled in various fields of marina operation and design, coming together to exchange experience and knowledge, and to learn from each other’s best practices. Sponsors will have the opportunity to reach this international audience and form business connections. The platinum sponsor possibility has already been signed, but gold, silver and bronze sponsorships are still available. See for more information.

Dockwa Partners with GetMyBoat

Dockwa, an online and mobile reservation app and marina software system company, has partnered with GetMyBoat, an online boat rental and charter marketplace. Dockwa users who book slips at marinas can now rent boats too, powerboats, sailboats, jet skis and fishing boats.

The two have featured trip for a motoboar from Dania Beach, Florida to Tumberry Isle Marina in North Miami, and a chartered catamaran trip to Bimini Sands Marina in the Bahamas.

Marine and Composites Industry Career Day Took Place April 2

The 11th Annual Career Day in early April was a one-stop shop for individuals interested in working in the marine or composites industries, two business sectors poised for growth.
The boating industry is coming off of four years of steady growth, and according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, that trend is expected to continue in 2016. According to the American Composites Manufacturers Association, the U.S. composites industry is projected to grow an average of 6.5 percent between now and 2020; Rhode Island is an area of concentrated activity in this sector, as many boat builders have expanded their expertise into other industries.
Hosted by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) and IYRS School of Technology and Trades, Career Day took place on Saturday, April 2 at the IYRS Newport Campus in Rhode Island. The event was free and ran from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Over 30 companies from as far afield as Maine and Florida were in attendance, including boat builders, marinas and boat yards, schools and training institutions, and composites companies that work in marine and non-marine sectors such as aerospace, transportation, defense, and architecture. Attendees can network with companies, learn about job openings, attend seminars geared toward career-seekers, and talk to organizers of training programs that are proven pathways to jobs.
Event organizers encourage career-seekers at all levels to attend—including skilled tradesmen and -women, managerial talent, individuals skilled in trades that could translate to composites and the marine trades, and even those who are not yet skilled but are willing to learn.
Marine companies such as New England Boatworks (NEB) of Portsmouth (R.I.) went to Career Day in search of a wide range of talented workers—from marine carpenters to electricians, mechanics, composite boat builders, and riggers. NEB is coming off a busy period with two new boats slated for launching, including a 38-foot Doug Zurn powerboat and a Tripp 62 sailboat. But according the Harry Hallgring, NEB Human Resources/Safety Director, the company still has a large ongoing workload and Career Day and training programs offered by RIMTA and IYRS are valuable workforce resources.
Classic motoryacht builder Huckins Yacht Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida, is made the 1100-mile trek to New England to attend its first Career Day. According the Sara Gielow, who oversees marketing and business development, the company had looked forward to Rhode Island to find finish carpenters, such as those trained at IYRS, who produce the high quality Huckins Yachts are known for.
Several training programs were represented at the event, including the RIMTA Marine & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program—a seven-week course supported by the Governor’s Workforce Board that is free to Rhode Islanders and a popular source for entry-level workers. Attendees also were able to see the IYRS facility, meet the school’s staff, and learn about the IYRS programs in Boatbuilding & Restoration, Marine Systems, and Composites Technology; many companies that attended Career Day came with the express goal of meeting IYRS students ready to begin their careers.  

IMBC to Return to Fort Lauderdale for 15th Anniversary

Ringing in the 15th anniversary of the International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC), the conference will be returning to the Broward County Convention Center for the second year in a row. IMBC 2017 will be co-locating once again with the Refit International Exhibition & Conference. Aiming to attract different audiences, there will be opportunity for cross-show networking that leverages the similarities between the marinas and refit industries.

"The 2016 IMBC content was spot on with emerging trends in the marina and boatyard industry. Our speakers continue to be very informative with step-by-step information that our attendees can apply to their business upon their return. I am also pleased to announce that in 2016, AMI's [Association of Marina Industries] CMM [Certified Marina Manager] and CMO [Certified Marina Operator] program continues to grow with the designation of six new members," AMI Chair Brad Gross, CMM, said.

NBSAC Seeks to Fill Vacancies for 2017

The U.S Coast Guard is seeking applications for membership to fill upcoming vacancies on the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), which advises the Coast Guard on recreational boating safety regulations and other major boating safety matters.

Each member serves for a term of three years. Members may be considered to serve a maximum of two consecutive full terms. All members serve at their own expense and receive no salary or other compensation from the federal government, with some exceptions for NBSAC meetings.

Applications will be considered for the seven positions that will be vacant Dec. 31, 2016:

• Two representatives of state officials responsible for state boating safety programs;
• Three representatives of recreational boat and associated equipment manufacturers;
• Two representatives of national recreational boating organizations or the general public.

Applications will also be considered for one vacancy in the national recreation boating organizations of the general public membership category that was caused by the inability of a person appointed in 2016 to accept their appointment. This position will serve a term that expires Dec. 31, 2018. Applications must reach the Coast Guard on or before May 23, 2016.

Applicants are considered for membership on the basis of their particular expertise, knowledge and experience in recreational boating safety. Individuals who have applied for NBSAC membership in any prior years are asked to resubmit a complete application if the individual wishes to apply for any of these vacancies.

The NBSAC is a federal advisory committee that operates under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Title 5 U.S.C., Appendix.

For more information on these vacancies, please read the Federal Register notice at

For more information on the NBSAC, please go to

BoatUS Foundation Grants to Address Marine Debris

BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water will start thee projects this spring to address waterborne debris. A $51,000 grant to remove large debris comes from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to partner with the local on water towing and assistance fleets of TowBoatUS South Shore, Ohio, and TowBoatUS Ocean City, Maryland, as well as local monitoring agencies – all whom will be matching funds through in-kind services. With these service donations as well as a BoatUS Foundation contribution, the donated in-kind services will surpass $52,000, doubling the original NOAA grant amount.

Offshore of Reno Beach, Ohio, in Western Lake Erie, TowBoatUS South Shore will remove a sunken 35-foot steel commercial fishing boat with a net attached. The wreck is located near sensitive habitat, a state park, and two National Wildlife Refuges.

In the Atlantic, three to seven miles offshore of Ocean City, Maryoland, TowBoatUS Ocean City will remove two commercial fishing nets that are entangled on an artificial reef.

In both locations the nets are still actively fishing and trapping aquatic life.

“Our TowBoatUS towing captains identified these problem areas and brought them to our attention,” BoatUS Foundation Vice President Susan Shingledecker said. “They are experts in salvage and are eager to lend their expertise.” Shingledecker added that a local monitoring agency will study the environmental impacts of the removal.

With a $103,000 grant from the Fishing for Energy program, the BoatUS Foundation will study and develop educational tools to reduce interactions between recreational boats and fixed commercial fishing gear. Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and funded by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, the Fishing for Energy grant aims to prevent and reduce the impacts of derelict fishing gear in the marine environment.

MarineMax and Coast Guard Auxilary Partner in Boating Safety Course

MarineMax announced on March 24 that the Panama City Beach store will be teaming up with local Coast Guard Auxiliary officers to host its April “Safe Boating Course” for this year’s boating season. This course will be held on April 2, 2016, at the MarineMax Panama City Beach facility from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The course is designed to familiarize a novice or intermediate boater with boat handling and boating safety. It can also serve as a refresher course for those more experienced boaters. The cost is $35 per participant or $20 for each additional family member, and is payable by cash or personal check to the U.S.C.G. Auxiliary. The fee includes all classroom materials and lunch.

“This informative, hands-on course is a seminar version of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s popular online course,” said Bob Fowler, sales consultant and broker for MarineMax Panama City Beach. “We try to have fun while interacting with personal instructors by sharing important safety practices, operational skills and maintenance advice that will keep you and your family protected while on the water.”

Topics that will be covered include general boating basics and knowledge, boating restrictions and regulations, required and recommended safety equipment, how to safely operate and navigate your boat, and how to handle issues that may arise. The seminar will also cover trailering, storing and protecting your boat, and how to properly operate when hunting, fishing, waterskiing or operating on a river.

To attend this event, RSVP no later than April 1, 2016, by calling Julie Eliasen at 850/708-1317, email, or RSVP for the class at (scroll down and click on the “EVENTS” tab).

ABYC Raises Bar for Marine Service Technicians

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has announced enhancements to its certification program, which will continue to improve the quality and reliability of service technicians and maximize the customer experience.

With more than 3,000 certified service professionals, ABYC’s national certification program, with eight different specialty courses, has industrywide acceptance and recognition. ABYC certified technicians have proven their technical competence by passing a certification exam. Technicians with three or more certifications are designated as master technicians.
Beginning May 1, ABYC will also require continuing education credits (CEUs) and two years of documented work experience in order to achieve the gold standard as an ABYC certified technician.
“With the technology used on modern boats changing as rapidly as it is, ABYC feels that continuing education is now more than ever a mandatory requirement for maintaining an ABYC certification,” said Ed Sherman, vice president and education director of ABYC. “To meet the needs of the new boat owner, technicians need to stay at the top of their game.”
Additionally, new certification categories are being added to the program to help with service transparency.

“By offering three categories of certification, employers as well as the boating public will be able to differentiate between highly experienced technicians, individuals relatively new to the trade, and those at an advisory level,” said Sherman. “This should further maximize the customer experience.”

Trade Leaders Meet in Washington to Support Work-Based Training Efforts

Pamela Lendzion, executive director of the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) and Susan Swanton, executive director of the Maine Marine Trades Association joined a group in Washington, D.C., as part of the Business Leaders United (BLU) advocacy meeting to discuss their proposals for removing barriers to worked-based learning for small businesses in the recreational marine industry.

In early February, Lendzion and Swanton met at the White House with members of the Administration’s National Economic Council (NEC) including Deputy Director Jacob Leibenluft; and Senior Policy Advisors JJ Raynor; and Ryan Burke.

The NEC looked to BLU to discuss strategies for developing the Administration’s work-based learning efforts – in particular, they were eager to hear ideas on how to make funding for work-based learning flexible enough for small and medium employers.

BLU employers shared suggestions related to the use of industry intermediaries, wage subsidies and tax credits, and long term training costs. Lendzion recommended a reduction in payroll taxes for small business employers paying for training. Both Swanton and Lendzion spoke up about the intermediary role trade associations can play to help their members access the necessary training and training funds as well as navigate the process.

“I felt that the NEC staff understood our issues and were sympathetic to the needs of our businesses as they struggle to find trained workers and upskill incumbents” Swanton said, after the meeting.

Suntex Acquires Lake Cumberland Marina

Suntex Marinas announced the acquisition of State Dock Marina on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. Suntex said State Dock has garnered a reputation for excellence over the past decade under the leadership of Bill Jasper, and Suntex will continue to invest in the physical assets of the facility, as well as new boats, amenities and events to expand and enhance the overall customer experience.

“This has been an incredible period of explosive growth for the Suntex portfolio,” said Chris Petty, Principal of Suntex Marinas. “State Dock adds another extraordinary and unique location for our members to visit and experience.”

Bryan Horne will lead the marina as general manager. Previously, he worked as general manager of Pier 121 Marina in Lewisville, Texas, one of the largest inland marinas in the U.S. with more than 2,000 slips. Horne brings more than 25 years of customer service and retail experience.

State Dock Marina is located in the Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. With a surface area of more than 65,500 acres, Lake Cumberland is one of the largest and most visited lakes in the country.

Suntex adds the State Dock property to its current portfolio of 24 Marinas in Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Arkansas and St. Maarten.

Westrec Acquires Lazy Day Marina

Leisure Investment Properties Group of Marcus & Millichap announced the sale of Lazy Days Marina in Buford, Georgia, to Westrec Marinas. Michael J. Fasano, first vice president and regional manager of Marcus & Millichap’s Atlanta office said the sale is one of the largest lake marina transactions in several years, reflecting renewed interest in marina properties among investors.

Andrew Cantor, a marina specialist with Marcus & Millichap has the listing on behalf of seller, Aqua Marine Partners.

Andrew Sturner, president and CEO of Aqua Marine Partners, stated, “Lazy Days was our first inland lake marina and we’ve enjoyed great success with it over the past nine years. Andrew Cantor at Marcus & Millichap’s Leisure Investment Properties Group did a great job selling the property to investors so that we achieved our goal to maximize proceeds in the sale and redeploy that capital to continue to grow our marina portfolio.”

The buyer, Westrec Marinas, which owns Holiday Marina on Lake Lanier, the facility next door to Lazy Days, saw tremendous value in acquiring its neighbor. Jeff Ellis, Westrec’s chief financial officer, who led the acquisition team, said, “It’s not often that a property of this size and quality is on the market, and to have it adjacent to one of our marinas made it an opportunity we could not pass up.”

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference 2016 Program Takes Shape

The much anticipated ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, to be held in Amsterdam from November 17 to 19 promises to deliver an innovative program of topics, speakers and events under the theme: “Future of marinas in a changing world.”

More than 300 delegates, from marina developers to hardware suppliers, are expected to join the conference and discuss topics such as water planning regimes and zones, refurbishment of aged marinas, environmental legislation and customer care. Registration is now open and early bird discounts are available from now until May 1. The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference is organized by RAI Amsterdam in partnership with the ICOMIA Marinas Group and the HISWA Holland Marine Industry association.

The two-day conference program at the RAI building will explore and highlight a range of subjects, offering insight into the very latest in marina product development and technology. More than 30 speakers, from in and outside the industry, will be present to give insight in topics like marina development, regulations, financing and innovations. Parallel breakout sessions, open panel discussions, matchmaking programs and plenary presentations are going to fulfill all delegates’ needs for the latest information.

Day one will end with a welcoming dinner to network and celebrate in style. On day three, the marina tour will visit some of the best Dutch state-of-the-art marinas in the area. Partners are more than welcome to join the marina tour in addition to their specially designed partner program, which includes, among other things, a visit to the Rijksmuseum and a high tea in the city of Amsterdam.

For more information or to register, visit

International Congress of Colombia Set For April

Developed and organized by Asociación Náutica de Colombia (ANC), together with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Centro de Convenciones de Cartagena de Indias (CCCI) and International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), the International Nautical Congress of Colombia will be held from April 27 to 29 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

The one-time event was created to connect business-to-business industry leaders, manufacturers, dealers, investors, vendors, marina developers, distributors and government officials, working for one common goal – the growth of Colombia’s nautical tourism industry.

“Colombia may be Latin America’s best revival story to date, as the country makes a successful push to become the region’s next top boating destination,” says Antonella Farah, executive director of Asonautica de Colombia. “The Congress provides the opportunity for industry colleagues across the globe, to learn about Colombia as an emerging boating market and outline steps one can take to ensure their business is prepared to engage.”

Germán Vargas Lleras, the vice president of Colombia will make the keynote address. Other speakers include Thom Dammrich, NMMA president, and Antonella Farah, executive directory of Asonautica de Colombia. Other topics include Why Colombia – Why Now?; Colombia as a Charter Destination; Understanding the Needs of the Colombia Marine Market; a Drone’s View of Marina Develolpent in Colombia, and discussions and panels on safety and security and efforts of Colombia’s government, understanding the needs of the Colombia marine market, and sessions geared toward business practices, such as developing an action plan; establishing marina procedures, rules and regulations; successful boat dealerships; attracting the right employees; and more.

For more information about the event, visit

Thirty-Year Agreement Announced to Produce Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) and Show Management signed a 30-year agreement to produce the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.  
"Our marine industry has become a prominent job creator, and our region is a world-leading marine sales, refit and repair hub," said Phil Purcell, executive director of the MIASF, which owns the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. "This agreement assures the show's future leadership presence in our region and within the marine community."
Show Management specializes in boat show production and has been producing the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show since 1976, the year the show moved to the Bahia Mar Yachting Center.
"The success of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has been made possible through the close partnership among the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and Show Management," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, chairman of Active Interest Media and president of Show Management, which was purchased by Active Interest Media in 2006. "It simply would not be possible without the dedication of all parties involved."
He added, "All of us at Show Management are honored to have been selected to operate the show through 2046, and will continue dedicating all of our resources to ensure that FLIBS remains the largest and best boat show in the world."
The 57th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will take place November 3-7, 2016.  A far cry from its humble start in 1959 as an exhibit by local boat dealers in Fort Lauderdale's War Memorial Auditorium, the world's largest in-water boat show now spans seven locations with more than 3 million square feet of space, including six marinas and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, all connected by a network of water taxis, riverboats and shuttles.

NMMA Awards 2016 Freedman Awarded

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) honored Ken and Rick Garelick, president and senior vice president of Garelick Manufacturing Co., with the 2016 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award. The award was presented this morning during the Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast held at the 2016 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show®

NMMA’s Marine Accessories and Components Division (MACD) introduced the Freedman Award in 1984 to recognize individuals who, throughout the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.

Cousins Rick and Ken are the second generation now leading Garelick Manufacturing Co. Their fathers Joe and Saul were brothers who founded the company and handed down the reigns of leadership to Rick and Ken in the late 1980’s. NMMA said their passion for what they do is evident through the quality of their products including ladders, seating and upholstery, seat hardware, outboard motor accessories, housewares and more.

Kasco Marine Redesigns its Website

Kasco Marine unveiled a newly designed website. Focusing heavily on updating the layout and navigation, the company said this makes product information easier to find; technical product details are displayed and organized in a much more concise and succinct manner.

“Our existing site worked, but as we’ve expanded our product line and application areas, we knew it needed an update, Kasco Director of Sales and Marketing Bob Robinson said. “For the redesign, we focused on a whole new structure and navigational hierarchy that would really benefit our customers and prospects.”

The website has two paths of navigation – by specific product or by application. Each product page has detailed product descriptions, technical documents, marketing literature, videos and testimonials. The Learning Center page also has articles addressing water quality topics, and product specifications, high resolution photos and marketing material can be found in the Download section.

Visit the new Kasco site at

Sea Hawk Expands Customer Advisory Meetings

Sea Hawk is expanding its Customer Advisory Town Hall Meetings, which join experience dealers and marine service experts who work directly with Sea Hawk to provide feedback and collaborate with the marine dealer community. The announcement was made during the New England Boat Show at the Boston Convention Center in February.

Sea Hawk will develop major products, programs and policies with input from the Customer Advisory Town Hall Meeting participants. The Sea Hawk Customer Advisory Town Hall Meetings are led by Tommy Craft, Sea Hawk’s vice president of sales and a 20-year marine industry veteran.

The Sea Hawk Customer Advisory Town Hall Meetings will launch with dealers, distributors and marine service professionals, who represent the core of the marine sales and service industry, and will be held at boat shows across the country throughout the year. Town Hall Meeting participants may also include members that have strong backgrounds in the marine industry and those who do not currently use Sea Hawk coatings.

NMMA Creates New Format for 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced a new format and release schedule for the 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, which contains thousands of data points and insights on the boating industry. Each section of the abstract will be released individually as the statistics are available, making this critical industry data much more timely and valuable.

“NMMA’s annual Statistical Abstract is the most comprehensive collection of industry data available and a trusted source for recreational boating statistics—our revamp of the format and corresponding release schedule makes the data even more valuable because it’s now timelier and therefore much more useful to the industry,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “With the data being available immediately after it is gathered and analyzed by our team, the industry can utilize it to better understand our changing industry.”

The first section report to be released is an 11-year look at outboard engine sales trends: NMMA Outboard Engine Sales Trends 2004–2015. This report is now available for download by NMMA members here. Members must be logged in to to access the report.
When each section is released, reports can be downloaded here. NMMA members receive unlimited complimentary access to the digital versions of each section as they’re available in addition to the full-compilation report, which will be released in August. Print editions of the full report are available for $200 for NMMA members and can be pre-ordered now.

The 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is also available for purchase by non-NMMA members. Please contact to order the report(s) and get immediate access to pertinent boating industry market research.

Bellingham Wins NMMA Innovation Award

The National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) and Boat Writer’s International (BWI) presented Bellingham Marine’s portable floating timber dock system with an Innovation Award, at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show.

Bellingham’s portable dock system includes a number of innovative features that make the docks easy to install, anchor, run utilities through, remove, transport and store, the company said.

“Having the new temporary Bellingham docks for our inaugural show at Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin, added to the enhanced consumer and exhibitor experience we delivered while bringing a clean, easy to install and remove system to our new in-water space,” said Larry Berryman, assistant show manager and sales director for the NMMA. “One of the best features of these docks is that they’re 100 percent EPA compliant and completely encapsulated—they not only look good and function perfectly, but they help us ensure we’re meeting all environmental requirements—something that’s critical to NMMA.”

Bellingham Marine worked closely with the NMMA in the development the new dock system. “This portable system is the perfect choice for individuals looking for a temporary /portable system, infrastructure for overwater venues, or a dock system that can be easily removed from the water during the off-season,” said Bellingham Marine general manager, Mark Johnson.

The Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award was developed in partnership by the NMMA and BWI to recognize exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products. The judging committee is comprised of BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and who have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. 77 products were entered; 17 winners were selected in 16 categories. Bellingham was a winner in the Docking and Fendering Equipment category.

MRA Announces Schedule for Boating Congress

The Marine Recreation Association (MRA) released the schedule of events and list of speakers for the California Boating Congress to be held in Sacramento on March 8.

This important event will cover a broad range of topics, including discussions on the current state of recreational boating, environmental challenges, invasive species and water-quality issues, and updates on Department of Boating & Waterways planning and policies.

The scheduled events will begin at 9 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 'L' Street, just blocks from the State Capital, with opening statements by Kevin Ketchum, Immediate Past President of the Marine Recreation Association. David Dickerson, Vice President of State Government Relations / National Marine Manufacturers Association, will follow at 9:15 a.m. with a discussion covering the current state of recreational boating and the marine industry. California State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways, Chief of Boating Operations, Ramona Fernandez, will talk about the departments various boating programs and initiatives at 10:15 a.m.

Three briefings at 11:15 a.m., will follow with Kevin Ketchum, COO, California Yacht Marinas, covering current copper TMDL regulations; Bill Wells, executive director, California Delta Chambers, updating attendees on the water hyacinth problem in the Delta; and Susan Sykes, DBW, derelict vessel programs analyst, discussing Vessel Turn-In Programs (VTIP), Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Funding (AWAF), and other DBW programs dealing with derelict and abandoned vessels.

Lunch will be served at noon for all participants, along with a presentation at 1:30 p.m. by Bill Krauss, The Apex Group, on "How to Talk to Your Legislators." The remainder of the afternoon will encompass scheduled meetings with state legislators and staff at the Capital to discuss marine industry and recreational boating issues.

The "California Boating Congress" is the result of collaboration between the MRA and eight other boating related groups, including California Yacht Brokers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, California Parks Hospitality Association, California Sport Fishing League, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, Sacramento Valley Marine Association and the Worldwide Boaters Safety Group.

The information is available at

MMA Announces 2015 Neptune Awards

The Marine Marketers of America (MMA) announced the winners of its eighth annual 2015 Neptune Awards for Marketing Excellence during the Miami International Boat Show industry breakfast.

“There were 97 entries in 13 categories, with a record-breaking total of 47 companies and advertising agencies participating,” said Wanda Kenton Smith, president of MMA. “There was great diversity in terms of company size and type, and the standard of work, overall, was very high.”

MMA accepted entries in three new categories this year – website, native advertising and diversity initiative. The organization said the most hotly contested categories included video, website and product literature.

A list of the winning entries and images can be viewed at

NMMA Awards 2016 Freedman Award

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) honored Ken and Rick Garelick, president and senior vice president of Garelick Manufacturing Co., with the 2016 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award. The award was presented this morning during the Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast held at the 2016 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show®

NMMA’s Marine Accessories and Components Division (MACD) introduced the Freedman Award in 1984 to recognize individuals who, throughout the course of their careers, have made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.

Cousins Rick and Ken are the second generation now leading Garelick Manufacturing Co. Their fathers Joe and Saul were brothers who founded the company and handed down the reigns of leadership to Rick and Ken in the late 1980’s. NMMA said their passion for what they do is evident through the quality of their products including ladders, seating and upholstery, seat hardware, outboard motor accessories, housewares and more.

Gevo Ramps Up Isobutanol Production with Partnership in Argentina

Gevo, Inc. entered into a license agreement and a joint development agreement with Porta Hnos S.A. to built multiple isobutanol plants in Argentina using corn as a feedstock.

Gevo is the first company to blend isobutanol fuel, for use in the marine industry, where concerns about ethanol blends led to research about altnatives. In September 2015, the first marina in the U.S., Harbor Marina at Lake Pomme de Terre in Missouri, started selling fuel blended with Gevo’s isobutanol.

The first plant is to be wholly owned by Porta and is anticipated to begin producing isobutanol in 2017. The plant is expected to have a production capacity of up to five million gallons of isobutanol per year. Based on projected isobutanol pricing, Gevo estimates that it could generate approximately $1 million in annual revenues once the plant is operational, through royalties, sales and marketing fees, and other revenue streams such as yeast sales.

The agreement also has a plan for Porta to build at least three additional isobutanol plants. For these projects, Gevo would be the direct licensor of its technology and the marketer for any isobutanol produced, and would expect to receive all royalties and sales and marketing fees generated from these projects. As the engineering, procurement and construction (“EPC”) service providers to the ethanol industry in Argentina, Porta would provide the EPC services for the projects. The production capacity of these additional plants is still to be determined.

MarineMax Acquires Bahia Mar Marina

In February, MarineMax announced that it acquired Bahia Mar Marine in Pensacola, Florida. Located on the Bayou Chico Channel, Bahia Mar Marina is a full-service marina with a 50-ton travel lift, working boatyard, large dry storage and on-site facilities for fiberglass, paint and bottom work.

This facility also has covered and open wet slips, as well as a ship’s store. Other amenities include laundry, showers, restrooms, and a fuel dock offering non-Ethanol gas, diesel, and pump-out services. Bahia Mar Marina is also home to one of Pensacola’s most popular waterfront restaurants, The Oar House.

MarineMax Pensacola at Bahia Mar Marina is equipped to provide a variety of services for most vessels and will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with extended hours in the summer.

“We’re all boaters with such passion for the water we can’t help but share it,” Mark Breton, MarineMax Pensacola store manager. “We offer multiple platforms beyond boat sales to share our joy and enable our customers to do the same.”

Technomarine Expands New Divisions

Technomarine Group announced that Aero-Docks Worldwide joined the company. Aero-Docks, which manufactures robotic storage buildings and container lolgistics sytems, and Richard Lydle will head up the division at Technomarine. The new venture will work in conjunction with Technomarine Group’s new Buildings System Division.

David Coyle joined Technomarine Building Systems, Inc. as president to focus on the sales and development of the company’s conventional dry storage, automated dry storage, aviation hangers and pre-engineered metal buildings.

ABBRA Schedules Marine Service Certification Course

The American Boat Builders and Repairers Associations’ (ABBRA) Marine Certified Marine Service Managers Course (CMSM) is scheduled for March 6-10, 2016, at the Landing School in Arundel, Maine.

ABBRA offers the only extensive leadership training for boatyard operators that provides an industry recognized credential. The course is being offered in partnership with the Maine Marine Trades Association. ABBRA teaches the leadership skills required to operate a boatyard, a service department, and a boatbuilding or large refit project.

The CMSM Course offers a unique opportunity for boatyard operators to professionalize their staff and improve the efficiency and profitability of their businesses. The ideal candidate for this certification course wants to advance and demonstrate proven leadership and management skills in the operation of a boatyard, a service department or a marine service and repair business.

The CMSM Course also focuses on boatyard operations, leadership and time management skills, policies and procedures, human resources, OSHA and EPA compliance issues, teambuilding and financial management. It is taught by a team of nationally recognized and respected industry experts who offer their perspectives on every day business issues and challenges.

MRA to Facilitate First Annual California Boating Congress at State Capital

Boating advocates from across the state, including national and local marine industry and government representatives, will gather in Sacramento on March 8, 2016, for a day of meetings and discussions to “chart the future of boating policy in California.”

This important public event is the result of collaboration between the Marine Recreation Association (MRA) and eight other boating related groups, including California Yacht Brokers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, California Parks Hospitality Association, California Sport Fishing League, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, Sacramento Valley Marine Association, and World Wide Boaters Safety Group.

“This will be a great opportunity for our members, and other interested parties, to meet with state legislators and government regulators to discuss the impact of regulations, policies, and planning that affect recreational boating and other marine concerns in the state,” said Mariann Timms, MRA Operations Administrator.

The scheduled events will begin with a 9 a.m. welcome reception, followed by updates on the current state of the boating industry, Department of Boating & Waterways issues and programs, and lunch at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, located downtown just blocks from the State Capital. The afternoon will encompass meetings with state legislators and staff at the Capital. California Boating Congress staff will schedule individual and group meetings with available representatives for those participants who register and request a meeting prior to January 29, 2016.

Early registration for the day-long event is $149 per attendee registered prior to February 29. Regular registration after this date is $199 per attendee. Additional information is available at

Recreational Boating Industry Remains Significant to Canadian Economy

The Canadian recreational boating industry’s leading trade group, the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA), announced January 12 the release of its annual Canadian Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract for 2015, which reveals the Canadian recreational marine industry remains steady as sales increase in certain categories and boating participation rises.

The NMMA reports that retail sales of new boats and engines reached $2.1 billion in 2015, a 3.8 percent increase over 2014 while pre-owned boat sales totaled $1.06 billion, maintaining the industry’s healthy contribution to the Canadian economy. In addition, personal watercraft, including brands such as Jet Ski, SeaDoo and WaveRunner, experienced a sales surge in 2015 with unit sales of new personal watercraft jumping 10 percent from 2014. The pre-owned category also experienced a strong increase in 2015, rising seven percent. What’s more, Canadians’ participation in recreational boating has remained stable at 43 percent of the adult population, up from 35 percent in 2011-2012, the last time it was recorded.

“The data confirm that recreational boating remains a significant part of the Canadian economy, delivering more than $3 billion in new and pre-owned retails sales, while providing us with insights on how we can continue to grow as an industry,” notes Sara Anghel, executive direction of NMMA Canada. “Pre-owned boats and personal watercraft tend to be points of entry for new boaters and with sales of these categories seeing healthy increases, alongside rising boater participation, this signals that boating continues to be an attractive recreational activity to Canadians.”

28th Annual Yachts Miami Beach Set for February 11-15

Yachts Miami Beach, formerly known as the Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, is set to take place February 11-15, 2016, along Collins Avenue across from the legendary Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels, a location it has called home for 28 years.

Two different boat shows take place in Miami and Miami Beach during Presidents’ Day weekend in February. Show Management produces Yachts Miami Beach and co-owns it with the Florida Yacht Brokers Association. It is completely separate from the Miami International Boat Show.

Known as Miami Beach's premier in-water luxury yacht show, Yachts Miami Beach attracts thousands of people from around the world to a spectacular display of yachts and marine products, including more than 500 new and brokerage yachts and a wide array of the latest marine technology and accessories, valued at more than $1 billion. In addition to the remarkable display of yachts, the show offers floating cocktail lounges, food and live musical entertainment.

Covering more than 1.2 million square feet of space, Yachts Miami Beach spans more than a mile-long strip of the Indian Creek Waterway from 41st Street to 54th Street along Collins Avenue.

An additional Yachts Miami Beach location at Island Gardens Deep Harbour Marina on Watson Island will feature a limited selection of superyachts from companies including Burgess, Moran Yacht & Ship, Norwood and Ocean Independence. Once completed, the new marina will be able to accommodate 35 to 75 yachts from 80 to 550 feet, the largest collection of slips for yachts of this size in South Florida and North America's only marina exclusively designed for superyachts.

Transportation will be available from Yachts Miami Beach on Collins Avenue to Island Gardens Deep Harbour on Watson Island.

MYMIC Offers OSHA Compliance Training for ABYC Members

Surprise Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections around the country have cost marine facilities thousands of dollars in violation penalties. The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has recently partnered with MYMIC Training Technologies, a company that provides safety audits and training, to help ABYC members comply with OSHA requirements and start the season prepared.

OSHA began a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) concentrated on the inspection of marinas and boatyards. The LEP began in the Great Lakes Region and is continuing to spread. Other states such as New York, Maryland and South Carolina are seeing increased OSHA activities. This past November, Congress approved a significant increase of 82 percent to OSHA fines. Serious violations are hazards that may cause serious injury or death. For these types of violations, the fines could be up to $12,740 per occurrence.

“The partnership between MYMIC Training Technologies and ABYC offers ABYC members an option for assistance with safety training and OSHA compliance at the highest level of quality they have come to expect from ABYC,” said Robert Smith, marina safety specialist for MYMIC. “ABYC is widely recognized as the gold standard for training and certifications within the marine industry and with this program, ABYC members can now have peace of mind when it comes to OSHA.”

MYMIC Training Technologies will help implement an ongoing safety plan and provide a course of action for correcting potential hazards or violations. Audit topics include OSHA requirements on employee training, recordkeeping, chemical storage, respirator use, ladders and scaffolding; firefighting equipment and training, marina electrical and operational hazards; and clean marina recycling, environmental cleanup and fuel spills.

Yachts Miami Beach Offers with New VIP Package

Yachts Miami Beach has introduced a VIP package for experiencing the annual show, in collaboration with the new Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach, MiRide and HauteLiving.

The show’s first-ever VIP package welcomes guests to Yachts Miami Beach with convenient, on-site valet parking on Collins Avenue. When it’s time for a break or a meeting, an exclusive tender service will take guests from the show to a special VIP lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach, where a dedicated concierge will be waiting to arrange personal yacht tours and other conveniences. Guests can also schedule car service through MiRide, a provider of luxury vehicles and licensed chauffeurs.

The VIP package also includes access to exclusive boat show events, all for $350 per person per day. The VIP package will be offered on Thursday, February 11 through Saturday, February 13, the first three days of the five-day yacht show.

“Buyers and exhibitors from around the world love Yachts Miami Beach because of this amazing destination and the opportunity it presents to see hundreds of stunning yachts in the water along Collins Avenue,” said Brett Keating, vice president of Consumer Marketing for Show Management, the company that produces the show. “Our new VIP package, featuring the exquisite, new Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, offers a truly exclusive boat show experience in the perfect setting.”

Two different boat shows take place in Miami and Miami Beach during Presidents’ Day weekend in February. Show Management produces Yachts Miami Beach and co-owns it with the Florida Yacht Brokers Association. It is completely separate from the Miami International Boat Show.

Leading Marina Companies Unite to Form Safe Harbor Marinas

Safe Harbor Marinas, a company formed in 2015 and backed by American Infrastructure MLP Funds (AIM), will make its formal debut as the largest owner and operator of marinas in the United States this week at the International Marina and Boatyard Conference. The company recently completed acquisitions from four separate marina owners and operators and has plans to aggressively grow through future acquisitions.

Safe Harbor Marinas’ management team is comprised of industry veterans with an average of 30 years of marina experience. The company is committed to operational excellence and to delivering the highest level of customer service to its boating community and marina members. Safe Harbor currently owns and manages 31 marinas across 12 states totaling more than 20,000 wet and dry slips, and is currently processing additional acquisitions in its pipeline. The company is looking to selectively acquire coastal and inland marinas, either through the acquisition of whole portfolios or select individual properties. The company expects to deploy more than $500 million of capital in acquisitions through its equity and debt commitments. In certain situations, the company will consider bringing in marina owners as equity partners.

“We have created a brand and strategy that will benefit marina owners, operators and the boating community in both the short term and the long term,” said Marshall Funk, chief executive officer of Safe Harbor Marinas. “As a result of our scale, all of our properties will benefit from additional revenue and cost saving opportunities.”

The International Marina and Boatyard Conference will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 27-29. Safe Harbor Marinas will be located in booth 838/840.

ValvTect Petroleum Products Acquires Energy Additives

ValvTect Petroleum Products, Northbrook, Illinois, announced November 23 it has acquired Energy Additives Inc., Battle Creek, Michigan. Energy Additives is a supplier of LPG/propane fuel additives and exclusive distributor of Blue Moon propane filtration systems.

“Energy Additives patented LPG/propane additives and Blue Moon filtration systems are natural extensions to ValvTect’s line of diesel, gasoline and biocide fuel additives. As many of our distributors now market propane, these products that improve the burning characteristics of LPG/propane will provide an opportunity to supply a higher quality propane and improved consumer experience,” said Jerry Nessenson, founder of ValvTect Petroleum.

“My wife, Nancy, and I have operated Energy Additives since 1984. Merging the business with ValvTect allows us to expand the distribution of our products to ValvTect’s huge distributor base,” said Lloyd Lack, president of Energy Additives.

Golden Boat Lifts Passes Annual ISO Audit

Golden Boat Lifts passed its ISO 9001:2008 annual audit, marking its commitment to safe and reliable manufacturing methods, and continual system improvement. The company has maintained ISO certification since first receiving it in 2013. It is the only traditional aluminum frame boatlift manufacturer to hold such accreditation.

"Our continuous ISO certification reaffirms our position as an industry leader in providing superior products and customer service. It also opens up the municipal and government markets that often require ISO credentials from companies they do business with," said Bill Golden, president and CEO.

Golden Boat Lifts manufactures a wide range of safe, reliable and easy-to-operate lifts for watercraft up to 250,000 pounds. For 30 years, the company has been committed to building the finest boatlifts in the world for powerboats, sailboats, PWC, large motor yachts and commercial vessels.

MRA Announces New Name and Expanded Identity at Conference

The Marine Recreation Association’s (MRA) President Kevin Ketchum announced that the association has changed its name from the Marina to the new MRA at the 44th annual Marine Recreation Educational Conference and Trade Show.

The conference was held at the Fess Parker – a DoubleTree by Hilton Resort in Santa Barbara, October 26-28. The conference was attended by more than 220 industry professionals focused on enhancing customer service, regulatory compliance, and fiscal results in a broad range of recreational boating and marine operations.

“The industry and our membership have evolved beyond the scope of traditional marina services,” Ketchum said. “We are engaged in a much broader range of water-based businesses that encompass not only marina facilities, but also boatyard, marine sales and services, hospitality, resort, and other outdoor recreation operations. The new name better reflects our expanded focus and direction.”

The MRA Board of Directors has been busy developing future strategic plans for the organization, including expanded outreach to legislators and boaters through the California Boating Congress, an event planned for March 2016 in Sacramento, California.

The MRA will also be working with other boating organizations to engage the new Department of Boating & Waterways Working Group, seeking better communications and relations with the state agency, and improved boating programs. Additionally, Pat Bagan has been appointed to the MRA staff to facilitate regional training and educational programs, and liaison with California Boating Congress and Clean Marinas organizations.

IMBC Plans Keynote, Seminars and Interactive Workshops

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) announced the keynote speaker for the 2016 International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC). Motivational speaker Connie Podesta will do a presentation entitled, “Life Would Be Easier If It Weren’t For Other People.”

Other speakers include John Robitaille, who will speak on “How Leaders Communicate To Win”; and Steve Chandler from Chandlerthinks.

IMBC also added a new interactive workshop on how to develop a strategic plan, lead by Steve Chandler, Devin Santa, Roxanne Rockvam and Pam Lendzion.

Marine Marketers of America Calls for Entries for 2015 Neptune Awards

Marine Marketers of America (MMA), Miami, Florida, has issued an official call for entries for the 2015 Neptune Awards. The awards, which recognize outstanding work in the marine marketing field, will be presented at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2016. The competition is open to any company or organization producing and publishing marine industry marketing work this year between January 1 and December 31, 2015. 
Sally Helme, MMA vice president and awards committee co-chair, said, “We hit a new high for the Neptunes last year with 122 entries and 14 award winners, and I am confident that the field of entries for 2015 will be even stronger. There is a tremendous amount 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 and celebrated by their peers.”  
The competition is the eighth annual contest for the Neptune Awards. Entries for 2015 will be accepted for a record 17 different categories. The 14 categories repeating from the 2014 competition 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, Marketing Innovation, Special Event/Sales Promotions, and Diversity Marketing Initiatives. In addition to these 14, three new awards will be offered for 2015. Two of the new awards are for Web Advertising, one for “High Impact Units” and one for Native Advertising or Content Integration. The other new Neptune Award will be for Best Overall Marine Marketing Website.  
“Websites are critical components of every marketer’s arsenal, and represent one of the most important interfaces with customers and prospects,” said Helme. “We’re sure this will be one of the most hotly contested categories.”  
Deadline for submissions is January 8, 2016. Complete program details, including entry guidelines and the official entry form, are posted on the association’s website at

BoatUS Supports FAST Act

BoatUS celebrated the passage of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which includes the reauthorization of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund through the year 2020. In 1984, Congress passed legislation establishing what was then called the Wallop/Breaux Trust Fund. Now, called the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, it continues to serve as the backbone of boating safety, infrastructure, clean water and fisheries conservation funding in the U.S.

The practical “user pay, everyone benefits” program uses federal boat fuel and fishing tackle taxes to protect natural aquatic resources, enhance boating safety and provide more recreational fishing and boating opportunities. Since its inception, more than $7.5 billion has been collected and allocated to the states. More recently since 2004, over 3.8 billion fish have been stocked, 11,000+ boat ramps and access sites have been created or renovated and over 1,100+ transient boating facilities built, 4.7 million students taught aquatic education, over 63,000 acres of fish habitat protected, and over half a million boaters, sailors and anglers have completed an approved state boating safety education course.

BoatUS, as a longtime champion of the Trust Fund along with other members of the Angling and Boating Alliance (ABA), has worked tirelessly to make certain it continues to be used for key boating and fishing programs. Said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich, “Some in Washington might have viewed these boater and angler tax dollars as a way to solve their own budget problems. BoatUS along with the ABA made certain this reauthorization ensures that the money boaters and anglers pay stays intact for the intended use: saving lives, keeping our fish stocks healthy and making it easier to enjoy the water.”

ABYC Foundation Charity Appeal Supports Tech Schools in Need

The ABYC Foundation is partnering with BRP Evinrude in a special December donation campaign to fund two outboard engines to marine technology classrooms.
The ABYC Foundation is seeking donations to reach $7,000 per outboard to ensure delivery to schools in need of essential hands-on student training opportunities. The marine industry is suffering a shortage technicians and this campaign will fulfill an educational need while helping young students pursue successful careers as marine technicians.

One 75 hp. Evinrude E-Tech engine will be donated to the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center (TBAISD) and used to train students for a career in the Traverse City, Michigan, area. One 40 hp Evinrude E-Techengine will be donated to the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School (UANY). This engine will be used on a student-built Phil Bolger designed 18-foot Diablo Grande. BRP Evinrude will ship the engines with all the trimmings for installation by the students.

The outboard donations are a part of the ABYC Foundation’s end of year campaign, “Project: Change a Life and Support Boating’s Future.” Each week in the month of December, a new donation opportunity is highlighted, focusing on helping marine technical programs across the country with much needed resources including outboards, textbooks and quality curriculum.

Meeco Sullivan Awarded Three New Dock Projects

Jim Manson, national sales manager for Meeco Sullivan, announced that the company has recently been awarded several new contracts highlighted by the Admirals Hill Marina in Chelsea, Massachusetts, the Albany Marina in Albany, New York, and Burnside Marina on Lake Cumberland Kentucky.

The Admirals Hill Marina is situated on Island End River and will include 140 slips totaling 22,000 square feet of floating docks replacing an old concrete and timber system. This new dock system will be Meeco Sullivan’s heavy-duty Sullivan Timber Frame system with recessed trim style IPE decking.

With tight delivery timelines and production scheduled through the holiday season, Meeco Sullivan was able to commit to begin deliveries within 30 days from initial order placement with completion of the project 30 days after that. This was a high-profile project and Meeco Sullivan was chosen over several other dock builders because of its reputation for quality, competitive price and ability to meet their critical deadlines.

The Albany Marina project is a new 30-slip, full-service marina on the Hudson River in Albany, New York. The new floating docks will include a boat launch open to the public and were designed for easy removal before and after the boating season due to winter ice flows on the Hudson. The project includes a combination of six 50 feet shore-to-dock stiff legs with heavy concrete bottom anchors that will keep the dock system securely in place. The heavy-duty galvanized steel docks with open truss frames and four by 42 feet all-welded aluminum gangways are also being constructed at Meeco Sullivan’s Oklahoma facility. The project is scheduled for winter completion so it will be ready to install for the spring 2016 boating season.

The Burnside Marina experienced severe damage from storms in fall 2014 and spring 2015 and this latest project includes new D and F docks, totaling 64 covered slips of various sizes with exposed aggregate concrete decking and winch and cable anchoring. The project also includes reconfiguring 3,000 linear feet of attenuator as well as relocating and repositioning the fuel pier, ship store and restaurant areas for easier access. All work is scheduled for spring 2016 completion.

NMMA Reports New Powerboat Sales Rise in 2015

New powerboat sales are on a multi-year rise with pre-recession levels on the horizon in several boat segments as early as 2016. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the leading trade association representing the North American recreational boating industry, estimates new powerboat unit sales will be up as much as eight percent in 2015 when the industry tallies its final figures. The NMMA anticipates the industry will continue its growth spurt with an increase in new powerboat sales of six to eight percent in 2016.

“A steadily improving economy and flurry of product innovation have boosted new powerboat sales, which is encouraging to see as we head into the winter boat show season, one of the busiest selling periods of the year,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “We anticipate six to eight percent growth in 2016 which would take total new powerboat sales back to pre-recession levels of 250,000 units.”

he powerboat category is comprised of outboard boats, wake sport boats, inboard cruisers, sterndrive boats and jet boats, as well as personal watercraft, which includes such brands as Sea-Doo, WaveRunner and Jet Ski. Most powerboat categories experienced year-over-year growth through the second quarter of 2015, including: jet boats, up 18.1 percent; wake sport boats, up 12.1 percent; deck boats, up 11.3 percent; personal watercraft, up 8.2 percent; pontoon boats, up 6.6 percent; and, bass boats, up 5.3 percent. Other fiberglass outboard boats (including center console boats, sportfishing boats, and flats boats) were up 11.1 percent, and other aluminum outboard boats (including all-purpose fishing boats and jon boats) were up 5.8 percent.

Sales of larger boats, particularly those equipped for offshore fishing, are on the rise following a sharp decline during the recession. Sales of new powerboats 40 feet and above were up 9.4 percent through June.

Boat Lift Company Passes Rigorous ISO Recertification

Golden Boat Lifts recently passed its ISO 9001:2008 annual audit, marking its commitment to safe and reliable manufacturing methods, and continual system improvement. The company has maintained ISO certification since first receiving it in 2013. It is the only traditional aluminum frame boat lift manufacturer to hold such accreditation.

"Our continuous ISO certification reaffirms our position as an industry leader in providing superior products and customer service. It also opens up the municipal and government markets that often require ISO credentials from companies they do business with," said Bill Golden, president and CEO.

Golden Boat Lifts manufactures a wide range of safe, reliable and easy-to-operate lifts for watercraft up to 250,000 pounds. For 30 years, the company has built boat lifts for powerboats, sailboats, PWC, large motor yachts and commercial vessels.

Launch of ICOMIA WMC 2016 Attracts International Audience at METSTRADE Show

RAI Amsterdam in partnership with the ICOMIA Marinas Group and the HISWA Holland Marine Industry association has released the event theme for next year’s ICOMIA World Marinas Conference. The theme, ‘’Future of marinas in a changing world,” will be the backbone of the conference program from November 17-19, 2016, in Amsterdam.

Three days of innovation, inspiration, best practices, insider-insights, market solutions and site visits will provide the knowledge and tools to get ahead in the global marina industry.

“By joining us in Amsterdam for the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference, people will learn from the leading experts in the field,” said Roberto Perocchio, chairman of the ICOMIA Marinas Group. “Listening to and leveraging on their lifetime of experiences will offer all you need to know about the marina business and its international trends in the space of just a couple days.”

This ninth edition of the renowned ICOMIA World Marinas Conference will go back to its roots in Amsterdam, where the first conference was held in 1993. With one of the highest densities of marinas in the world, the Netherlands has a significant advantage in the global marina industry.
For more information, see

Marine Recreation Association Announces Innovation Award Winners at Annual Conference

The Marine Recreation Association (MRA) announced the recipients of the Association’s Innovation Awards. These award recipients represent companies and individuals who have advanced technology in a way that has materially affected the marina industry. The awards were presented the opening night of the association’s 44th annual conference, which was held October 26-28 in Santa Barbara, California, at the Fess Parker.

Retrospective Innovation Awards were received by Bellingham Marine for the company’s development of the Unifloat concrete floating dock system and to Seaflex for the development of the Seaflex for the development of the Seaflex anchoring system.

Both the Unifloat dock system and the Seaflex anchoring system have become household names in the marina industry and are well regarded for excellence in performance and quality in design.

Awards in the contemporary category went to leading electrical equipment provider, Marina Electrical Equipment and industry forklift expert, Wiggins Lift Co.
Marina Electrical Equipment received an award for the development of the Sentinel-the only all-in-one, patented electronic meter that can also identify electrical leakage conditions and turn off power to potentially dangerous devices before a problem occurs.

The award to Wiggins Lift Co. was received for the company’s new Marina FLX lift. The FLX lift is the first of its kind. All-wheel steering makes the lift easy to maneuver in tight areas. The lift also has the boat positioned inside the lift’s body, which means aisles can be much narrower.

“It is with great pleasure that we honor these four companies for their commitment to leading our industry and to supporting the day-to-day operation of marina owners and managers through the development of new products and technologies that in the end add value to the marina’s business,” said Kevin Ketchum, MRA president.

Green Turtle Bay Sold to Anchor South Investments, LLC

Tortuga Management Company, LLC, owner and operator of Green Turtle Bay Resort on Barkley Lake in Grand Rivers, Kentucky, announced November 18 that is has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent to sell the business and assets of the resort to Anchor South Investments, LLC of Knoxville, Tennessee.

William E. Gary, III, an Owensboro, Kentucky lawyer, purchased the old Port Ken Bar Marina in April 1984, and immediately changed the name to Green Turtle Bay Marina. Later that spring, the Tullar family opened the existing restaurant facilities under the name of Patti’s on the Pier. The two new businesses brought an expanded dimension to the boating community on the lakes as more and more boating enthusiasts discovered the pleasures of boating on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes.

“I am saddened to reach this turning point in my life but I am delighted to be able to watch the continued growth of our family enterprise under a new owner, which has demonstrated the desire and ability to provide an ever-more pleasant resort for our thousands of customers and our loyal employees,” said Gary.

Over the past 30 years, Green Turtle Bay has grown into one of the major marina resorts in the central United States, providing mooring and storage for some 700 boats, vacation rentals in 87 luxury condos, two restaurants, a health club with indoor pool and spa, yacht brokerage, boat repair and marine retail sales with gross revenues in excess of $8 million annually and providing employment for more than 80 local, full-time employees.

If a final agreement is concluded between the parties it is anticipated that the change of ownership will occur January 1, 2016. The Gary family, along with all of the company employees, will continue in their current positions under the new ownership. Anchor South plans and early expansion of services to include a new fleet of rental houseboats, pontoons and other small craft as well as expanded yacht sales and other improvements.

FLIBS Exhibitors Report High Demand

The 56th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) wrapped up on November 9. This year's show was the largest it has ever been in terms of overall square footage of exhibit space.

"Initial feedback from many exhibitors tells us that this was a truly successful event, that demand from buyers is strong, and that many segments of the boating market are once again prospering," said Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the company that has managed and produced the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show since 1976. "Exhibitors have told us that a large amount of inventory was sold at the show this year, including a Bugatti Gran Turismo sold for $1.5 million by Fort Lauderdale Collection South."

The first two days of the show, Thursday, Nov. 5 and Friday, Nov. 6, were busy, with attendance up 10 percent over 2014. While many exhibitors reported interest from buyers and strong sales activity across all show days, show organizers suspect abnormally high temperatures over the weekend were too much for the casual attendee, resulting in an overall show attendance decrease of 2.7 percent compared to the previous year.

This year, there were more boats on display in all categories than in the past. The number of new and brokerage boats on display in-water was up 5.4 percent over last year.

"The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show brings together B2B and B2C vendors, manufacturers, yacht brokers, and customers from more than 34 countries to conduct business at the best boat show in the world," said Phil Purcell, executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which owns the show. "This year's show delivered on experience, expectations, imagery, new products and world debuts at all levels of the marketplace."

ABYC Sets Annual Meeting for January

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) is holding its seventh annual Standards Week, from January 11 to 15, in Jacksonville, Florida. Events such as Project Technical Committee (PTC) meetings, ABYC standards certification class, and the ABYC annual meeting and cocktail reception are all part of the week and will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.

Standards Week is a critical step in the development of ABYC standards. Throughout the week, Project Technical Committees (PTCs) will meet to discuss various standards under review. This year, the PTC meeting topics include electrical, hull performance, electrical components, gas detectors, navigation lights, fuel and ventilation, and product interface. Participation is open to all interested parties.

“There is no better technical resource than attending ABYC Standards Week,” said Craig Scholten, product compliance manager of Rec Boat Holdings, LLC. “Our attendance gives us a detailed working knowledge of the standards, allows us to help shape the outcomes and enables our products to be ahead of the compliance change curve. There is no doubt that working with ABYC has helped me do my job more effectively.”

All are welcome and encouraged to attend ABYC’s annual meeting and cocktail reception, held January 11, 7:00p.m to 9:00p.m. Attendees will hear about the organization's latest news, and enjoy music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails with industry colleagues.

ABYC's standards certification class will be held from January 11 to 14. This class provides students with a comprehensive and focused look at the key ABYC standards and is a must for engineers, installers, compliance inspectors and marine surveyors.

More information on Standards Week, ABYC’s annual meeting and the surrounding events can be found at If interested in sponsorship opportunities, contact Sandy Brown at

Sea Hawk Paints Announces New Coating Registration in California

In November, Sea Hawk Paints announced the approved registration of duel-biocide coating, Biocop TF, by the State of California. Registration in California positions Biocop TF for sale throughout the state. The coating provides multi-season protection against both hard and soft marine growth on the bottoms of vessels.

Handcrafted in America, Biocop TF is equality effective in fresh, brackish and saltwater as a dual-biocide antifouling paint. Its proprietary “PL3” polymer binding technology provides an engineered biocide that delivers protection from hard and soft growth during any season in both freshwater and saltwater. Biocop TF is Lloyd’s Registry approved and can be applied to boats of all sizes. Additionally, Biocop TF is sold in pint containers and can be used as an additive to other Sea Hawk self-polishing copolymer and hardened epoxy antifouling paints to expand their antifouling capabilities to inhibit slime and weed soft growth. Biocop TF gallons and pints have updated labels in accordance with California guidelines and are available in black, dark blue, light blue, red, gray, green and teal at authorized Sea Hawk distributors and retailers.

MarineMax Presents New Website and More

MarineMax held a special press event on the eve of the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show’s official opening where MarineMax executives expressed their optimism that the industry is expanding and continues to have a bright financial future moving forward.

“All of us at MarineMax are feeling good about the recreational marine industry’s performance in the 2015 model year and are excited about the prospects as we begin the 2016 model year,” said Bill McGill, President and Chief Executive Officer of MarineMax.

After addressing the state of the industry, McGill and Chuck Cashman, executive vice president sales, marketing and manufacturer relations, detailed their plans for MarineMax growth continuing as the world’s largest and most trusted boating retailer.

“We all believe in Bill’s mantra, ‘boating changes people’s lives,’” said Cashman. “And the company was built around the goal of making boating more accessible and as hassle free as possible. We don’t sell boats; we are in the business of selling boating.”

Cashman also announced that MarineMax has launched a new website, MarineMax recognized an underserved segment of their customers, yachting enthusiasts. They have taken this opportunity to launch an exclusive online experience for them. The site features MarineMax brands and models 50 feet or more and a unique online environment customized for the yacht buyer.

“MarineMax has intentionally aligned with the top brands including Sea Ray L-Class,” said Cashman. “We are also the exclusive North American Azimut dealer and the official Ocean Alexander dealer from Texas to the Atlantic coast. In addition MarineMax offers Hatteras Yachts in several key markets. We are proud to represent these iconic brands.”

Lake Norman Carefree Boat Club Wins Award Three Years in a Row

The Lake Norman Carefree Boat Club was awarded the Customer Service Excellence Award for the third year in a row at the Carefree Boat Club’s annual conference in October.

The 2014 Customer Service Excellence Award criteria is awarded to the clubs with the highest level of member satisfaction and customer service. Along with taking home the Customer Service Excellence Award, the Lake Norman Carefree Boat Club also won the 2014 Outstanding Performance Award. As one of more than 40 clubs vying for the awards Lake Norman is quite happy to have received this national recognition.

The award was accepted by Carefree Boat Club owners, Oana and Marc Graveline who are both very grateful to have been recognized. “We are happy to have been recognized as a top performing club while continuing to provide excellent customer service,” said Oana Graveline. Marc added, “We are truly blessed and thankful for our awesome staff. Because of their hard work and dedication, our club was recognized today.”

Doug Zimmerman, president of the Carefree Boat Club Network, said, “We were very happy to announce that the Carefree Boat Club of Lake Norman has become our first club location ever to win both our prestigious Customer Excellence Award and Outstanding Performance Award for two years in a row. We continue to be impressed with the ongoing dedication that the Lake Norman team puts in to going above and beyond in serving their customers and implementing best business practices.”

RIMTA to Award First Rising Tide Award to Michael Keyworth

The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) will present its first Rising Tide Award to industry veteran Michael Keyworth, general manager and vice president of Barrington’s Brewer Cove Haven Marina, for his longtime dedication to the Rhode Island marine industry and the lasting positive changes he has helped to put in place.

The award presentation will take place at RIMTA’s Annual Meeting & Celebration to be held on November 2 at Newport Vineyards in Middletown, Rhode Island.
“Michael Keyworth is a hero of our industry who personifies the spirit of this award,” said RIMTA chief executive officer Wendy Mackie. “Michael has not only been a valuable member of his own company team, but he has worked tirelessly to make the industry better for us all, knowing that a rising tide lifts all boats. From this point forward, this new award will be named in his honor as the J. Michael Keyworth Rising Tide Award.”

Keyworth has achieved a long string of accomplishments during his tenure in the industry. He was a key player in helping to establish Rhode Island’s sales-and-use tax policy on recreational boats to serving as a valued member of Brewer Yacht Yards for 30 years.

Keyworth devised more efficient worker training and stood up for better management of the marine environment. During his years in the industry, Keyworth has served at RIMTA as a board member, president and chair of the Legislative Committee.

IMI’s Fall Training Courses Sold Out, Waitlists Growing

The International Marina Institute (IMI), the training subsidiary of the Association of Marina Industries (AMI), has sold out its Intermediate Marina Management Course (IMM) and Advanced Marina Management Course (AMM) that scheduled for November and December 2015 respectively.

IMI will be adding a second IMM class before the end of 2015 to train 18 marina managers that are on a growing wait list. A second AMM class was already scheduled for February 21-16, 2016, in Charleston, South Carolina.

“The growth in the training programs is a result of several strategic items the AMI has been focused on for the last few years,” said Kayce Florio, IMI’s training coordinator. “First was to strengthen our relationships with the state and regional trade associations. This has helped us to reach a broader audience when marketing these invaluable training opportunities. Second was a focus on training the U.S. military marinas. The federal government is the largest owner of marinas in the U.S. and the Navy is the first step in our interest to train marina managers from all branches of the military. They are mandating that all of their managers complete IMI training and ultimately receive their certification. This is an incredibly exciting time for IMI as it enters its 30th year of training.”

The complete IMI training calendar is available on the AMI website at

Marinalife Announces Winners of 6th Annual Best Marina Contest

Marinalife announced the winners of the 2015 Best Marina Contest. This year, votes were submitted based on two categories: Best Large Marina (more than 100 slips) and Best Small Marina (under 100 slips). River Dunes in Oriental, North Carolina, won Best Large Marina and South Jersey Marina in Cape May, New Jersey, was voted Best Small Marina.

River Dunes is located along the Intracoastal Waterway. The well-protected harbor is equipped with 150 slips and offers a safe place for boaters and staff that goes above and beyond to create a memorable experience for every customer. Guests have access to high-class amenities, such as steam showers, laundry, a courtesy car, fine and casual dining, a swimming pool, spa, cabanas, a fitness facility and more.

“It’s a great honor for us that River Dunes has been voted the Best Large Marina,” said Sherwood Crawford, marketing director of River Dunes. “Every member of the staff at the marina takes pride in providing the best customer service, maintaining our beautiful facilities, and ensuring that all our guests have the best possible experience. We appreciate the support of all our boating friends and thank them and Marinalife for this recognition.”

South Jersey Marina has been providing first-class accommodations and services to boaters for more than 20 years. The largest charter and party boat fleet in southern New Jersey leaves their docks and sport fishing tournaments are held at the marina. South Jersey has 75 slips that are maintained by its staff.

“We couldn’t be prouder of winning Best Small Marina,” said Rick Weber, owner of South Jersey Marina. “A big thank you to all of our guests who voted for us and all of our staff who earned those votes. We’ve been a Marinalife partner since the very beginning in 2000, and this really encourages us to keep improving our boutique concept and our concierge services.”

Southport Marina in Southport, North Carolina, came in as second place in the large marina category, and Wentworth by the Sea Marina in New Castle, New Hampshire, came in as the third place winner. Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Hilton Head, South Carolina, was voted second place in the small marina category and following in third place is Key West Harbour in Key West, Florida.

Pier 66 Welcomes Catamarans at FLIBS

The 56th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) has announced the addition of Catamaran Cove, located at Pier 66.

With the goal of developing the largest catamarans how in the world, organizers will have a dedicated catamaran section with power and sail vessels – approximately 20 catamarans on display, ranging in size from 35 to 95 feet.

The recently renovated Pier 66 Marina is well equipped to accommodate Catamaran Cove. It features multiple restaurants on location, including Grill 66 & Bar and Pelican Landing; a Water Taxi pick-up and drop-off dock; valet parking at the Hyatt Pier 66 hotel; and nearby self-parking at the Sails Marina, located directly across the street. The location also allows brokers to schedule daily sea trials for serious buyers.

Set to take place in Fort Lauderdale from Nov. 5 to 9, FLIBS is the world's largest in-water boat show, covering seven locations with nearly 1,500 boats displayed across more than 3 million square feet of exhibit space.

Docks Expo Conference Schedule Available

The full conference schedule for the Dock Expo is now available at The inaugural trade show will take place in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Docks and Marinas for Rivers and Lakes course in St. Louis at the Union Station hotel from Dec. 2 to 4.

The deadline for reserving hotel rooms at the AAA Four-Diamond St. Louis Union Station – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is November 6. Visit the website to book a room at the discounted rate.

Speakers at the conference include Anna Townshend, Marina Dock Age editor, Sam Phlegar, from Applied Technology and Management Inc.; Gregory Weykamp, from Edgewater Resources, LLC; Steve Ryder from Bellingham Marine; Neal B. Harrell, Jr., from Brooks Marine Group; Chris Dolan from Marina Electrical Equipment; and Gary D. Loftis from Maffett LOffis Engineering.

The growing list of Docks sponsors includes Bellingham Marine, Groh Dredging & Marine Construction, Jet Filter, MariCorp US, Marina Electrical Equipment, Pier Genius and Titan Deck.

Marine Marketers Hosts Free Seminar at Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show

Marine Marketers of America (MMA) is presenting a free seminar for members of the boating industry attending the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Scheduled for November 6 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Bahia Mar’s Grandview Room, the event includes a membership mixer, brief association meeting and the seminar entitled, “Collaborative Consumption Strategies for Growing Boating: How Four Companies are Engaging Former Boaters and Attracting Newcomers to the Boating Lifestyle… and How You and Your Business Can Benefit from this New Dynamic.”

The seminar will be facilitated by NMMA’s Chief Marketing Officer Carl Blackwell who originally organized and moderated this panel event for IBEX. Based on the positive feedback to the IBEX event, coupled with the limited opportunity for general industry attendance, Marine Marketers of America extended the invitation to Blackwell and the expert panel for an encore performance. New content from the original presentation is planned, incorporating key points and participant questions generated from the IBEX experience.

“A major focus of Marine Marketers of America is providing ongoing professional marketing development for our members and the boating industry at large,” said Wanda Kenton Smith, MMA president. “The emergence of collaborative consumption in today’s society, coupled with the notable growth in these newer marine business segments, should be of interest to our industry. We invite members of the boating industry to join us for this dynamic program and to learn about new opportunities for growth and partnership.”

Presenting sponsor for the Marine Marketers of America meeting is Show Management. The event is free, but RSVPs are requested. Email your name and business contact to

NMMA Unveils New Mobile-Friendly Website for Members

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced the relaunch of its website,, featuring a completely new design, enhanced navigation and fresh content.

With a series of new innovative tools and resources, the website brings additional benefits to NMMA members and shares in-demand insights on the recreational boating industry. Also, the new website is now easily accessible on smartphones, tablets and desktop.

“The new has been over a year in the making and puts NMMA’s best foot forward for our members, who need to access the latest resources and boating news, and the business community and key stakeholders, who turn to NMMA for insights as the leading association representing the North American recreational boating industry,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said.

The new site features a streamlined look and feel that allows users to find information more quickly. Some of the new resources that make it easier than ever to stay in-the-know about recreational boating include a global events calendar, issues tracker, newsfeed, member newsfeed, membership, statistics, government relations, certification, shows and trade events and international business.

The new site was developed in-house by NMMA staff who were able to bring first-hand knowledge of program and member needs to the redesign.

Registration Open for 2016 IMBC

Registration for the International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) is now available at IMBC, taking place January 27-29, 2016 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI).

"IMBC remains a one-stop shop for industry professionals," says AMI Chair Jeff Rose, CMM. "It is where we gather to keep well-informed on trends, discuss new ideas, talk to suppliers, and create important professional relationships. It is how we improve our businesses and find information to ensure continued success."

Full conference passes start at $389 and include unlimited access to all educational seminars, round tables, workshops, food and beverages, entry into the exhibit hall, and admittance to all networking events. This year's biggest events include a Game Night, an AMI member meeting followed by a reception, and IMBC's opening night Exhibit Hall Party on January 27.

As well as full conference passes, IMBC offers one-day passes and exhibit hall passes. As always, AMI members receive a discount on all passes. In addition to the perks of full conference and one-day passes, the marina and boatyard field trip may be added for $60 for AMI members and $90 for non-members. Exhibit hall only and guest passes are also available for purchase.

Pre-registration will be available until Friday, January 22, 2016. Onsite registration will begin at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. For more information or to register, visit

MYMIC Training Technologies Announces Partnership for Marina Safety Program

MYMIC Training Technologies has partnered with One Squared Education to announce the launch of MYMIC LEARN, a program that the company says will revolutionize how the marina and boatyard industry complies with federal, state and local regulations.

MYMIC Training Technologies has served the marina and boatyard industries by providing 3D interactive safety training, on-site OSHA Compliance Audits, and certified operator training for forklifts, Travelifts, and hydraulic trailers.

Since 2011, the marina and boatyard Industry has been experiencing abnormally high injury rates. As a result, OSHA has stepped up enforcement at marinas and boatyards. In fact, several programs exist across the nation that specifically target marinas, boatyards and other businesses tied to recreational boating.

Almost all of the on-site OSHA Compliance Audits revealed the same violations and in almost all cases, marinas and boatyards were lacking a documented training program and the corresponding records. The fines for these violations can be up to $7,000 per occurrence.

“Marina managers are stretched really thin. In most cases, the marina managers I work with are wearing many hats. Sometimes, that manager doesn’t have the time or the resources to wear the safety hat,” said Robert Smith, Marina Safety Specialist at MYMIC Training Technologies. “The MYMIC Training Manager program will revolutionize how the Marina and Boatyard industries comply with OSHA through advanced training techniques and a records management system,” Smith said.

MYMIC LEARN uses a web based training portal that will allow employees to access robust online 3D interactive training with electronic recordkeeping to offer the first comprehensive, compliance based training program specifically built for the marina and boatyard industry. Smith said, “Our goal was to provide a unique training platform for the marina and boatyard industries at a very low cost. Our partnership with One Squared Education allowed us to achieve that goal.”

Docks Expo Approaches Inaugural Show

The Waterways Journal, Inc., publishers of Marina Dock Age magazine will host The Docks Expo, from December 2 to 4, in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Docks and Marinas for Rivers and Lakes course.

The deadline for reserving hotel rooms at the AAA Four-Diamond St. Louis Union Station – A DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in November 6. Click here to make a reservation at the discounted rate.

Docks attendees are also eligible for a special rate for one-day passes to Docks and Marinas for Rivers and Lakes. This acclaimed course has been presented by the University of Wisconsin for more than 40 years and covers topics including controlling ice, improving your electrical service, landside planning and development, and more. See a full agenda and register here. By participating in this course, you can earn up to 18 Professional Development Hours (PDH), 18 AIA Learning Units (LU) and 1.8 Continuing Education Units (CEU).

The exhibitor service kit — with access to info on freight, décor, installation and more — is now available online here. Just type “Docks Expo” into the search field and press return. If you have not received login information for online ordering, you can request it by clicking on “Login to Order Online” and then scrolling down to “Click here.” A login will be sent to you.

For more information on The Docks Expo, visit

Shelter Island Marina and Boatyard Purchases New Marine Travelift

Marine Travelift Inc., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, announced September 22 that Shelter Island Marina and Boatyard in British Columbia, Canada, has purchased a new 75 BFMII mobile boat hoist. The machine, delivered in early September, is designed to handle powerboats, sailboats, tugs, fishing boats and patrol boats approximately 80 feet in length.

This is the fifth Marine Travelift machine for Richmond-based Shelter Island founded in 1978 on the south arm of the Fraser River. The full-service facility is one of the largest yards on the Pacific Coast, and it operates two of the largest Marine Travelift mobile boat hoists along the western seaboard. It can lift vessels from 20 to 130 feet, it provides long- and short-term storage for hundreds of boats, and it boasts more than 8,000 linear feet of freshwater moorage.

“With more than 20 acres of boatyard accommodating more than 400 vessels, it is imperative that we have reliable and efficient equipment to keep the yard operating smoothly,” said Terry McPhail, Shelter Island’s president. “Marine Travelift has always provided the newest technologies. Given the success we’ve enjoyed with our previous four Marine Travelift hoists, and the great local service from Kendrick Equipment, we were pleased to order another machine.”

Shelter Island’s new 75 BFMII features two-speed hoists, which allows operators to increase lifting speed for more efficiency when the machine is in high demand and in the Pacific Northwest’s greatly fluctuating tides. It also has Marine Travelift’s signature top beam extension. This new feature allows the top beam to move forward and provide additional clearance while the boat is supported in the slings.

The machine includes a wireless remote control to increase operator visibility of the boat, launch piers and surrounding area to improve operational safety and ensure maximum maneuverability in the yard. It also allows the yard to operate the machine with less manpower.

SF Marina Systems Produces Mega Dock for Tug and Super Yacht Berthing

SF Marina Systems has provided a large, two-piece tug berth designed for vessels up to 1,100 tons. The berth is 32 feet wide and 150 feet long and has a freeboard of 5 feet.

The units were cast in SF Marina’s factory in Walham, Sweden, with each weighing more than 240 metric tons. The high loading of the pier can accommodate truck traffic and features cranes and fueling systems integrated into the design.

The standard units can be shipped worldwide and moored with a variety of anchoring systems with infinite lengths. The low maintenance and heavy mass of the concrete structures are well matched to large tugboats and super yachts.

Dockwa Wins Newport Product Award

At the Newport International Boat Show, the Newport Exhibition Group awarded the Newport for New Products™ (NFNP) award winners. Dockwa, marine reservation app, won the award for Best New Navigation Product.

NFNP entries were open to domestic and foreign products launched in the U.S. after April 1, 2015 that made their boat show debut at Newport. Show attendees selected the People’s Choice Award winner; all other category winners were selected by a team of industry experts on the basis of innovation, value to the consumer, safety and aesthetics.

IBEX 2015 Reports Solid Show

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) concluded at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on September 17, with an increase in new attendees.

There were 4,700 total qualified attendees, equivalent to the number of professionals that were at the 2013 event when it was last held in Louisville. IBEX drew quality boatbuilders and other industry professionals from around the world to represent 42 countries and 545 exhibiting companies. Of those companies, 110 were new to IBEX—an 11 percent increase compared to the 2013 event.

“The focus of IBEX is to build better boats, and the quality of attendees who joined us from pontoon boat to luxury sportfish yacht manufacturers, representing 42 countries, found the best new products and innovation to help them achieve that goal,” said Anne Dunbar, show director of IBEX. “The dozens of special events and networking receptions, including the in-depth technical seminars and workshops, were well attended and everyone who came to learn, connect and do business left satisfied.”

Brett Triola, co-owner of Wet Sounds, said his company was able to introduce “several brand new products including the first SDP Amplifiers for the marine industry, and we have had an excellent show meeting with OEMs.”

John Roberts, director of sales for BlueGas Marine, said his company had an excellent experience at the show. “The show was a huge opportunity for us to meet with high quality customers and discuss the needs of the industry to be more environmentally conscience.”

The 2016 IBEX Show is scheduled to take place at the Tampa Convention Center on October 4-6 in Tampa, Florida. For more information, please visit

Newest Maryland Clean Marina Announced

Island View Marina is the newest Maryland Clean Marina certified by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The facility earned the award after adopting practices from the Maryland Clean Marina Guidebook by meeting all environmental regulatory requirements and passing a site inspection.

Maryland now boasts 156 certified Clean Marinas.

Island View Marina is a family owned and operated, full-service marina founded in 1984. Located at the mouth of Crab Alley Creek, the marina offers services like bottom painting and complex mechanical troubleshooting and repairs.

It is both full service and allows Do-It-Yourself (DIY) owners. Owner George Ritter has more than 37 years of mechanical and repair experience in both sail and power boats. The marina has a pumpout station and recycles most materials.

2016 IMBC Day One Keynote’s Announced

The International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) announced two keynote speakers for day one of its annual conference. Professional speaker and author Connie Podesta will present the opening keynote address at IMBC on January 27, 2016, at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale-Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, followed by former Rhode Island governor candidate and motivation speaker John Robitaille.

“This is perhaps the strongest opening line-up IMBC has ever presented in its 13-year history,” said AMI Chair Jeff Rose. “Our attendees are always looking for ways to strengthen their businesses, we are confident these sessions will help them find success in both their business and life.”

Podesta’s session will combine “The Power of Accountability, Empowerment and Ownership,” and “The Power of Relationships and Communication” will be held on January 28, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. During this session, Podesta will take attendees into the minds of difficult employees and turn negative attitudes into positive, entitlement into accountability, complacency into productivity, complaining into solutions and “that’s not my job” into ownership.

Following Podesta’s session, Robitaille will present on “How Leaders Communicate to Win,” which talks about the importance of understanding the human side of communication and the need to be authentic, while at the same time being aware of how all five basic human senses come into play. Robitaille will share his first-hand experiences in handling crisis situations, facing personal tragedies, negotiating labor agreements, interacting with customers, colleagues, employees, the media and the general public.

Both speakers will follow the morning keynotes with an afternoon breakout session in which participants can investigate further into the questions or comments they had from the earlier morning sessions.

To learn more about IMBC, visit

2015 Life Jacket Design Competition Winners Announced

The 2015 Innovation in Life Jacket Design Competition was announced September 15 at the International Boat Builders Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in Louisville, Kentucky.

Sponsored by the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and the Personal Floatation Device Manufacturers Association (PFDMA), a team of five judges from the boating, paddling and life jacket manufacturing industry reviewed nearly 250 contest submissions from as far away as Mongolia and New Zealand, and also asked recreational boaters to vote for their favorite design entry.

The goal of the competition was to rethink a 100-year-old design, seek out the newest technologies and design innovations and develop interest in newer, more versatile life jackets. Design entries were judged on the following criteria: innovation, wearability, value/affordability, reliability, versatility and practicality. At stake was $15,000 in prize money.

First Place went to Michael Garman of Moseley, Virginia, in the amount of $10,000. His prototype design uses two-part expanding foam encased in a comfortable thermal fabric that is designed to keep the wearer cool. The design uses a smartphone app to submit exact body measurements to the factory where the life jacket is custom molded to offer a perfect fit right out of the box. Go to for a look.

Second Place received $3,000 and went to Jim Beach of Aegis Safety Products in Orlando, Florida, for his new, soon-to-market, inflatable floatation “Lifeshirt” that blends affordability with comfort and performance. Take a look at

Third Place in the amount of $2,000 went to Jessie Kate Brown of Lafayette, Louisiana, who submitted a theoretical design for the “Comfort Flex Life Vest,” a comfortable form-fitting design that increases visibility and inspires user confidence. Relief cuts on the side add buoyant material while a new hinge point and a lobster tail-life relief cut on the middle of the back of the jacket allow the wearer to easily bend their body unlike some current vest-style designs which have one-piece backs.

Boatsetter and Cruzin Merge Companies

Boatsetter and Cruzin, both companies in the peer-to-peer (P2P) boat-sharing market, announced that they have merged their businesses. The combined venture carries the Boatsetter name with a unified brand that incorporates the Cruzin look and feel.

Jaclyn Baumgarten is the new CEO of Boatsetter, and Andrew Sturner will be the executive chairman. The company has headquarters in both the boating capital of the world, South Florida, and the global technology epicenter, Silicon Valley.

The new Boatsetter offers increased capacity, capital and presence. It has the largest network of marina partnerships in the industry. Boatsetter offers thousands of boats across the U.S. and vets all boats, owners, captains and renters. Its Captains Affiliate Network is the largest network of US Coast Guard licensed captains in the industry, and the companies together have increased their network of marina partnerships.

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Upgrades Website and Branding

Organizers of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) launched a new website ( and debuted a new show logo.

Features of the new website include a clean, sleek, modern design, a content-rich site experience, mobile compatibility, and easy-to-navigate functionality. Website visitors can now easily search for boats on display as well as exhibitor information, purchase tickets and VIP packages, and access important information, such as parking tips, where to stay, and a schedule of special events.

In addition to the new website and logo, organizers are elevating the overall show experience in other ways, ranging from attractive VIP experiences to a Friday night Blue Party at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center for the show's valued exhibitors and their guests. Other enhancements include new signage at the show.

The 56th annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is set to take place from November 5 to 9. Show locations include the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

NMMA Inducts Two Into Hall of Fame

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) recognized two recreational boating industry leaders this year by inducting them into the NMMA Hall of Fame. Bob Long, chief executive officer and owner of JRL Ventures, Inc. and Marine Concepts, and Dusty McCoy, chairman and chief executive officer of Brunswick Corporation, will be recognized for their career achievements and contributions to the industry. The awards were formally presented during the 25th annual International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) at the show’s annual Industry Breakfast on September 15 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

A talented leader, innovator and entrepreneur, Bob Long has spent 45 years in the marine industry and his success and perseverance to excellence is evident throughout his career, including time spent at the helm of Starcraft and Crestliner, a 17-year reign at Wellcraft Marine, and 21 years as owner/CEO of internationally recognized JRL Ventures Inc. / Marine Concepts. A long-time NMMA member, Long assisted in NMMA’s formation in 1979 and sat on its board for six years. He has made a career-long commitment to meet a need, provide quality, research new and innovative technology, and employ a very personal approach to marine marketing.

Dusty McCoy has accomplished much for Brunswick Corporation and undertook the formation and direction of the Brunswick Boat Group, a new division when developed in 2000. Under McCoy’s steady hand, the fledgling Boat Group assembled a headquarters staff and capabilities, developed and refined market strategies, and set about a series of changes in the development, manufacture and marketing of its boats – stressing quality, efficiency, innovation and customer satisfaction – values that still drive these efforts today at Brunswick. As part of this evolution, Dusty emerged as an active and persuasive spokesperson and advocate for the marine industry.

BoatUS Marina Program Has 800 Participants

As the summer came to an end, the BoatUS Cooperating Marina Program reported that more than 800 marinas participated this year.

Launched in 1995 and designed as a way for marinas to build incremental sales and at the same time provide valuable benefits to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) members, the program offers preferential discounts to the largest group of recreational boat owners in the country.

To participate, marina operators select the discount they want to offer BoatUS members – popular offerings include up to 10 cents off per gallon of fuel, 15 percent off repairs, or 25 percent off transient slips. Other discounts may be offered by a ship’s store or marina restaurant.

There is no other cost to the marina, and in exchange for offering a discount, BoatUS markets the program to its more than half a million members, including exposure in regional and national boating and fishing publications, cruising guides as well as BoatUS Magazine, the most widely read boating publication. BoatUS supplies free promotional materials such as signs, decals and flags, and will also award marinas up to $250 per year for advertising in the local area – simply for including the BoatUS Member Discounts logo in their advertising. Additionally, participating marinas have a custom web page at and on the BoatUS Towing App.

Faro Blanco Resort offer ValvTect Marine Fuels

ValvTect Petroleum announced that Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club in Marathon, Florida, has joined the more than 600 ValvTect Certified marinas and fuel docks nationwide offering ValvTect Marine Fuels.

“We are proud to be known for our friendly staff, competitive prices and as one of the oldest and most recognizable marinas in the Florida Keys area. Located in family friendly Marathon, we strive to provide our customers with products and services that make their boating experience more enjoyable,” said Alain Giudice, general manager at Faro Blanco Marina & Yacht Club. “We want boaters to enjoy their time on the water and not worry about fuel problems and engine failures. That’s one of the main reasons we are offering ValvTect Marine Gasoline and ValvTect Marine Diesel Fuel. ValvTect Marine Fuels provide our customers with a better boating experience by helping reduce maintenance costs and improve fuel economy," he added.

ABBRA Takes National Lead on Defining Marine Trades Workforce Needs

The American Boatbuilders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) is coordinating a workforce development survey to gather information on the U.S. marine industry’s workforce needs, challenges and solutions. ABBRA will present the results at the a special session, held at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in mid-September in Louisville, Kentucky.

The survey will gather data on the skill level of the current workforce, basic demographic information on marine workers, hiring needs across the country, labor shortages, areas of skill deficiency and effective training solutions. It is meant to provide real data about the recreational marine industry's workforce that legislators and the Department of Labor ask for when considering our requests for funding and/or support for technical training.

“I encourage every marine-trades employer in the U.S. to complete this important survey,” said Pam Lendzion, executive director of ABBRA. “The resultant data will be a powerful tool—both to define where we are, and to help us create solutions for building a workforce that meets the technological challenges of our industry.”

This survey will assist marine trade association leaders in offering guidance and support to their members on the workforce development front. ABBRA believes the industry's businesses need help developing a plan to up-skill and train their workers based on resources currently available to them. ABBRA also believe that marine trade associations play a key role in advocating for their employers and one of their priorities must be helping their member's businesses address the lack of technically skilled workers to fill the positions required to sustain growth, commonly referred to as a "skills gap."

According to Lendzion, the data will also give the industry a statistical profile of the workforce, which is needed by state-level marine trade associations when appealing for state and federal funding for training programs.

Click here to access the ABBRA Survey. Register for the IBEX event here.

ABYC Hosting Educational and Networking Events at IBEX

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) will be hosting a variety of educational sessions at the International Boatbuilders’ Exposition and Conference (IBEX) from September 15 to 17 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. ABYC will also host networking opportunities including a virtual career fair.

The educational session topics at IBEX include ABYC 2015 Standards Update; Designing a 12-24 Volt DC System that Works; Design and Build to Minimize the Spread of Aquatic Species; When the Customer Sues—Legal Advice; Handling High Intermittent Current Loads; 12-/240-Volt Ground Switching With Paralleled and Co-Generation Systems; Designing and Installing Efficient Onboard HVAC; and Understanding AC and DC Load Groups.

Due to the popularity of last year’s sessions, ABYC will once again lead hands-on demonstrations to give attendees a unique learning experience. Instructor Kevin Ritz will lead Onboard 1: Electrical Troubleshooting and Onboard II: Installing an Auxiliary Battery. These sessions will allow attendees to see the process from start to finish on board a center console, learn how to comply with ABYC standards and employ current technology.

ABYC will also present a free workshop, which will take place in the Exhibitor Workshop Theatre on Wednesday, September 16. Attendees will learn how and when to warn customers and will leave with free warning labels.

“IBEX is fortunate to have ABYC as our educational partner,” said IBEX show director Anne Dunbar. “They are the leading source for product safety standards and education, training and help our industry build better, safer boats.”

The Coffee and Compliance networking event will take place on the morning of Wednesday, September 16, also. Attendees can meet with experts in marine certification and standards for informal networking to discuss current trends and compliance issues affecting the industry. Exhibitors are invited from 9 to 11 a.m.; all attendees are welcome from 10 to 11 a.m.

ABYC will also host a new virtual career fair centered on IBEX in partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA). The career fair will provide a comprehensive matchmaking system for employers and job seekers attending and exhibiting at IBEX. Although the employers are job seekers will connect online, there will be private space available for those who would like to arrange in-person interviews during IBEX in Hall C of the Kentucky Exposition Center.

IBEX Seminar Series Offers Technical Education

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) will offer a technical education seminar series from September 15 to 17 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

There will be 55 seminars to choose from in eight tracks. These include, Composite Methods and Materials; Design and Engineering, Survey and Repair; Marine Electrical Systems, Manufacturing Management and Policy; Onboard Systems; ProBoat Editors’ Picks; and Boatyard and Marina Operations.

“IBEX’s annual challenge is to design a program of seminars that are useful to all,” said Professional BoatBuilder editor Aaron Porter. “We do that best with direct input from our attendees, telling us what topics they want to see included, problems they need solved, new materials and regulations they would like explained, and even presenters they want to hear regardless of the specific topic. With this invaluable input we are able to develop useful technical seminars that meet the evolving needs of the industry.”

Seminars will be hosted by a variety of industry professionals including Professional BoatBuilder magazine and American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC).

Molo Selected as Technology Platform for IGY Marinas’ North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place

Molo has been selected to serve as the technology platform for North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place in Manhattan, New York. Molo’s platform provides easy-to-use, cloud-based iPad and Web tools for marina management that will enhance the customer experience as well as maximize operational efficiencies.

The technology developed by Molo provides a user-friendly Web portal that allows customers to pay for and confirm slip agreements. Customers will also be able to pay by credit card dock side with digital signatures on an iPad. Additionally, Molo generates customer email receipts, which are optimized for viewing on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

For the staff at IGY’s North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place, the Molo platform will provide increased communication and efficiency through task tracking and Web-based management reports. Customer service will also be improved as the system continuously provides operational insights through generated reports.

56th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Set for November

The 56th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) is set to take place from November 5 to 9. In doing so, FLIBS has unveiled new attractions this year to further enhance the show experience for boating enthusiasts and marine businesses from around the world.

“This is an exciting year for the FLIBS as we roll out enhancements designed to make this the best show ever for our exhibitors and attendees,” said Brett Keating, vice president of consumer marketing for Show Management, the organization that annually produces the boat show. “We’re elevating the overall experience in many different ways, ranging from very attractive VIP packages to a Friday night Blue Party at the convention center especially for our valued exhibitors. Even before you arrive, you’ll notice attractive new touches when you visit the new FLIBS website and see our new logo.”

The VIP Boat Show Experiences program is offered to registered guests and allows for onsite valet parking, entry to the boat show and all-day access to the air-conditioned, VIP lounge located at the Hall of Fame Marina, which will be offering gourmet food and a premium open bar.

The Blue Party will be held on Friday, November 6 at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. It will glow blue for a fun-filled night for exhibitors and featuring entertainment, music and fashion at the show’s Sailfish Pavilion. Raffle tickets and prizes will benefit the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Broward County.

In addition to these two, new events, the convention center will feature a display of boats under 50 feet and complimentary attractions for the whole family. Attractions will include fishing and boating workshops by the IGFA School of Sportfishing, Hook The Future kids’ fishing clinics, and marine seminars and an art exhibit by the Blue Wild. There will also be live water sport demonstrations at the AquaZone, a 15,000 gallon, 25- by 50-foot pop-up pool.

Registration Open for The Docks Expo; Call for Presentations

Registration for The Docks Expo, held from December 2 to 4 in St. Louis, is now open.

Marina Dock Age magazine, along with a steering committee of marina owners and managers, will schedule presentation to be held on-site during the event. The presentations can showcase new products and highlight special projects or important management issues for the industry. Interested presentors, should send a paragraph description of the presentation or questions to Anna Townshend at Deadline for proposals is September 15.

The exhibit hall at The Docks Expo is sold out, but sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Mary Sanner at For a full list of exhibitors and sponsors, visit

To register for The Docks Expo, click here. Attendees can also book discounted hotel rooms at St. Louis Union Station – a Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, at this link.

IMBC Exhibit Floor Seventy Percent Sold

The 2016 International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) exhibit floor for the show held at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from January 27 to 29, is more than 70 percent sold, including more than 80 industry suppliers. To view a list of vendors, click here.

IMBC has a block of rooms at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina for its 2016 show. The Hilton property is within walking distance from the Greater Ft. Lauderdale - Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316) where most conference events will take place. Reservations can be made here.

SOBA 2015 Announces Annual Conference Information

The 2015 State Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) conference will be held at the Basin Harbor Club on September 21-24. The theme is “Green Access, Clean Boating, Blue Waters,” and will have a focus on climate change adaptation.

The conference is being co-hosted by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, with support from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Division of Fish and Wildlife, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

This annual event is one of the largest gatherings of professionals and affiliate organization representatives actively engaged in improving and expanding public boating access throughout the U.S.

Attendees interested in obtaining some professional development hours (PDH) of continuing education in order to maintain your professional standing, you have the option of enrolling when you register online. To register, click here.

Sea Hawk Paints Provides Training Video Series

Sea Hawk Paints introduced a new series of informative Hawk Epoxy training videos to provide marine service professionals and do-it-yourselfers techniques for protecting and enhancing the longevity of their vessels.

Each video is scripted and shot in a way that provides viewers a better understanding of the wide range of application-specific solutions the Hawk Epoxy system provides making it quick and easy to translate the video instructions to real world applications.

The first five videos in the series focus on solutions for using Hawk Epoxy to perform basic boat repairs. The topics addressed in the training videos include proper measuring and mixing, sealing a fiberglass hull, patching holes in a boat, hardware replacement adhesion and fairing hull imperfections.

“At Sea Hawk, expertise is the root of our innovation,” said Erik Norrie, Sea Hawk chief executive officer. “The Hawk Epoxy video series is one way in which we provide marine service professionals and do-it-yourselfers the information they need to protect and enhance the longevity and performance of their vessels.”

The Hawk Epoxy video series can be access on the Sea Hawk Paints website at

Marinas International Partners with South Florida-Based Boatsetter

Marinas International announced July 28 its partnership with, the collaborative peer-to-peer marketplace that matches boat owners of quality boats with renters seeking experiences on the water. is the technology startup, launched in 2014 as the first peer-to-peer company, offering captained boats to recreational boat renters. has created an online community that connects all of the key players of the boating industry—recreational boaters, boat owners, boat captains, marinas and marine industry businesses. The boat sharing platform allows private boat owners to safely charter their boats to boaters—complete with an experienced captain, which means previous boating experience is not required to get out on the water with family and friends.

“Marinas International is proud to be affiliated with Boatsetter,” said Jeff Rose, vice president of Marinas International. “They truly understand the unique marine industry and are providing innovative solutions that are poised to help us grow. We are excited to now offer our customers a quality boat sharing program that we trust.”

Grants Available to Help Pay for Visiting Boater Facilities

Visiting boaters, whether staying over for just one night or a couple weeks, benefit and add to the vitality of waterfront communities, marinas and boat clubs. Transient boat docks that are safe for overnight tie-ups, deep-water channels, restrooms and pumpouts—just some of the infrastructure necessary to draw visiting boaters—can be expensive.

However, the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) program from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can help communities, marinas and boat clubs pay up to half of these improvements, but they need to apply by September 18 by going to their state’s BIG administrator, typically a boating, wildlife or natural resources agency.

Funding for the competitive BIG program comes from excise taxes on boat gasoline and fishing tackle that boaters and anglers pay into the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The goal is to give cruising boaters convenient access to shore-side amenities via slips dedicated to transient boats as well as mooring fields and dinghy docks. Municipal or privately-owned marinas as well as boat clubs can install these conveniences including moorings, restrooms (including floating ones), fuel docks, electricity, water and sewage utilities, recycling and pumpout stations, and undertake small dredging projects (up to $200,000) using BIG dollars. Two tiers of funding, both competitive and non-competitive, are available.

Projects must be located on water bodies deep enough for boats 26-feet in length staying overnight from one to up to 15 days, and to navigate at a minimum depth of six feet. Matching funds—a 25 percent minimum is required—may not come from other federal sources, but state, local and private funds can be used to match.

Morningstar Kings Point Marina Lets Students Experience Boating

Morningstar Kings Point Marina partnered with the Lake Norman Carefree Boat Club and Uptown Charters in Cornelius, North Carolina, to give more than 150 YMCA Y Reader students the opportunity to see and experience boating during four Mondays in June and July.

Volunteers gave boat rides, guided tours through the marina and tours through Uptown Charters luxury yacht. Along the way, students saw wildlife, learned about different types of boats, safe boating practices, and vocabulary and spelling words related to what they saw.

As the largest marina in the Carolinas, with 400 wet slips and 400 dry storage slips, Morningstar Kings Point Marina provided an interesting assortment of sights and experiences, including forklifts lifting boats in and out of the water.

Uptown Charters’ Captain Craig toured the kids through the galley, cabin, engine room and upper deck entertainment area and helm of its 90-foot Ragin’ Mistress luxury yacht.

“For many of our students, the boat ride is a first time experience that they will never forget,” said Courtney Tate, YMCA program coordinator. “We are extremely grateful for the kids to have had an opportunity like this one!”

IBEX Announces Keynote Speaker, Awards and New Program

National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the 2015 International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) being held September 15-17 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Johnny Bench is a symbol of winning through hard work and teamwork as outlined in his keynote presentation featuring, The Vowels of Success, and we are thrilled to welcome the Catcher of the Century to deliver the keynote address at the annual IBEX Industry Breakfast,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “Johnny’s impressive record on and off the baseball field illustrates his dedication to his team and the game, all values which will resonate with our attendees who will be inspired by his drive to succeed.”

In addition to its keynote speaker, IBEX announced it has selected its panel of award judges for its Innovation Awards program, now open to all exhibitors.

All IBEX 2015 exhibitors are welcome to enter their new products in the competition, which are judged by a panel of industry experts from Boating Writers International. Winners will be announced during the annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, September 15 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Rounding out IBEX’s latest announcements, the organization has introduced a new Marine Millennial program for the 2015 event. The program is designed to attract young professionals in the marine industry who are looking to connect with each other, industry leaders, and be a part of the industry’s largest gathering.

“My goal is to create a community for marine industry professionals who are under 35 years old, and let IBEX be the gathering place for them to connect, learn, share and expand their presence in the industry,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX show director.

To join the Marine Millennials, visit to sign up.

Marina General Manager Opens TowBoatUS Port at Lilly’s Bridge Marina

Lilly’s Bridge Marina General Manager Capt. Scott Roberson, the co-owner of TowBoatUS Lake Tillery, opened a TowBoatUS facility at the Mt. Gilead-North Carolina marina to provide on-water towing assistance to recreational boaters.

Opened in late May, the facility is ready to assist any lake boater who has a mechanical breakdown, runs out of fuel or needs a jumpstart. Roberson who has a USCG 50-ton Master license, will run the assist boats while his partner and marina owner Jack Jordan will concentrate on the business end of things.

Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on-water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $72 a year that includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $750 per incident nationally.

Lake Tillery, 35 miles east of Charlotte, is a reservoir with dams at each end used for power generation. “It’s pristine and beautiful,” Roberson said. “Boaters enjoy spending time on it in pontoon boats, fishing boats and other pleasure craft. The fishing is so good that there is a tournament most every week.”

TowBoatUS Lake Tillery operates out of Lilly’s Bridge Marian in Mt. Gilead with two assist boats and a small auxiliary boat. The boats are fully equipped for towing and salvage with dewatering pumps, dive gear, lift bags, towing gear, battery jump packs and extra fuel.

ABBRA Names New Executive Director and Administrative Manager; Moves Headquarters

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) announced July 15 it has appointed Pamela Lendzion as the interim executive director and Meg Toppa the administrative manager. The organization has also moved its head office to the Newport Shipyard in Rhode Island.

“We are pleased to have [Lendzion] at the helm as an experienced business executive, boatyard operator, and industry advocate, along with Meg Toppa who brings administrative and marketing expertise to ABBRA,” said Ron Helbig, president of ABBRA. “Her vision and enthusiasm for our continued growth and ideas for expanded and enhanced programs and service for members is refreshing.”

Lendzion is a past president and long-time director of ABBRA. She has worked in the recreational marine industry for 17 years in addition to other marine industry experience. She is currently the chief executive officer of MarineTec Management & Consulting Company.

“The opportunity to work with ABBRA as its interim executive director and provide leadership that focuses the organization on the needs of today’s boatyard operators is exciting,” Lendzion said.

Meg Toppa will manage the ABBRA office including member communication and coordination of events, programs and publications. She is a native of Newport, Rhode Island, and recently returned after living and working in the recreational marine industry in Fort Lauderdale for 20 years.

BoatUS Releases Guide for Life Jacket Loaner Programs

BoatUS Foundation can help marinas start a life jacket loaner program and recently released a new how-to guide with step-by-step instructions and resources.

“We have everything you need to make a new or current loaner program a success and be a great asset to your local community,” BoatUS Foundation Outreach Manager Alanna Keating said. “We have a new how-to guide with tips, discounted life jackets and all the materials and resources needed to start, expand and promote your program and help keep kids and adults safe on the water.”

Everything is available at

The BoatUS guide, “How To Set Up a Life Jacket Loaner Program Guide,” provides step-by-step instructions and includes information on how to access free and discounted resources for a loaner program, including promotional and educational materials and life jackets.

BoatUS also has life jackets available at a discount and has partnered with Stearns to offer groups discounted life jackets directly from the life jacket manufacturer. There is a minimum order of 12 for the red and white, vest-style Type II and Type III jackets with infant to adult sizes available. Logo imprinting and shipping are additional. To order, see the how-to guide.

High quality preprinted and customizable educational and promotional loaner site signs, posters, flyers are available for purchase at discounted rates or download the print quality files at no cost from the website.

ABYC Reduces Certification Costs

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) announced a new pricing structure to create savings for technicians working toward multiple certifications in the same calendar year. Additionally, ABYC will no longer charge students for study guides for re-certifications.

The new pricing structure, including the free study guides, has the following outcome for technicians:

• One certification - $75 savings;
• Two certifications - $180 savings;
• Three certifications - $325 savings;
• The new cost for three or more re-certifications is $179 each certification, as compared to the traditional $249 price point.

“The importance of keeping current and re-certification in today's changing world can't be understated,” said Ed Sherman, vice president/education director of ABYC. “Our standards evolve and with that comes changes in the knowledge base for our eight certification areas, making re-certification every five years an important step in ensuring that repairs and new boats remain built and serviced using the most up to date standards in the industry."

ABYC offers eight different marine certifications, classes for which are held around the country. To find out more about ABYC Certifications and the new pricing structure, visit

Scribble Releases Latest Software Version for Canada

Scribble Software Inc. announced the Canadian release of MarinaOffice 7.8, the newest version of the company’s MarinaOffice Suite of Solutions.

Built on the powerful and modernized .NET and SQL Server platform, the latest MarinaOffice version 7.8 has completed its beta testing period in the Canadian region and is now released for distribution to all Canadian customers. This latest release brings the MarinaOffice Canadian version up to the same level as the U.S. version.

Previously the Canadian versions of MarinaOffice were developed as a separate product and development timeline due to the differences in the accounting and tax structures. The down side to this approach is that every release of the Canadian version typically followed the general release of every new U.S. version. This new Canadian version of MarinaOffice 7.8 eliminates this problem by merging with the U.S. version. The combined version is advanced enough to intelligently determine the accounting platform used by each operator and automatically switch to the appropriate accounting and tax user interface.

Enhancements and improvements included in the new 7.8 version encompass nearly all modules of the solution including enhanced user process flows, enhanced work order and service scheduling, enhanced reporting, improved cloud platform extensions with one-step paperless billing, online payment processing, wireless vessel monitoring, mobile phone apps and extensions providing customer collaboration.

For more information, visit

The Carlyle Group Acquires Lauderdale Marine Center

The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, announced the acquisition of Lauderdale Marine Center (LMC) in Fort Lauderdale. Equity for the transaction comes from Carlyle Realty Partners VII, a U.S. real estate investment fund.

"In partnership with the outstanding management team and staff at LMC, we will build upon LMC's success through growth and continued innovation and superb customer service," said Thad Paul, Managing Director at The Carlyle Group. "Favorable demand trends in the megayacht industry and the high barriers to entry for new supply in Southeast Florida attracted us to the investment."

LMC is a 50-acre facility consisting of a boatyard, marina and marine service center. It accommodates boats up to 200 feet with 19 covered sheds and 156 wet slips, has three marine travel lifts with haul-out capacity up to 330 tons, and features 7,000 linear feet of dockage. LMC's business model includes leasing work space and commercial office space to approximately 60 on-site contractors providing various marine-related services such as fiberglass repair, electrical, painting, brokerage and insurance.

Carlyle's plans for LMC include minor renovations and several expansions in the near term, including: 
• adding additional paving in the southwest corner of the property to allow for additional megayacht repair space;
• completing the renovations at the adjacent River Bend boatyard and incorporating that property into LMC;
• developing a new management and leasing office.

Bellingham Marine and Pultron Composites Announce Patent Pending for FRP Rods

Bellingham Marine announced June 22 that its International Intellectual Property Office has issued a patent-pending status for its new FRP thru-rod and nut system.

Bellingham Marine has filed for design protection on the system’s unique bolt threat, nut shapes and overall look and patent protection for the concept and performance characteristics of the innovative rod system.

The new FRP thru-rod offers a longer lifespan than stainless steel rods at a more economical price. The composite rod consists of a completely corrosion-resistant ECR-glass fiber and a modified epoxy resin matrix. The composite material offers high strength, complete corrosion resistance, durability and creep and fatigue resistance.

The new FRP thru-rod system was developed by Bellingham Marine in partnership with Pultron Composites, a global industrial technology company that specializes in the development and manufacture of high performance composite fiber-reinforced pultrusions.

“The Bellingham Pultron FRP thru-rod is the result of Pultron’s 30 plus years of experience in the composite industry and Bellingham’s nearly 60 years of experience in designing and manufacturing floating dock systems,” said Pete Renshaw, business development manager for Pultron Composites. The two companies have been working together over the past seven years to develop a rod system that would surpass both galvanized and stainless steel rods in strength, maintenance, longevity and overall performance.

National Marine Propeller Association Launches New Website, Branding Effort

National Marine Propeller Association, a trade group representing propeller repair companies and propeller related product and service providers throughout the U.S., announced June 18 that it has launched its new website,, which will serve as a tool for members of the association and a resource for boaters looking for professional repair shops and other propeller related information.

The new website also features the new NMPA logo, which incorporates new modern characteristics while maintaining the propeller as a key element in the design.

The updated design is part of the twenty-three year old trade group’s effort to rebrand and reinvigorate itself to better serve its members.

Dave DeWitt, president of NMPA and product/program manager for Mercury Propellers, said, “We embarked on several important initiatives in early 2015, the first being to appoint a new managing director for NMPA, and the second to rebrand the association as part of a larger effort to update and enhance the NMPA member programs and benefits.

“In April we announced the appointment of Gordon Connell and Connell Communications as the managing director and association management company for NMPA and today we are to announce the launch of our new website,” he added.

Gordon Connell, recently appointed managing director of NMPA said, “I’m excited and looking forward to working to grow NMPA to its full potential. The new logo and website are just the start of several plans for the association. Next we are focusing on the Annual Convention scheduled for October 22-24 to build on what has historically been a valuable opportunity for propeller repair businesses to gather for informative sessions, networking and business-to-business development.”

Mercury Maine’s Belgian Plant Gets Safety Award

Mercury Marine's distribution plant in Petit-Rechain announced June 16 that it had recently received the Brunswick Corporation Chairman's Safety Award for excellence in safety and employee engagement. Petit-Rechain is the first distribution facility to win the prestigious Chairman’s Safety Award. The plant is currently running at close to three years without a reported accident.

The presentation, which was held in the second week of June in Belgium, featured Brunswick Corporation chief executive officer Dustin McCoy, Mercury Marine president John Pfeifer and other executives at the company.

In conjunction with this award, Brunswick will donate $10,000 dollars (about €9,000) on behalf of Petit-Rechain employees to a charitable organization of their choice. The safety committee chose to donate the prize to the Verviers branch of Relay for Life.

“We have been working hard on our safety initiatives and every employee is fully engaged in a safety culture throughout the EMEA organization,” said Mike Shedivy, president of Mercury Marine Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Our employees have a long-term relationship with Relay for Life and will have a team in the upcoming race at the end of September.”

MTA/NJ Announces 2015 Scholarships and Awards

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Foundation announced the winner of its education scholarship. The 2015 MTA/NJ Family Scholarship was awarded to Erin Beaton of Manasquan, New Jersey.

BEaton will begin her freshman year at Providence College this fall, where she plans to study finance and accounting. Erin's father is the president and owner of David Beaton & Sons in Mantoloking.

Valued at $1,500, this scholarship is open to MTA/NJ members' children and their employees' children and can be applied to any higher education program. Since 2006, the MTA/NJ Foundation has awarded nearly $20,000 to deserving students.

“We are excited to be able to offer this new opportunity to give back to our members, their children and employees and help offset the costs of higher education,” said MTA/NJ executive director Melissa Danko. “We are very thankful to all of our supporters that have helped make this scholarship possible. We look forward to seeing it grow and more students like Erin achieve their educational and career goals.”

In addition to the 2015 MTA/NJ Family Scholarship, the Automotive Training Center in Warminster, Pennsylvania, sponsored a half-scholarship to their Marine Technician Program. The recipient of the Automotive Training Center scholarship was Tyler Decker of Point Pleasant Boro. Tyler is graduating from Point Pleasant Boro High School as well as Ocean County Vocational Technical School, Toms River Center. After completing training, Tyler plans on pursuing his career in the marine field, with the hopes of eventually owning his own marina.

The MTA/NJ also awarded an outstanding student award for the purchase of tools for the trade to Thomas Fix from the Ocean County Vocational Technical School.

Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program Expands to Include Composite Skills

The Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program has been expanded to include the skill sets needed by composites companies in Rhode Island. The program is a free, seven-week course coordinated by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) where individuals gain the entry-level skills needed to work in local industry.

According to the American Composites Manufacturers Association, the U.S. composites industry generates $70 billion in annual revenue and is projected to grow an average of 6.5 percent between now and 2020. Rhode Island is known nationally as a seat of composites expertise. The state’s boatbuilders were among the early pioneers building with composites, and today Rhode Island is home to a strong cluster of composites companies that work in a wide range of industries.

“The newly expanded Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program is a great opportunity for those who like to work with their hands and want to gain the basic skills needed to start careers in the marine or composites industries,” RIMTA Program Director Jen Cornwell said. “Local businesses look at our program as a rich resource for talented, entry-level workers. The last class that graduated in April had a 100 percent job placement rate.”

The program is open to Rhode Island residents who are over the age of 18. Past participants have ranged from recent high school graduates to veterans and mid-career workers looking to train for a new field.

Trainees not only get hands-on instruction in a wide range of skill areas, but they also get an opportunity to meet business leaders and their employees while completing a short internship in the skill area that best matches their interests.

The next round of the program starts on July 13 and runs until late August. Thanks to funding form the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board, there is no cost for participants to take this program, and trainees will receive a small weekly stipend. The program requires a full-time commitment and runs Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Interested applicants can learn more by visiting The deadline for applications is June 26.

Results of Second Annual Panama International Boat Show

With more boats on display attracting significantly bigger crowds, the second annual Panama International Boat Show is on an upward trend in growth. The show took place from May 29 to May 31 at the Flamenco Marina on Flamenco Island in Panama.

Overall attendance was up 29.5 percent over the three-day event. The number of boats in water and on land was up 26 percent and exhibitor participation increased by 28 percent compared to 2014, the show’s inaugural year.

“We are encouraged by the significant increase in attendance and the enthusiasm of the crowds and exhibitors,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimblast III, president of Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company that organizes and produces the show. “This show is on a strong upward curve and we’re expecting continual, year-over-year growth.”

Located near downtown Panama City at the Flamenco Marina, the show offered a platform previously unavailable in the region for Latin American buyers to meet and connect directly with noteworthy boat manufacturers and dealers.

“This year we saw a wider variety of exhibitors and boats on display in the show,” said Miguel Lopez Pineiro, president of Flamenco Marina. “The attendance was great and we were able to see a substantial increase in visitors and qualified boat owners looking to purchase new boats in comparison to last year. The fact that we were able to not only showcase a compelling exhibition but also receive confirmation of sold boats and accessories as a result of the show is extremely satisfying to us.”

To learn more about the Panama International Boat Show, contact Show Management at +1 954/764-7642 or visit

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Headed to Amsterdam in 2016

Amsterdam RAI announces that it will organize, for the second time, the biennial ICOMIA World Marinas Conference (WMC). Hosted by the Holland Marine Industry Association (HISWA), the conference will be held during METS 2016 on November 17-19. The RAI organized WMC 2014 in Istanbul on behalf of ICOMIA.

The ICOMIA Marinas Group organizes and presents the conference every two years. The conference focuses on marina owners, operators, developers, consultants, service providers, government officials, equipment manufacturers, nautical tourism promoters, and port and harbor operators. The WMC is a traveling event held every two years in venues around the world.

“Having been impressed with the Amsterdam RAI’s ability to serve as a conference organizer in Istanbul last year, we are confident that the choice to now turn to Amsterdam RAI as both organizer and location for WMC 2016 is an excellent one,” said ICOMIA secretary general Tony Rice. “Held … concurrently with the METS, and hand-in-hand with the METS Marina and Yard Exhibition, the symmetry of these events is certain to prove extremely beneficial to all attendees and exhibitors.”

Further information on WMC 2016 will soon be available at

NMMA Responds to New RFS from EPA

At the end of May, the EPA released its proposed annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates, covering 2014, 2015 and 2016, just ahead of the court-ordered June 1 deadline. The corn ethanol volumes within the proposal call for 13.25 billion gallons in 2014, 13.4 billion gallons 2015 and 14 billion gallons in 2016. The proposal is required to be finalized by November. As it stands, if finalized, the blend wall will be breached next year resulting in widespread increased availability of E15 in the market.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) opposes the proposed levels. The association is among a group that advocated for more research, and now is pushing EPA to take an aggressive action to educate consumers about E15.

NMMA’s Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of legal and federal affairs, said the announcement, “marks yet another step backwards with regard to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RVOs announced will make it increasingly difficult for consumers to obtain low-ethanol and ethanol-free fuel blends required to run many engines successfully, and will further promote the expansion of E15—a known harmful fuel to marine and off road engines. If the EPA must continue to stand by the introduction of high ethanol blended fuels, at the very least, it should engage in widespread public outreach efforts to educate consumers on the problems they may face including engine damage, voided warranties and costly repairs. As we’ve said before, the RFS is a broken law, which sets unrealistic fuel mandates. It should now be even more clear to Congress that the RFS simply does not work and they must take swift action to fix this failed mandate to protect the millions of consumers at risk.”

Tideslide Helps Rebuild New York Marina

Staten Island Yacht Sales & Marina decided to rebuild after the complete devastation of Hurricane Sandy in Staten Island, New York.

To do this, the marina has incorporated TideSlide Mooring Systems into the new facility. Together, these two businesses worked to determine the very best TideSlide unit sizes and lengths for the job, providing maximum protection for structure and clients.

Staten Island Yacht Sales installed commercial- and military-grade TideSlides featuring hardened stainless steel shafts in every slip.

“As facilities manager of Staten Island Yacht Sales for the past 25 years, it’s great knowing that in the unlikely event that we experience another Hurricane Sandy, we have provided our customers with the absolute best mooring system available for our and their yachts,” said marina facilities manager Frank Gunther. “Simply put, there is absolutely no better way to secure your vessel than by using TideSlides.”

TideSlide was designed utilizing the rigorous U.S. Navy Heavy Weather Mooring Codes to help withstand harsh weather. It increases the chances of a boat surviving a catastrophic storm or hurricane.

“TideSlide is proud to be a partner with Staten Island Yacht Sales & Marina,” said Mark Baluha, PSI Marine president. “We’re already working with many other facilities in the area affected by tides and storms to improve and strengthen their marinas and yacht clubs in preparation for future storms and long-term use.”

IMBC 2016 Schedule Announced

The 2016 International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) schedule-at-a-glance is now available to view on the organization’s website at

To be held at the Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on January 27-29, IMBC will include more than 30 educational opportunities including general and breakout seminars, a field trip and small group workshops.

Exhibitions will account for more than 115 industry suppliers, product demonstrations, networking receptions and more. Each year, more than 800 marina and boatyard industry professionals attend the event.

Registration Now Open for 25th IBEX Conference

Registration for the 25th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) is now open at, the marine industry’s largest technical trade event.

All marine industry professionals can make plans now to attend the exhibition and take part in the world-renowned training and technical education conference, September 15-17, 2015, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

“Our education conference will offer an extensive selection of topics from in-depth technical seminars to trends impacting the marine industry—specifically designed so boat builders and others can build better boats,” IBEX Show Director Anne Dunbar said. “In addition to our training and technical education series, we are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker for the Industry Breakfast will be Johnny Bench, the baseball legend and author.”

IBEX educational opportunities at the conference will include the IBEX Seminar Series, IBEX Super Sessions and the Exhibitor Workshop Theater.

The Industry Kickoff will feature the presentation of the IBEX innovation Awards, the announcement of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Hall of Fame winners, Boating Industry 2015 Mover & Shakers award, and the Exhibitor Video Awards.

A full conference program can be viewed online at

Mercury Marine Expands Fond Du Lac Headquarters

Mercury Marine is adding 45,000 square feet to its electro-deposition paint (EDP) system that will double its current processing capabilities. The current project will be complete by January 2016, and the new system will be operational by the fourth quarter of 2016.

“We are developing a new state-of-the-art coating system that gives our engines superior corrosion and warranty protection,” Mercury Marine President John Pfeifer said. “This process enforces our ability to make a better product for our customers who expect extreme reliability in their Mercury engines. This expansion will not only create jobs, but it’ll improve our flexibility, quality and improve the environment.”

Since 2009, Mercury Marine has invested more than $58 million into capital investments and R&D. Projects like these support growth and the company’s commitment to provide the most advanced products and increase manufacturing capacity within its Fond du Lac facilities.

“We remain committed to Fond du Lac and the state of Wisconsin and will continue to expand and create jobs not only in Wisconsin, but around the world,” Pfeifer said. “We are thrilled to continue to invest in the community and in our partners.”

Volvo Ocean Cup Uses SF Marina Systems Concrete Floating Docks

The Volvo Ocean Cup sailboats arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, on May 6, in a spectacular night finish. When the sails were dropped, the boats berthed on a concrete floating dock supplied by SF Marian Systems. SF Marina System’s type 1240 concrete dock was chosen for the new Fort Adam pier system.

Mecco Sullivan wooden fingers were attached to the concrete dock, providing individual slips for the Volvo cup boats. After the sailboats departed, and the event wrapped up, the new concrete dock will remain in place and serve the Fort Adams park, and the Sail Newport organization for decades to come. SF Marinas said the it will provide a strong, stable low maintenance dock for future events and vessel dockage.

SF Marina Systems USA is based on Gloucester, Virginia, and engineers and builds concrete floating structures, marina systems, and floating breakwaters. The company said it designs low-maintenance, long lasting products to fit each customers’ location and specific needs, and systems provide storm proven protection. For more information on SF Marina Systems USA, visit

Michigan Governor Declares Michigan Boating Week

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a resolution to declare June 6 -14, 2015, “Michigan Boating Week” in the state of Michigan. With nearly one million registered boats, and an estimated four million boaters, Michigan has the third largest boating market in the country and has a $7.4 billion impact on the state’s economy.

“We’re appreciative of Gov. Snyder as he honors our state’s recreational boating industry,” said Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) Executive Director Nicki Polan. “Boating is a recreational activity that people of any age and agility can enjoy with their family and friends. Not only is it important to the economy here in Michigan, but it is also important to the quality of life for Michigan’s citizens. We hope this week encourages more to discover boating and the vast freshwater resources Michigan offers.”

Michigan is home to 11,037 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams. Boaters can find 1,300 public access sites, 1,064 marinas and 80 harbors of refuge. Boating is a safe recreational activity with a 5 percent decrease in accidents and 9 percent decrease in fatalities from 2013 to 2014, a continued trend over many years.

“As a life-long boater and supporter of the industry, I appreciate Gov. Snyder’s proclamation and support of boating in Michigan,” said MBIA Board Chairman Jim Coburn, of Coburn & Assoc. in Macomb, Mich. “There are so many activities to enjoy on the water: boating, fishing, wakeboarding, skiing, and cruising. It’s a fun past-time for everyone to enjoy.”

Michigan Boating Week is a collaboration between the MBIA, the Michigan State Waterways Commission and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with support from Pure Michigan. For more information on boating laws and regulation visit

US HOISTS Corp. Partners with BOAT LIFT SRL as North American Reps

US HOISTS Corporation has teamed up with BOAT LIFT SRL of La Morra Italy, to provide the marine industry with marine hoists and shuttle machines. As the North American representatives, US Hoists will provide parts and service domestically for all Boat Lift Customers.

Boat Lift’s standard design includes 90-degree steering system with electronically synchronized winches; sliding lifting points; and remote control equipped with display and remote assistance service. Their designs and capabilities bring affordable and unique marine equipment to the North American marine industry.

Technomarine Opens Office in Dubai

Technomarine Manufacturing Inc. has opened an office headed by Gaurav Raj in Dubai. Raj is a seasoned marine industry professional and will oversee efforts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman territories.

“We are excited to have an industry veteran like Gaurav on the Technomarine team,” said Robert Fortin, company president and partner. “In the past 35 years, Technomarine has solidified itself in the UAE market with several quality installs throughout the region. Having a professionally staffed office in Dubai will provide an outlet for better quality service to our existing and future clients and create stronger brand recognition throughout the Middle East.”

MTA/NJ Attends American Boating Congress in Washington

The 2015 American Boating Congress (ABC) in Washington, D.C., wrapped up on May 13.

Executive Director Melissa Danko along with MTA/NJ board members Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina and Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina, visited U.S. Congressional offices of Congressmen Smith, Pallone and LoBiondo. Fernandez also met with Congressmen Menendez and Frelinghuysen.

Topics discussed during these meetings included the importance of the boating industry to New Jersey, the economic impacts and the loss of registered boaters in the state and the urgency to support the industry to help grow boating. They also provided information about many national issues including ethanol and fisheries.

Danko also participated in a number of industry meetings, including the Recreational Boating Leadership Council, of which she is a member. Danko is a member of the Youth Committee, whose priority goals are to quantify and inventory existing youth boating programs to understand opportunities and needs, explore opportunities with existing and new high school level fishing and boating clubs, create an industry-wide commitment to young programs such as Sea Scouts, share news with industry stakeholders regarding their work and identify areas of opportunity.

In addition to the Leadership Council, Danko attended a meeting of the National Marine Trades Council, which includes executive directors from Marine Trade Associations from around the nation. The group meets a few times a year to discuss association issues and boat shows.

New Online Course Helps Boats and Marinas Prepare for Hurricanes

An online course, “Hurricane Preparation for Boaters,” is now available from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Available online, the course is $24.95 and can be taken from a desktop, tablet or smartphone by going to

“The BoatUS Marine Insurance damage avoidance program has shown there are measures that boaters can take to reduce hurricane boat damage and improve their chances with surviving a storm,” said BoatUS Foundation director of education Amanda Suttles Perez. “The most important thing for boaters to remember is that early planning is key and if you wait until a storm has formed or a watch or warning has been issued, it’s often too late to put some plans into place. This course is just the latest from us to help boaters get ahead of this timely task.”

Boaters taking the course will be able to create a hurricane plan for their boat with specific solutions for boats stored in the water such as docks, moorings, hurricane holes and canals; on high ground at the boatyard or club; or even on a trailer in the your own backyard. They will learn to evaluate the storm protection provided by a marina or storage area and determine if, when and how a boat should move before a hurricane. It also shows the steps needed to take before a hurricane makes landfall and how to secure a boat for hurricane conditions, including diagrams for tying lines.

BoatUS also offers many other hurricane planning tools at, including downloadable, free hurricane preparation guides for boaters and marinas, boatyards and clubs.

Germany’s Largest Five-Star Marina Purchases New Marine Travelift

Marine Travelift Inc. announced that Ancora Marina in Neustadt, Germany, took delivery of a new Marine Travelift 75 BFMII mobile boat hoist.

Ancora Marina is Germany’s largest five-star marina and is located on the Bay of Lubeck in Schleswig-Holstein, northeast of Hamburg and southeast of Kiel.

The new 75 BFMII is the marina’s fourth mobile boat hoist from Marine Travelift, and it replaces a 1988 Marine Travelift 70 BFM and a 1992 70 BFM.

“The wireless remote control allows easier handling of the machine, especially with bigger boats, and the higher capacity compared to the old 70-ton machine is necessary so the marina can accept more customers,” said Michael Wippern from Dr. Ing. Bender & Wippern GmbH, Marine Travelift’s local dealer.

The new 75 BFMII’s wireless remote control increases operator visibility of the boat, launch piers and surrounding areas. It also improves operational safety, and ensures maximum maneuverability in the boatyard.

To maintain consistency and provide an extra measure of efficiency and safety, the wireless remote control unit is laid out in the same format as the controls in the operator cab. Should the transmitter be damaged, Marine Travelift provides an important mechanical backup.

The marina also elected to incorporate an electronic load indicator, which allows a person to receive an electronic readout of vessels’ weights.

Other significant options the marina selected were the Sound Suppression I Kit, which reduces engine noise through a foam lining on the inside of the engine compartment; and extra depth below grade, which allows the operator to accommodate tidal fluctuations by adjusting the wire rope length on the hoist drum.

IBEX Conference Expands Exhibit Space to Meet Demand

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), taking place September 15-17, 2015, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, has announced that they have added additional exhibit space due in large part to the industry’s commitment to its 25th show and to meet current demand.

The event will host more than 500 exhibiting companies, of which 68 are new for 2015, with more being added each week.

“We have been experiencing strong booth sales and are pleased to expand the show floor to accommodate the demand for exhibit space,” said Anne Dunbar,
IBEX show director. “We are looking forward to hosting the best-ever IBEX in Louisville and celebrating our 25th show with new experiences and the return of several signature events.”

To learn more about exhibit space and IBEX, contact Tina Sanderson,, or Kate Holden,, or visit

MRA Hosts Safety Training Seminars

The Marina Recreation Association (MRA) is hosting a set of regional training seminars around California on the rise of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement in marinas and boatyards.

Recently, injury rates for the marina and boatyard industry have risen sharply. In response, OSHA is stepping up enforcement programs by specifically targeting marinas and boatyards. Federal OSHA has issued a directive that specifically targets marinas and boatyards in parts of California and it is possible these facilities can expect to be visited by OSHA very soon under this directive.

|MRA’s seminar will provide attendees with the knowledge to prepare for an OSHA inspection. Training will include an overview of the OSHA inspection process and detail that documents you should have ready for inspection.

This course will also provide insight into the most commonly cited violations for marinas and boatyards. A serious OSHA violation carries a possible $7,000 fine. Many marinas and boatyards are ranging from $5,000 to $80,000.

The seminar will be held in June at four locations, including San Diego, Isleton, San Pedro and Richmond.
For more information on this seminar or to register, visit

American Boating Congress Connects Boating Leaders with Congress in Washington

More than 250 business leaders from across all sectors of the U.S. recreational boating industry gathered at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on May 11 to kick off the annual American Boating Congress (ABC), a three-day advocacy event.

With the unofficial start to boating season around the corner on Memorial Day weekend, ABC gives members of the U.S. recreational boating industry a timely platform to meet with legislators and other decision makers on Capitol Hill, hear from prominent economic and political speakers all while meeting with colleagues from around the country.

“Whether it’s that boating is a uniquely American manufacturing industry with 95 percent of boats sold in the U.S., made in the U.S. or the sheer number of jobs and small businesses supported by boating, we have an important story to tell,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturing Association (NMMA). “Sharing our story on Capitol Hill during ABC is a critical element of our industry’s advocacy efforts and will go a long way toward an accurate understanding of the middle-class Americans creating a positive impact across the country.”

While meeting with policy makers, ABC attendees also addressed some of the more pressing issues facing boaters and the U.S. boating industry including the Renewable Fuel Standard and E15, corporate tax reform and its effect on small businesses, aquatic invasive species and how the industry is responding, as well as many other legislative and regulatory concerns. A total of 12 concurrent issues workshops were held during the conference.

ABYC Unveils Consolidated Warning Labels

The American Boat & Yacht Club (ABYC) has released new, consolidated boat warning labels. The updated and standardized graphics and messaging increase boater safety by providing easy-to-understand information. Professional-grade printed sheets are now available from ABYC.

The average new boat has numerous warning labels affixed to it. The same length and style of boat from a different builder may have more or fewer labels, in dissimilar locations on the vessel, and with unique appearances.

Research found that the high number of labels diluted the importance of individual warning messages and they are often removed by owners for aesthetic reasons.

The ABYC project was based on a National Marine Manufacturers Association commissioned study analyzing information from the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Boating Accident Reporting Data over the course of five years. ABYC evaluated existing labels based on the top accident types. The result was the creation of new warning labels for a given location on a specific boat type.

“ABYC continues to set the standard for safer boating,” said Dave Marlow, ABYC chairman of the board. “Through extensive industry research, it developed guidance for manufacturers to provide consumer warnings in a format that is easier to understand. This is a big step forward and one that will certainly benefit boaters.”

Labels can be ordered from ABYC at

Mercury Marine Presents Video at American Boating Congress

Mercury Marine, in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, joined others in the marine industry from May 11 to 13 for the annual American Boating Congress, where the industry met with politicians from key states to talk about initiatives important to and affecting the marine industry.

One of the primary topics of discussion this year was ethanol and the use of E15 in marine engines. Mercury Marine teamed up with Wired2Fish to create another video to help educate consumers about the negative impact that E15 has on a marine engines. Watch the video here.

“It’s bad for outboards,” said Scott Glorvigen, host of Wired2Fish. “You don’t want to use it in your outboards by any means. E15 can ruin engines and void engine warranties.”

“Mercury Marine has done extensive studies about the effect of E15 on marine engines and the results continue to show that using this type of fuel can be destructive to the engine," said Martin Bass, Mercury Marine VP of global product management. “But the bigger issue is safety. Using E15 can be dangerous to the consumer if something happens to your engine.”

In addition to engine failure, other issues that E15 could cause include stalling, corrosion leading to oil or fuel leaks, increased emissions, and damaged components, to name a few.

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