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February 2017
Mackie/Advisory Council
ABBRA Course
MRA/NJ 2017 Conference
Golden Marine Systems
VMTA Grant
Gowrie Group OSHA Training
WMA Educational Workshop
NTSB Education Recommendations
MMA Announces 2016 Neptune Award Recipients
Boatsetter Partners with GoFree
Snag-A-Slip Gains Financing for an Expansion
New House Co-Chairs of the Congressional Boating Caucus
Virginia Marina Destroyed by Fire is Purchased
Connecticut Senate Considers Boating Bills
Bill Looks to Make Dredging Easier for NJ Marinas
IBEX to Introduce New Marina and Yard Pavilion
WI DNR permit
BoatUS Petition
Providence Boat Show
AMI IMM Training

March 2017
Four Corners Marina tornado
Superyacht Summit
Atlantic City Boat Show
ORIR Briefing
Suzi DuRant
Suntex/The Ridges Marina
IGY Marinas event
RFS Reform Act
Invasive Species Prevention
Fishing Tackle Ban Overturned
California Boater Education
Boat Club Education Video
Wiggins Tour
Emerald Coast Marine Center
MN Clean Marina Conference
East Coast Boat Shows
Presque Isle Marina Development
Discover Boating HOST Training
Georgia Clean Marina

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March 2017

Tennessee Marina Recovers from Tornado

Superyacht Summit Coming to West Palm Beach

Attendance Was Up at Atlantic City Boat Show

New Lobby Group for Recreation Briefs Congressional Staffers

Industry Loses Long-time Advocate

Suntex Acquires Georgia Marina

IGY Marinas Give Back to Communities

A New Bill Introduced to Curb Ethanol

Suntex Chooses MYMIC as Safety Training Partner

Invasive Species Treatments Begin in California Delta

U.S. Interior Secretary Acts to Expand Outdoor Recreation

California to Adopt Boater Education Requirements

New Video Highlights the Value and Logistics of Boat Clubs

Wiggins Hosts a High School Class Tour

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.

For the latest policy briefs and issues relating to the marine industry, log on to

Second Annual Panama International Boat Show Dates, Location Set

The second annual Panama International Boat Show is set to take place from May 29 to May 31 at the Flamenco Marina on Flamenco Island in Panama.

The event caters to boating enthusiasts from Panama and other countries in Central and South America and will feature displays of boats in water and on land, marine accessories and services, and high-end automobiles.

Since the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, Panama has been a strategic hub for commerce and is now becoming a center for the marine industry in Latin America.

“With the growth of marina communities in the area and the increase in waterfront homes, coupled with the enhancements at Flamenco Marina, this area’s recreational boating community is poised for substantial growth,” said Miguel Lopez Pineiro, president of Flamenco Marina.

Several noteworthy brands and dealers confirmed for this year’s Panama International Boat Show include Azimut, Hatteras, Viking and Galati Yacht Sales.

“Building on the response to the inaugural show last year, we look forward to offering Latin Americans a fresh selection of boat and products that they otherwise might not be able to access locally,” said Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III, president of Show Management, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company that organizes and produces the show. “As we continue to plan this year’s show, we are thankful for the ongoing support of the Panama Ministry of Tourism and the Maritime Administration.”

The boat show will take place from noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 and from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 31 at Flamenco Marina. Tune into Boat Show TV at

AMI Offers Discover Boating Banners for National Marina Day

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI), which is sponsoring National Marina Day (NMD) on June 13, announced that it has again partnered with Discover Boating. The National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA) boating campaign will provide banners.

Marinas must register at in order to register their event. Delivery will be two weeks prior to the NMD event.

For more information about NMD or the banners, contact Wendy Larimer by email at or by phone at 202/350-9623.

Recreational Fishing and Boating Leaders React to NOAA Policy

NOAA Fisheries released the implementation plan to support the latest National Saltwater Recreational Fishing Policy. The policy, announced at the Progressive Miami International Boat Show in February, was developed with input from recreational fishing and boating communities, conservation organizations, and managers across the nation.

The plan itself provides details on how NOAA Fisheries will focus its efforts over a four-year period to support the new recreational fishing policy and deliver quality science, service and stewardship to the recreational community.

“The policy was a good roadmap, but this implementation plan sets the agency on a really good path,” Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation, said. “There are several major commitments in the plan, but I am most impressed with two: the agency’s commitments to engage the regional fishery management councils to review harvest allocations on a regular basis and initiate a National Research Council review of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP).”

NMMA’s Legislative Counsel Jeff Gabriel said, “NOAA Fisheries Administrator Eileen Sobeck and her team have truly earned a round of applause. It’s one thing to make a commitment to draft a saltwater recreational fishing policy within NOAA Fisheries and to then craft a solid implementation document, but to do so in Administrator Sobeck’s first year is a feat particularly given NOAA Fisheries history of neglect of the recreational fishing community.”

Noakes Boat & Shipyards Purchases New Marine Travelift

Marina Travelift Inc. announced that Noakes Boat & Shipyards in Australia has purchased a new 75 BFM II mobile boat hoist.

Established in 1979, Noakes now owns and operates New South Wales boatyards/shipyards in North Sydney and Nelson Bay, as well as a Tasmanian sister yard at The Kermandie on the Port Huon River. Noakes is co-owned by Sean Langman, managing director for the Noakes Group, and business partner Christopher Stannard.

The company’s first Marine Travelift machine was a 30 AMO mobile boat hoist, which it purchased in the late 1970s and continues to operate at its North Sydney yard. It also has a Marine Travelift 100 BFM at its Woolwich docks and a 45-ton Marine Travelift mobile boat hoist at its Nelson Bay facility.

“Noakes prefers U.S.-built machines,” Langman said. “The recognized supply service of Marine Travelift along with unparalleled engineering prowess ensures that it will be Noakes’ supplier of all future machines.”
Noakes purchased its new Marine Travelift 75 BFM II, for the North Sydney facility in late 2014. The new machine was delivered and assembled in January 2015, just in time for the first lift of the Royal Australian Navy’s new landing craft.

Second Carefree Boat Club for Charlotte

The second Charlotte, North Carolina-area Carefree Boat Club opened April 18. The new club will be located on Lake Wylie at River Hills Marina.

Marc and Oana Graveline opened the area’s Lake Norman location in 2010 and have grown the club more than 50 percent ever year. They also received numerous awards along the way including the 2013 Carefree Boat Club of the Year award, and were one of eight finalists for the 2014 Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award.

“Charlotte is one of the best boating markets in the country,” Marc Graveline said. “Opening a second location on Lake Wylie is the natural next step to provide the benefits of ‘Boating without Owning’ to the greater Charlotte area.”

A grand opening event took place April 18 with boats available for use the following day. More boats will be added as the Lake Wylie membership grows. Their Lake Norman location will have 19 boats in its fleet this spring.

“Last year at our annual conference, Marc and his team won more awards than any other club,” said Doug Zimmerman, president and chief executive officer of Carefree. “Therefore, we couldn’t be more pleased to see them further their success onto Lake Wylie.”

Technomarine Group Expands Marina Division

Technomarine Group, headquartered in North Palm Beach, Florida, expanded its marina construction division, Technomarine Construction, and named a new president, Mark Bolchoz. Its marina construction division will develop and build turnkey marina installations throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Technomarine Construction is based in Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach. Active contracts for turnkey marina construction include the replacement of marinas at The Club at Admiral's Cove in Jupiter, Florida, and the Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club, in Boca Raton, Florida. Most recently, Technomarine Construction signed a $12 million contract for the Island Gardens Deep Harbour project on Miami's Watson Island, which is slated to be one of the largest megayacht marinas in the U.S..

Technomarine Group is a title sponsor of the Yachts International Pavilion at the upcoming Palm Beach International Boat Show.

EZ Dock Celebrates 25 Years

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

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

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

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

Technomarine Group Acquires Freedom Marine

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

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

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

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

Jolly Harbour Marina Purchases New Marine Travelift

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gulf States Propose Solution to Red Snapper Issue

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

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

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

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

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

Life Jacket Design Competition Promises $10,000 Prize

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

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

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

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

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

Additional cash prizes are offered for second and third place.

Biondi Keynotes Cartagena Boat Show

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

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

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

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

Dixon’s Marine Group 2000 Inc. Signs PierVantage

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

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

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

IBEX Conference Named Fastest 50 Growing Trade Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIMTA Hosts Industry Career Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NMMA Announces Plans for 2016 Miami Boat Show

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

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

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

Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award Winners Honored

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

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

The 2015 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award winners are:

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

Marine Marketers of America Announce 2014 Neptune Award Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marinas International to Manage Freeport Marina

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

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

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

IBEX Conference Returning to Louisville in September

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

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

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

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

ABBRA Compensation Survey Released

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tiger Docks Wins Kansas City Boat Show Award

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

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

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

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

ABBRA Announces Its 2015-16 Board of Directors

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

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

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

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

Boat Owners: Support Renewable Fuel Standards Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scribble Software Release Updated MarinaOffice

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

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

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

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

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

ABBRA Honors Annual Award Winners at Boatyard Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

RICA Receives Funding from Charity

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

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

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

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

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

Sullivan Flotation Systems Partners with Atlantic Meeco to Form Meeco Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sea Hawk Paints CEO Presents to Antifouling Agent Shortage

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

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

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

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

BoatUS Cuts Cost of Online Boating Education

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

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

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

To learn more and see the courses available, visit

NMMA Canada Announces New Research in Toronto

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seats Still Available for IMBC Field Trip and Marina Design Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enrollment Now Open for RIMTA Apprenticeship Program

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

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

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

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

Strong Sponsorship Supports Providence Boat Show

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

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

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

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

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

Few Spots Available on IMBC Field Trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

OceanLED Announces Expansion of U.S. Operations

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

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

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

My-Villages Integrates The Boat Village and DockMaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014 Neptune Awards Adds New Diversity Award Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poralu Expands Middle Eastern Presence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discover Boating Reports 1.2 Billion Impressions

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

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

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

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

Get more information about Discover Boating at

Marinas International Supports Economic Impact Model

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

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

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

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

Mercury Promotes Boating and Fishing for Kids

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

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

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

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

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

31st Street Marina Adds Floating Pool, Platform

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

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

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

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

Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show Has “Banner Year”

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

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

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

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

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

Miami Boat Show Moves to Marine Stadium

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

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

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

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

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

Johnstone, McManus To Keynote 2015 ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference

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

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

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

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

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

Early registration is now open on the ABBRA website

USWatercraft Selects PierVantage for Boat Builders

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

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

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

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

Chris Dolan Joins Marina Electrical Equipment

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

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

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

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

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

Marinalife Announces 2014 Marina Contest Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

My-Villages Launches iPad App For The Boat Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAT Appoints Marinas International Members

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

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

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

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

2014 MRA Conference Kicks Off With Annual Golf Outing

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

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

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

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

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

IMI Hosts Fall Florida Study Tour

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

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

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

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

HydroHoist Achieves ISO Certification

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMBC Announces Host Hotels for 2015

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

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

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

ICOMIA Publishes Recreational Boating Statistics

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

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

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

IMI Hosts Fall Conference

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

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

New Facilities Join The Boat Village

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mercury Marine, Westrec Co-Sponsor Aquapalooza 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

NMMA and Boat U.S. Speak at Boating Caucus

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

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

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

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

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

Carefree Boat Club Hosts Summer Reading Club

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

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

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

Marinalife Hosts Best Marina Contest

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

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

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

IBEX Award Deadline Approaching

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

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

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

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

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

NMMA South Carolina and ABYC Partner on Certification Courses

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

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

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

55th Fort Lauderdale Boat Show Opens in October

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

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

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

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

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

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

METS 2014 Announces Keynote Speaker

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

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

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

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

MDCE Offers VIP Event Planning Kit

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

The kit includes:

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

Wisconsin Proclaims July 14 as Mercury Marine Day

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

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

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

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

IBEX Offers New and Improved Super Sessions and Free Workshops

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

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

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

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

Six Marinas Join My-Villages Collaborative

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

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

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

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

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

BoatUS Speaks Out Against More Ethanol

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

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

MDCE Adds Educational Track

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

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

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

Freedom Boat Club Celebrates 25 Years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IBEX Seminar Series to Offer Technical Education at Event in September

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

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

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

Grenada Marine Selects PierVantage for Boatyards

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

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

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

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

National Marine Fisheries Service Corrects Economic Figures

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

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

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

Ninety Percent of Floor Space Booked for METS 2014

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

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

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

RIMTA and MTAM Receive Training Scholarships

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

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

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

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

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

Marinalife Partners with Jack Martin & Associates

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

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

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

2014 Wortley Award Accepting Submissions

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

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

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

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

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

Docks and Marinas 2014 Class Moves to Fort Lauderdale

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

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

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

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

For further information, contact Dr. Howard Rosen at:

SleepAFloat Launches Marina Affiliate Program

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

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

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

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

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

Discounted Preorders on ABYC Standards Updates

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

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

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

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

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

RIMTA Launches Summer Marketing Program

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

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

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

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

Scribble Software Releases New MarinaOffice Version

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

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

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

MDCE to Bring Back Pre-Conference Workshops for 2014

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

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

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

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference Takes Place in Turkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICOMIA Publishes New Environmental Legislation Guide

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

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

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

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

PierVantage Works with Front Street Shipyard

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

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

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

HydroHoist Celebrates 50 Years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Boating Industry Forecasts Increased Sales into Summer

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

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

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

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

IBEX Offers Waterfront Demonstrations for the First Time

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on these exciting new events, visit

Canadian Recreational Boating Leaders Meet with Government Officials

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

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

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

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

NMMA Canada Receives Funding for Boater Training Program

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

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

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

BIG programs Awards Grants to Four South Carolina Marinas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IBEX 2014 Registration Now Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Management at Marinetek Signs Contract in Fort Lauderdale

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMBC Releases Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marina Projects, Ltd. Achieves ISO 9001 Accreditation

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

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

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

MTA/NJ Announces New Scholarship

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

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

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

South Carolina Marine Association Joins NMMA

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

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

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

NOAA Reports on Recreational Fishing Economics

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

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

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

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

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

Short Appointed to State California Waterways Commission

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

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

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

PierVantage Enhances on Winter Release

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

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

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

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

EPA Enhances Waterway App

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

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

DockMaster Launches Latest Version

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

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

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

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

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

Consultancy Firm Exhibiting at Seawork International

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

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

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

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

MTA/NJ Holds Elections and Annual Dinner

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

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

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

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

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

PIANC Releases Marina Catalog

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

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

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

Find the catalog online at

NMMA Supports NSBC Life Jacket Campaign

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

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

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

Freedom Boat Club Partners with Baja Marine

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

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

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

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

Bellingham Marine Completes Fire and Rescue Boathouse

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

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

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

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

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

Recycle Run Needs Shrink Wrap and Locations

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

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

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

Commerce RI Partners with Maine International Trade Center at Trade Show

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

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

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

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

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

HarborWare Factory Goes Green

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

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

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

The Boat Village Enhances Mobile Application, Offers Free Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suntex Marinas Hosts Vendor Event at Liberty Landing

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

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

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

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

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

Carefree Boat Clubs Expand to Canada

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

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

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

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

ABYC Launches ESD Prevention Campaign

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

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

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

American Boating Congress Welcomes Amy Walter to Agenda

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

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

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

Dammrich Reappointed to Consumer Trade Committee

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

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

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

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

AMI Offers Operations Manual

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

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

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

Maritime Professional Training Appoints New Vice President of Curriculum Development

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

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

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

Connecticut Marine Trades Association Annual Elections

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

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

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

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

BoatUS Foundation Introduces Recycling How-To Video

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

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

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

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

RI Marine Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program Gains Momentum

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

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

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

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

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

Halifax Harbor Contract to Marinas International

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

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

PierVantage Gains New Customers

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

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

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

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

Bradford Marine Partners with My-Villages

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

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

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

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

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

MDCE 2014 Call for Presentations

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

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

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

BoatSetter Launches Boat Rental Platform

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

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

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

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

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

IMCI to Speak at Boat & Yacht Thailand 2014 Conference

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

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

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

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

New York Boating Industries Association Reports Optimism for Upcoming Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Marine Grant Program Seeks Applicants

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

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

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

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

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

Technomarine Relocates to New Manufacturing Plant

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

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

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

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference

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

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

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

For more information, visit

Freedom Boat Club Opens New Locations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MICF Makes Leadership Changes

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

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

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

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

Plans Underway for IBEX 2014 in Tampa, Florida

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

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

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

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

ABBRA Hosts Marine Service Manager Course

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

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

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

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

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

Marine Marketers of America Announce 2013 Neptune Awards

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

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

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

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

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

RIMTA Hosts Industry Day

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

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

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

DockMaster Hosts User Conference

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

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

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

Maine Marine Trades Association Executive Invited to White House

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

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

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

ABBRA Honors Past President with Award at 2014 Conference

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

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

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

ICOMIA World Marinas Conference

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

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

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

NMMA Unveils New Grassroots Advocacy Tool

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

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

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

2014 Boat Shows Start Strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Honors Announced for Freedom Boat Club Lake Norman

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

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

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

New Membership Program Announced by Marine Industry Cares Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABA Signs Agreement with Taylor Made Systems and Ameritex Fabric Systems

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

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

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

Green World Products Offers Distribution Rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Harbor Nautical Chart Provides Post-Sandy Updates

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

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

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

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

Maryland Clean Marina Program Applies for Funding

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

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

Safe Harbor Unveils Online Broker Portal

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

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

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

ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference Opening Session

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

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

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

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

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

For the full conference agenda, visit here.

GatorDock and GatorBridge Launch New Sites

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

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

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

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

The City of Tacoma Gives Old Town Dock a New Look

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

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

Trex Company Committed to Employing Veterans

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

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

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

ABBRA Offers Early Registration Rate

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

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

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

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

New Propeller Text Advances Systems and Equipment Course

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

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

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

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

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

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

My-Villages Launches Boat Village for MDCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMBC Host Hotel Announced

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

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

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

ABYC Certifies MarineMax Employees in Marine Systems

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

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

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

My-Villages Honors Hinckley Company With Innovation Award

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

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

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

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

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

Cruzin and Westrec Announce Alliance

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

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

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

Marinalife Announces Winners of 2013 Best Marina Contest

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

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

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

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

Marina Development Opportunities in Puerto Rico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My-Villages Acquires DockMaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marine Travelift Repairs Tall Ship

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

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

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

IMBC Offers ASCE Marina Design Course

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

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

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

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

PierVantage Signs New Business

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

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

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

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

CNL To Manage Anchor South Marinas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marx said, “The U.S. and EU are natural trade partners and have a long tradition of exchanges in the boating industry, both at supply-chain level (e.g. engines, equipment and components) and consumer levels. With similar boating cultures and notions of safety and environmental protection, regulatory differences are making trade complicated and expensive without bringing significant benefits to the final consumers.”

Dammrich said, “The TTIP presents an opportunity to streamline regulations among the US and European boating industries. This move brings us closer to global harmonization of safety and environmental standards, while promoting business growth and trade.”

European Boating Industry and the NMMA submitted to both EU and U.S. authorities a working paper outlining their plans. The key goal is “functional equivalence” between European CE-marked and U.S. certified products, with a procedure for achieving full equivalence on the regulatory aspects, which still differ today for certain products and areas.

Both presidents said the inclusion of the boating industry in U.S.-EU trade agreement could become a significant milestone for improving and simplifying trade conditions between the U.S. and Europe for thousands of small and medium-sized companies in the boating industry.

Marine ConfEx ’14 Launches International Exhibition

What is being described as the first truly international boating industry trade show and exhibition in the U.K. will be held at the Bournemouth International Centre from March 18-14 2014, with 70 percent of delegates to come from abroad. The self-proclaimed mission of Marine ConfEx ’14 is to establish itself as the year’s premier marine industry event.

Andre van Heerden, chief executive of Marine ConfEx ’14, said, “This event is not just a boat show but a dynamic, business-oriented marine conference and trade exhibition. It will be a place to absorb the latest thinking, introduce innovations to the industry and review the newest products and services.”

Event organizers said the dramatic pace of change in boating industry technology motivated the event. They want to bring together international business decision-makers and high-net-worth individuals—with “no sightseers, just delegate or buyers,” Van Heerden said. The 40–session conference program is designed to help attendees catch up on the latest thinking and create sales opportunities for the more than 40 exhibitors. Topics will range from innovation to technology, procurement, and business performance.

Announced sponsors so far include R-Marina, Rotadock and Bartercard, and event organizers say discussions with others are on-going. BMF Wessex, Marine Society, the Sea Cadets and The Bourne Academy have all pledged support. The Sea Cadets (the event’s primary charity) will also act as ‘games makers’ for Marine ConfEx ’14.

For more information, please visit

Social Media Offer to Marine Businesses

Josh Chiles is founder and chief executive officer of Engaged!, a company that helps marine industry clients owners with their online outreach.

In an open letter to all marine industry publications, Chiles is now offering a free review of social media policies and procedures to any marine industry. He promises no charge for the review, which includes a benchmark score of social media practices. As incentive, Chiles is also offering a free copy of his upcoming book, A Social Media Strategy for Marine Dealers (or Manufacturers). Chiles’ firm is the exclusive social media provider for Brunswick Dealer Advantage.

For more information, visit

Freedom Boat Club Growing and Expanding

When Freedom Boat Club (FBC), based in Venice, Florida, launched in 1989, perhaps its most difficult task was convincing wary prospects that it was more than a marketing gimmick or unworkable pipe-dream. The biggest question the upstart company faced: Could the concept work?

“We have learned a great deal through years of experience,” CEO John Giglio said. “And we are not finished learning.”

Giglio believes that his company has not only proven its viability and value in the marketplace but finds itself well positioned to ride a shifting wave of consumer sentiment.

“Market research in the marine industry tells us that people are seeking options to traditional boat ownership,” Giglio said. “Many people simply don’t have enough free time or discretionary income to justify owning a boat themselves.

“We believe that boat clubs are a great option for consumers and a smart way to help the marine industry grow. We serve the useful function of exposing more people to the joys of boating.”

Giglio believes that FBC, the largest and oldest boat club in the nation, will experience an increased rate of growth the next few years. FBC is following up its record-breaking year in 2012 with an even stronger performance in 2013.

In October, with the scheduled opening of its newest location in Sarasota, Florida, Freedom Boat Club will be operating in 71 locations. FBC added five locations in 2012 and has already added an additional 13 in 2013: Scituate, Massachusetts, Northport, New York Lake Charlevoix, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Cleveland, Ohio, Lake Norman, North Carolina, Sebastian Inlet, Florida. Islamorada, Florida., Ruskin, Florida., Lake Tarpon, Florida., Panama City, Florida., Pine Island, Florida., and a second location in Venice, Florida.

In addition to emphasizing customer satisfaction and providing support for franchise owners, Giglio has made it a priority to build strong relationships and trust with the major players in the marine industry.

“In the past, some marina operators and boat dealers might have been wary about the presence of boat clubs,” Giglio said. “But we are committed to growing boating as an industry and getting more people enthused about being on the water. And that is good for everyone.”

In recent months, Giglio has developed working relationships with various industry leaders, including the Marina Recreation Association, the International Marina & Boatyard Conference, Association of Marine Industries and several marine trade associations.

FBC has also made it a regular practice to donate boats for special events, such as “Take the Helm” training and National Marina Day. And FBC has been heavily involved with Discover Boating, teaming up to support the Grow Boating initiative.

“I believe we have proven to marina owners and boat dealers that we are good for business,” Giglio said.

Since the start of 2012, FBC purchased more than 270 boats, either new or slightly used.

Wisconsin Certifies Two New Clean Marinas

In September, two marinas became the next two certified Clean Marinas in Wisconsin: Milwaukee Yacht Club and Reefpoint Marina in Racine. These marinas join 18 other certified marinas in the state, implementing new practices to protect water quality, prevent pollution and protect fish, wildlife and public health.

These marinas underwent an evaluation by the Wisconsin Clean Marina Technical Team to earn this designation. Todd Giese, manager of Milwaukee Yacht Club and Carrie Neubecker, manager of Reefpoint Marina are proud of this accomplishment as it promotes their commitment to sustainability while offering a healthy, clean environment for their customers.

Clean Marinas voluntarily adopt best management practices (BMPs) to become a certified marina. Depending on the size of the marina, they may need to adhere to up to 100 practices, including procedures to prevent and clean-up gas spills, offer recycling programs, manage stormwater and improve vessel maintenance practices. A list of Wisconsin’s certified Clean Marinas can be found at

“We’re lucky to live in Wisconsin with more than 15,000 inland lakes, 30,000 miles of rivers and streams, the Mississippi River and Lakes Michigan and Superior. There are nearly 250 marinas in Wisconsin -- 120 of which are located on our two Great Lakes’ coasts. Clean Marinas implement practices that help cut costs through reducing waste disposal, conserving water and attracting new customers who appreciate an environmentally friendly operation”, Jon Kukuk, owner of Nestegg Marine (Marinette) and Chair of the Wisconsin Marine Association, said.

IMBC Launches Best Profit Idea Contest

New in 2014, the International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) is offering awards to the Best Profit Idea, submitted by attendees! Submit the best marina and boatyard idea (sorry, vendors do not qualify) by October 30, 2014, for a shot at an iPad, a free year-long AMI membership, and free entry to IMBC 2015. All submissions will be judged by AMI-chosen CMMs. Three finalists will present their ideas at IMBC to a full audience, who will vote for a winner then and there.

Ideas will be reviewed by three Certified Marina Managers and the three best ideas will be announced after November 15, 2013. Use the guidelines below to outline ideas. Submit it to by October 30, 2013.

Submission should:
• Outline profit idea;
• Outline projected revenue;
• Outline implementation;
• Outline actual revenue (if applicable);
• Include background (how idea came about, how the need was identified, etc.), materials (if applicable), and training and team (if applicable);
• Not to exceed 1,000 words; include diagrams if applicable;
• Include speaking background for presenter. Speaking experience for presenter preferred. If applicant does not have speaking experience, AMI will conduct a speaker workshop on Wednesday, January 29.

New Service Faciliites Join My-Villages Partnership

My-Villages announced that four service facilities in Florida and Massachusetts have joined the expanding list of Boat Village Innovation Partners.

Boat Village Innovation Partners are companies committed to leveraging technology to improve how they connect, communicate and collaborate with their customers.

The latest additions include Boat Yard Services, of West Palm Beach, Florida; North Atlantic Marine Services, of Wareham, Massachusetts; Whiticar Boat Works Inc.; and Yacht Concierge USA, both of Stuart, Florida.

“Today’s customers are used to having instant access to information and seamless digital communication—and this technology provides exactly that,” My-Villages founder and CEO Kevin Hutchinson said. “It helps service yards streamline their workflow and provide boat owners exactly what they want.”

The Innovation Partner program draws together marine businesses that want to use technology to streamline communications with customers and increase their business. To do so, partner companies agree to use The Boat Village, a Web and mobile application that allows marine professionals to radically change how they interact with customers.

The application allows service providers to have an inventory of every major piece of equipment on the vessel and its maintenance schedule, so technicians can stay ahead of owners’ needs and take command of the process. Service requests are exchanged and documented electronically, and technicians can provide updates on progress and completions. Perhaps most important, it provides a digital platform for closed-loop communications, reducing email strings and phone tag.

“Today’s boats are complicated machines and today’s owners are educated and sophisticated customers,” Hutchinson said. “Modern yards need modern tools to provide these folks with top-shelf service. The Boat Village’s Professional service allows yards to better harness the expertise they already have and meet those needs head on.”

“My customers are always looking for better ways to handle service tasks and The Boat Village really makes it easy for us to coordinate and get work done,” Jason Smith, president of Boatyard Services, said. “The Boat Village creates automatic reminders about what service items are due, so both our clients and we know when maintenance is needed—in effect, the boat tells us when work should be done. We can then use the system to coordinate jobs, updates and record keeping, which makes it incredibly simple for all of us.”

Marine Surveyors to Meet in October

The Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors®, Inc. (SAMS®) will be hosting its Annual Meeting and Educational Symposium in San Diego, California, on October 16-19, 2013. Marine surveyors from across the country, as well as international members will be attending for the educational opportunities, ongoing SAMS required ethics training, as well as the opportunity to network with fellow marine surveyors.

The educational program put together by SAMS® Vice President of Education Kenneth Weinbrecht, AMS® will cover a wide variety of important subjects for marine surveyors taught by top people in their respective fields, including ethics training, report writing, legal aspects of the marine surveyors business, composite damage assessment and repair, infrared thermography, forensic photography, boatyard safety, electrocution hazards, marine electrical, metal failure analysis, ABYC standards, introduction to the uniform standards of professional appraisal practice and other interesting and educational topics . Interested parties who wish to attend can go to for details.

On Saturday, October 19th, SAMS® will hold its Annual Meeting for members only where elections for the Board of Directors will be conducted and the association’s business, budgets and future meetings will be discussed. SAMS® President, Joe Lobley, AMS® said, "This will be one of our best educational symposiums, in one of the best venues in the US, I am looking forward to a strong turn out from SAMS® members as well as other marine industry professionals who share the desire for quality continuing education.”

The meeting and symposium is being held at the Bahia Resort on Mission Bay, San Diego. Several San Diegans will be participating as instructors including Todd Roberts of the Marine Group, Attorney Phil Weiss, Kate Pearson of the Shelter Island Marina and Todd Schwede, AMS® and Bill Trenkle, AMS® of Todd & Associates Marine Surveyors. Non-members are invited to attend and may be eligible for continuing educational credits depending on their professional association requirements.

AMI Releases BMPs for Marina Electrical Safety

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has released a new manual for marinas: Best Management Practices for Marina Electrical Safety.

The manual is designed to give marina staff an overview of common marina electrical components, potential hazards and how to identify and correct them, and tools that every facility should have on-site. It also offers suggestions for how to work with customers to ensure their boats are safe.

The manual was drafted with input and information from John Adey at ABYC (American Boat &Yacht Council), Chris Dolan with Eaton Marina Power and Lighting, Mark Stafford at Marinas International and Captain John McDevitt. It includes photographs for easy identification of problems and common testing equipment, and a checklist to encourage regular assessment of electrical systems.

The concept for the manual came after last summer's electric shock drownings prompted proposed legislation in Kentucky and West Virginia that could have severely impacted how marinas installed and monitored their electric systems – one instance requiring all marinas to replace their current systems to meet the latest codes.

Wendy Larimer who coordinated the writing of the manual said, "Our feeling was that marinas could keep their facilities safe by regularly monitoring the existing electric and knowing what to look for in potential dangers. New regulation is not the answer to prevent the tragedy of electric shock."

The manual is available at no cost to AMI and ABYC members and for twenty dollars to non-members. Go to to order.

ABBRA /ABYC Webinar - Using Mobile Devices to Streamline Your Boatyard

American Boat Builders & Repairers Association is teaming up with ABYC to present their Using Mobile Devices to Streamline Your Boatyard webinar on Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.

The one-hour webinar will be presented by Cam Collins, president and CEO of Exuma Technologies, makers of DockMaster and RVMaster.
The presentation will include information on how mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets are revolutionizing the way those in the industry communicate and run businesses; how mobile devices are changing customer expectations; and ways mobile devices can help make technicians more efficient on the docks or in the yard.

For more information or to register for the webinar, contact Sandy Brown at 410-990-4460, ext. 101 or via email at

IMBC Adds Engineering Track

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has added Marina Design & Engineering courses to its focused breakout sessions during its annual International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC). The track will be held Jan. 29-31, 2014, at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“We have a number of attendees looking for content specifically focused on design and engineering,” Gary Groenwold, AMI chairperson, said. “We added this track to meet the needs of our members and the industry and to grow our attendee base.”

Marina Design & Engineering track will focus on marina design from an engineer’s approach, wind load capacity and fire and safety techniques.
To learn more about IMBC, visit or call 401/682-7334.

Recipients of the Neil Ross Scholarship Chosen

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) has chosen the Marine Trade Association of NJ (MTA/NJ) and the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains (CAHMPC) to receive the Neil Ross Scholarship awards to be given to two individuals within the two organizations.

MTA/NJ chose Melissa Danko, its executive director, to receive the award and attend the International Marina and Boatyard Conference. CAHMPC selected Mick Kronman, harbor operations manager at Santa Barbara, who will attend the Advanced Marina Manager training.

Danko was chosen by the MTA/NJ Board out of recognition for her efforts to bring support, funding and relief to the many marinas that suffered damage during Super Storm Sandy. “Melissa leads our association in such a way that she has earned the respect of not only our members but the leaders of the marine industry around the country,” Frederick Brueggemann, president of MTA/NJ, said. “Melissa has guided us in the creation and implementation of a special relief fund, a program to assist those members that were most affected by the storm.”

CAHMPC’s board chose Kronman due to his long-standing support of higher education for CAHMPC, seeking to become a Certified Marina Manager himself. “Mick, like many, has had some challenges over the last few years, but he has always faced them with a positive and can-do attitude,” Brad Gross, CAHMPC board member, said. “Mick is a model of the type of professional we all believe should represent our industry as a Certified Marina Manger.”

Michigan Sea Grant to Host Clean Marina Workshop

Learn about Clean Marinas and Sustainable Coastal Communities efforts across the Great Lakes Region during a free workshop Friday, Sept. 20 in Harrison Township, Michigan.
Certified marina leaders will discuss the benefits of becoming certified as well as some of the challenges in seeking certification. Additional speakers will address relevant environmental issues facing coastal communities — from the importance of maintaining coastal habitats to examples of environmentally sound reconstruction projects.
“It’s going to be a great workshop for certified marinas, those interested in seeking certification and anyone with an interest in sustainable coastal development,” Josh Gunn, Clean Marina Program Extension Educator with Michigan Sea Grant, said. “We have a strong lineup of speakers from all over the Great Lakes who will bring their unique perspectives to the workshop, providing insights, tips and lessons learned. Plus, the event is at the Lake St. Clair Metropark, one of the most beautiful coastal locations in Southeast Michigan, and it’s during the Boating and Outdoor Festival.”

Marina Dock Age Editor Anna Townshend will present results from a 2013 survey about Clean Marina practices, costs and benefits.

Advanced Marina Management Course Being Offered

IMI has partnered with the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains (CAHMPC) to offer its Advance Marina Management (AMM) program. The course is being held Sept. 22-27 in Dana Point, California. The course allows those interested in becoming a Certified Marina Manager (CMM) the final step in doing so.

The AMM program is profit-management training course designed for senior marina professionals. The AMM course examines such topics as profit-center management, policy and procedure manuals, business strategy, and more through small groups, interactive workshops and case studies.

The case study aspect of the course includes placing students into groups where they are tasked with redesigning an actual marina, which has been pre-selected as the case study site. Students are then required to present their redesign in front of a panel of industry leaders. To sign up for the course, students must be an AMI member or receive written permission to attend. There is an 18-person limit for the course.

Marina Fire Safety Advocate Retires

Gene Spinazola has announced his retirement after more than 28 years of working in the marina industry. Spinazola, a long-time member of the Association of Marina Industries, was also a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) where he served on the NFPA 303, Fire Protection Standards for Marinas and Boatyards committee for more than 15 years.

Known for his presentations on “Fire in the Marina,” Spinazola was recognized last year by the University of Wisconsin as an outstanding lecturer in the Docks and Marinas program. In addition to his conference presentations, Spinazola developed a mobile marina fire fighting system. The Marina Fast Attack System is currently being used in 34 states and 11 countries.

The company Gene Spinazola, P.E. and Associates has been sold to EMP Industries in Tamper, Florida, where Spinazola will work as a consultant.

2013 Wortley Award Accepting Submissions

Submissions for the 2013 Wortley Award are now being accepted. This award recognizes the most important contribution to the improvement of the design, construction, operation or maintenance of docks and/or marinas in North America during the 2012 calendar year. The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013. Additional details, including entry forms and rules for the Wortley Award can be found at

The winner will be profiled in a 2014 issue of Marina Dock Age magazine, and the recipient of the award will be announced at the Docks & Marinas © course, held November 18-20, 2013 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The 2012 Wortley Award was presented to Daniel S. Natchez of Daniel S. Natchez and Associates Inc. for its innovative design and construction of an environmentally sustainable and engineering efficient rehabilitation of a shoreline in the Yonkers JFK Marina Park for the City of Yonkers, N.Y. The design its interdisciplinary team produced met the challenges of preserving the shoreline integrity in a public park built on a landfill, while providing additional public access.

In recognition of his many significant contributions to the marina engineering and design profession, the Wortley Award is named for C. Allen Wortley, founder and long-time Director of the Docks & Marinas course at the University of Wisconsin.
For more details on the award or the Docks and Marinas© class, contact Howard Rosen at

UW-M to Host Docks and Marinas Course

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will present the 39th annual Docks and Marinas© course in Madison, November 18-20, 2013. This year’s program features a number of new topics, each presented by a nationally recognized expert. Join with marina industry professionals from consulting firms, government agencies and universities to get the latest, unbiased, and quality information on docks and marinas.

This year’s class features presentations on such topics as:
Mooring fields; drystack storage; electrical hazards; gangway design; hurricane protection; invasive species; marina market trends; accessibility; stormwater; and ice protection.

The course is designed to provide attendees with multiple opportunities to speak directly with the instructors as well as with the other attendees. In addition, as a special feature, you can also attend a new one-day class, Modern Marina Design. This class provides you with the latest methods and concepts in marina design, using case studies and workshops. Attend both classes and save!

For detailed information or to register, go to

Marinalife Hosts 4th Annual Best Marinas Contest

Marinalife is hosting its fourth annual Best Marinas Contest with voting open now through October 1, 2013. Members and boaters can vote on the Best Transient Marina and Best Customer Service marina by visiting

The winning marina will be featured in the Winter 2012-2013 issue of Marinalife Magazine and will receive a marketing package valued at $2,000.

Last year, Nantucket Boat Basin in Nantucket, Mass., was voted as the Best Transient Marina and runner-up was Charleston City Marina in Charleston, S.C. The Best Customer Service Marina went to Kingman Yacht Center in Cataumet, Mass., and there was a tie for runner up between Harbour Town Yacht Basin in Hilton Head, S.C., and Magothy Marina in Severna Park, Md.

NMMA President Highlighted Economic Impact of Boating

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President Thomas J. Dammrich discussed the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry at the Longworth House Office Building on July 24. The session took place before the House of Representatives to discuss the economy and jobs outlook with constituents, and presented the latest data on the demographics and economic impact of recreational boating.

The recreational boating industry generated an estimated $121 billion in value in 2012. The industry’s rising tide supports 964,000 American jobs and 34,833 businesses, generates $40 billion in annual labor income and drives $83 billion in annual spending.

The NMMA’s complete economic value report can be found within the Statistics section’s Research Library on

ABYC to Release Update to Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft

The annual update to the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft was released by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) on August 1 in Supplement 53.

For Supplement 53, ABYC Standard S-31 Environmental Considerations for Electric/Electronic Components Installed Onboard Boats was added. Some of the revised ABYC Standards include A-1 marine liquefied petroleum LPG systems, A-3 galley stoves, H-2 ventilation of boats using gasoline, P-17 mechanical steering systems, T-17 compass installation, and more.

ABYC Standards C-1 primer bulbs and C-2 carbon canisters were also published and are available for purchase on the ABYC website. “It is imperative that those in the industry have access to the current standards. The simplest and most cost effective way to get the standards is to join ABYC,” said Brian Goodwin, ABYC Technical Director. “It’s never too soon to start analyzing the standards to make sure your product and repair work meets ABYC content.”

To purchase the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft, and for more information on how you can join ABYC, or a Standards committee, please visit

ABBRA Announces Theme and Dates for Annual Boatyard Business Conference

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has announced the theme and dates for its upcoming 2014 Annual Boatyard Business Conference entitled “Reflect, Rethink, Refocus: Business Leadership for Tomorrow’s Boat Building and Repair Industry.”

The two-day conference will be held Jan. 22-24, 2014, at the B Ocean Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach and will focus on business issues impacting boatyard owners, operators, managers, boat builders and boat repair businesses.

“We’re building on our 2013 conference success and will once again offer relevant topics and speakers who can provide our attendees with substantive and useful information that they can take away, or ideas they can apply in their operations,” Gordon Connell, executive director of ABBRA, said. “ABBRA’s conference is historically known for the camaraderie and bonds that are developed among our members and for the opportunities that they have to interact with their various suppliers, vendors, and marine business colleagues.”

Registration for the event opens in October. For more information about the conference or for sponsorship details contact Gordon Connell or John Fitzgerald, president, at or

AMI Scholarship Recognizes Outstanding State Trade Associations

The Marine Trade Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) and the California Association of Harbor Masters and Port Captains (CAHMPC) were presented with the first annual Neil Ross Scholarship Awards through the Association of Marina Industries (AMI).

The award recognizes a state or trade association that has done outstanding work on behalf of the marina industry. A deserving member from each association is then selected to receive the $1,000 scholarship that can be used for any AMI training.

MTA/NJ was chosen based on its efforts to bring information and funding to marinas hit hard by Super Storm Sandy. CAHMPC was selected because of the work it put into bringing marina management training to the west coast and for recruiting new students to ensure marina managers have the skills needed to best serve boaters in various marinas across the country.

“These two associations exemplify the value that trade associations have to marinas across the country,” said AMI Chairman Gary Groenewold. “We are happy to recognize the efforts that state trade groups put forth to make our marinas more successful.”

The scholarship was formed in recognition of Neil Ross and his numerous contributions to AMI and to the marina industry overall. Ross was the founder of the International Marina Institute, which helped to set the standard in education for the marina industry worldwide. He also facilitated the creation of the Certified Marina Manager (CMM) and worked to advance professional marina management.

Drystack Conference Announces Seminars

The upcoming International Marina Institute’s Drystack Conference will host a variety of seminars at the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on October 27 and 28.
Seminars include ways to optimize your facility’s space with mechanical drystack; how to determine project feasibility of drystack storage; marina storage contracts; and much more.

Specific seminars include Optimize Your Facility's Space with Mechanical Drystack; Determining Project Feasibility of Drystack Storage; Drystack Planning and Design-PIANC Working Group Report; Loggerhead Marina-Jupiter, a Case Study in Drystack Marina Rehabilitation; New Logistics for Dry Storage; Dry Storage Transformations, Past and Present; Marketing Strategies for Drystack Storage; and Marina Storage Contracts: How Secure is Your Rack?

The Drystack Conference is a professional-development opportunity for those interested in the latest in drystack technology as part of their daily business responsibilities. The conference, sponsored by Bellingham Marine, will feature a day and a half of educational seminars, exhibits, and networking receptions. For more information on the conference or to view a description of the seminars, please visit

Great Lakes Clean Marina Network Updates Online Classroom

The online Clean Marina Classroom has been updated to include certification standards from many Great Lakes states and beyond. The classroom consists of nine educational units that focus on marina operation and maintenance. Each section outlines best management practices and practical ways to implement them.

New features of the online course include identifying regional best management practices that are aligned with the Great Lakes Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guide; updated state and federal laws; and more photographs and examples of best practices in the Great Lakes region.

The online course was initially based on the Michigan Clean Marina Guidebook used by marinas as part of the certification process since 2004. This updated regional course was developed as part of a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Green Marina project grant.

For more information on this updated training program, visit

Dillon Marina Joins ValvTect

Dillon Marina in Dillon, Co., has joined nearly 600 marinas and fuel docks nationwide by offering ValvTect Marine Fuels.

“Dillon Marina wants to give its customers the very best boating experience by offering ValvTect Marine Gasoline. ValvTect Marine Gasoline prevents problems with ethanol blended gasoline, that we are required to sell, provides our boaters with better fuel economy and lower maintenance costs,” said Bob Evans, Certified Marina Manager at Dillon Marina. “These benefits save our customers money and improve their overall boating experience.”

Dillon Marina is located on the shores of Dillon Reservoir and is one of the world’s highest marinas. The marina has 260 long-term slips, and 36 short-term slips and occupies a 56-acre footprint on six acres of land and more than 6,000 feet of docks.

ValvTect Petroleum President Jerry Nessenson welcomes Dillon Marina to its network of Certified ValvTect Marinas. “Dillon Marina is a first class marina, which dates back nearly 40 years and features some of the best boating and water activities in Colorado,” said Nessenson. “Dillon Reservoir and Summit County now have a premier location to fill up your boat with high quality ValvTect Marine Fuel.”

IMBC Adds New Product Demos

The International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC) has announced the addition of new product demos to its 2014 show. The new demos will offer an enhanced method to market show participants’ products and booths at IMBC. Those interested can sign up to conduct a live, interactive demonstration at their booth to show a new product and how it works while gaining higher visibility within IMBC’s marketing materials.

The cost for a new product demo is $750, and participants will receive one 15-minute time slot for the demonstration; a microphone and sound system that will allow attendees gathered at the booth to hear the demonstration; a short description and picture of the product in the IMBC program; a short description and picture of the product on IMBC’s website; new product demo marketing in IMBC promotional materials; and an announcement broadcast throughout the exhibit hall prior to the start of your demonstration.

Demonstrations will be held on January 30 and 31 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. To sign up for a demonstration, fill out the New Product Demo Registration Form. Space is limited.

NMMA to Host State of the Industry Discussion

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is hosting a discussion on the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry from 2 to 3 p.m. on July 24, 2013, in Room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

NMMA President Thomas J. Dammrich, in cooperation with the co-chairs of the Congressional Boating Caucus, U.S. Congresswoman Candice Miller (MI-10) and U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre (NC-07) will be addressing the rest of the members of the boating caucus about the “State of the Recreational Boating Industry and Implications for the U.S. Economy.” All are welcome to attend and represent their state and district.

To RSVP, please call Jeff Gabriel, NMMA’s Legislative Counsel, at 202/737-9776 or email him at

ABYC Releases Boating Safety Checklist

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has released its newest iPhone app for the boating market. The Boat Essentials-USCG Safety Gear app is a free, mobile checklist for the new or experienced boater to help them identify the safety items required to have onboard.

To download the app, click here.

The app was developed by Ken Cook Company as a result of the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Nonprofit Grant. It includes suggestions on items that will make the boat safer and more comfortable. The app can be used on powered and non-powered boats that operate in U.S. waters. Other features include the ability to store information on up to three boats; file and save float plans; add boating contacts; receive maintenance guideline alerts; access supplies list; date reminders. The information is also available in paper form.

Bellingham Marine Announces Annual Photo Contest

Bellingham Marine is now accepting entries for the company’s 7th annual calendar photo contest. The marina builder and dock manufacturer pays tribute to the marina industry through its annual calendar, featuring stunning images of marinas from around the world.

Individuals and marinas interested in submitting photos are invited to do so by August 31, 2013. Submissions can be sent to

“We encourage marinas to download the poster and hang it for tenants to see,” said Roxie Comstock, manager of business enhancement for Bellingham. “The contest is a great opportunity for marinas and dock owners to show off their property and for tenants to get involved.” The poster announcing the contest and contest rules can be downloaded from the company’s website.

Last year, more than 100 photos were submitted from professional photographers, boaters, marina staff and others. With the popularity of the calendar continuing to spread, the company estimates that more than 3,500 calendars will be distributed worldwide in 2014.

Submitted photos must feature one of Bellingham’s trademarked products (Unifloat, Unideck Unistack, or Bellingham’s timber dock system). Photos of residential and private docks manufactured by Bellingham Marine are eligible as well. Photos must be of high resolution and high quality. If you are not the photographer of the photo being submitted, please make sure photo rights can be extended to the company for use in the calendar. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age to participate. Winners will be announced in November 2013.

IMI Announces Study Tour Schedule

The International Marina Institute (IMI) announces its 7th annual Study Tour Marinas and Boatyards schedule. The Study Tour is a two-day mobile training course that provides participants with an in-depth look at the operations of different types of marinas and boatyards in South Florida. At the end of each day, tour attendees will participate in a facilitated roundtable discussion and SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of each marina before heading to a networking dinner.

Marinas and boatyards involved in this year’s Study Tour include Aquamarine Hidden Harbour, Bradford Marine, Lauderdale Marine Center, New Port Cove Marine Center, Palm Harbor Marina, The Port Condominium, Rybovich Superyacht Marina & Refit Facility, Sunrise Harbor Marina, and Town of Palm Beach.

To learn more about the Study Tour, please visit or contact IMI at 401/247-0314.

WQIS Make New HIres

WQIS has announced the addition of Senior Vice President John Ryszetnyk and Vice President of Underwriting John Moy to help renew the passion that WQIS has for the marine pollution liability insurance industry. The departure of three former staff members has made this transition possible.

“We were in a relative plateau,” said Richard Hobbie, WQIS CEO. “We were cruising when the departure of those members created this space to really motivate our company to reach above that plateau. In the past months, we have vastly improved all departments, especially taking measures in our service to make sure that every single client is taken care of with a genuine human touch.”

Also joining the WQIS team is Ryan Puttick as the new assistant vice president of claims after a nine-year run as the claims director at Charles Taylor P&I Management.

“Fresh talent really helps breathe new life into even the most secure businesses,” said Ryszetnyk. “Getting comfortable is never a good thing for a company.”

Inventory and Profits Webinar for Maritime Companies

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) and the American Boat Builders & Repair Association (ABBRA) will cohost a July 25 webinar, Optimizing Inventory, as part of an educational series that helps maritime companies, boat builders, manufacturers, marinas and yard facilities. The series will also help service technicians better manage their inventory while improving profitability.

Stephen Bullard, senior sales director at PierVantage Marine Management Solution, will lead the webinar. Bullard has more than 20 years of marine service management experience, has logged more than 15,000 miles sailing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is a 100-ton master captain.

Topics to be covered include Inventory Management Organization, Purchasing, Parts Management, Inventory Accounting and Physical Control, Evaluating the Inventory Management Function. The topics will be followed up by a question and answer session.

“More than ever the new economy dictates that inventory management is one of the keys to successful cash flow management,” says Ed Sherman, ABYC’s Director of Educational Programming.

ABYC and ABBRA members can find more information about registration here. Non-members looking to register should call ABYC at 410/990-4460, ext. 101.

AMI Launches Patriot Marina Day with New Partner

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) announced a new partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises money and gives scholarships to families of wounded or lost veterans, in celebrating Patriot Marina Day during the weekend of July 4th.

AMI is encouraging all marinas across the country to participate in this event. With matching funds, small donation receptacles, fishing derbies or other activities, marinas can bring people's attention to this important foundation and allow everyone to enjoy the waterfront at the same time. To register or to find more information and ideas for ways to celebrate, click here.

Two Marine Trade Associations Award Scholarships

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Foundation awarded two education scholarships to students pursuing careers in the marine industry. The Cape Cod Marine Trades Association also announced the recipients of its 2013 scholarship awards. The Association presents scholarships each year to Cape Cod Technical School marine program students who are selected by their instructors and will continue their education in the marine trades upon graduation.

A $1,000 scholarship has been presented to Joseph Smith, graduating from the Marine Services Program at the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich. Smith has been accepted to study at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

A second $1,000 scholarship has been awarded to Sabrina Kanaley of Falmouth, graduating from the Upper Cape Cod Technical School in Bourne. Kanaley ranked 7th in her class and plans to attend the Landing School in Maine where she will study Boat Building.

These Cape Cod Marine Trades Association scholarships support an ongoing effort to promote professional growth as essential to maintaining and building Cape Cod’s maritime culture.

The MTA/NJ Foundation was established to help promote boating safety and education and to award Education Scholarships to encourage education and professional development in the marine trades field.
This is the eighth year that the Association has been able to award scholarships to deserving students. 

The $1,500 MTA/NJ scholarship was awarded to Bryce Tocci of Brick, N.J.. Bryce has lived on the water his whole life and has repaired his own boats for many years. Bryce is graduating in June from Brick Township High School and Ocean County Vocational Technical School and will be enrolling in the Marine Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Orlando, Fla.

In addition to MTA/NJ's Education Scholarship, the Automotive Training Center in Warminster, Pa. sponsored a half scholarship to its Marine Technician Program. The recipient of the Automotive Training Center scholarship was William Dominguez of Toms River. William is graduating from Toms River High School South as well as Ocean County Vocational Technical School, Toms River Center. After completing training, William plans on moving back home to Toms River and pursue his career in the marine field.
The MTA/NJ also awarded two outstanding student awards for the purchase of tools for the trade. Bryce Tocci from the Ocean County Vocational Technical School and William Calton from Monmouth County Vocational School were the recipients of the awards.
"All of these individuals have worked hard to pursue their goals and have demonstrated their dedication to the future of the marine trades industry. We are very fortunate and thankful to all of our supporters who enable us to award these scholarships to these deserving students," said MTA/NJ Executive Director Melissa Danko.

Dr. Shrink Offers Free Marketing to Its Customers

Dr. Shrink Inc. is now offering customized marketing services to its customers to help prepare companies for the fall storage season. Services will provide customers with marketing materials, training and repairs of heat tools.

“At Dr. Shrink, we have always taken pride in offering excellent customer service and part of that service is offering marketing assistance to our customers at no added cost,” said Mike Stenberg, president at Dr. Shrink Inc. “We’ve seen how marketing can grow and develop a company and we want to share our experiences with our customers and support them as they try to grow their business.”

Dr. Shrink offers assistance with logo, flyer, advertisement and press release creation in addition to professional photo support. Other services provided by Dr. Shrink include social media strategy development and website templates for a small fee. For more information on Dr. Shrink’s marketing offerings click here.

President Obama Visits Ellicott Dredges

President Barack Obama stopped by Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 17 to deliver a policy speech on infrastructure to a crowd of more than 500 people. During his speech, the President noted that Ellicott dredges and dredge exports “literally helped create our global economy.”

After inspecting a completed Series 670 Dragon dredge headed for West Africa with Ellicott’s Sales Vice President Paul Quinn, the President called Ellicott’s dredges the “best machines money can buy.”

The President said, “This company still has a set of core values that’s lasted for generations. Just like the folks who came before you … to sell products all over the world; to grow not just a business, but a community, and by doing that, you’re growing our country.”

The presidential visit was another milestone in Ellicott's long history of building innovative and state-of-the-art dredges for customers both in the USA and around the world.

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Paul Quinn (L) and Dredge Assembly Manager George Allen (C) stand with the President aboard an Ellicott 670 "Dragon. President Obama speaks to crowd in Ellicott factory.

PierVantage Signs New Boatyards

PierVantage™ announced that it signed on Kittery Point Yacht Yard in St. Eliot, Maine, Concordia Company in South Dartmouth, Maine, Derecktor Shipyards in Bridgeport, Conn., and Schooner Creek Boat Works in Portland, Ore., to use its cloud-based software solution. PierVantage said it is built specifically for boatyards, full-service marine facilities and boat building operations.

“The addition of Kittery Point Yacht Yard, Concordia, Derecktor Shipyards and Schooner Creek Boat Works is a sign that marine companies are feeling good about their growth prospects and looking to deploy new technology to improve their efficiency and productivity, increase profits, and become more competitive,” said Navroze Eduljee, CEO of CorVantTM, the creators of PierVantage.

“I don’t think changing operating software platforms is something any business owner or its employees look forward to. It is difficult to change from something that is not broken. We wanted a platform whose architecture and flexibility was built for tomorrow,” said Tom Allen, president of Kittery Point Yacht Yard. “With PierVantage’s cloud based solution, we don’t need to worry about evaluating our software platform every 10 years to keep up with the times -- release updates are seamless. Not having to worry about maintaining dedicated server platforms is a big plus and having access to our data from anywhere enhances both our efficiency and customer service.”

Governor Names Connecticut Marina Day

Governor Dannel P. Malloy (D-CT) proclaimed June 8, 2013 as Connecticut Marina Day in honor of the state’s many marinas that provide its residents and visitors with recreational activities along its waterways.

In his official statement, the governor said marinas are both a recreational boating facility and a community asset that contributes substantially to the community by providing a safe, reliable gateway for members of the boating community and welcomed guests.

“Connecticut marinas provide this state, and visitors of this state, a place where friends and families, united by a passion for the water, can come together for recreation, rest and relaxation,” said Governor Malloy.

Connecticut Marina Day coincides with National Marina Day, which takes place a day later on June 9.

IGY Marinas Hosts New Sportfish Contest

IGY Marinas announced its inaugural Million Dollar Sportfish Challenge. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) all-tackle world record catch contest takes place from select IGY marinas and runs from May through December 2013.

The destinations chosen for the sportfish challenge include privately marinas as well as marinas under management agreements. The IGY marinas participating in the Million Dollar Sportfish Challenge include American Yacht Harbor, in St. Thomas, USVI; Montauk Yacht Club in New York, N.Y.; Blue Haven Marina in Turks & Caicos, La Amada Marina in Cancun, Mexico; Marina Cabo San Lucas in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia, Wis.

“IGY Marinas is home to a number of top nationwide sportfishing tournaments, and sees this contest as an opportunity to give back to the anglers that we have been fortunate to host for so many years,” says Bert Fowles, vice president of marketing and sales for IGY Marinas. Anglers will compete for a million dollar prize.

For further information on the IGY Marinas Million Dollar Sportfish Challenge, please contact us at or visit

More than 1,000 Marinas Offer Discounts Through BoatU.S. Program

BoatU.S. has announced that it has more than 1,000 marinas in the BoatU.S. Cooperating Marina Program, which offers discounts on fuel, repairs, transient slips and even fishing guide services.

Approximately 360 marinas in the group offer up to 10 cents off per gallon of fuel, and more than 320 marinas and boatyards offer repair discounts. Of the participating marinas, 600 offer up to a 25 percent discount on transient slip fees – or essentially four nights for the price of three. Some marinas offer up to $15 off repairs or 10 to 15 percent off any other service.

The BoatU.S. Cooperating Marina Program is a free marketing program open to all boating and fishing businesses from marinas to fishing guides. In exchanges, businesses offer discounts to BoatU.S. members, and BoatU.S. promotes participating businesses to boaters through the online Services Locator.

The goal of the program is to bring business to participants so the discounts need to be enough to encourage members to choose participating facilities over their nearby competitors, but not enough to financially hurt participants.

Those in the Cooperating Marina Program also receive $250 each year to promote their participation in the program and a $10 spiff for each new BoatU.S. member they signup, if they want to sell memberships.

For more information, contact David Mann, BoatU.S. membership programs manager, 888-333-2628;

New Marina Course Offered at Ports 2013 Conference

A new, one-day marina design course will be offered as part of Ports 2013 Conference in Seattle, Wash., on August 25. Using case studies, the presentations will demonstrate how to apply a highly integrated planning and design approach to small craft harbor development. This short marina design course is based on the 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Manual 50: “Planning and Design Guidelines for Small Craft Harbors.” The course will conclude with an interactive marina design workshop where all attendees will participate.

By the end of the course, participants will have a strong understanding of ASCE’s new guidelines for the design of small craft harbors and learn how a fusion of technical, economic and creative planning can optimize harbor design and economic development goals. Attendees will also come away with an understanding of how civil engineers can play a leadership role in integrating the built and natural environments for marina projects. The ASCE Manual 50 will be available for purchase the day of the course.

For more information on the course or to register, click here.

NOAA Launches Mobile Charts App for Testing Period

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is testing its MyNOAACharts, a new mobile application that allows users to download NOAA nautical charts and editions of the U.S. Coast Pilot. The app was released on May 20.

The app is only designed for Android tablets for the testing period. It has GPS built-in capabilities, allows users to find their positions on a NOAA nautical chart, and can be used on land or water. Users can zoom in any specific location with a touch of the finger, or zoom out for the big picture to plan their trip. The U.S. Coast Pilot has geotagged some of the major locations – embedding geographical information, such as latitude and longitude, directly into the chart so it is readable in the app – and provides links to appropriate federal regulations. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play app store.

“Expanding the app across a multitude of platforms, ensuring easy accessibility to over a thousand charts and nearly 5,000 pages of U.S. Coast Pilot, will take considerable resources,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA Office of Coast Survey. “We can do it if the boating community likes the app. We truly want the users to let us know if the app meets their needs.”

The beta test for MyNOAACharts will expire this Labor Day, Sept. 2. The decision to release a finished version of the app will be decided by Coast Survey and based upon usage and user feedback. For more information on MyNOAACharts, click here.

Disaster Preparedness Focus of NMBA Conference

Norris L. Beren, executive director of Risk Reduction Education, Inc., has been hired by the National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) conference committee to discuss disaster preparedness at its upcoming conference, after several members felt the brunt of Hurricane Sandy last October. The author of two books, a Web-based training program and dozens of articles on preparedness, Beren has provided preparedness training for many major corporations, and has worked with more than 1,000 companies.

Beren presents the value and potential return on investment in creating a culture of preparedness throughout a business, which includes keeping the company running after a disaster, protecting shareholder value and surviving the difficult environment that could follow.

This year's conference agenda will highlight the latest economic trends affecting the marine industry, provide updates on legislative issues that continue to shape the lending environment and feature a presentation on reducing risk without reducing reward.

NMBA’s 2013 Conference will be held Sept. 8-10 at The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa in Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, Wis
For conference details or to register, click here.

American Boating Congress Brings Record Numbers to Capitol Hill

Attendance at the 2013 American Boating Congress (ABC), May 8 – 9, increased 25 percent from 160 attendees to 200, compared to last year. The number of co-hosts increased 138 percent from 13 to 31.

The increase in participants from all sectors of the recreational boating community resulted in more than 250 meetings with Members of Congress, up 34 percent from last year’s 187 visits, creating a more unified voice and making the boating industry’s presence known on Capitol Hill.

ABC gives members of the U.S. recreational boating industry a platform to meet with legislators and other decision makers on Capitol Hill, hear from prominent economic and political speakers and participate all while meeting with colleagues from around the country.

The event activities included multiple planning meetings and a variety of distinguished legislators and industry leaders addressing topics and issues impacting recreational boating. ABC also included luncheons and special awards and honorees.

Speakers included Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI); Frank Peterson, President of RBFF; Ken Walsh, US News & World Report chief White House correspondent; RADM Lee, United States Coast Guard; and Deerin Babb-Brott, Director, National Ocean Council Office. Speakers addressed economic concerns, sequestration, health care and legislation, as well as insight into their impact on recreational boating. ABC attendees also met with Senators, members of Congress and Congressional staff to directly address policies in face-to-face meetings

The States Organization for Boating Access (SOBA) recognized Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J. 2nd Congressional District) with its annual congressional award for his significant contributions to boating recreation. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, was given the Center for Coastal Conservation's Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportfishing, given each year to a federal legislator who is dedicated to promoting the sound conservation and use of ocean resources. The Center for Coastal Conservation also honored Phil Dyskow, the former president of Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., who received the Eddie Smith Manufacturer of the Year Award. The evening included a BoatPAC reception attended by more than 200, including Members of Congress and ABC attendees, to discuss ways to continue working together on behalf of the entire recreational boating industry.

In addition to a robust conference program and successful meetings with Congress, the Congressional Boating Caucus was honored at a closing reception bringing federal legislators and industry stakeholders together under one common theme: support for the recreational boating industry as a whole. NMMA President Thom Dammrich said, “I look at the boating industry as an ecosystem. If bad legislation and regulation adversely affects one part of the industry, it harms the entire industry. We must continue to work together to gain ground on Capitol Hill.”

NMMA also released updated economic impact data for the recreational boating industry during ABC. The information reflects 2012 data from across the U.S. Each data sheet contains state and district information that includes the total annual economic value of recreational boating, which has an economic impact of $121.5 billion annually. The information also shows that nearly 35,000 recreational boating-related businesses across the country provide more than 338,000 jobs, and that Americans spend $51 billion related to more than 12 million registered recreational boats each year.

Mark your calendar for next year’s American Boating Congress, which will take place May 6-7, 2014.

IMBC Releases Agenda for 2014

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) released a schedule for the 2014 International Marina and Boatyard (IMBC) Conference. View the 2014 IMBC Schedule here.

The 2014 agenda includes IMBC events, such as themed networking events and seminars broken into specific tracks. The three days includes two full days of educational sessions, exhibit hall hours and evening receptions.

"The positive feedback we receive each year helps us plan for future events," AMI Chair Gary Groenewold, CMM, said. "Consistency within the overall timeline was a clear, easy choice."

IMBC Facts
Attendance: IMBC attracts more than 700 marina and boatyard industry professionals each year.

Top three reported reasons for attending:
Educational seminars
Exhibit hall and exposure to cutting edge technology

Amount of education time: more than 10 hours of seminars, plus a marina and boatyard field trip, exhibit hall hours and networking receptions

Number of hours the exhibit hall is open: 13

Number of exclusive exhibit hall hours: 7.5

Average temperature in Fort Lauderdale: 77 degrees

Number of flights daily in and out of the Fort Lauderdale Airport: more than 700

Celebrate National Marina Day; Enter New Photo Contest

Now in its 12th year, National Marina Day, sponsored by the Association of Marine Industries (AMI), has merged with the efforts of Discover Boating to promote the entire marine industry and boating lifestyle in one nationwide event called Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, Saturday, June 8.

AMI encourages marinas to reach out to its partner organizations, such as American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), The National Safe Boating Council’s Wear It! Campaign, Ocean Conservancy, State Clean Marina Programs, US Coast Guard Auxiliary and ValvTect, for free NMD resources. For example, ABYC will host free boat system checks, and ValvTect will provide free trophies for marinas to award to the person who traveled the farthest to attend NMD.

All recreational boating businesses are encouraged to get involved. Suggested activities include: on-water, hands-on training; open houses; showcase of boats and related marine products; free demo rides with sales follow-up; and safety demonstrations.

To help celebrate the annual event, Marina Dock Age is holding a National Marina Day photo contest. To enter, take photos of the day’s activities on June 8 – the staff, the decorations, the boaters, the community, the docks, or the boats. The photo that best captures the spirit of the day will be featured in the magazine.

Please send digital photos to Anna Townshend, email to Mail a disk or USB drive to 319 N. 4th St., Suite 650, St. Louis, MO 63102. Files should be 300 dpi, and at least 9 x 12 inches. The deadline for the photo contest is June 17. For more information about the photo contest, visit

For more information on National Marina Day and its partner resources, visit

Recovery Grants Available for Sandy Victims

Small business owners and nonprofits impacted by Hurricane Sandy can now apply for recovery grants of up to $50,000 per location at the website of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). Those eligible, including marina owners, can use the money toward working capital, inventory, equipment, renovation and new construction at the place of business.

Under the program, businesses with multiple locations in New Jersey may receive more than one grant that totals no more than $250,000. To be eligible, applicants must have suffered at least $5,000 in damages from Superstorm Sandy. Grants will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and priority will be given to applicants located in the nine most impacted counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Cape May, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union.
Businesses must have applied and been denied or accepted for a Small Business Administration disaster loan to be eligible.

The $260 million Stronger New Jersey Business Grant Program is one of the initiatives approved by the NJEDA on April 30. It also approved $25 million to fund a tourism marketing campaign to assist Hurricane Sandy-impacted communities and promote the state’s tourism assets; and $12 million for securing a firm to operate the grant program under the supervision of the Office of Recovery.

For more information regarding the Stronger New Jersey Business Grant Program or application process, contact the NJEDA Office of Recovery at 855/SANDY-BZ or

Applications for recovery grants can be found here. Sign up here for NJEDA’s notification list for more information on Sandy assistance programs.
The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey also launched the new Go Boating NJ campaign to provide boaters throughout the region with current information on the condition of New Jersey’s waterways and popular boating areas.

The Go Boating NJ campaign will highlight, through on-the-water videos and photos, some of NJ's most popular boating areas to give boaters firsthand knowledge and visuals that these waterways are open and ready for them this season. The campaign also hopes to include video interviews with boaters and marina owners.

WQIS Welcomes New Staff

The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) welcomed John Ryszetnyk, as new Senior Vice President. A graduate of Kings Point, The United States Merchant Marine Academy, John holds a USCG 3rd Mate Unlimited Tonnage License and is a former U.S. Naval Officer. This will be John’s second term at WQIS, having previously served as an Underwriter from 1999 to 2003.

“There’s a great energy in the office right now and I’m looking forward to working with the team to renew our commitment to service while continuing to build and strengthen relationships,” Ryszetnyk said.

Along with John, two more team members are joining WQIS: Angela Konetzni and James Q. Stevens. Konetzni, previously an assistant claims manager at WQIS, has returned after a short hiatus and will be working as a consultant in the claims department. Stevens is the former head of marine insurance for Scottsdale Insurance Company and will key his more than 40 years of experience in WQIS’s continued initiative of providing superior service and systems integration.

ABC Hosts Policy and Industry Speakers

The 2013 American Boating Congress (ABC) will feature an influential group of policy specialists and industry authorities, as well as legislative and regulatory officials. On May 9, ABC will present its general session, featuring the following speakers:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee; Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who served previously as Secretary of State, Governor of West Virginia; Deerin Babb-Brott, director for the National Ocean Council Office: Rear Admiral Dean Lee, United States Coast Guard, as the Deputy for Operations Policy and Capabilities, and as the Fifth District Commander in Portsmouth, Va.; Kenneth Walsh, White House Correspondent, and reporter for U.S. News and World Report; and Frank Peterson, president of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

IMI to Host Study Tour and Dry Stack Conference

The 7th annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour, hosted by the International Marina Institute (IMI) will take place October 29-October 30. The tour will be based at the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Study Tour is a two-day mobile training course that provides an in-depth look at the operations of different types of marinas and boatyards in South Florida. At the end of each day, attendees participate in a facilitated roundtable discussion and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of each marina before heading to a networking dinner. For more information or to register, visit
This year's study tour will take place just after IMI's Drystack Conference. Larry Halgren will host IMI's 10th Drystack Conference, October 27-28.

"I'm honored to partner with IMI on this event," said Larry Halgren, Halgren & Associates, LLC. "Facilitating the conference gives me the opportunity to assist IMI in its goal of providing training to the marina industry."

The Dry Stack conference will be held at the B Ocean Hotel, where the Study Tour will depart and return to each day. Following the Study Tour is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

For more information, visit or call 401/247-0314.

Structurmarine Announces New Hire; Signs PR Firm

Structurmarine has signed with Martin Flory Group to help showcase its marina projects and create publicity for the marina developer throughout North America.

"Structurmarine brings the same level of commitment and craftsmanship to every project, no matter the size or budget," said Laura Martin, Martin Flory Group president. "We do the same with our PR programs, providing the best service possible for every client. We're excited to bring greater recognition to Structurmarine's beautiful developments." Structurmarine also named Bruno Nolet as sales director for North America and the Caribbean. Nolet previous worked in both marine engineering and sales for Structurmarine. As he seeks to increase marina sales across his territory, Nolet said, “We’re seeking out potential partners and possible joint ventures, with the goal of expanding Structurmairne’s presence at the local level.”

ABBRA Extends Wage Survey Deadline; Offer Prizes

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (ABBRA) has extended the deadline for its 2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey for Marine Service Employees, formerly known as the Annual Wage Rate Survey. The survey will gauge and compare the rates, salaries and benefits in the current market.

Those that answer by April 30 will be entered in a drawing for a one-year (2014) complimentary ABBRA membership for 2014 or one complimentary registration for the 2014 ABBRA Boatyard Business Conference.
The survey will be segmented by state and region, by revenue and number of employees, and seeks information on a broad range of the most common jobs in today's boatyards. The survey will ask for information on hourly wages, average vacation time, health benefits and retirement plans.

For more information, call 954/654-7821. To complete the survey, visit here

ValvTect Petroleum Welcomes Three New Facilities

ValvTect Petroleum announced that the Dana Point Fuel Dock located in Dana Point, Calif., Harbour Town Yacht Basin on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, and Del Rey Landing in Marina Del Rey, Calif., now offer ValvTect Marine Fuels.

Operated by John Van Dixhorn since 1986, the Dana Point Fuel Dock services Dana Point Harbor’s two marinas with more than 2,500 guest slips and transient boaters visiting the area. “We are totally committed to supply our customers the finest products available. Especially fuels that are specially formulated for marine engines that help prevent problems caused by ethanol and ultra low sulfur diesel that we are now required to sell,” Dixhorn said.

Jerry Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum said, “By Dana Point Fuel Dock offering ValvTect Marine Fuels, it gives us an important position in the southern California market. In addition to providing ValvTect Marine Fuels to the harbor’s 2,500 slip holders, it makes ValvTect’s specially formulated marine-grade fuels available to cruisers cruising south to San Diego and Mexico.”

For more than 40 years, Harbour Town Lighthouse has welcomed boaters to this iconic, resort style marina. “ValvTect Marine Fuels provide our boaters with better fuel economy and lower maintenance costs, which improves their overall boating experience,” said Nancy Cappelmann, harbormaster at Harbour Town Yacht Basin.

“Harbour Town is a first class yachting center and resort with many amenities including special events, shops, restaurants and sporting activities. East Coast cruisers and those traveling the Intracoastal now have another premier location to fill up with high quality ValvTect Marine Fuels,” Nessenson said.

Del Rey Landing is one of the largest man-made marinas in the world, and is the only fuel dock servicing the marina’s nearly 5,300 vessels. It is one of only four marinas on the West Coast capable of accommodating megayachts up to 250 feet in length.

“We are pleased to offer ValvTect Marine Fuels as part of our commitment to provide only the highest quality products and services,” said Greg Schem, developer and operator of Del Rey Landing. “We built the marine industry’s most advanced fuel dock to accommodate Marina Del Rey’s thousands of local boaters and to provide dockage for weekend cruisers as well as superyachts visiting the Los Angeles area.”

Jerry Nessenson, president of ValvTect Petroleum Products, said, “We are honored to have Del Rey Landing join the nationwide network of Certified ValvTect Marinas. Along with its advanced high speed dispensing system and extensive amenities, it will provide boaters in the Los Angeles area and West Coast cruisers a safe and convenient fueling location to obtain ValvTect Marine Fuels.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison Adds New Course

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Engineering Professional Development will present two short courses for marina owner/operators, consulting engineers and marina designers, “Rehabilitating Docks and Marinas,” May 13–14, and “Modern Marina Design,” May 15–16. They complements the Docks and Marinas Course and Conference, which the university will present for the 39th consecutive year this coming November.

The “Rehabilitating Docks and Marinas” class provides the tools to ensure the long-term competitiveness of marinas. Attendees will be able to understand how market trends will an impact and learn how to use that understanding to develop a strategy that explores the cost-benefit of alternative rehabilitation options. This course is specifically designed to help facilities determine their condition and remaining useful life, enabling marinas to adopt a strategy to achieve long-term competitiveness.

“Modern Marina Design” presents the latest in marina design methods and concepts, by effectively combining innovative engineering with environment and economic approaches.

The instructors for “Modern Marina Design” are all nationally respected experts in the key aspects of marina design. Each is an author of a chapter in the recently issued “Planning and Design Guidelines for Small Craft Harbors.” The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) published this Manual of Practice #50, and one of the instructors, Fred Klancnik, served as the Chairman of ASCE’s Marinas 2020 Committee, and editor of the new manual.

As a special offer, course attendees can purchase the manual at a reduced price. For information on these courses visit: or contact Howard Rosen directly at:

My-Villages Announces New Marine Industry Innovation Partners

My-Villages announced new partnerships, expanding the company’s MVIP program, which brings together marine companies to innovate with My-Villages. It uses online and mobile technologies to improve the experience of boat ownership and customer service.

Joining The Hinckley Company, the first My-Villages Innovation Partner (MVIP) to come aboard in December 2012 are Marine Professionals Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Saunders Yachtworks of Gulf Shores, Ala., and Yacht Tech based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“Our growing list of Innovation Partner companies is evidence that the marine industry has a strong desire to enhance the way we engage our customers, using both web and mobile technologies to connect, communicate and collaborate, while simplifying boat operations and marine maintenance,” said My-Villages founder and CEO Kevin Hutchinson.

The MVIP program draws together marine businesses that have agreed to use and/or market My-Villages’ digital application—available for web browsers, smartphones and iPads—that allows boat owners and marine professionals to communicate and collaborate online. They can enhance the product and make it available to their own customers.

The service app provides access to a boat’s equipment inventory, service history, relevant manuals, usage trends, trip logs and other useful information. It also supports automated service reminders, electronic service requests, real-time status reports on work in process, and the ability to upload images and video. The result is a seamless service that removes operational inefficiencies and addresses questions owners may have about routine maintenance and repairs, thus improving service for boat owners, while providing service yards and technicians with new tools to build and operate their business.

“We know it’s going to change the customer relationship experience for the better, and we’re committed to being at the forefront of that revolution,” said Marc Currei, president of Marine Professionals Inc.

The Innovation Partners program builds upon the My- Villages digital community, an online “boating village” that allows individuals and businesses to share expertise and advice free of charge. More than 30 companies signed on as BETA partners for the free service—including Hinckley, Kadey- Krogen Yachts, Dometic, Cummins, Westerbeke and others— and continue to contribute to the community. Additional Innovation Partners will be signed in coming months.

IMI Plans Drystack Conference; Call for Presentations

International Marina Institute (IMI) will conduct the 10th Drystack Conference Oct. 27 – 28, at the B Ocean Hotel, 999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The conference will offer seminars about the latest in drystack technology, exhibits and networking receptions.

The IMI's annual Southeast Florida Marina and Boatyard Study Tour will follow the conference, Oct. 29 – 30. It will consist of tours of area marinas and boatyards as well as discussions on each property.

IMI has also posted a "Call for Presentations" on its website. Proposal topics should focus on the business of drystack storage, current trends, new technologies, and recent and upcoming projects.

Seminars can be designed for intermediate to advance levels of experience and should be geared toward IMI's audience, which includes internationally acclaimed marina-industry professionals, Certified Marina Managers, Certified Marina Operators, and marina managers, owners, and operators.

IMI asks that information be timely, informative and educational without overt company or product promotions.

Deadline for submissions is April 5, 2013.

For more information, visit, email IMI, or call the group at 401/247-0314.

Pink Shell Marina Opens

Pink Shell Resort's new marina officially opened Feb. 20. It is located in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. Owner Boykin Management Company construction of the marina on Sept. 4, 2012. Renovations cost more than $1.2 million.

The marina now offers 41 floating slips for boats up to 100 feet for transient, long-term and group dockage, 30-, 50- and 100-amp power pedestals, potable water, high-definition Direct TV, WiFi, pumpout service, slips to accommodate boats up to 100 feet long, service facility and ship’s store.

“Our new marina provides boaters with a destination that is only minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and the barrier islands of Southwest Florida,” said Ellis Etter, regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Boykin Management Group.

Marina guests will have access to Pink Shell Resort amenities, as well as boat rentals, charter fishing excursions, and the well-known Colgate Offshore Sailing School.
Pink Shell MarinaPink Shell Marina

Northern California Marine Association Integrates with the NMMA

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced the integration of the Northern California Marine Association (NCMA) and its members with NMMA. NCMA voting members unanimously approved the change.

The move is part of an effort to expand the recreational boating market. NCMA and its members will be part of NMMA under the recently formed NMMA West.

NCMA members not already NMMA members will now receive paid NMMA membership through May 31, 2015. NCMA’s Board of Directors also will become an advisory NMMA Board, with representatives appointed to the NMMA West Board of Directors. NCMA joins the former Southern California Marine Association, which earlier merged with NMMA.

In June 2012, NMMA opened Associate memberships to include to boat dealers, retailers and distributors. The new approach models marine industry associations worldwide by including all industry segments as part of its membership.

“NMMA’s robust resources, in addition to its role as a leading producer of boat and sport shows, will help us to revitalize shows in northern California,” said Gary Clausen, NCMA president. “We were pleased by the feedback NMMA received from the June 2012 integration with the Southern California Marine Association (SCMA).”

FEMA Extends NJ Deadline for Sandy Disaster Assistance

New Jersey residents and businesses affected by Superstorm Sandy now have until April 1, 2013, to register for individual disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deadline extends business registration with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for Disaster Loan Assistance. For businesses, such a loan is the best opportunity for disaster assistance. 

Representatives of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) stress that registering for an SBA Disaster Loan also is essential if marina owners want to later obtain a grant under the Community Development Block Grants. The MTA/NJ will update everyone about grants when more information is available.

For more information or to apply, call the SBA at 800/659-2955.

American Boating Congress Open Early Registration

Early Bird Registration for the American Boating Congress (ABC), coordinated by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is now open. Register for the meeting, taking place May 8-9, 2013 in Washington, D.C., to create a louder voice for recreational boating on Capitol Hill.

The American Boating Congress (ABC) lets attendees meet elected officials to discuss recreational boating concerns and speak with Congressional representatives. They also will learn more about the Congressional process, how to stay involved, and hear from elected officials, policy makers, and other speakers.

The NMMA government relations staff will provide the latest facts about water access, E15, legislation, taxes, small business concerns and more. Save with the discounted Early Bird registration rate of $200.

For more information, email Melissa Gurniewicz at or call 312/946- 6281.

BoatUS Foundation Voting Open for $10K Grants

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is asking the public to help it select winning projects in the 2013 Grassroots Grants Program. The program provides non-profit groups up to $10,000 to educate boaters about safe and clean boating. Go to either or to cast a vote.

Voting began Feb. 20. Seven grant proposals are listed. Those with the most votes by midnight (EST) on March 6, 2013, will have their projects funded.
Grant funds are donated by the half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). In 25 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 million to organizations that developed creative projects to promote safe and clean boating on local waterways. Up to $50,000 altogether is available for grants this year. 

This year's contenders are:

  • Access Monterey Peninsula, Inc. of Monterey, Calif.
  • Littleton Firefighters Foundation of Littleton, Colo.
  • United State Coast Guard Auxiliary 1st District Northern of Weymouth, Mass.
  • Annapolis Green of Annapolis, Md.
  • The Bass Federation of Ponca City, Okla.
  • Professional Anglers Association (PAA) of Kilgore, Texas
  • Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean of Granville, Vt.

The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water provides educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers to reduce fatalities, increase stewardship of America's waterways and keep boating safe.

Marinalife Expands Website with Service Locator

Marinalife launched a Service and Maintenance Locator feature on its website that provides detailed information about specific services provided by boatyards and repair yards around the country. With the new service boaters can search by city, state, or facility name and use an advanced search to filter by the type of repair they need. Facilities and services listed range from hull repair to rigging installation and repair, travel lift and engine services to moorings, rack storage, warranty service work and more.

This new online service benefits both the boater and the yard. Service, maintenance and repair yards now have a way to be easily found by the boating public. In addition, facilities may choose to be a featured partner with Marinalife and receive premium placement within search results. Results of service facilities in the directory also often include videos, photos and fuel prices, and may offer Marinalife membership discounts through the Marinalife Discount Card.
Marinalife is offering all boatyard and repair yards a free listing in the Services section of the website – Those interested in participating should email Marinalife at to complete a form to be included in the directory.

Joy McPeters of Marinalife said, “We decided to launch this service because boaters look to Marinalife not only for advice on where to make marina reservations, but also as a trusted source for cruise planning, marina reviews, discounts and insurance. Now they can come to us for information about where to get service for their vessel.”

Marinalife has also partnered with ABBRA (American Boat Builders and Repairers Association) to help promote the services of their members to the boating public. ABBRA members are designated with an ABBRA logo next to their listing within the service and maintenance locator.

Pam Lendzion, President of the Board said, “ABBRA recognizes Marinalife as a great vehicle to connect boatyards with boat owners. ABBRA is proud to partner with Marinalife to enhance the boaters’ experience and take the hassle out of boat maintenance and repair. ABBRA member boat builders and repairers pledge to maintain the highest standards of workmanship, integrity, and honesty in dealing with their customers.”

Dr. Shrink Debuts Website

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyShrinkwrap supplier, Dr. Shrink, recently revamped the customer order process on its website and added feature for learning more about the world of shrinkwrap.

 At, users now have secure retail and wholesale accounts that are used with their own user name and password. The Dr. Shrink account will remember all past orders and keep them on file so users will always have access to the list of items they've purchased in the past. 

Customers can now ship internationally and can also ship via freight for Dr. Shrink bulk size shrinkwrap rolls and large orders.

Blogs, how-to videos, weekly bundles and featured products are now all on the same site.

Accmar Forms New Partnership with Best Marine Solutions

Miami-based Accmar Equipment announced a new partnership with Best Marine Solutions (BMS) - a partnership that will ensure that each and every marina in the U.S. has an opportunity to evaluate Accmar Equipment pedestals as part of its product selection.

"Increased competition in the marina power pedestal market should be welcomed,” President of Accmar Equipment Company Juan Pizarro said.
Based in St.Petersburg, Fla., BMS is a new company established by EMP Industries, a marina pumpout & water recycling system manufacturer. President Tom Callahan said, "BMS is leveraging the former EMP sales team and partnering with select and quality product manufactures, like Accmar, to create an industry alliance - intended to offer the best quality products, pricing and service to the marina industry, throughout the United States and beyond.”

By partnering with BMS as a key vendor, Accmar Equipment Company said it hopes to become a leading source for aluminum encased power pedestals, dock fire safety equipment and dock accessories.

"By partnering with BMS, Accmar Equipment ensures that marinas just learning about our products, will have the opportunity to evaluate and compare Accmar's products, pricing and quality against the typical menu of marina dock products,” Pizarro said.

My-Villages Launches Mobile Service For Boat Maintenance

My-Villages, the web and mobile technology company, introduced its new premium service at the Miami International Boat Show. Available in its beta version, the company said its product will improve efficiency for boatyards and technicians.

My-Villages’ premium service—available for smartphones and iPads—makes boat maintenance simple. It provides marine professionals with immediate access to a boat’s equipment inventory, service history, relevant manuals, usage trends, trip logs and other useful information. The service also supports automated service reminders, electronic service requests, real-time status reports on work in process, and the ability to upload images and video to support an electronic service request, work estimate, or shared expert advice.

The result is a system that gives yards and technicians new tools to build and operate their business. My-Villages’ premium service will also soon allow service yards to better manage multiple clients and boats through integration to third-party billing systems currently used in the industry.

My-Villages announced the beta release of its free service, the boat village, at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October. The company committed at that show to bring out its premium service in early 2013. The premium service builds upon the existing My-Villages digital platform, which allows businesses to create a profile with links to social media, blogs, websites or other online content and create specialized electronic communities to share expertise and advice.

More than two dozen brand-name marine companies now serve as My-Villages beta partners for the free service, helping to craft products that serve both owners and the industry..

"Saunders Yachtworks has been a beta partner on My-Villages’ free service from the start, and our entire team is excited by what we have seen to date," said John Fitzgerald, president. "We have thoroughly investigated their free program. We believe, combined now with the premium service, that the products My-Villages offers represent the clear future for the yacht service and maintenance industry. We believe My-Villages will help us communicate better with our customers, allow us to better monitor, track and schedule ongoing maintenance protocols, and ultimately deliver a greatly enhanced service experience for our customers."

Students Get Industry Lessons At Baltimore Boat Show

Center of Applied Technology (CAT) – South students received a behind the scenes, in-depth marine professional experience at the Progressive Baltimore Boat Show, thanks to the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) and National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA).

On March 1, approximately 20 career and technology students from five local high schools (Annapolis, Broadneck, South River, Southern and Severna Park) enrolled in CAT South's Marine Repair Technology program met with factory representatives, NMMA leaders, show managers and dealers, as well as hear a formal presentation on the state of the marine industry and advice on marine industry careers.

“One of ABYC’s best contributions to our industry is ensuring that students who are interested in a career in boating get all the standards-based tools and knowledge they need to be successful in their future careers as a marine technician,” ABYC President John Adey said.

The students also participated in NMMA’s Fred’s Shed, an interactive experience for boat show visitors who are interested in maintaining, repairing or upgrading their own boats and engines. Instructor Larry Jenc, who is ABYC Certified, was Fred at this show, helping add to the boat owner’s experience and student lessons. It is industry recommended and stressed to the boating public that boats be built and repaired to ABYC standards.

The marine repair program prepares students for a career, or advanced training and post-secondary education, in the marine industry with regards to marine manufacturing, maintenance, repair and design. Students are later encouraged to test for ABYC’s Standards Certification that address specific compliance issues relevant to engineers, installers, compliance inspectors and marine surveyors.

New ‘Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!’ Event Offers Kayaking

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyThe popular sport of kayak fishing will be part of the next “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” seminar, hosted March 9-10 at the Matlacha Community Park in Fort Myers, Fla.
The event is held in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! is a national organization dedicated to attracting more women to sportfishing and to promoting conservation and responsible angling.
During the two-day, hands-on event, FWC educators will demonstrate ethical angler habits, such as safe hook removal, release techniques, fish venting and more. Local fishing guides will provide instruction on kayak fishing and angling techniques. The second day offers an optional fishing trip from kayaks, pontoon boats and flats boats.

“We have chosen to host our Gulf Coast event at Matlacha, a beautiful part of the state with bountiful fishing,” Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! founder Betty Bauman said. “It’s a refreshing location, perfect for beginners, those who have fished before or any lady with fishing on her bucket list!”

HOSTAR Boat Mover Cleans Up After Sandy 

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyIn the fall, BoatMax in City Island, N.Y., received its first HOSTAR Yardstar 35 self-propelled boat mover. The unit had its first big test. cleaning up the yard after Superstorm Sandy.

"Without the Yardstar, there wouldn't have been a Sandy cleanup," BoatMax owner Frank Virgintino said.  "Working with the unit was like having 20 extra men."
"We used the Yardstar to right boats by using its hydraulic arms to go underneath the boat and tilt it.  Then, we could lift up the whole boat," BoatMax general manager Ken Landi said. "Without the unit, we would have used forklifts and a travelift. Our travelift is 26 feet wide, which would have meant that we would have had to move everything out of the way to right one boat. It also would have taken a lot more time."

HOSTAR's Yardstar 35 can handle powerboats up to 60 feet and sailboats up to 68 feet.  The self-propelled unit has a capacity of 70,000 lbs. It's powered by a John Deere industrial diesel engine with complete instrumentation and full enclosure. It also has two, 2-speed hydraulic drive units with brakes at the rear and two hydraulic drive/steering motors at the front.  The operator's station has joystick controls.

The Yardstar has six, fully adjustable hydraulic arms to handle up to an 8-foot draft, forward-facing rear arms and inward-canting forward arms. It
also features a hydraulic walking beam suspension to lift/lower each side with pilot-operated, double locking valves on all cylinders.

"We haven't been able to use our Yardstar too much so far, since we only got it in the fall, but when righting boats, we only needed one machine, the Yardstar. Before we needed to use two forklifts and a travelift and now we only need one machine. We couldn't use the travelift with sailboats, but we can use the Yardstar," Landi said.

NMMA Applauds Nomination for U.S. Secretary of the Interior

On February 6, President Obama nominated REI CEO Sally Jewell to become the next Secretary of the Interior. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) expressed its support of this nomination.

NMMA said Jewell has shown a solid understanding of the many issues required to oversee the Department of the Interior’s large portfolio of public land and water, and a keen business sense.

The Secretary of the Interior oversees a department that is critical to the country’s economic recovery and the protection and preservation of America’s natural resources, cultural and tribal communities, and public lands legacy.

NMMA praised the White House administration for choosing “what some would call a Washington outsider,” for showing that it values specific outdoor industry experience over partisan politics for this position.

NMMA President Thom Dammrich said of the nomination, “NMMA applauds the nomination of Sally Jewell for Secretary of Interior and will support Ms. Jewell in any way we can. We hope to work together to promote public water access, and outdoor recreational activities, particularly recreational boating.”

Professional Marine Realty Helps Marinas for Sale

“Turnaround management” — reforming an existing business to maximize operating income as quickly as possible — is a relatively new concept in the marina business. So is the ultimate goal of Professional Marine Realty, to sell the business at the best price it can.

Due to increasing competition and shifting markets, no business can take economic stability for granted.

Richard Graves of Professional Marine Realty said, “Our objective is revamping an existing business for sale that is underperforming due to poor financial management and marketing.”

The company also serves as the selling broker. Business brokers at Professional Marine have more than 70 years of combined experience in managing and marketing marinas and other pleasure boating businesses. Marina management and marketing experience give it the insight to maximize the worth of a marina in a short time. As turnaround specialists, the company said it offers a fresh view of problems, along with solutions that may not be visible to business insiders. For full details, visit, call 954/734-9376, or email

NJ Marine Trades Association Continues Hurricane Sandy Recovery Efforts

Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) Executive Director Melissa Danko, along with MTA/NJ Board members, is meeting with Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin to discuss waterway debris management, dredging, permitting and a number of other items critical to rebuilding. Many plans under consideration include a statewide surveying/marking of state channels to identify hazardous debris and shoaling. It is important that New Jersey’s leadership is aware of the economic importance of the recreational boating industry.

The MTA/NJ also met with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) this week to discuss funding opportunities and financial support for marine businesses that need immediate assistance. The MTA/NJ is lobbying for the immediate restoration of the I BOAT NJ program for grant assistance, working with federal legislators, and urging the federal fisheries declaration that could provide additional funding.

Lastly, the MTA/NJ continues its push for the creation of an Office of Boating Waterways. The proposal includes the merger, consolidation or streamlining of existing state functions into the creation of a new Office of Boating and Waterways to serve as the sole source agency in state government responsible for managing boating and waterway programs. Creation of the office would show that all of New Jersey’s waterways are a vital resource to not only the marine trades industries but those that depend on them. It would also be a promotional tool. This office is even more critical because New Jersey needs a coordinated effort to support recreational marine trades.

For more information, please contact Melissa Danko at 732-292-1051.

Marine Marketers of America Extends Deadline for Neptune Awards Entries Due by Jan. 23

The Neptune Awards, which recognize best work by marine marketers, will take place this year in conjunction with the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s morning breakfast meeting on Feb. 14 at the Miami International Boat Show (MIBS). Due to holiday deadlines, the final date for submissions to the Marine Marketers of America (MMA) for the awards is extended to Jan. 23. Complete details about the Neptune Awards, including entry guidelines and entry form, are posted on the newly re-launched MMA website 

Also, MMA has announced the program for its bi-annual general membership meeting, scheduled 3 p.m. Feb. 14, at the boat show in the convention center. Ellen Valentine of Silverpop will speak, with two additional industry social media experts to follow. The event will conclude with a social mixer.

For more information, visit the MMA website

Aluminum Pontoon Boats Lead Increased Boating Trends in Canada

During 2012, the Canadian recreational boating industry recorded a 13 percent increase in new boats and engine sales. All sales totaled $2 billion, reported Sara Verni, public relations manager of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada. Canadian manufacturers’ exports of boats and engines picked up in 2011 to $479 million, up 50 percent from the previous year, the first sign of significant growth in exports for the industry since 2009.

“An increasingly stable U.S. economy combined with a modest increase in Canadian consumer confidence helped contribute to healthy growth within the Canadian recreational marine industry in 2012,” said Sara Anghel, executive director of NMMA Canada. “The 13 percent increase in new boats and engines signifies the industry’s recovery from the recession and creates momentum for 2013.
“Canadian marine manufacturers have begun to broaden their horizons for exporting beyond North American borders,” she noted. “Australia, the European Union and the Middle East have become bigger trading partners for the Canadian recreational boating industry.”
The increase took place from October 2011 through September 2012, compared to the same period the previous year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) second annual 2012 Canadian Statistical Abstract. The Abstract reveals statistics about Canada’s recreational boating retail sales, participation and boater demographics, the overall retail market, imports-exports and economic factors that influence the industry.

The leading boat trend in Canada is aluminum pontoon boats, experiencing a 23 percent increase in sales. Another trend is sport jet boats that experienced a 13 percent increase in sales. In 2012, more than one in five Canadian households owned at least one recreational boat.

One free copy of the Abstract will be available beginning in February 2013, to all NMMA members, to download at Members may purchase a printed copy for $70; non-members can purchase it for U.S. $750. For more information about the abstract, contact Sara Anghel at or call 905/951-4048.

Clean Marina Roundtable Added to IMBC Lineup  

Organizers of the International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC) have announced that a roundtable discussion titled “Clean Marina Round Table:
Where are we . . .Where are we going,” has been added to the conference program. 

Moderated by Dave White, Great Lakes Program Coordinator and Recreation/Tourism Specialist of the Oswego branch of NY Sea Grant, it will take place 9-11 a.m., Jan. 30 in the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Room 305. It is free to attend for IMBC full conference registrants.

For more information, call 401/682-7334 or email IMBC is produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI). AMI is a nonprofit membership organization providing management training, education, and information about research, legislation, and environmental issues affecting the marina industry. 

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane Sandy 

Shrinkwrap Protects Boats During Hurricane SandyAlthough Superstorm Sandy ravaged the Northeast, its effects were felt in the Midwest. Bob Abbott of Cleveland, Ohio, credits Dr. Shrink’s premium shrinkwrap for boat protection.

“Shrinkwrap is amazing, especially after seeing the aftermath of Sandy,” Abbott said. “We are on Lake Erie and even though we didn’t get hit directly, we experienced winds up to 78 mph and had two marinas nearly wiped out.”

Abbott wrapped both his boat and a friend’s in Dr. Shrink shrinkwrap and stored them in a parking lot.

“They were still pulling sunken boats out a week later at the marina next to us. Our shrinkwrap was not damaged at all,” said Abbott.

Dr. Shrink Inc. is a full-service, full-circle supplier of wrap. The material comes in widths from 12’ to 50’ wide. For more information, visit

ADP Lightspeed Introduces Loyalty Program

ADP Lightspeed recently introduced a cardless, points based rewards program called Lightspeed Loyalty Rewards. Designed to help dealerships develop long-term relationships with their customers, the program allows a dealer to distribute points to customers for sales, service, accessory, and parts purchases. Dealers can also award points for participation in events and owner groups. Customers redeem the points by logging into their Rewards Account and either printing a gift certificate or sending the certificate to a mobile device.

“Lightspeed Loyalty rewards will bring back customers to the dealership and turn them into repeat customers,” said Greg Smith, general manager of ADP Lightspeed. “The program is completely integrated with Lightspeed and requires very little training to get started.”

The back-end reporting tool inside Lightspeed Loyalty Rewards give dealers the power to manage points, view balances, and create special events and promotions. Point balances are updated and customers are notified with every transaction, automatically.

“We are extremely excited to offer this to our dealers,” said Laurn Rice, vice president of Sales at ADP Lightspeed. “We saw a need in the market for a cardless, integrated loyalty product and we found the solution with Lightspeed Loyalty Rewards.”

Floating Solar Platform Captures Energy for Four Counties

Poralu Marine installed a floating solar platform at Canoe Brook, N.J., a town about 15 1/2 miles from New York. New Jersey American Water initiated the floating solar park. Eneractive Solutions, an engineering firm specializing in energy solutions, guided the pilot project, which created and implemented a viable 112-imagekilowatt (kW) photovoltaic system. It generates 136,000 kW annually for a water treatment plant, serving 78,000 homes in Essex, Union, Morris and Somerset counties with about 40.1 million gallons of water per day.

Poralu Marine did the engineering of the floating section, the interface with the photovoltaic panels, and the anchorage system.

The solar platform, composed of a floating pontoon structure with photovoltaic panels, is anchored with a Seaflex system, which uses a flexible form of anchoring that stabilizes floating structures under large fluctuations in water level.

The floating pontoons have an aluminum structure supported by polyethylene floats, which the company said can withstand punctures, and are covered with Ecostyle™ decking from Poralu Marine, which using 100 percent recyclable polypropylene.

Poralu Marine said the platform is also designed to allow a large amount of sunlight to pass through, protecting aquatic life. It also said the design solution met specific technical and financial constraints with the green electricity project. Project constraints included installing the solar panel with high platform stability, low maintenance and longevity, to meet predetermined budgets.

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