The 2013 American Boating Congress, which wrapped up May 9 in Washington, D.C., was a success for the recreational boating industry, according to a press release from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
The organization reported a 25% increase in attendance (from 160 to 200) and a 138% increase in co-hosts (from 13 to 31). Participants came from a cross-section of the industry, which organizers say is essential to the success of the event.
“I look at the boating industry as an ecosystem,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich said. “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.”
The increase in participants resulted in more than 250 meetings with members of Congress, up 34% from last year’s 187, each presenting a unified voice on broad industry concerns such as ethanol, dredging and access, as well as presenting participants’ own issues to their representatives.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is releasing updated economic impact data for the recreational boating industry during this week’s American Boating Congress in Washington, D.C. Soundings Trade Only reported that the update reflects 2012 data across the United States and has been formatted as an info-graphic, reflecting data in a visual way.
As the ABC starts and members of the recreational boating community prepare to meet with their representatives on Capitol Hill, the NMMA said the updated information arms industry advocates with some of the most compelling data to date regarding the importance of boating.
In 2013, the NMMA’s Center of Knowledge contracted with the Recreational Marine Research Center at Michigan State University to update the 2008 Economic Value of Recreational Boating at the State and Congressional District Level. Each state and district data sheet includes the “total annual economic value of recreational boating,” the number of recreational boating industry businesses, total jobs and annual recreational boating-related spending.
Notable U.S. economic impact facts include:
• The recreational boating industry has a total economic impact of $121.5 billion in the United States annually.
• There are nearly 35,000 recreational boating-related businesses across the country, providing more than 338,000 jobs.
• Each year, Americans spend $51 billion related to the more than 12 million registered recreational boats in the country.
The full report, including U.S. data, as well as state and congressional district information, is available online for download.
There were 1,400 stories about boating and the boating lifestyle in media outlets last year prompted by the efforts of Discover Boating, the group said after its 2012 tally of press coverage.
Soundings Trade Only reported that the coverage provided an estimated 110 million media impressions, the group announced.
Just three weeks into 2013, the public relations team of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) — the group that manages the national Discover Boating campaign — had secured 381 positive news stories about the marine industry, the lifestyle and shows.
“Public relations has been a significant element of Discover Boating and NMMA marketing efforts because it allows us to tell the boating story through a variety of media and communicate directly with the public in a meaningful way,” NMMA vice president of marketing Ellen Hopkins told Soundings Trade Only in an e-mail.
Discover Boating had success pitching a variety of topics, from “Top 10 Boating Destinations” to “How to Get Started,” Hopkins said.
“One of the areas discussed at length during the Growth Summit was the need to improve the sharing of information, resources and successes across the broader industry,” Hopkins told Trade Only in an email.
“With Discover Boating and NMMA public relations specifically, there’s a lot of great work being done behind the scenes that sometimes only a board of directors knows about.”
The state of the marine industry is looking up, with sales of boats and engines expected to be up 10% this year and another 10% in 2013, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) president Thom Dammrich said at the industry breakfast that marked the opening of the 22nd Annual International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference.
“There’s a new spirit in the marketplace,” Dammrich told about 200 people at the Oct. 2-4 event in Louisville, Ky. “If you look at the data, there is a reason there’s a new spirit — because things are turning up, slowly turning up, slowing improving and that creates a more positive spirit.”
Soundings Trade Only reported that in 2011, sales of outboard engines and boats rose to $6.8 billion, Dammrich said. “People are still buying boats — and even through the recession people were still buying boats,” he said. “People still have a very strong desire to get out on the water.”
Boating participation has been up in five of the last six years, and 82 million adult Americans went boating in 2011, Dammrich said. He cited a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey that showed fishing participation was up 11% during the last five years.
National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President Thom Dammrich has been appointed to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee (ITAC) on Consumer Goods.
BoatingIndustry.com reported that the ITAC is a part of the International Trade Administration; a government agency devoted to strengthening U.S, industries through trade, investments and support for the National Export Initiative. Dammrich will represent the recreational boating industry as part of a committee dedicated to promoting U.S. trade and exports.
The committee itself provides nonpartisan industry input toward positions on trade agreements. It supports the administration through detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations regarding trade barriers, negotiation of trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting industry sectors.
The ITAC will meet about six times a year in Washington, DC. The members, all of whom come from the private sector, serve in a representative capacity presenting the views and interests of a US entity in their respective industry sectors.
As exports continue to gain importance within the recreational marine industry, NMMA recently launched a new Export Development program to respond to the growing needs of its members to explore opportunities in international markets. What’s more, NMMA has entered into a partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) to create a formalized program that allows NMMA members improved access to international trade resources offered by the U.S. Federal Government.
Of his appointment, Thom Dammrich says, “I am honored to have been chosen to participate in this advisory body. Exports are an important part of the U.S. recreational boating industry and continue to help grow our members’ businesses during the economic recovery and bring American-made boats and marine products to boaters around the globe.”
Boat inventory is leaving showroom floors twice as fast today as it did a couple of years ago.
Sounding Trades Only reported that Bruce Van Wagoner, president of GE Capital’s commercial marine lending group, delivered that message during an address on the state of the marine industry via podcast last week with National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) president Thom Dammrich.
“That’s a very promising indicator,” Matt Gruhn, president of the Marine Retailers Association of America, told Soundings Trade Only. “We’ve traditionally been known as a two-turn industry, but I think it’s really a little less than two turns, so for us to be up and over that, it means we’re managing our inventory better.”
Inventory more than a year old is at a historic low of 13%, compared with 47% at the recession’s peak, Van Wagoner said in the podcast.
The decision to buy a boat can still be impulsive if consumers see what they want, Dammrich pointed out. That’s why “dealers really need to make sure they have adequate inventory levels,” Van Wagoner said.
“The dealer’s risking losing a sale to a spontaneous buyer if what that person’s looking for is not in stock or if they don’t see a range of choices,” Van Wagoner said. Inventory is one-third less than it was at its peak, he said.
To read the entire article click here.
National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President Thom Dammrich is asking members to raise $125,000 this year to get as much representation on Capitol Hill as possible through the political action committee.
“As you know, the boating industry faces significant legislative challenges that could negatively impact the boating industry — and your bottom line,” Dammrich said in a letter. “Recreational boating must support candidates who share our goals and are sympathetic to our positions. A strong BoatPAC is vital if we are to protect our industry against harmful legislation.”
Soundings Trade Only reported that the BoatPAC has already raised $59,000, Dammrich said in the letter.
Recreational boating had direct industry sales last year of more than $32 billion and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, Dammrich said.
“It is time to stop imagining and start executing,” Dammrich said. “Political visibility will be crucial in this upcoming election cycle. We ask you to join our campaign to grow the industry’s political strength in Washington, D.C., by supporting the National Marine Manufacturers Association BoatPAC.”
A variety of issues confront the industry today, including potential punitive tax measures on boating, the introduction of E15, an activist regulatory agenda, trade barriers in expanding markets, intellectual property protection and enforcement, small vessel security initiatives, punitive measures against wood importers and greenhouse gas regulations, Dammrich wrote.
The general membership of the Southern California Marine Association (SMCA) approved a merger of the regional trade group and boat show producer with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
According to The Log newspaper, Irvine, Calif., the move comes after months of discussions between the two organizations. The California group will cease to be a corporation, leaving its five California-based consumer boat shows in the hands of the Chicago-based NMMA.
The SCMA’s board met Tuesday to tally the membership’s vote. Ninety-three percent of members approved the merger.
J.R. Means, an SCMA board member and a Southern California yacht broker, told The Log that SCMA director Dave Geoffrey brought the merger idea to the board in January. Discussions followed with NMMA president Thom Dammrich and other representatives after the SCMA’s Los Angeles Boat Show. The final decision was left to SCMA members.
“The membership believes that with the strength of NMMA they will have a stronger organization — with more consumers coming to boat shows, more strength at boat shows and more money spent on growing boating in general,” Means said.
The hope is that by merging SCMA into a national organization, the group’s local boat shows and regional lobbying efforts will be boosted by the additional power and presence of NMMA, including additional event-producing expertise, more resources for local government lobbying and participation in nationwide boater promotions.
The future of the SCMA’s five boat shows remains in question. The group will decide which shows are viable. Marinafest in Marina del Rey, the Orange County Boat Festival in Newport Beach, the San Diego Yacht and Boat Show on Harbor Island and the Los Angeles Boat Show will continue as planned this year, Means said.
“The flagship, or crown jewel, is still the Los Angeles show,” Means said. “The NMMA is interested in making that back into the huge production that drew 40,000 to 50,000 people a year. That’s what they’re going to spend a lot of effort and energy on: creating a ‘Miami-esque’ show in Los Angeles again.”
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today (May 17) announced that in 2011 U.S. retail sales for recreational boats, accessories and marine services increased 6% to $32.3 billion, new power and sail boat retail sales increased 0.8% to 214,405, and boating participation increased 10% to 83 million.
The recreational boating industry has not seen an increase in retail sales since 2006, and the jump in participation is the largest proportion of adults (34.8%) who went boating since 1997, when 35.8% participated.
Released today, the NMMA’s annual Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is the U.S. recreational boating industry’s most comprehensive compilation of statistics and research. The new data signals the beginning of a recovery for the U.S. recreational boating industry.
“Pent-up demand for boats following years of diminished willingness to spend by consumers, improved credit availability for buyers and boating businesses, positive shifts in consumer confidence and an overall interest in the benefits of the boating lifestyle are steering the industry toward recovery,” notes Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Americans’ passion for enjoying the boating lifestyle is taking precedent as they put aside concerns about the economy in favor of creating lifelong memories with loved ones.”
Anticipating what 2012 will bring the NMMA Abstract points toward continued slow growth: A survey, in conjunction with Foresight Research, of 3,100 boaters and non-boaters from December 2011 shows an estimated 15.2% of the 237.7 million adults living in the U.S. are actively engaged in shopping/planning to purchase a boat in 2012. This is an increase from 10% in 2010.
• Boating has an estimated annual economic impact of $72 billion.
• Eighty-three million Americans participated in boating in 2011, an increase of ten percent from 2010 (75 million) and the largest proportion of adults (34.8%) who went boating since 1997 (35.8%).
• Retail sales of boats, accessories and marine services increased six percent to $32.3 billion in 2011.
• Power and sail boat unit sales increased 0.8% to 214,405 in 2011 from 212,645 the previous year.
• An estimated 83% of boats sold in the U.S. in 2011 were made in the U.S.
• 83% of boat owners in the U.S. in 2011 had an annual household income less than $100,000.
Total attendance for the Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show increased 7% despite slower days Thursday and Friday because of bad weather, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reported.
The NMMA said 35,402 people attended the event, which ran Jan. 12-16 at McCormick Place. The show switched its date pattern this year, moving from Wednesday-Sunday to Thursday-Monday to take advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday.
More than 500 boats were on display and more than 100 RVs were for sale. The NMMA said it is receiving reports from exhibitors that dozens of boats were sold at the show and heard good reports on the RV side as well.
“[We] talked to many people from not only all surrounding states, but as far away as Iowa. The buyer is back,” Duane Krueger, of Premier Pontoons, told the NMMA.
“We are excited to see the turnout that the Chicago Boat Show brought, and boat buyers are definitely shopping again,” added Betsy Arvai, of Skipper Buds. “Looking forward to the potential opportunities in the marketplace in 2012. We had a great selling show.”
The next shows up for the NMMA are the Progressive Insurance Baltimore Boat Show, the Progressive Insurance Kansas City Boat & Sportshow and the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show, all of which start Thursday and run through Sunday.