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Boat Show attendances and industry breakfasts - MarineBusinessWorld North America newsletter

by Peter Rendle 7 Feb 12:00 PST
Discover Boating New York and Louisville Shows © National Marine Manufacturers Association

With interest in current boat show results growing ahead of the next boating season, the feedback has been positive to date.

In partnership with Progressive Insurance, the Discover Boating New York Boat Show and Discover Boating Louisville Boat, RV & Sportshow wrapped on January 28th, drawing steady crowds and intent boating and outdoors enthusiasts, with several exhibitors reporting quality traffic, new leads, and sales. The New York Boat Show attracted more than 27,000 attendees, and more than 23,000 cruised into Louisville to visit the annual sport show. Dave Schmitt with Buster's Marine and New York exhibitor said, "It's been a great boat show, beating our 2024 expectations."

Angelo Costanza with Blue Marlin Boats echoed this, saying, "We're really happy with the results from this year. It's been a wonderful show." Out of Louisville, Jason Timberlake with Still Lake Marine said, "As always, the show was an amazing experience... Saturday was crazy busy, with great sales! We've had a great show and definitely want more space next year." Steve Webb with Admirals Anchor Marine said, "Boat sales exceeded our expectations; it was a great show for us!"

And breakfast meetings continue to host important discussion forums. Last week, on the sidelines of the Toronto International Boat Show, NMMA Canada was pleased to gather industry leaders, experts and association members to share key insights and strategies to help shape the future of recreational boating in Canada. The sold-out event was a tremendous success, fostering discussions that will undoubtedly impact the recreational boating industry in the months and years to come.

Executive-Director of NMMA Canada, Marie-France MacKinnon, in her inaugural industry breakfast, reviewed industry and economic data from 2023 and provided insights into the post-pandemic era of the sector in Canada. Mackinnon also shared strategies for NMMA Canada's upcoming government relations initiatives - including issues like VORR, mandatory wear, right to repair, and reducing the industry's carbon footprint.

The Association of Marina Industries (AMI) Conference & Expo, scheduled for January 30th - February 1st, at the Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL, kicked off its last day with an Inaugural Women's Leadership Breakfast, sponsored by Sea Land Insurance. The breakfast is followed by keynote speaker, David Atkins, who presented "No Excuses - Breakthrough Fear and Adversity to Play a Bigger Game in Life", sponsored by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

The day began at 7:30am with the leadership breakfast, which then dovetailed into the keynote session at 9:00am. The Women's Leadership Breakfast, moderated by Gail Alofsin, president of Leadership at All Levels, hosted a panel of women leaders sharing life lessons and inspirational stories as they have advanced through their careers both within and outside of the marine industry.

The panel members (Katheryn Burchett, executive vice president of Western Operations, Safe Harbor Marinas; Michele Goldsmith, vice president and general manager of Soundings Trade Only; Kathryn Ross, regional director of Suntex Marinas; and Courtney Chalmers, vice president of marketing at Boats Group) responded to previously submitted audience questions and closed the session with open Q&A from the session attendees. The session was open to all attendees of the AMI Conference & Expo.

The NMMA and Boating Writers International (BWI) have announced the panel of judges set to evaluate product entries for the Miami Innovation Awards. As one of the industry's most prestigious honors, the Awards recognize manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products for the boating industry to market. The 2024 award recipients will be announced during the Industry Breakfast at the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show on Febuary 15th at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Sunset Ballroom.

The Industry Breakfast will feature a host of presentations focused on propelling the recreational boating industry forward. Show exhibitors, NMMA members and industry stakeholders can purchase tickets now. Space is limited and this event is expected to sell out. The Innovation Awards judges' committee is comprised of eight BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment.

Assistance when needed is vital to the industry and the Sea Tow organisation plays an important role. The Sea Tow Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to boating safety, is excited to unveil the session and speaker lineup for its inaugural Life Jacket Loaner Conference. Set to take place March 5th-7th. The virtual conference will feature a variety of engaging sessions focused on boating safety, networking and best practices for Life Jacket Loaner Stand hosts.

"This conference is a testament to our commitment to boating safety and community engagement. By bringing together experts, loaner station hosts and industry professionals, we aim to create a space for meaningful conversations," said Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. "The engaging and action-packed agenda reflects our dedication to ensuring Life Jacket Loaner programs thrive nationwide."

Likewise, when recreational boats break down on the water, need a battery jump, run out of fuel or run aground, the nation's largest fleet of on-water towing and assistance, TowBoatUS, responds 24/7 to get them home. Sometimes, however, matters aren't so routine and the captains that helm TowBoatUS response vessels choose to step in as good Samaritans to help save lives as well. At the annual gathering of the TowBoatUS fleet, company owners, captains and BoatUS staff honored nine captains from the U.S. and Canada who selflessly acted to provide emergency lifesaving assistance in 2023. Two Woody Pollak Awards for the highest honors in lifesaving and four Meritorious Service Awards were bestowed.

Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), the world's largest marine technology company, was recognized by Newsweek as one of America's Greatest Workplaces for Diversity. Brunswick earned a rating of four-and-a-half stars out of a possible five on the list of large size employers, acknowledged by their employees for genuinely respecting and valuing all individuals and perspectives.

"We are honored to be recognized as one of America's Greatest Workplaces for Diversity," said Jill Wrobel, Chief Human Resources Officer, Brunswick Corporation. "We believe that fostering a culture that values diverse perspectives drives innovation and enables us to be an employer of choice for top talent. Our global workforce of more than 17,000 employees are committed to living our values each day and creating an environment of inclusion and belonging - this recognition is a testament to these efforts."

Quick Group has already established itself as one of the world's leading players in the marine engineering sector, serving the top production and custom boatbuilders with an extensive portfolio of quality products and technologically advanced integrated solutions. Now the Group takes another fundamental step in developing and strengthening its presence in the U.S. market following its corporate value proposition, which is the desire to always support both the shipyard and the owner in every phase of the product's life.

Through Quick USA, it has announced the strategic acquisition of Yachting Marine Service (YMS), a Florida-based company with a deep-rooted presence in the territory, which will become a key service hub for the Group. Servicing the client, with a personalized and timely technical support in every phase of the product's life, have always been a key pillar of the corporate strategy and an essential element to develop complex and integrated solutions.

See more North American-based news from the largest boating news network updated daily.

Stay afloat!
Peter Rendle -

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