Discover Boating touts campaign successes Manufacturer website referrals from Discover Boating sites have increased 285 percent this year, to 621,033 — a leap the campaign is attributing to search marketing efforts for the Boat Selector Tool and Boat Brands pages. According to new numbers issued by the campaign, Discover Boating’s 2013 “Welcome to the Water” advertising campaign has delivered 500 million impressions and has sent 621,033 customers to boat manufacturer websites this year. On Facebook, more than 60 million impressions have been created and fans exceed 642,000, positioning Discover Boating as one of the largest outdoor recreation pages worldwide. Public relations efforts have netted 95 million media impressions and more than 2,000 news stories, including a recent Fox Business story calling boating “a made-in-America success story.” The inaugural “Welcome to the Water” coupon book was launched with 23 participating manufacturers and more than $1,000 in value for the consumer. More than 100,000 coupon books will be distributed via Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day, in which more than 260 marinas participated, the Beginner’s Guide to Boating, and at yacht clubs and NMMA boat shows. The home page redesign gives the boat selector tool more prominence and allows visitors to scroll through specific activities; drop-down lists show the types of boats that are appropriate for each activity. Search marketing efforts increased Web traffic to Discover Boating.com by 18.5 percent to 1.1 million, and page views have risen nearly 23.5 percent to 2.6 million. MRAA takes over dealer certification The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas has assumed the management, administration and promotional responsibilities for Grow Boating’s Marine Five Star Dealership Certification Program. “Our mission here at MRAA is to create stronger, healthier dealers and by bringing certification in-house we now have a very direct opportunity to make that happen,” says MRAA president Matt Gruhn. The MRAA will work closely with Five Star Solutions, the third-party group that helped create and implements the program. “This focus on quality and continuous improvement provides certified dealerships the tools to identify their shortcomings and to fix them,” Five Stars Solutions president and CEO Bob Williams said in a statement. The dealer certification program has served as one of several pillars of the boating industry’s Grow Boating effort. Supreme Court denies E15 challenge The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority by allowing fuel with 15 percent ethanol (E15) into the overall supply despite prohibiting its use in marine and other engines. With no options left on that front, several groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association, will revisit a case aimed at protecting consumers from unwittingly filling tanks with E15 because the fuel has been shown to be harmful to many engines. “The overall challenge to the EPA’s authority has been denied, simply based on a procedural issue,” says Nicole Vasilaros, director of regulatory and legal affairs for the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The lower court decided we were not the right parties to bring the case,” and the Supreme Court declined to reverse that decision. The NMMA is part of a coalition of fuel, manufacturing and food interests that have been fighting E15. Now the coalition will shift gears, says Vasilaros, and revisit a court case alleging that the EPA has not done enough to prevent “misfueling,” or having E15 mistakenly land somewhere, such as in a boat, where it will harm the engine. MarineMax increases its financing capacity MarineMax says it is expanding its primary financing facility to provide for borrowing as much as $205 million — up from the previous limit of $150 million. “We believe the marine industry is in a long-term cycle of growth,” executive vice president and CFO Michael McLamb said in a statement. The extended borrowing capacity will enable MarineMax “to more easily capitalize on growth opportunities as they emerge,” he said. The company added two lenders — M&T Bank and Bank of the West — with an amendment filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amendment modified the inventory financing agreement that MarineMax entered in 2010 with GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance Co., according to the SEC documents. The amendment, among other things, modified the amount of borrowing availability, the interest rate and the maturity date of the credit facility. The expanded facility has a three-year term, expiring in 2016, and it has two oneyear options to renew, subject to lender approval. Hann to supply boats for military to bomb Hann Powerboats has received a five-year $4.5 million contract to make powerboats for the Air Force, primarily for target practice. The Florida-based recreational boatbuilder is also building boats for the Navy, according to the Bradenton (Fla.) Herald. When it comes to ordering a boat to bomb, not any boat will do. Hann’s boats are made to be stable while being towed at 35 knots, Hann vice president Kevin McLaughlin told the newspaper. Most boats have to be self-propelled to remain stable at that speed. McLaughlin said the company’s quick production time makes it an attractive choice for military products, claiming it recently delivered 30 boats to the Air Force and “built those 30 boats in 50 days.” BoatUS founder decides to step down BoatUS chairman and founder Richard Schwartz has retired after a 47-year run as the leader of the half-millionmember boating association. Schwartz, whose retirement was effective July 1, passed the torch to BoatUS president Margaret Bonds Podlich and other key leadership staff, although he will remain chairman of the BoatUS board and chairman of the BoatUS National Advisory Council. The impetus for the creation of the recreational boating organization came in the early 1960s when Schwartz was invited aboard a friend’s boat. Soon after they left the dock, the vessel’s owner was given a ticket for improper engine compartment ventilation. Schwartz saw that as unfair because the owner had no responsibility for the construction of the boat. A Princeton and Yale Law School graduate and an antitrust lawyer at the time, Schwartz asked his boating friends whether anyone was fighting for their interests and the answer was no. BoatUS was born thereafter with a mission of “service, savings and representation.” A few years later, Schwartz’s Capitol Hill testimony resulted in the watershed Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, which gave the Coast Guard the power to hold manufacturers accountable for certain safety standards and led to the creation of the Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety. Schwartz’s efforts helped secure passage of the Recreational Boating Safety and Facilities Improvement Act of 1979, which affirmed that taxes and fees paid by boaters should support boating programs. In 1984, he was credited with leading the passage of the federal Wallop/ Breaux Trust Fund Amendment, today part of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, which now returns more than $650 million annually to federal and state boating and fishing programs. He was a vocal opponent of user fees and the highly unpopular luxury tax in 1992 and the diesel fuel tax in 1997, both of which were repealed.
Published by Cruz Bay / Soundings Magazine. View All Articles.
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