November 2016   

Hello MRA Members and Associates,
It's hard to believe November is nearly over; the days are short and business is good.  And we must endure another balmy west coast winter as temperatures hover in the 60's! 
The US economy continues to improve overall (especially in the west) and recreational boating enjoys strong markets in both salt-water and fresh-water locations.  To top it off, one of the most unusual presidential elections in American history just concluded and providing endless things to talk about as we ponder our future.  Handily, Bill Krauss provides an interesting view of that future in this issue. 
The MRA hosted the 45th Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in La Jolla last month, and it was the best yet with a variety of interesting sessions and speakers.  It will be hard to beat in 2017, but we're already working on it! 
Finally, don't forget the 2nd Annual California Boating Congress (CBC) event slated for March 1.  Maritime organizations throughout the state will converge on Sacramento to advance California's recreational boating industry. 
So please enjoy this month's Newsletter,
Mark Sanders
2016 Election Results

This has been one of the most unusual elections ever, with both presidential candidates carrying extensive political and personal "baggage."  Despite all these challenges, Donald Trump won the election in spite of all the polls predicting that Hillary Clinton would prevail.  What was not predicted was the lower voter turnout by some groups, which benefited the Republicans who held onto majorities in both Congress and the U.S. Senate.  For the next four years, the Republicans are in total control at the national level.  This may be good news for some and bad for others, but the speeches by President Obama, President-Elect Trump, and Secretary Clinton reinforced our national commitment to a peaceful and respectful transition of power.  It remains to be seen if they can play nice after the shock has worn off!

At the more mundane state level, it was a totally different story.  California bucked the national trend and continued its march to the left.  Attorney General Kamala Harris easily defeated Loretta Sanchez for the California U.S. Senate Seat.  This victory means the Governor will be obliged to appoint a new state Attorney General.

In the State Assembly, the Democrat leadership needed to pick up two seats to secure a supermajority, and they won three.  The Democrats defeated Republican Incumbents Assemblyman David Hadley, (R-Manhattan Beach) who lost in a rematch against Al Muratsuchi; Assemblywoman Young Kim, (R-Fullerton) lost to Sharon Quirk-Silva and Assemblyman Eric Linder, (R-Corona), barely lost to Sabrina Cervantes.  

The Democrats had a fundraising advantage and increased their registration numbers, contributing millions to defeat other incumbent Republicans, but were not totally successful as Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, (R-Dublin) kept her seat as did Assemblyman Marc Steinorth, (R-Rancho Cucamonga). 

Two other open Republican seats, which were very close but stayed in Republican hands were the 35th Assembly District where Jordan Cunningham defeated Dawn Ortiz-Legg. In the 38th Assembly District Dante Acosta defeated Christy Smith.

In the Democrat vs. Democrat races, the moderate incumbent Assembly member Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino) lost to Eloise Reyes and incumbent Patty Lopez, (D-San Fernando) lost to Raul Bocanegra.

In the Senate, the Democrats needed to pick up one seat to regain the supermajority and at this point it looks like that will not be the case.  Two battleground races where the Democrats had an opportunity were in Senate District 21 where Republican Assemblyman Scott Wilk defeated Johnathon Ervin and Republican Assembly Member Ling Ling Chang holds a slight advantage over Josh Newman in Senate District 29 as of the writing of this article.

In Senate races involving Democrat vs. Democrat:  Assemblyman Bill Dodd, (D-Napa) won over Mariko Yamada; Senator Jim Beall, (D-San Jose) defeated Assembly member Nora Campos and Scott Weiner defeated Jane Kim in San Francisco. 

The Republicans had hoped to pick up a seat in Los Angeles County with Supervisor Michael Antonovich, but he lost to former Democrat Assemblyman Anthony Portantino in Senate District 25 and Democrat Henry Stern easily defeated Steve Fazio in Senate District 27.

There were 17 ballot initiatives on the ballot.  Below is the list, with those that passed in blue for easy reference.

Prop 51 - State Issue of $9 Billion School Construction Bonds
Prop 52 - Restricts Legislature Spending of Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program
Prop 53 - Requires Voter Approval of Revenue Bonds
Prop 54 - Establishes New Minimum Notice Standards for Legislative Process
Prop 55 - Maintains Upper Income Tax Brackets (Scheduled to expire)
Prop 56 - Increases Tobacco Tax by $2.00 a Pack
Prop 57 - Grants Parole Opportunities for Non Violent Offenders
Prop 58 - Repeals "English Only" Rule for Public Schools
Prop 59 - Encourages Repeal of Court Decision Relating to Political Contributions
Prop 60 - Requires Condom use in Adult Films
Prop 61 - Pharmaceutical Cost Price Controls
Prop 62 - Repeals the Death Penalty
Prop 63 - Places Restrictions on Ammunition Sales
Prop 64 - Legalizes Commercial Sales of Marijuana
Prop 65 - Requires a Plastic Bag Statewide Fee and Earmarks Funds
Prop 66 - Modifies Death Penalty Appeals Procedures
Prop 67 - Repeals Legislative Ban on Plastic Bags

The Marine Recreation Association is again sponsoring the 'California Boating Congress', where the marine industry and boating community come together at the State Capital to "chart the future of boating policy in California."

Last year's event was a resounding success, and organizers are expecting the 2017 'Congress' to grow substantially. Government agency and industry representatives will speak on critical boating issues in the morning, and lunch will be served at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 'L' Street. Opportunities to meet with California legislative representatives will be scheduled for attendees in the afternoon. Early registrants will get priority for scheduling with their State Legislators, so mark your calendar for March 1, 2017, and plan to register EARLY!

This important public event is the result of collaboration between the MRA and eight other boating related groups, including the Worldwide Boaters Safety Group, California Yacht Brokers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, Personal Watercraft Industry Association, California Sport Fishing League, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, and Sacramento Valley Marine Association.
"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.
Planning is still underway for the all-day event so watch your mail closely. Additional information will be posted soon online at

The 2016 Marine Recreation Association Educational Conference & Trade Show had the highest attendance in years, including a surprise visit by POTUS himself. President Obama unexpectedly swept into the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort on the eve of the Conference with an army of minions dressed in black, and then materialized the next morning on the 18th green just as the MRA Golf Tournament was teeing off.
POTUS finishing his round of golf . . .
Despite the initial distraction, the three-day MRA Conference and Trade Show provided the perfect opportunity for attendees to network and share experiences with a broad scope of industry information focused on the theme Navigating the Future.
More than two hundred and fifty industry professionals attended this year's conference, October 24th through the 26th, at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel. The three day conference included keynote presentations, seminars, and roundtable discussions covering more than twenty key marine management, operations, and marketing concerns, with an expanded trade show featuring fifty-three industry vendors representing a myriad of marine products, services, and expertise.
Opening Day Events
Early Conference events began on Monday the 24th with the 22nd Annual MRA Golf Tournament at the spectacular Torrey Pines South Golf Course. Although play was slightly impacted by President Obama's early morning round, ten foursomes of MRA players were able to tee off for a great day of golf.
Nielsen Beaumont shipyard tour . . .
The 4th Annual Marina & Boatyard Tour was also a resounding success as over thirty attendees started the tour at the recently renovated Bay Club Hotel & Marina docks. From there the group moved on to Shelter Island Marina, and then to Nielsen Beaumont Premier Yachtworks where Tom Nielsen guided them through the newly upgraded, state-of-the-art shipyard. The tour ended at Driscoll Boat Works where Chuck Driscoll showed off their recent renovations and improvements, and the redevelopment work nearing completion next door at the new Intrepid Landing Marina.
"Introduction to Basic Marina Operations"
More than thirty marine industry new-comers attended the two-session 'Introduction to Basic Marina Operations' seminar on Monday. Jeremy Grewal from Safe Harbor Marinas, and Tony Reese, Cabrillo Isle Marina Manager, led the morning session covering industry administrative and leasing policies and practices, and appropriate documentation for marina operations. Larry Halgren from Halgren & Associates took over the seminar after lunch and focused the presentation on safety, risk management, and best-industry maintenance policies and practices.

The Conference 'Welcome Reception' was held Monday night in the Trade Show exhibit hall, and capped-off the day's events with hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, and presentation of awards. Kevin Ketchum and Yvonne Cantrell presented the 2016 MRA Innovation Awards to Bellingham Marine and HydroHoist Boat Lifts. Rick Herbert handled awards for the golf tournament with the foursome of Gary Baker, Fernando Verdugo, and Mike and Chris Hyland coming in with the lowest (first place) score.
2016 MRA Innovation Awards . . .
The Main Event
The Conference and Trade Show resumed Tuesday morning with the 'President's Welcome' from MRA President Mark Sanders. Mark thanked Mariann Timms, MRA Operations Administrator, for all of her hard work and dedication throughout the year and setting up the Conference and Trade Show. President Sanders also presented the 'Darrell McConnell Award' to Philip Weiss, Maritime Law Attorney, in recognition of his years of dedication and service to the recreational boating and marine industry. Phil received the classic ship's wheel plaque and thanked the MRA Board and members for their confidence and recognition.
Philip Weiss and the Darrell McConnell Award . . .
Mark Sanders then introduced MRA's Legislative Advocate, Bill Krauss, The Apex Group, and Nicole Vasilaros, Vice President, Federal & Legal Affairs, NMMA. Mr. Krauss started with a brief 'Legislative Report' outlining the California Parks Forward program, and concerns that the Division of Boating & Waterways (DBW) and related boater funding might be merged into the State Parks Department.
Nicole Vasilaros, National Marine Manufacturers Association, discussed the combined economic value of the US and Canadian boating market, and cooperative legislative advocacy addressing similar boating concerns in the two countries.

The day's program then moved to Keynote Speaker, Gary Jobson, America's Cup and National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee, and two-time Emmy Award winning sailing sports commentator. Gary recounted some of his sailing adventures, trials, tribulations, and the magic he has always felt for the sport of sailing.
Gary Jobson signed copies of his new book
After a brief break, Randy Short, President, Almar Management Inc., introduced Sandy Purdon, past San Diego Port Commissioner and MRA President, who introduced the Mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulkner. Mr. Faulkner welcomed the Conference to San Diego and talked about the $10.6 billion impact of the marine industry on the City and surrounding communities of San Diego Bay.
Mark Sandoval, MRA Vice President, presented an overview of the 'State of the Marine Industry' for the last morning session, summarizing the key industry challenges and dynamics faced by ocean and inland marinas.
The afternoon sessions were divided into three one-hour periods offering three different topics in each period. Jim Hayes, Mark Sanders, and Paul Kaplan, led a discussion covering the status of California saltwater marinas and boatyards. A roundtable discussion was also led by Rick Herbert, Scott Robertson, and Mark Sandoval looking closely at the status of inland marina resorts. Attorneys Michael Vinding and Lynn Krieger reviewed the legal implications of peer-to-peer boat rental programs and emerging Air B&B marina operations. Other educational topics included attracting and keeping quality employees, dealing with potential violence in a marina environment, emerging trends in marina design and amenities, coastal engineering considerations, and the new market dynamics emerging from the Millennial generation.
Demonstration during the Wine & Craft Beer Tasting event...
Trade Show activity was also brisk with many exhibitors noting increased interest from marina operators. Tuesdays' activities culminated with a Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Reception in the Trade Show exhibit hall with entertainment provided by Steve Meckfessel, MRA Board Member, on guitar, accompanied by guitarist/ composer Peter Andrews.
Final Day Wrap-up
Wednesday started with an economic forecast for 2017 by Richard Slinn, Managing Director, JP Morgan Chase Bank, who predicted a moderate growth rate for small business influenced by static income growth, and lower unemployment and gas prices, with higher home prices and capital expenditures.
Dr. "Doom" provided the weather report . . .
Dr. Jeffrey Mount from the Public Policy Institute of California finished the morning with a presentation covering the drought and current water situation in California, and a look forward to the 2016-17 water-year.
The 45th Annual Marina Conference wrapped up in the afternoon with more break-out sessions, including a presentation on the challenges and opportunities for operators, marinas, and customers from the emerging "sharing economy" and "waterbnb" operations. Yvonne Cantrell discussed marketing strategies for marinas in today's economy, and also gave a presentation on new accounting practices for marina and boatyard facilities. Other topics included strategies for dealing with NGOs and the Clean Water Act, best safety practices for marine facilities, new OSHA and Safety Data Sheet regulations, legal issues handling wharfage fee collections, and marketing strategies to attract new customers.
Next year's 46th Annual MRA Educational Conference and Trade Show is already scheduled for October 23rd through the 25th at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa. Mark it on your calendars now and plan to attend this dynamic and important industry event.
For additional information about the Marine Recreation Association's Educational Conference and Trade Show, and other upcoming events and training in 2017, please contact Mariann Timms by phone at (209) 334-0661 or email at or go online at . 

Final Phase of Construction Underway at Alamitos Bay Marina

Ten years after the rebuild of Alamitos Bay Marina in Long Beach, California, went out to bid, General Contractor, Bellingham Marine, anticipates all work will be complete.

The final phase which includes the rebuild of basins 3, 6 and 7 is underway. Half of basin 3 has been rebuilt. Docks have been removed from the second half. Bellingham anticipates the new docks will start going in around the first of the year with completion of basin 3 scheduled for mid-year 2017. 

Concurrently, crews are working in basin 7. Removal of the existing docks is underway. The last basin to be rebuilt will be basin 6. Work is expected to start in basin 6 in the summer of 2017 and wrap-up that fall.

The final portion of Bellingham's work will include restoration of the upland property currently being used as a staging area. If all goes as planned, construction of Alamitos Bay Marina will be completed by before the end of 2017.

It's been a long road for all involved with the Alamitos project. The end is in sight.

In November 2007, bids were collected by the City of Long Beach for the rebuild of the City's marina - Alamitos Bay. The initial scope of the project included complete replacement of the marina's 1,967 slips, seawall improvements, upgraded utility services, parking lot improvements and five new restroom buildings complete with solar panels on several of them.

Upon completion, the City's new facility would have a price tag in excess of $90 million.

Bellingham Marine was selected in January of 2008 as the design/build, general contractor. Bellingham was hired to oversee the entire project along with team members Moffatt and Nichol and Manson Construction.

Hurdle after hurdle delayed the start of the project for over three years. Many wondered if the project would actually gain feet and play out as originally planned by the City.

In April of 2011, crews finally broke ground. A monumental day for all involved.
"A lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this project," shared Eric Noegel, Manager of Project Development for Bellingham Marine.

"The success of this project rests squarely on the shoulders of the City's extraordinary marina managers and an amazing team dedicated to seeing the City's vision through to completion. The entire scope of the project will have been completed by the end of next year with the exception of four of the originally planned restroom buildings and the solar panels - a tremendous accomplishment."

The marina's docks were in complete disrepair prior to the rebuild.  There were not a lot of options for the City other than a complete rebuild. It was all the maintenance staff could do to keep the docks accessible. Gangways were failing, fingers sinking, and the utility services marginal.

With only a year left till completion, the City and members of the rebuild team eagerly anticipate the completion of the new Alamitos Bay Marina with all its upgrades and state-of-the-art docks. "The dock systems and layouts selected for each basin affords the City with the most flexibility to meet the harbor's needs now as well as in the future," said Noegel. "That was one of the marina manager's primary goals."
The Boat Thieves Want to Steal
5 Tips to Stop Yours From Being Taken This Winter

Is your boat less than 26 feet? Does it have outboard motor power and rest on a trailer? If you said yes, beware - you're a big target for theft. A newly released study that looked at five years of BoatUS Marine Insurance claims files shows that 75 percent of all boats stolen matched this description. With the long winter lay-up period nearing, BoatUS has five tips to make your boat harder to steal.

1. Just one lock? Try another, and another. You simply can't have enough. The whole goal is to make someone else's boat more attractive than yours, so the more locks a thief sees - on the trailer tongue, outboard engine, or used with chain around the trailer wheels - the better the chance he'll move on.

2. Don't leave the key on a stored boat. Never assume your key's hiding place is so good that thieves won't find it. Remember, that's what these people do for a living.

3. Make the trailer impossible to move. A removable tongue hitch, or, better yet, removing the trailer tires if the boat's going into long-term storage turns your rig into 1-ton dead weight. The little things can help, too, such as not parking your boat in the driveway with the hitch facing the street. Consider using removable trailer lights - with most thieves working the night shift, they want to avoid attracting the attention an unlit trailer would cause.

4. Don't stick out. You may want to think twice about hanging a "for sale" sign on the side of your boat. Use a full winter cover to hide attention-getting, splashy graphics. Store all valuables, removable electronics and paperwork at home during the off-season.

5. Check out new anti-theft technologies. Devices that send alerts to your cell phone, take photos/video, provide tracking, or kill the motor if your boat moves from its virtual boundary can stop a theft in its tracks. Once a boat is gone, the BoatUS study finds that only one in 10 vessels are ever fully recovered.

To see a series of boat theft topics including the BoatUS Marine Insurance Theft Study, more on theft prevention, and a look at the newest boat theft-prevention systems, go to

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):
Celebrating 50 years in 2016, BoatUS is the nation's largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners' voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn't end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, TowBoatUS brings boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won't, day or night. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit

Scribble Launches New Website 

Scribble Software Inc (Scribble)., a leading provider of business management solutions for the marina industry, launched the redesign of its websites, and, to provide visitors with a more feature rich experience and a more in-depth knowledge source for their solutions and services. 

"We are excited about our new website and the comprehensive information it provides for customers, partners and media to better understand the solutions and services that we offer," said Vance Young, Director of Technology at Scribble.  "We feel that the new site will demonstrate our level of expertise in providing the most comprehensive marina management solutions available."

The new website uses the latest technology while presenting a clean uncluttered design with improved functionality and feature rich content focused on providing the Company's goal to provide comprehensive solutions for the marina industry.  The new website goes live today, November 15, 2016 and is located at the Internet address:  The new related MarinaOffice website can be found at the Internet address:
About Scribble Software Inc.
Scribble Software Inc. is an enterprise solution provider for the marina industry and is in Mechanicsville, Virginia.  Scribble Software offers the most comprehensive management solutions available for the industry by offering end-to-end management options for all profit centers of a marina.  Scribble Software has risen as a leader in providing management solutions for the marina industry with the focus on providing solutions for all types of operations from the smallest to the largest.  Scribble Software takes great pride in developing end-to-end enterprise level solutions backed by a support team second to none.

With Marine Recreation Association being the largest professional organization of marina, boatyard, hospitality, and other marine industry owners and operators located throughout the western United States with additional members in Canada, Mexico, and Australia, our mission is to provide a united voice in representing the interests of the boating industry, and to help educate and inform in all areas of recreational boating. MRA would like to welcome the following companies to our association:
California Marine Sanctuary Foundation
Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard
Lake Roosevelt Adventures
Nielsen Beaumont - Long Beach
Nielsen Beaumont - San Diego
OmegaFlex Inc.
RMS - The Hospitality Cloud
To all of our MRA Members and Future Members
The 45th Annual MRA Educational Conference and Trade Show was a huge success last month and with that said, we missed the opportunity to put together an e-newsletter for October. Now that it has passed, it's time to look forward to the rest of the holiday season and next year.
The 2nd Annual California Boating Congress has been set for March 1, 2017. If you didn't have a chance to attend last year, mark your calendars for this year's event! The planning is underway and we are looking at adding a networking cocktail reception the evening of February 28th for those who are local or are coming in the night before. The Save the Date postcards are going out today and the schedule and registration information will be up on the website and flyers in the mail later next month.
The first of 6 planned Regional Training seminars will take place in January on the 2017 Employment Laws. Information on the event will be on the website in the next couple of weeks as well as a flyer in the mail next month. We are always looking for ideas on regional training topics, newsletter articles and any other events that would be valuable to our members.
To our trade members, please send me your press releases on new products or services you might have. The Trade Member Highlight section is a free opportunity to advertise them! I am reaching out to all of you and asking you to send me a press release when you have a new product or service that you would like for us to highlight. There will be one each month and will be placed according to submission date. This is one more way for us to promote your support and dedication to the association. We would also like to be included in your list of press release recipients.
As the association continues to grow, we will be welcoming our new members who join in each issue. If you know any of the new members listed in this issue, please welcome them aboard!  
Many times the contact name for membership changes during the year and unless it is around renewal time, we may not be aware of the change. Please take a look at your profile and make sure to let us know if there are any changes in contact names, addresses, phone and fax numbers or email addresses so we can have the most up-to-date information for you. Also, if you do not have at least 1 logo and 1 photo (of your marina or product) please email them to Michaella so they can be uploaded. You can now also add a YouTube video if you have one.
Mariann Timms
Operations Administrator
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