September 2017   


Sailors have always been a superstitious lot with many beliefs and Myths, some well known and others not so much.  For example, today's fashion for tattoos is not really new and in the days of windjammers it was common to tattoo a rooster and a pig onto sailors' feet.  They believed these animals would prevent the sailors from drowning by showing them the way to shore. 

Another unusual superstition was egg shells.  Egg shells had to be broken into tiny pieces after an egg was cracked open, to stop witches coming aboard the ship to sail in the pieces of shell.   As a young sailor myself , I remember breakfast at sea aboard a Navy ship meant ancient boxes of powdered egg, mixed up into a mash they insisted was an omelet.  Of course the crew grumbled, so the clever mess cooks broke up a few fresh eggs, making sure the shells went into the mix.  Sailors believed the eggs must be fresh and the grumbling stopped.  Perception is reality!

This will be my last "From the Helm" before our 2017 Educational Conference and Trade Show next month.  The MRA is thriving and has much yet to do, and I have a perception of the future for our organization.  The MRA conference is most of all a learning experience, and after all these years I still learn new things.  It's an ever-changing industry and I am always glad I attended, reacquainted with friends in the business, and seeing how they solved the very problem I have been wrestling with. New tricks and techniques from the trade members are a boon, and of course Monterey is a mini-vacation too-never failing to find time to enjoy this wonderful resort.  That is my perception and I hope yours too!

I hope you enjoy this month's newsletter, and I look forward to seeing you in Monterey!

Best regards,
Mark Sanders

Exhibitor Highlights

This years 46th Annual MRA Educational Conference features an extensive marine Trade Show and will feature leading industry vendors and contractors exhibiting a broad range of the latest technology, products, and services. It's the perfect opportunity for marine industry professionals to meet and share effective strategies and experiences dealing with an ever-evolving business environment
Below is a list of our Exhibitors this year:  


Given the fact that California fishing license sales has been experiencing a precipice decline in sales for decades, one would think that there would be calls from our political leadership in Sacramento to reform California's failing and costly fishing license system. But sadly, no.
According to a  2015 California Sportfishing League study, since 1980 annual
fishing license sales decreased over 56% in California, while the state's population increased over 60% during the same time-period. In addition, California has one of the costliest annual license in Nation, not including permits. And despite having one of the nation's longest coastlines and thousands of rivers and lakes, the U.S. Census reports that only 4.3% of California adults fish, which ranks dead last per capita among all 50 states.
This reality presents real and costly consequences for the sportfishing industry, and communities dependent on recreational fishing for economic activity, tourism and jobs - and for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW). The DFW's Fish and Game Preservation Fund 20 million deficit in 2017, and unless license sales increase, the fund is expected to experience financial problems for years to come.
Consequently, declining revenue has impacted the quantity and quality of fish stocked by DFW. From 
2012-16 (five years),
the number of fish stocked declined 39% and the number of pounds decreased 50%.  And this problem is compounded by the fact that this year DFW raided fishing license funds that would have benefited fisheries to fund unrelated programs.
Since the State of California has offered no meaning solutions, the California Sportfishing League sponsored Senate Bill 187 authored by Senator Tom Berrybill. The legislation aimed to increase fishing participation rates, license sales and state revenue by making annual fishing license sales valid for a full 12-months from the date of purchase. It would have the state abandoned an antiquated licensing system whereby annual fishing licenses expire on December 31st of every year, regardless of when they are purchased. Under the current system, the reality is that fewer and fewer anglers purchase annual license as January passes and December nears. After all, who sees the value of paying full price for an "annual" license that offers anything less than 12-months of fishing?
It is because recreational fishing contributes over $4.6 billion to California's economy each year that nearly every statewide organization representing marina operators, small business, labor, travel, hospitality, local government and outdoor recreation supported SB 187. The bill had no recorded opposition. In fact, the bill passed the State Senate unanimously before suffering defeat in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, chaired by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher of San Diego.

Sadly, a bill supported by all, and opposed by none, is now dead. We are at a loss to explain why. However, we do know this for certain - the state's fishery program is bleeding millions of dollars a year due to declining fishing license sales. This is not going to change anytime soon until California's failing fishing license system is reformed. This is why the CSL has no intention of giving up.

We would like to thank the Marine Recreation Association for their support and for their recognition that California anglers and marina operators have a vested interested in growing recreational fishing participation rates and outdoor tourism. I am confident that working together reforms will come in 2018.
Marko Mlikotin is the executive director of the California Sportfishing League, a coalition of anglers and businesses committed to making recreational fishing more affordable and accessible. For more information,
Creative Pultrusions, Inc. Acquires Tower Tech 

Creative Pultrusions, Inc. (CPI) is pleased to announce its successful acquisition of Tower Tech (TT) on August 15th, 2017. TT will be a division under CPI, a subsidiary of Hill & Smith Holdings PLC.

TT, a cooling tower manufacturer, was founded in 1985. Since then it has grown in to an established mid-sized manufacturer that offers innovative cooling towers that are easy to install, provide ultra-low operating costs, exhibit excellent maintenance and safety characteristics, have unmatched redundancy, and maintain a long service life. To date, TT has sold more than 2,500 factory assembled modular cooling towers.
CPI has manufactured custom fiberglass reinforced polymer (FRP) cooling tower profiles for TT for twenty years. The acquisition will position CPI and TT to increase market share and revenue.
Mathu Solo, Vice-President of Operations & Administration of TT, commented, "As a valued supplier for many years, CPI has provided the highest quality components that have helped make our product the premier cooling tower in the industry. Now as the new owner of TT, I am excited for the opportunity to expand our business through new product development. Our commitment to improvement and efficiency will provide increased success and value for our customers. We are excited to be a part of the Hill and Smith Holdings family of companies with the strength of resources they provide."
Shane E. Weyant, CEO/President of CPI, commented, "We are excited to announce this acquisition and look forward to incorporating the Tower Tech product line offerings into our composite product family. TT products and manufacturing are a perfect fit for CPI's strategic focus and growth moving forward with our global composite group. We commend TT and their employees for their success in developing TT products over the years, and we welcome the entire TT team to our group. We are thankful that they chose CPI to expand the reputation they have developed over the years. CPI looks forward to the opportunity TT has brought forth as we pursue our vision to take composite engineered systems and solutions to the end market."
Established in 1973, Creative Pultrusions is located in Alum Bank, Pennsylvania, and is a subsidiary of Hill & Smith Holdings PLC, an international group with leading positions in the design, manufacture, and supply of infrastructure products and galvanizing services to global markets. It serves its customers from facilities principally in Australia, France, India, Norway, Sweden, UK and the USA. Headquartered in the UK and quoted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: HILS.L), Hill & Smith Holdings PLC employs some 4,150 staff, principally in 7 countries.

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:
 Esprit Marina
HCI Docks
Lakeport Boat Rentals, Inc.

To all of our MRA Members and Future Members
To all of our MRA Members and Future Members
The 46th Annual MRA Educational Conference and Trade Show will be held October 23 - 25, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa. This year's theme is Embracing Change. With 6 general sessions and 17 breakout sessions, you will surely find many informative educational opportunities. Information is available at
The 3rd Annual California Boating Congress will be held on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. There will be a welcome reception the evening of February 27, 2018. More details will available in the coming months.
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 Jeannie 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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