November 2017   
Dear MRA Members and Friends;

While I pinch-hit for past President Sanders's last year, this is my first official "From the Helm" as President.  As I am writing this article the day before Thanksgiving Day, I will start with a number of thank-you's.
First I want to thank Mark Sanders for his tenure as President.  As you likely know, this is a volunteer Board of Directors, and the Association seeks presidents who are willing to sit for a two-year term.  Mark did a great job, and smoothed the path for the next two years.
Next, I would like to thank Mariann Timms.  As we all know, Mariann is the glue that holds this all together.  Working with a volunteer Board is very trying at times, actually most times, and Mariann does a great job steering the course for us and coordinating all of the events and activities that make the MRA a great Association.  It could not happen without her.
I would also like to thank the Board.  We have bid adieu to a number of long-time Board Members last year, and we will miss their experience.  That said, I am extremely excited about the new members that have joined the Board, and look forward to their enthusiasm and fresh perspective, which can be nothing but positive for the Association.     
Finally, I would like to thank you, our Members.  You are the lifeblood of our Association, and our success is directly related to your involvement in the Association, your input regarding what you want from the Association, and your participation in Association activities such as the Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show.  Speaking of which, I believe we had a great conference in Monterey.  I will provide more details about the conference in the next newsletter, but I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and I hope you did as well if you attended.  As you are filling your 2018 calendars, make sure you include the dates for the 2018 conference, which will be October 22-24 in Santa Barbara.
Finally, I want to promote the up-coming California Boating Congress.  This will be the third CBC, and it is extremely important that our industry continue to participate in coordinated efforts such as this to ensure that our elected representatives recognize the value of our industry to the State and its economy.  The only way to accomplish this is to hit them with numbers - the more industry advocates we can get to Sacramento on February 27 and 28, the bigger voice we will have into the future. 
As always, may you have great navigating into the future and always embrace change.
The 2016 CBC set the bar, and last year's California Boating Congress proved the value of communication between boaters, the marine industry, and California state legislators and regulators . . . 

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 advocate for issues affecting this important part of our state's economy and culture, and "chart the future of boating policy in California."

"Based on the success of the last two California Boating Congress events, and the participation of three additional co-hosts for this year's event, we are expecting the 2018 CBC, and our voice at the Capital, to grow substantially," said Mariann Timms, MRA Operations Administrator.
This year's Congress will kick off Tuesday evening, February 27th, with a cocktail reception for attendees at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 L. Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, with the main event commencing Wednesday, February 28th at the Hyatt Regency at 8:30 AM.
A keynote speaker, and summary of legislative issues will be featured in the morning, followed by breakout sessions focused on specific key issues, and legislator meeting instructions. Lunch will be served at the Hyatt, and then attendees will proceed to the State Capital for meetings with individual legislative representatives throughout the afternoon. Opportunities to meet with state representatives will be scheduled by organizers, and early registrants will get priority for scheduling with their State Legislators, so mark your calendar for February 27 - 28, 2018, and plan to register EARLY!
This important public event is the result of collaboration between the MRA and eleven 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 Sportfishing League, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, Recreational Boaters of California, Bay Planning Coalition, Sacramento Valley Marine Association, and California Association of Harbor Masters & Port Captains.
The 2018 CBC will be a great opportunity for all 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.
Planning is still underway for the event so watch your mail closely. Additional information will be posted soon online at or contact Mariann Timms at 209-334-0061.

The 2017 MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show was welcomed to Monterey, California by an Indian summer, and a packed house of enthusiastic marine industry professionals. More than 229 marine industry owners, managers, vendors, and other insiders attended the event at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa, October 23 - 25.
The three day conference teed off on Monday with three events for attendees to choose from. The 23rd Annual MRA Golf Tournament played through record-setting heat in the mid-90s on the Del Monte Golf Course. Twenty-eight other industry professionals attended the educational "Introduction to Basic Marina Operations" seminar, designed to provide new marine operations owners and other staff with an overview of Best Management Practices to enhance marina and boatyard operations, safety, customer service, and fiscal results. And, a group of Conference attendees boarded a bus for an informative tour of the Santa Cruz Port District Marina and the Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard to learn about their unique operations and services.
Monday night's Welcome Reception was well attended with libations and hors d'oeuvres provided by sponsoring Trade Show exhibitors. The reception was held in the Trade Show pavilion where all attendees could mingle and browse the latest industry innovations and information.
Tuesday morning's continental breakfast in the Trade Show pavilion was followed by MRA President, Mark Sandoval's welcome and opening remarks to attendees.  President Sandoval also presented the 'Darrell McConnell Award', in recognition of dedication and service to the recreational boating and marine industry, to Paul 
Kaplan, Principal of KKMI Boatyard, who received the traditional ship's plague and thanked MRA members for their support. The MRA's '2017 Innovation Award' was also announced, and winners, Louis Pasoz / MTS Marina Trash Skimmer, and Cynthia Yniguez / Mussel Dogs Invasive Species, awarded their gleaming trophies.
Monterey Mayor, Clyde Roberson, followed up with a warm welcome to all attendees, and a brief review of the attractions and history surrounding the Monterey area.
Jim Hayes, Chief Operating Officer, Almar Management, Inc., led the MRA General Membership Meeting, announcing the election of new Board members, and the retirement of venerable Board members Kevin Ketchum, Rick Herbert, and Randy Short who have all served more than twenty years on the MRA Board.
Bill Krauss, MRA Legislative Advocate, The Apex Group, followed Jim with a review of California state legislation and issues facing the industry in the future. And Anna Townsend, Editor, Marina Dock Age Magazine presented results from the most recent MDA Marina Industry Survey demonstrating current business and demographic trends affecting the national and regional marina industry.
After a brief break for attendees to relax in the Trade Show exhibit hall, President Sandoval introduced the Conference keynote speaker, Gary Griggs, Distinguished Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz. Professor Griggs is an expert on coastal geology, shoreline processes, and the impact of rising sea level, and provided an eye-opening and informative presentation on the need for developing more science to address marine and coastal policy issues.
Robert Newsome, Vice President, NMMA closed out the morning with an overview of the State of the Marine Industry, and the continuing need for innovation embracing change as the industry and demographics evolve.
Tuesday afternoon's conference was broken into three hour-long sessions, each featuring three individual session topics for attendees to choose from. Session 1 offered a discussion of the Status of California Salt-Water Marinas & Boatyards; The Status of California Inland Marinas / Resorts; and Social Media - How to set it up, grow it, and manage it. Session 2 covered the topics of Finding and Attracting Quality Workers; Marine Industry Problems with Invasive Mussels; and Know Your Legal Rights & Remedies. The final sessions included topics covering ADA Compliance, Ground Fault Protection and Upcoming Regulatory Changes, and The Ever Changing Cyber Risks facing businesses today.
The MRA's Wine Tasting & Craft Beer Reception in the Trade Show exhibit hall capped off Tuesday's conference events. All 54 of the exhibiting Trade Show vendors provided top notch wine or craft beer selections at their booths for attendees to enjoy as entertainment was provided by the guitar duo of Steve Meckfessel and Peter Andrews. Fresh carved roast turkey, roast ham, and beef tenderloin were served with salad and other side dishes.
Wednesday morning kicked off with another breakfast in the Trade Show pavilion, followed by an Economic Forecast presentation by Andrew Micallef, Executive Director & Client Advisor, J.P. Morgan Private Bank.
Brian Garcia, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Bay Area provided some very interesting insight into advancements in marine weather forecasting techniques and the effects on weather safety, as well as a seasonal forecast for the upcoming winter and the potential impact of El Nino for California.
The Conference's final sessions were again broken into three 1-hour periods with Session 1 featuring topics covering the current consolidation of marinas in North America; threats of violence in a marina and how to address them; and innovative solutions for the marina industry to protect the environment. Session 2 topics included, Sportfishing: A Case Study of How Protecting Recreational Fishing Benefits Marinas; Transforming the Marina Experience: How to Capitalize on Customer Insights to Build Your Business; and Overcoming Adversity. The final two classroom seminars of the Conference provided insight into the Economic Impact of Vessel Taxation, and Clean Marina Preparation - an overview of opportunities available to help marinas move toward cleaner practices and marine conservation efforts.
The 46th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show was another important and informative marine industry event put together by a dedicated group of industry owners, managers, vendors, and MRA staff. . . . Coming next is the 3rd Annual California Boating Congress - Now is the time to begin thinking about your boating and marine industry legislative / regulatory concerns, and put February 27 - 28, 2018 on your calendar to attend the CBC in Sacramento.

The Marine Recreation Association 
is releasing a 
"Call for Presentations" for the 
MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show 
to be held 
October 22 - 24, 2018, at 
The Fess Parker A Doubletree by Hilton Resort.

The MRA's annual conference is the perfect opportunity for marine industry professionals to share their expertise and experience with hundreds of marine business operators, developers, owners, and other industry insiders from across the western U.S. and elsewhere.
Presenters interested in participating in the 2018 Conference are encouraged to submit proposals for consideration by the MRA Board of Directors. Typical presentations should fit a 50 minute timeframe focused on marina and boatyard industry marketing, management, development, regulation, new technology, and other topics of interest, in a multi-media and/or roundtable format.
As in the past, this important industry gathering will be focused on enhancing guest services and customer satisfaction, improving marine operations and regulatory compliance, and optimizing fiscal results and business growth. The three-day conference will include seminars and roundtable discussions covering key marine industry management, operations, and marketing concerns, and an extensive marine Trade Show featuring industry vendors and contractors exhibiting a broad range of products and services.
"Participating speakers will have an opportunity to present themselves, and their company, in a position of industry leadership, by sharing expertise and knowledge to help raise awareness and understanding on many industry topics for a diverse group of industry attendees," said Mariann Timms, MRA Operations Administrator. "The MRA continually seeks seminar courses that bring unbiased and new information about emerging issues and ideas impacting the industry to our members, and our Conference and Regional Training Programs are ways we accomplish that objective."
Presentation proposals for the 2018 Conference must be submitted no later than Friday, January 12, 2018, via email to Proposals must include title of the presentation, a brief overview of the subject matter and presentation format, and name and short bio of the presenter.
The MRA will review submitted proposals at the Board of Directors Annual Planning Meeting, and will notify presenters of their status no later than Friday, February 23, 2018. 
The Marine Recreation Association is a professional organization that represents marina owners, operators and industry professionals located throughout the western United States with additional members in Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Created more than 45 years ago, the MRA actively promotes and represents recreational boating interests while providing educational management and operations seminars and information for marine industry owners, operators, and staff.

California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting applications for the California Boater Card. The card verifies that its holder has successfully taken and passed an approved boater safety education course. Once issued, the California Boater Card remains valid for an operator's lifetime.
On Sept. 18, 2014, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed into law Senate Bill 941, which prohibits the operation of motorized vessels in California without a valid boater card developed and issued by DBW. The new mandatory boating safety education law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The law will be phased in by age. The first group required to take the exam are boaters 20 years of age and younger. Each year after January 2018, a new age group will be added to those who are required to possess a valid card. By 2025, all persons who operate a motorized vessel on California waters will be required to have one. The cost of the lifetime card is $10, and all the money goes toward developing and operating the program. By law, DBW cannot profit from the program.
"California and U.S. Coast Guard accident data show that states with some form of boating safety education have fewer accidents and fatalities than states without any boater education requirements," said DBW Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. "This new law will help make boating safer for all families on California's waterways."
California is one of the last states to implement some sort of mandatory boating education requirement. Repeatedly, recreational boating accident data shows that many operators involved in accidents have not taken a boating safety course. For example, last year's statistics showed that more than 800 California recreational vessels were involved in reported accidents, resulting in 50 deaths. Only one of the boat operators involved in the fatal accidents had taken an approved boating safety course.
Applying for the California Boater Card is easy. Boaters have an option to apply before or after taking an approved boating safety course. You can find the list of options at  A toll-free telephone support line is also available at (844) 421-8333.
There is good news for boaters who have already taken an approved course between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2017 - Persons who have passed an approved examination during this timeframe will have until Dec. 31, 2018 to apply for their California Boater Card to receive the "grandfathering" exemption regardless of their age. Older courses will not be accepted since they may not include recent state or national changes to navigation law.
Boating safety course providers must be approved not only by the state of California, but by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Courses may be classroom, home study or online. 
It is important to note there are exemptions to the new law. For example, those operating a rental vessel or possess a current commercial fishing license do not need to obtain a California Boater Card. For more information on the new mandatory boating safety education law, including a current list of approved California boating courses and exemptions to the law, please visit
More Than 40 Million Kidde Fire Extinguishers Recalled

More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers equipped with plastic handles, some on the market for more than 40 years, have been recalled. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), "The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard." The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean water is urging recreational boat owners to check their boats for the recalled extinguishers and get a free metal-handled replacement by going to the CPSC recall website.

The recall affects both plastic-handle and push-button Pindicator Kidde fire extinguishers, including 134, ABC- or BC-rated models manufactured between January 1, 1973, and August 15, 2017. The extinguishers are red, white or silver and were sold in the US and Canada through a wide range of retailers from Montgomery Ward to Amazon. The CPSC recall website shows how to easily identify the affected extinguishers.

In the recall, Kidde also acknowledged the free replacement push-button extinguisher being sent to personal watercraft owners is similar in size to the recalled model but may not fit in the same location as the old fire extinguisher. "This may require a slightly different mounting orientation or location," said BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner."

CPSC says there have been approximately 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, including one fatality; approximately 16 injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor burns; and approximately 91 reports of property damage.

Kidde may also be contacted toll-free at 855-271-0773 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday. The company offers additional recall information online at by selecting "Product Safety Recall."

About the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by donations from the more than half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of boating safety courses - including 36 free state courses - can be found at

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:
Pine Mountain Lake Association

To all of our MRA Members and Future Members
Planning for the 47th Annual MRA Educational Conference and Trade Show that will be held at The Fess Parker A Doubletree by Hilton Resort in Santa Barbara, CA on October 22 - 24, 2018 has already started. A survey was emailed via Constant Contact in early November with very little response. In late November I sent personal emails to each attendee and exhibitor. If you did not respond, please take time to do so as this information is used to build next year's event. This is your conference and trade show and we want to make sure that each year exceeds the last year.
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 so they can be uploaded. You can now also add a YouTube video if you have one.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Mariann Timms
Operations Administrator
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