June 2019   

Dear MRA Members and Friends;

Happy Birthday America!! I thought I would be writing about the sunny and warm southern California coast this month, but it has yet to show its face. The 4th of July is next week, and I am confident we will see sunny days before then.
The 4th of July has always provided a wonderful experience on the waterfront. In my opinion, there is no more patriotic industry than the marine industry. There is an abundance of retired and active military who choose to live life on the waterfront, and enjoy the pleasures of boat ownership and on-water recreation. It is always heart warming to see the boats and waterfront decorated in red, white and blue, and get out on the 4th and enjoy all of the waterfront activities. While the yacht club openings are the ceremonial start of the summer, when the 4th of July hits, we know that summer is truly here!
Even though the summer means your Board must focus more on our properties and businesses, we continue to do all we can to support the industry. We are maintaining our focus on the legislative activity in the country, and particularly California. A number of the bills for which we have taken an active position are working through the legislative process, and we continue to voice our position to shape the legislation through our legislative advocate, APEX.
In addition, past-president Jim Hayes has taken an active role in bringing marina operations in each southern California harbor together to work on shared issues, and provide a unified voice to Harbor Management. The Safe Harbors team has also been very active in this effort. As a Harbor Director, and your president, I am very grateful for this effort.  
Finally, our 48th Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show is right around the corner. We are putting the final touches on the conference, and it is shaping up as a very exciting event. The dates are October 21-23 at the beautiful Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort in San Diego. You can't beat the location, and we will have a great array of quality industry speakers. I hope to see you there.
As always, may you have great navigating into the future.

The Division of Boating and Waterways is now accepting applications through July 31, 2019 from public and private marina owners for Federal Boating Infrastructure (BIG) Grants. For 2020, a total of $14 million is available for BIG projects nationally.
Funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) - Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, BIG is a competitive program open to both publicly and privately owned marinas to renovate or construct visitor docks, restrooms, gangways and dockside utility hook-ups for recreational boats 26 feet or greater in length.
Through the BIG Program, grant recipients can: 
* Enhance access to recreational, historic, cultural and scenic resources. 
* Strengthen community ties to water's edge and economic benefits. 
* Promote public/private partnerships and entrepreneurial opportunities. 
* Provide continuity of public access to the shore. 
* Promote awareness of transient boating opportunities.
Interested applicants should first review the federal guidelines and application instructions to determine if they meet the necessary requirements. Grant funds are available to qualifying projects on a competitive basis. DBW ranks and scores grant requests according to need, access and cost efficiency as well as available matching funds from partners and innovations that improve user access to the waterways.
DBW, as the pass-through entity for the grant application process, then sends eligible projects to the USFWS to compete against others from all other states. Following a USFWS grant award, DBW manages the project through completion to ensure it meets federal requirements. 

Marina operators eligible to compete in this program should contact Deborah Holmes at 
Deborah.Holmes@parks.ca.gov or (916) 327-1822.

The 48th Annual Marine Recreation Association Educational Conference & Trade Show is scheduled for October 21 - 23, 2019 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort in San Diego, CA. overlooking Torrey Pine's spectacular, golf courses, beaches, and the blue Pacific Ocean.

Information and registration for the Conference, and special hotel rates, are now available on the MRA website at
www.marina.org/2019conference with special Early Registration discounts for both exhibitors and marine industry operators and other attendees.
Imagine the possibilities and potential for your marine operations and business as the marine industry continues to evolve in today's rapidly changing world.
The three day Conference will focus on meeting the new challenges and potential facing the industry today. Strategies for enhancing guest services and customer satisfaction, improving operations and regulatory compliance, and optimizing fiscal results, will be featured in Conference seminars and roundtable discussions covering key marine industry management, operations, and marketing concerns. An extensive Trade Show exhibiting the latest technology, products, and services from industry vendors and contractors will provide additional information focused on innovation, growth, and profitability.
The Conference will kick off on Monday morning, October 21st, with three special events:
  • The "Introduction to Marina Operations" seminar, designed to enhance industry skills and knowledge for both new and seasoned marina and boatyard managers and employees, with a broad perspective of marine operations and best management practices.
  • The 7th Annual MRA Marina & Boatyard Tour will visit a number of San Diego marina and boatyard facilities, providing an in-depth view of some world-class marine operations.
  • The 25rd Annual MRA Golf Tournament will tee-off at the Torrey Pines North Golf Course, recently renovated by Tom Weiskopf, and renowned for its sweeping beauty and enjoyable play.
A Welcome Reception for all attendees and guests will be held Monday evening in the Conference Trade Show pavilion at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Conference Center. Regular Conference seminars, Trade Show exhibits, and other events will continue Tuesday through Wednesday.
The MRA Annual Educational Conference & Trade Show is the perfect opportunity for all marine industry professionals to meet and share experiences and effective strategies to better manage an ever-evolving business environment.
Attendees are encouraged to register early. Special hotel rates, in particular, are expected to sell out, and conference Early Registration rates for attendees will end July 31, 2019 (Exhibitor Early Registration ends June 28th).
For additional information about the MRA, and all of its activities and interests, please contact Mariann Timms by phone at (209) 334-0661, email at mra@marina.org or go online at http://www.marina.org

The 7th Annual Marina & Boatyard Tour will be one of the premium events kicking off the 48th Annual Marine Recreation Association Educational Conference & Trade Show on Monday, October 21st.

The three day Conference will run from October 21- 23 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Resort and Conference center with special events like the Marina & Boatyard Tour, and Conference seminars and roundtable discussions covering key marine industry management, operations, and marketing concerns. An extensive Trade Show exhibiting the latest technology, products, and services from industry vendors and contractors will provide additional information focused on innovation, growth, and profitability.

The Marina & Boatyard Tour will depart the Hilton hotel Monday morning at 9:00 AM, and visit four premiere San Diego Bay marine operations:
  • Half Moon Marina . . . Located on Shelter Island, this recently renovated Clean Marina features a tropical environment with 180 slips providing a wide variety of amenities. Centrally located near the fuel dock, marine chandleries, restaurants, cafes, and groceries, and adjacent to the famous Humphries concert venue, this marina welcomes live-aboard, long-term, and short-term visitors.
  • Point Loma Marina . . . Proud to be a Certified Clean Marina, and also centrally located on Shelter Island, PLM offers a pet friendly, clean, and safe environment to both short and long-term guests with 55 slips and end ties ranging from 36' to 178' in length.
  • Sun Harbor Marina . . . Located in America's Cup Harbor this Clean Marina, established in 1933, is one of the earliest marinas in San Diego. Live-aboard and pet friendly, SHM provides a full array of marine services and amenities at its unique location, including free WiFi and individual pump-out hydrants at each slip, ranging in size from 20' to 76'.
  • Marine Group Boat Works . . .  MGBW is a family-owned, full- service boat and superyacht boatyard facility occupying over 15 acres in National City, in the southern part of San Diego Bay with a second location in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. Recognized worldwide for its 665-ton travelift, MCBW specializes in refits, new construction, bottom paints, custom fabrications, mechanical repairs, engine repowers, Lloyd's and ABS-class surveys, and more for vessels up to 220 feet long.   
This tour will provide valuable insight into each operation's management practices, facilities, and customer service policies. Tours will be let by facility management with ample time for questions and discussion, and will last until mid-afternoon with a lunch break during the trip. Tour transportation cost is $40 per person, and pre-registration is required.
Contact Mariann Timms today at mra@marina.org or (209) 334-0661 for more information. Information and registration for the 48th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show, and special hotel rates, are also now available on the MRA website at www.marina.org/2019conference
with Early Registration discounts still available for marine industry operators and other attendees.
Affordable 3-Hour On-Water Training Courses, July 20 & 21

Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves offered on Mission Bay

Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club San Diego offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves, Saturday, July 20, and Sunday, July 21 at the club's location at 2630 Ingraham Street, Suite A, San Diego.
Both the Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves courses are three hours long and affordably priced at $119 per person through June 21, then $149 thereafter. Intro to Boating covers shifting and steering, basic docking, open-water handling and basic navigation. It's offered both days at 9:30 a.m.
The ladies-only course, Women Making Waves, offers the same curriculum and is the perfect opportunity to spend half a day learning boat-handling techniques in a supportive environment. It's also offered both days at 9:30 a.m.
Class size is limited to four students per vessel, ensuring each student gets sufficient time at the helm under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coast Guard-certified instructor.
The goal of the BoatUS Foundation and Freedom Boat Club San Diego courses is to address the high costs typically associated with at-the-helm training, making hands-on boating education more accessible. The courses also offer area residents the chance to try out recreational boating and give boaters the opportunity to brush up on their boat-handling skills.
Space is limited. Must be 21 years or older. To sign up for a course or seek out others, go to BoatUS.org/On-Water.
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 BoatUS.org/Courses.

HydroHoist Marine Group College Scholarship

HydroHoist Marine Group announces a $1,000 college scholarship for employees and children of marina members in good standing with Marine Recreation Association (MRA). HydroHoist has been offering this same scholarship for over twenty years to members of other marine associations with great success and participation. "HydroHoist Marine Group takes great pride in offering scholarships for organizations like MRA. We view this as having long-term benefit to the people that support us and our industry," said Mick Webber, President and CEO. This scholarship in the amount of $1,000 ($500.00 per semester) is good towards tuition and books. 

The application can be downloaded 
MRA Scholarship Application or be requested by email from mra@marina.org. Completed applications must be submitted by September 1, 2019. Additional details are outlined in the application. 
Swell Advantage and Square Team Up to Better Serve Marinas and Waterfronts

Swell Advantage Ltd., the world's most advanced marina and waterfront management software teams up with payments and point of sale company Square

Swell Advantage and Square announced earlier this month, an integration to better service marinas and waterfronts across the US and Canada and meet boaters' customer service expectations in a digital world. When the 2008 recession happened the marina industry was hit hard resulting in little innovation in marina and waterfront management software for a decade. With the industry starting to grow again and competition between marinas increasing, managers and owners are looking for modern tools to help.

According to Swell CEO Iaian Archibald, Square makes a lot of sense for marinas:
"When we were looking for a POS partner to integrate into our product we knew we didn't want a basic white label service with limited functionality. Square's offerings and marina operations are a perfect fit. Square allows direct online payments through our invoices, recurring charges, our customers can swipe a card down on the dock, and they've got POS systems to fit any marina office. On top of that they have great inventory, retail and restaurant software as part of their product, all of which are components of a lot of marina operations."

"We're excited to integrate with Swell Advantage to better support businesses on the waterfront and in marinas with a comprehensive solution to manage and accept payments for all their business operations, from slip storage to boat rental management to on-site restaurants," said Pankaj Bengani, Global Partnerships Lead at Square. "Until now, managers and owners had to stitch together different processes and systems to run their business operations. Together, Swell Advantage and Square give waterfront and marina sellers a single view of their entire business and they can make informed decisions."

Square and Swell Advantage will continue to work together on their products with the goal of helping marinas and waterfronts better serve their boaters.

About Swell Advantage: Swell Advantage Ltd. is a Nova Scotia, Canada based software company focused on building industry leading enterprise management software for marinas, waterfronts and dockyards. Swell's smart marina and waterfront management system helps marinas increase top-line revenues and optimize space while streamlining operations. The Swell cloud based platform includes a fully integrated community and customer relationship management (CRM) tool that enables automated, group and direct communications (email and SMS) with boaters, from anywhere. Swell Advantage was founded in 2014 by Iaian Archibald and Craig Sheppard and launched its first marina management product in 2016.

For more information, please contact:
Iaian Archibald, Swell Advantage ltd.


Marine Leaders Create World's Largest Marine Equipment Manufacturer 

ShoreMaster, LLC ("ShoreMaster") and HydroHoist Marine Group, Inc. ("HydroHoist") are excited to announce the merger of their businesses. The combined product offering of these industry-leading brands covers the broadest spectrum of boat types, sizes, and marine environments in the industry across all major product categories in the dock, boat lift, and accessories market. The combined enterprise will be the largest dock and boat lift player in North America.

The combined business will have a 700+ strong worldwide dealer network able to provide the high-quality products and service customers have come to expect from each brand. The resulting larger footprint will provide new and unique dealer opportunities without overlapping existing market share.

"I see unlimited potential from the combined forces of these two market leaders," said Don Hurley, President of ShoreMaster. "ShoreMaster and HydroHoist together produce the highest quality products in their respective marketplaces. It makes sense to combine our unique product lines and networks to offer a one-stop-shop for marine products. Our merger achieves that goal while retaining the enthusiasm and motivation that drives each company individually."

Increasingly important in a rapidly evolving market, the combined company will boast a more agile development process and two world-class management teams under one leadership. Over the past few decades, ShoreMaster and HydroHoist have delivered highly innovative and successful marine solutions on the market, meeting the needs of marinas, residential dock owners and boaters across the world.

"The union of our companies focuses on internal synergies, external benefits to customers and the blending of two marquee brands," said Mick Webber, President of HydroHoist. "We are in the enviable position of having complementary, not competitive operations. I am thrilled by the opportunities this merger creates."

Webber continued, "Together, HydroHoist and ShoreMaster have enormous potential, and this will allow two companies to merge into one team that will deliver the highest quality products, unparalleled customer service and a seamless experience from purchase to installation. With the leadership of ShoreMaster and the scale of our existing dealer network, I am confident that we will continue to lead the industry as the preeminent marine equipment manufacturer."

About HydroHoist Boat Lifts:

Founded in 1964 on Grand Lake in Oklahoma, HydroHoist expanded to include a dealer network spanning coast-to-coast and internationally. Beyond boat lifts, the organization consists of RotoMoldUSA, a plastics manufacturer, and HyPower, a marine power pedestal division.

HydroHoist Boat Lifts is the market originator and largest hydro-pneumatic boat lift manufacturer in the world, celebrating over 54 years of business. HydroHoist Boat Lifts manufactures and sells lifts ranging from 1,500-pound drive-on docking platform for PWCs to boat lifts that will accommodate a 60,000-pound watercraft. The company has five distribution facilities located in California, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee, and a dealer network to supply and support its customers. HydroHoist Boat Lifts products are available in 23 countries and the company has an international distributor and dealer network in more than 18 countries. boatlift.com
About ShoreMaster:

Since 1972, ShoreMaster has covered the waterfront with world-class equipment designed to help people enjoy their waterfront experience to the fullest. The ShoreMaster, LLC family offers a complete line-up of waterfront equipment across a line-up of six aluminum, steel, plastic and fabric product brands: ShoreMaster, Rhino Marine Systems, PolyDock Products, Shoreline Industries, ShoreMaster Fabrics, and OEM Industries.

As an industry leader across nearly every market in the United States and Canada, ShoreMaster waterfront products are synonymous with quality. Superior construction, unmatched strength and stability, and infinite versatility are just a few of the many competitive advantages of the ShoreMaster line-up of products. Available through a continent-wide dealer network, ShoreMaster's products can be found near the water's edge, providing value to residential lake homeowners and the owners of first-class marinas the world over. ShoreMaster.com

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:

SmartPlug Systems, LLC

To all of our MRA Members and Future Members 

Last week Phil Weiss, Esquire, Brodsky, Micklow, Bull & Weiss presented Regional Training seminars on "Legal Issues in the Day to Day Operations of Marinas l Dealing With Common Problems" in Richmond and Los Angeles. Both seminars were very well attended. Phil has agreed to two more topics for next year on "Best Practices to Limit Legal Liability" and "Contract Basics, and How to Determine When it is Time to Revise Your Wharfage Contract". Dates to be announced later this year.
SAVE THE DATE for the 48th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show that will be held at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines on October 21 - 23, 2019. The planning for this event starts in early February at the Board of Directors Annual Planning Meeting. Information is now available on our website at http://www.marina.org/2019conference/. Early registration for attendees ends July 31, 2019.
MRA's year starts next week on July 1, 2019. Dues renewals have been emailed out. If you did not receive an email, please contact me.
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 mra@marina.org so they can be uploaded. You can now also add a YouTube video if you have one.
Thank you,
Mariann Timms
Operations Administrator
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