February 2019   

Dear MRA Members and Friends;

Thusfar it has been a very good weather year for our State.  We were recently hit with a couple of good storms in the Channel Islands Harbor.  While rain is always a welcome occurrence in water-starved California, it does pose a risk, particularly in areas of the recent fires in the State, and a time of worry in the marine environment.  There is always a greater risk of boats sinking, damage to buildings and dock structures, and in the lake environment, marinas need to be moved frequently, which is always a challenge.  All that said - welcome rain - and keep coming!

We met in San Diego for our annual planning meeting, and next week will be travelling north for the California Boating Congress in Sacramento.   This is a busy but exciting time of the year for your Board, as we have begun planning for our next annual conference, and we finalize plans for the California Boating Congress.  This year's annual trade show and education conference will be October 21-23, 2019 at beautiful Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in San Diego.  Now is the time to put these dates in your new 2019 calendar, and put a note on those dates that this is a must attend.      

The trip to Sacramento in March will be to serve two purposes.  The big event is the California Boating Congress, which will be the fourth successive year this is held.  The CBC starts with a cocktail reception on March 5, and then March 6 will include industry presentations and our annual trek to the capital to inform our State legislators how important our industry is to the economy and well-being of the State.  In addition, that trip up north provides the opportunity to meet with our legislative advocacy partner, APEX, and our legislative committee peers.  There is always a hot issue or three that we are discussing, and included on that list this year is an industry effort to cap sales tax on vessel sales in California.

So let us continue to charge into 2019, and do all we can to make this a successful and prosperous year.

As always, may you have great navigating into the future.

The 2019 California Boating Congress will kick off next Wednesday March 6th for the fourth year in a row bringing the marine industry and recreational boating to the State Capital to chart the future of boating policy in California.

With growing participation and enthusiasm, this CBC promises to be both informative and effective, giving recreational boating a strong collective voice advocating for issues affecting this important part of our state economy and culture.

A special evening cocktail reception will be held for early attendees at the Hilton Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade Hotel on Tuesday, March 5th at 5:30 PM giving everyone an opportunity to meet and mingle before Wednesday's main event.

This year's CBC main event will take place at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento Riverfront Promenade Hotel, 100 Capital Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814, starting Wednesday at 8:30 AM
Don't miss this opportunity to make a difference!
Following the morning meetings and lunch, attendees will proceed to the State Capital for meetings with individual legislative representatives throughout the afternoon.
This year's Congress is being co-hosted by the MRA and twelve other boating related groups, including the California Yacht Brokers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, Boat U.S., Personal Watercraft Industry Association, California Sportfishing League, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, Recreational Boaters of California, Bay Planning Coalition, Sacramento Valley Marine Association, California Association of Harbor Masters & Port Captains, and the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association . . . dedicated to focusing our state legislators on issues affecting recreational boating and the marine industry.
For more information on the Congress and to register, visit: www.calboatingcongress.com or contact Mariann Timms at 209.334.0661
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 46 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.
Assemblymember Wood to Make Fishing More Accessible

Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) has authored Assembly Bill 1387, state legislation that will transition California's calendar-based fishing license to one that is valid a full 365-days from the date of purchase and a mobile phone app that makes fishing easier and more accessible. The bill, sponsored by the California Sportfishing League (CSL), is co-authored by Assemblymember James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) and a bipartisan group of 12 other legislators.

Key features of Assembly Bill 1387 (Wood):
  • Replaces California's current calendar-based system for a  license that is valid a full 12-months (365 days) from the date of purchase. There will be no increase in the fee charged for the 365-day license (same as calendar license). 
  • Requires the CDFW to create an app where anglers can display sport fishing and hunting licenses on mobile devices. Several states offer mobile phone apps that provide anglers information on fishing locations, regulations, fish stocking schedules, campground reservations and more. 
  • Allows anglers to sign up for automatic license renewals.  Florida implemented an auto-renewal system in 2015, increasing renewal rates by about 4%. 
Sign the 365-Day License Petition

The solution is simple - California should follow the lead of other states that have implemented a fishing license that is valid a full 365-days from the date of purchase. Because this license provides better value for the buck, many states have experienced greater sales and greater revenue.
To build political support for AB 1387, sign CSL's online petition. Also if you are a member of a fishing or business organization, we urge you to join our coalition. 

Action Items
  • Sign the petition to support a license that is valid 365-days from the date of purchase
  • Contact your state legislator
  • Note if you are a member of a fishing/business organization that could help
Only sign if you have not signed this petition in the past

R3 Action Plan

As part of a national movement, the CSL is working closely
with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other stakeholders to increase fishing participation rates by developing an R3 Action Plan focused on the Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation of California hunters and anglers.

2018 Fishing License Sales Analysis

Since January of 2017, annual resident license sales revenue increased 3.25% and sales increased .37%. The slight uptick from 2017 was not sufficient enough to reverse a long-term trend. Annual resident fishing sales have declined 55% since 1980, while the population has increased over 60%. In 1980, 2.2 million annual sport fishing licenses were sold compared to only 1 million today.

During Governor Jerry Brown's eight years in office (2011-18) annual resident fishing license sales marginally increased 1.58% while revenue increased 12.94%. The increase in revenue can be attributed in large part to the State increasing the price of licenses five times in eight years. During Brown's term in office, annual fishing license prices increased 11.18% percent.
Today, California's fishing license program remains among the costliest in the country, second only to the State of Washington. With permits, California is the costliest state in the country and according to an outdoor economist, California's fishing license structure is financially unsustainable.

A transition plan is in place. Owner and Chairman, Joe Ueberroth, will assume the title of CEO.

Everett Babbitt, Bellingham Marine CEO, has announced his retirement effective December 31, 2019. Following his retirement, he will continue to serve as a Director of the company.
Everett joined Bellingham Marine in 1984, performing in a variety of roles until 2004 when he was named President and CEO. Under his leadership, Bellingham Marine became the recognized international leader in marina construction. He expanded Bellingham's global reach and tripled annual revenues. The Company now builds more coastal projects annually than its competitors combined.
"As with many of my colleagues, I have been incredibly fortunate to be able to spend my career with Bellingham Marine", stated Everett Babbitt. "I believe our success is based on our commitment to innovation, building a superior product and customer service.
"We have worked hard to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. Over the last several years, I have focused my energy on developing the next generation. I am confident that we have the strongest team in our history to lead us forward."
Owner and Chairman, Joe Ueberroth shared his appreciation of Everett's contributions. "We have been extremely fortunate to have Everett at the helm of our Company for the better part of the last two decades," stated Ueberroth. "Having him continue on as a member of our Board and available for special projects, provides our team with confidence that we will take this transition in stride."
About Bellingham Marine:
Bellingham Marine is the world's leading marina design-build construction company. The company specializes in floating docks, platforms and wave attenuation systems for marinas worldwide. Visit bellingham-marine.com for more information.

Meeco Sullivan announced the retirement of Steve Sullivan as President and CEO after he helped lead and grow the company for the past 38 years.
Steve began his marina industry career when he joined the family business, Sullivan Flotation Systems of Warwick, N.Y. in 1980. Mr. Sullivan held a variety of operational, sales and management positions before becoming President in 1995. For the past 23 years Steve and his brother Robert have helped grow the company from a small regional manufacturer into one of North America's largest floating dock and marina companies.
In 2008 Sullivan Flotation Systems merged with Atlantic Meeco of McAlester, OK. and in 2015 the two companies were reorganized to become known as Meeco Sullivan. A year ago, Tuckahoe Holdings of Richmond, VA acquired Meeco Sullivan with a commitment to aggressively grow the business. An example of this commitment is the recent acquisition of Wahoo Docks, an industry leader in aluminum dock systems, which now gives Meeco Sullivan the broadest product line and makes them the largest supplier of steel, timber and aluminum dock systems in North America.
Steve will continue to support and advise the company as a member of the Meeco Sullivan/Wahoo Advisory Board and Peter Ladouceur was appointed the new President of Meeco Sullivan effective January 1, 2019. Mr. Ladouceur joined the company in November 2017 as the Warwick N.Y. Division Manager and National Projects Manager.
Prior to joining Meeco Sullivan, Peter was the COO of J.T. Cleary, Inc. a New York City based heavy civil and marine general contractor. Peter brings extensive operations and project management experience to Meeco Sullivan through his prior roles with J.T. Cleary, Kiewit Construction Company and Modern Continental.

MEECO SULLIVAN is a leading supplier of freshwater and saltwater marinas and floating dock systems. Their product offering includes Meeco Galvanized Steel Dock Systems, Atlantic Glulam Timber Dock Systems, Sullivan Timber Dock Systems, Wahoo Aluminum Dock Systems, Wave Attenuators, Rowing Docks, Wahoo Residential Docks and Service Docks/Platforms. With over 140 years of combined experience, they are a recognized pioneer and leader in the design and construction of floating dock systems with thousands of marine installations worldwide. To learn more please visit meecosullivan.com. For more information contact Peter Ladouceur at pladouceur@meecosullivan.com.

HydroHoist Boat Lifts Launches Most Versatile Lift Available Capable of Raising 25,000 Pounds

Leading Manufacturer of Marine Dock Equipment Announces HarborHoist

HydroHoist Boat Lifts, leading manufacturer of marine dock equipment, announced today the release of the most versatile hydro-pneumatic boat lift available - HarborHoistTM.
HarborHoist is the most versatile, free-floating boat lift on the market. Built to protect the value of a vessel in adverse weather conditions and the harsh marine environment. The unit is constructed with rugged, marine-grade, impact-resistant polyethylene tanks and an aluminum frame to extend the life of the product. With a capacity to handle vessels from 4,400 to 25,000 pounds, HarborHoist is constructed of the highest quality materials to enhance longevity in salt water applications. In addition, HarborHoist includes a self-leveling lift system for added safety when launching and stowing. It is compatible with fixed or floating docks and works with all types of dock applications including: U-shaped, double-wide slips, L-shaped or square dock spaces. The hull support system can be configured for nearly all types of boats, including stern drive, outboard, tow/wake, pontoon and tritoons.
Designed for easy installation, HarborHoist can simply be tied to a dock or moored with a conventional mooring system. With its standard rope mooring system there is no permanent attachment to the dock, which allows the unit to be easily moved in places that are prone to flooding and hurricanes. HarborHoist is equipped with a push-button controller and non-skid walkways mounted to the top of the tanks that run the full length for easy access in both the up or down position. This allows for easy and safe loading and unloading of passengers. Its low-profile design does not obstruct shoreline views like other products. Assembly and installation are simple and intuitive. The HarborHoist operates using standard 110 VAC power and can also be operated by an 1800-watt generator, inverter or solar power system. Canopies are available for additional vessel protection.
"We have seen incredible reception to smaller versions of the HarborHoist we introduced this year and received immediate requests to increase lifting capacity," said Mick Webber, CEO, HydroHoist Marine Group. "To meet customer demand, we increased the size of the product, maximized lift capacity and increased the flexibility of the types of boats supported. With decades of experience and superior product knowledge of the industry, we have been able to apply our technology to manufacturing the most advanced floating salt and fresh water boat lift on the market."
Boat lifts reduce vessel maintenance and ensure the highest resale value of the boat by stopping marine growth from accumulating and facilitate easy cleaning. They also protect the hull by preventing it from hitting the dock during inclement weather, control water osmosis and prevent electrolysis. In addition, boat lifts are far superior to trailering or dry stack storage by giving boat owners immediate access to the water.
For more information on HarborHoist, HydroHoist or its entire range of hydro-pneumatic boat lifts, please visit boatlift.com.

 About HydroHoist Boat Lifts:

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 three distribution facilities located in Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee, and a network of more than 600 dealers 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
DOTMobile has been selected as Preferred GPS Tracker Supplier to Carefree Boat Club

DOTMobile Watercraft Tracking safeguards unlimited, mixed fleet of seabobs, jetkis, tenders, boats with unique features, such as the GPS Tracker IP67 water resistant, Multi-Chart (Navionics included), pin&drag unlimited Geofencing to notify when boat enters unsafe area or it's approaching the dock area, Immobilizer in case of theft or to lock boats in unstaffed locations, Multi-Alerts, such as low battery or when over-speeding.

"We have been using DOTMobile for the past several months." said Doug Zimmerman, President of Carefree Boat Club, "it's the most cost effective solution with the best features. We have found that it works well and has some built in features that most others do not include." To learn more about Carefree Boat Club, visit

"Having Carefree Boat Club select DOTMobile reaffirm our top position in the Marine GPS Tracking and Monitoring arena," added Carlo Bertozzi, President of Dotando Inc. "We are excited to help Carefree Boat Club to better safeguard their key assets, improve operations and raise boating safety and experience."

To all of our MRA Members and Future Members 

It's not too late to register for the 4th Annual California Boating Congress that will be held next Tuesday, March 6, 2019 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Sacramento Riverfront Promenade. There will be government and industry speakers in the morning and a chance to meet with YOUR legislator in the afternoon. If you are able to come a day early, there will be a cocktail reception the evening before the event on March 5, 2019.
Mark your calendars 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 takes place in early February at the Board of Directors Annual Planning Meeting. If you have topics that you would like to see added to the agenda, please contact me no later than Friday, January 11, 2019.
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.
Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Mariann Timms
Operations Administrator
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