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Nautical News - November 2019

Nautical News - November 2019


November 2019   

From the Helm


Dear MRA Members and Friends;


We had a great conference this past October. You can read more about that in this month's newsletter.


California Boating Congress (CBC) dates have been set. The reception/meet and greet will be Monday evening March 30, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, details to follow. CBC will take place Tuesday March 31, 2020. Mark your calendar as this is a very important and fun event for our industry. If you are not sure what this is, don't hesitate to contact me.


We are excited to announce our association has new lobbying representation in Sacramento, Platinum Advisors. Specifically, Beau Biller from Platinum Advisors will represent us, welcome aboard Beau. At our CBC this year Platinum will have one of their advisors introduce us to our legislators, a change from the past, but I suspect a positive one for most of us. Personally it is welcomed as I am never quite sure how to get past those few awkward moments up front when you meet an elected official.


Finally we thank Apex Group for their 25+ year representation of our group. They shaped and helped us grow as an organization, thank you and we wish you the best in the future.


I'll leave you with this; we are so fortunate to be involved in an industry that allows us to be on the water on a daily basis, don't take it for granted and don't fail to recognize it.


Scott Robertson




48th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show took everyone's 'Imagination' to a new level this year . . .



Right from the get-go, the 2019 MRA Conference had an enhanced excitement and anticipation of future innovation, potential, and growth fostered in part by the expanding industry and economy, as well as some new technical innovations employed at this year's event.


Among other things, this year's Conference featured the new MRA Conference App, which provided all attendees with access to an online Conference Program and Schedule, and all of the educational seminar materials, as well as opportunities to interact with other attendees on several social media platforms.


As usual, the three day conference teed off on Monday, October 21st with three events for a record number of attendees to choose from. Fifty golfers participated in the 25th Annual MRA Golf Tournament, playing through a warm and sunny day along the spectacular Pacific Ocean coast at the Torrey Pines Resort North Golf Course in La Jolla, CA.


A number of 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 third group of thirty-five conference attendees took advantage of the 7th Annual Marina and Boatyard Tour visiting four San Diego area operations, including the Half Moon Marina and Point Loma Marina on Shelter Island, the Sun Harbor Marina in America's Cup Harbor, and the Marine Group Boat Works located in the southern part of San Diego Harbor featuring their unique operations and services.


Monday night's Welcome Reception in the Trade Show Pavilion was well attended with libations and hors d'oeuvres provided by sponsoring Trade Show Exhibitors, and attendees were given an early opportunity to mingle and browse the latest industry innovations and information. The golf tournament results were also announced and various awards presented to the lucky players.


Tuesday morning's 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', to Everett Babbit, President of Bellingham Marine, who received the traditional ship's wheel plaque in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the recreational boating and marine industry. The MRA's '2019 Innovation Awards' were also announced, and winners, Bellingham Marine, MarineSync, and Sandy Purdon, founder of Clean Marine, awarded their gleaming trophies.


Scott Robertson, MRA Vice-President then led the MRA General Membership Meeting, announcing the election of new Board members and other Association business and plans for the coming year, including the upcoming California Boating Congress.


Bret Gladfelty, MRA Legislative Advocate, The Apex Group, followed Jim with a review of California state legislation and issues facing the industry in the future. And NMMA president, Thom Dammrich, provided attendees with a review of national legislative and regulatory issues facing the industry.


After a brief break for attendees to relax in the Trade Show exhibit hall, Robert Newsome, Sr. Vice President, NMMA closed out the morning with an overview of the State of the Marine Industry, and the economic and cultural impact of recreational boating in California and other areas of the country.


Tuesday afternoon's conference was broken into three hour-long sessions, each featuring several different seminar topics for attendees to choose from. Session 1 offered a discussion of the Status of California Salt-Water Marinas & Boatyards, and a discussion of The Status of California Inland Marinas / Resorts. Session 2 covered strategies for enhancing the growth and organizational innovation of marine operations; Planning, Designing, and Paying for Capital Improvement Projects; and a Boatyard Business Roundtable. The final sessions included topics ranging from The Evolution of West Coast Sailing and the SF Bay Area; Phil Weiss' digest of 30 Years as a maritime lawyer; and discussion on the TMDL Conundrum raised by new regulations affecting many coastal marinas.


The MRA's Wine Tasting & Craft Beer Reception in the Trade Show exhibit hall capped off Tuesday's conference events. All 49 of the exhibiting Trade Show vendors provided top notch wine or craft beer selections at their booths for attendees to enjoy with fresh carved roast turkey, roast pork, and Prime Rib, served with various side dishes.


Wednesday morning kicked off with another breakfast in the Trade Show pavilion, followed by Dr. Lynn Reaser, Ph.D., Chief Economist at Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, who provided everyone with a very insightful Economic Forecast and data on the economy. Joe Ueberroth, President of Bellwether Financial Group, closed the morning out with a keynote presentation offering some interesting observations and predictions about the direction of the marine industry in the future.


After the morning break in the Trade Show pavilion, more educational seminars convened on topics covering CARB Commercial Harbor Requirements; Workers Compensation Insurance Costs and Concerns; and how Yacht Clubs are influencing the future of Recreational boating.


After an outdoor lunch, overlooking the sunny Pacific Ocean and Torrey Pines Golf Course, the Conference's final sessions were again broken into two 1-hour periods with Session 1 featuring topics covering the National Electrical Code 2017 vs 2020; How to use Social Media Marketing effectively; strategies for attracting the next generation of boaters; Marina Property Management issues; and the process and importance to achieving Clean Marina or Boatyard Certification.


The 48th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show was an important and informative marine industry event put together by a dedicated group of industry owners, managers, vendors, and MRA staff . . . Coming next is the 5th Annual California Boating Congress on March 31, 2020 with a Welcome Reception planned for March 30th . Now is the time to begin thinking about your boating and marine industry legislative / regulatory concerns, and add the up-coming CBC to your calendar.



Gold Anchor Expands into USA Marina Sector



The West Coast USA based Marine Recreation Association (MRA) and the Marina Industries Association (MIA) based in Australia have entered into a collaborative agreement to launch the Global Gold Anchor program in North America.


Gold Anchor was first developed in the United Kingdom in 1988 by The Yacht Harbours Association (TYHA). In 2009 the MIA launched its own program and in 2013 the two associations launched the single Global Gold Anchor program. The program is analogous with star ratings for accommodation with a strong focus on customer service.            


The first two California marinas are already participating. Westpoint Harbor Marina San Francisco and Safe Harbor Cabrillo Isle San Diego are now Gold Anchor accredited marinas and a half-dozen more are in line for assessment. Over the next two years there are expected to be a steady stream of marinas entering the program and a pool of trained assessors to deliver the program.   


MIA President Andrew Chapman said the collaboration is a particularly exciting development for the global industry. "MIA and TYHA are very pleased to have MRA providing the structure to expand the program into the US and beyond. MIA will be working closely with MRA and participating members over the coming two years to ensure the program is successfully rolled out and fully aligned with the global program that is established across 27 countries."


MRA President Scott Robertson said the recent MRA Educational and Trade Conference in La Jolla, California provided an excellent platform to promote the program. "We have both coastal and in-land marinas wishing to participate. MRA recognise the many industry development and promotional benefits the Gold Anchor program can deliver for our industry."


TYHA General Manager Jonathan White commented that the involvement of MRA will fast track a truly global roll-out of the program. "From Gold Anchors infancy back in 1988, it is very pleasing to now have this plan that will ensure rapid expansion of this already well-established accreditation program beyond UK/Europe; the Middle East, Asia, South Pacific and the Caribbean."      


For further information - Colin Bransgrove, MIA, CEO +61 2 94395806; Scott Robertson, +1 530 6923200; Jonathan White, +44 (0)7717 683107 



Tell Congress to Support USMCA


Congressional leaders just said a deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is "imminent." Now we need your help to get this critical trade deal across the finish line! 


Tell Congress to pass USMCA NOW!


With 40% of annual U.S. boat and engine exports going to Canada and Mexico and 20% of our industry's imports coming from them, our industry needs good trade deals, strong relationships, and smart policies governing North American trade.
Supporting USMCA means supporting the recreational boating industry. Tell your members of Congress to pass USMCA!


Boating United is the grassroots platform of the recreational boating industry. It is comprised of boating manufacturers, businesses and supporters who share the common goal of protecting and promoting the industry. Take action, learn about the issues and more at   



Division of Boating and Waterways Marina Loan Program Survey


The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) would like to assess the future need for loan funding for marina rehabilitation and development from the Public and Private Marina Loan programs offered by DBW. 


Please click on the link below to begin the survey. It will take approximately 4 minutes to complete and will be available through December 13, 2019.






Save the Date-Boating topics that matter to you! Join us on December 5th


Dear Boating Partners:


Join the California Clean Boating Network on Thursday, December 5th for a FREE educational meeting from 9:15 a.m. to approx. 1 p.m. at the Martinez Yacht Club


Come and learn about: 

* a comprehensive regional study of microplastic pollution in the Bay Area showing a staggering 7 trillion pieces of microplastic emitted to SF Bay every single year, through both wastewater and stormwater.
* the Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (SAVE) Program for the state;
* the results from the San Francisco and Alameda County marine flare pilot collection events;
* the Pumpout Nav App and how CA is doing in terms of the sewage pumpouts


To attend you must RSVP by emailing Vivian Matuk at


Location: Martinez Yacht Club 111 Tarantino Dr, Martinez, CA 94553) (Thanks to the club).
Parking: Free!




We hope for your enthusiastic participation and offer plenty of time to ask questions of the experts.

If you have questions about attendance, email Vivian Matuk at



Construction Corner


New Wave Attenuator Protects Local Homeowner's Association


The Ballena Bay Townhome Association is a close-knit community on the Alameda coast. Situated directly on the San Francisco Bay, the Ballena Bay Townhome Association decided to replace their outdated tire breakwater with a new state-of-the-art match-cast, post-tensioned concrete wave attenuation system.


The San Francisco Bay is renowned for its choppy boating atmosphere. The site experiences sustained wind speeds of up to 55 mph, that results in a wave height of 2.67' with a period of 3.1 seconds. The existing tire attenuator at the site was not effectively protecting the interior floating infrastructure in the canal.


Acting as a floating "breakwater," wave attenuators are site-specifically designed and engineered to significantly reduce wave energy entering a marina basin. Wave energy is a combination of waves of different heights, directions, and periods. Wave energy can manifest in reflections bouncing off barriers and refractions passing between mediums throughout the bay. Wave energy can bend around corners and "squeeze" through openings without a significant reduction in energy. Floating wave attenuators help reduce wave heights and ensure protection from large wave events. Wave attenuators require the most site specific engineering of any marina structure. Properly designed and sited, an attenuator will create a safe, tranquil harbor for your boaters, protect your investment and your bottom line.


According to Eric Noegel, Senior Manager of Project Development at Bellingham Marine Industries, "Site specific data regarding wind and boat waves helped determine the mass, width, depth, and configuration of the Ballena Bay wave attenuation system. We decided concrete, match-cast floats would offer the best protection for this marina. The inherent mass of the floating concrete modules along with the match-cast interconnection system made it a natural choice for the Ballena Bay Townhome Association."


One contributing factor to the effectiveness of a wave attenuator is the structure's ability to move as a rigid, single unit. Motion in the structure can transmit wave energy and cause havoc on moored vessels in the marina. When asked about the decision to use match-cast floats Senior Project Manager Ron Mock said "Wave attenuation is about mass, breadth and depth. In our experience, lightweight systems are ineffective in anything but the mildest of wave motions. They may appear to break surface chop, but a long wave will pass directly under the surface system and head straight for the marina. To adequately perform in a high wind and wave environment, attenuators need to be as solid as possible."


The new wave attenuator system creates a tranquil harbor for the Ballena Bay Townhome Association tenants. Sheltered from destructive waves and damaging wakes, the Bellena Bay boaters can be confident that their waterfront investment will be protected for decades to come.


*** Bellingham Marine was the design/build contractor for the Ballena Bay Townhome Association project. All of the concrete wave attenuators were built in their southwest division's plant in Dixon, California. ***




Trade Member Highlight


Exciting Developments for Compass Consulting


Gian Salvini

October was a month of exciting developments for Compass Consulting. To kick things off, Compass was pleased and excited to announce the promotion of Gian Salvini to our Software Engineering department. Gian joined the company as our Technical Services Concierge (TSC) after completing his Bachelor of Science degree at California State University, Channel Islands, with a focus on software engineering. After performing the TSC job with excellence, Gian looks forward to his new Software Developer position.


Gian's promotion paved the way for Compass to welcome Brain Simmons as our new TSC. Brian comes to us with significant IT help desk and dispatching experience. Effective immediately, Brian will be the friendly voice of Compass Consulting's support desk and at the ready to assist with customer 

Brian Simmons

support needs.


As if this wasn't enough October excitement, for the third consecutive year Compass Consulting was a proud exhibitor at the 48th annual Marine Recreation Association conference and trade show, October 21-23. At this year's event, Compass showcased two distinctive products for our marina partners: a virtual Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution that moves workstations and network infrastructure into the award-winning Microsoft Azure cloud, and also Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Social Media Marketing (SMM) tools to improve vacancy rates, direct boating enthusiasts to a specific website, and educate customers about marina amenities.


The marina industry really seems to be embracing "cloud first" technology and Compass Consulting is honored to be leading the way with innovative client solutions. We proudly work with marinas and management companies alike and look forward to continuing this discussion with you! Please visit our website or call today at (805) 389-0229.




Trade Member Highlight




SmartPlug Systems, the leading manufacturer of safety-focused shore power delivery systems for the recreational and commercial marine, RV and specialty vehicle markets, has hired Ron Bailey as its new global VP of sales and marketing. He joins the company during a transitional period as incumbent Terry Gilliland prepares his retirement in early 2020. Tony Barber, CEO, made the announcement.


Bailey brings decades of marine and RV manufacturing sales and marketing experience to SmartPlug. Most recently, he was VP of global marine sales and marketing at Dometic and president of Turning Point Propellers. Deeply committed to the industry, he is on the National Marine Manufacturers Association Board of Directors and Marine Accessories and Components Division (MACD). He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Western Michigan University and an M.S. in science, business administration and management from Central Michigan University, and is a USCG-licensed captain.


"Ron has demonstrated leadership, vision and success throughout his career," said Barber. "He has a deep knowledge of our core markets and customers, and the ability to transform that insight into actionable results."


"Joining SmartPlug is an opportunity to work with a company that

places safety before industry stereotypes," said Bailey. "Plus, Tony Barber is an evangelist for his products with infectious enthusiasm."


SmartPlug Systems designs and manufactures safe alternatives to traditional twist-type AC shore power connections. Its state-of-the-art 16A, 30A, 32A and 50A plugs, inlets, cordsets and adapters offer a broad range of benefits, the most significant being reduced electrical resistance and overheating-common causes of boat and vehicle fires. The company holds Canadian CSA, Europe CE, Intertek ETL and US ETL certifications.


Contact SmartPlug Systems, 2500 Westlake Ave N., Ste. G, Seattle, WA 98109-2262. 206-285-2990; Fax: 206-285-2981.;;;



Welcome New Members


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:


Lippert Enterprises, Inc.



The Last Word


To all of our MRA Members and Future Members 


I would like thank Mark Sandoval for the past four years; first as Vice President and then President. It was a pleasure working for you! You were always prompt with my requests and I look forward to your continued time on the board.


Welcome to Scott Robertson, our new President! You are coming in just as there are many changes happening in the association. I am sure you will be great at getting things done!


I'm excited to announce that we have set the dates for the 5th Annual California Boating Congress. Once again we will return to the Hyatt Regency Sacramento on March 31, 2020. There will be a welcome reception on March 30, 2020 for those who can make it.


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.orgso they can be uploaded. You can now also add a YouTube video if you have one.


Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!


Mariann Timms

Operations Administrator



Featured Articles
* From the Helm
* 48th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show
* Gold Anchor Expands into USA Marina Sector
* Tell Congress to Support USMCA
* Division of Boating and Waterways Marina Loan Program Survey
* Save the Date - Boating Topics that Matter
* Construction Corner - New Wave Attenuator Protects Local Homeowner's Association
* Trade Member Highlights - Exciting Developments for Compass Consulting
* Trade Member Highlights - Exciting Developments for Compass Consulting
* Welcome New Members
* The Last Word

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 November 01, 2019