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The show must go on - the industry gears up for 2024 - MarineBusinessWorld North America newsletter

by Peter Rendle 17 Jan 22:00 GMT
Discover boating © National Marine Manufacturers Association

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports new powerboat retail sales are estimated to be down slightly in 2023, approximately 1% to 3%, to 258,000 units.

For the 2024 calendar year, recreational boating is poised to see new unit sales on par with 2023 levels as the industry continues to navigate interest rates, as well as ongoing shifts in consumer confidence. Looking ahead, manufacturers are focused on continuing to deliver innovative new products and will showcase emerging technologies at dozens of winter boat shows across the country, ranging from hydrogen-fuelled marine engines to boats powered fully by sustainable marine fuels.

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) marked its 70th anniversary, welcomed new board members, and honored award recipients at its January 8th annual meeting in Annapolis. The event is a highlight of ABYC Standards Week, where experts from various sectors of the marine industry to review and update safety standards related to the design, construction and repair of recreational boats.

ABYC Board Chair Jeff Wasil and President John Adey briefed attendees on ABYC's initiatives and acknowledged the volunteers dedicated to boating safety. Capt. Amy Beach, director of inspections and compliance for the U.S. Coast Guard, also addressed the gathering.

In partnership with the Georgia state legislature, the NMMA hosted a bicameral committee meeting focused on the economic impacts of boating in Georgia with 25 members of the Georgia General Assembly in attendance. The meeting featured speakers from Chaparral and Robalo boats, Yamaha Marine Group, and Anchors Marina. Recreational boating has a $7.8 billion economic impact in Georgia, and supports more than 670 businesses and 27,000 jobs.

Vision Marine Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: VMAR), a global leader and innovator within the performance electric recreational boating industry, announced today that the Government of Québec, through Investissement Québec, is providing a financial contribution of up to 3 million US dollars, in the form of a subscription to preferred shares.

The announcement was made today by the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal region, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, as well as the Minister of Finance, Minister responsible for Relations with English-speaking Quebecers, and Member of the National Assembly for Groulx, Mr. Eric Girard.

Derecktor Ft. Pierce is pleased to announce its recent designation as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), offering substantial benefits to clients in the maritime industry. The FTZ status allows for a streamlined process, alleviating duty and taxes on imported boat parts and foreign-built yachts within the zone. Under the FTZ designation, foreign-built yachts can be brought into Derecktor Ft. Pierce without incurring the typical 1.5 percent import duty.

This significant advantage opens up opportunities for prospective U.S. buyers, enabling them to explore and showcase vessels that were previously restricted.

And not forgetting the long-term future. The application window for new students at Maritime High School is open until January 31st. Think back to the start of high school. Did you have options? Many students today do, and for those interested in hands-on learning, the wide-ranging maritime field, or a more project-based school experience, Maritime High School (MHS) offers an exciting new pathway.

Started in 2021 as a part of the Highline School District, MHS has grown and matured in just a few short years, now boasting more than 75 students across its inaugural three classes. While you may have recently read about a new partnership between MHS, NWMC, and Seattle Maritime Academy that helps 11th grade students pursue essential maritime credentials, 9th grade is where kids get their start by exploring the diverse array of maritime fields and opportunities.

Keep smiling,
Peter Rendle - peter.rendle@marinebusinessworld.com

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