Dealer Outlook

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United industry front forms in Florida again

No state has more marine industry associations with more political clout than Florida does with its eight. And setting the stage to reinvigorate that power was what a recent summit meeting in Sarasota was called to accomplish.

Will Congress or the courts end the ethanol battle?

If one desires to be an equal-opportunity annoyer, just issue the long-awaited revised ethanol volume figures under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Congrats to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pissing off everyone. Perhaps that’s exactly the intent?

Good news for Discover Boating and Magnuson-Stevens

The industry’s Discover Boating national campaign continues to pursue its mission — to inspire and motivate people to get out on the water — with the release of a new video in the “Stories of Discovery” series. It brings to six the number of videos now available.

These issues should top ABC agenda

The marine industry and its many partners are in Washington, D.C., this week for the American Boating Congress. They’re telling lawmakers about the the importance of the nation’s recreational boating industry and its overall $121 billion annual economic impact, 35,000 small businesses and the 650,000 jobs it impacts.

Cost of new overtime rules will be high

Here’s an idea: since Congress has refused to raise the minimum wage, let’s run an end around by changing the rules regarding who qualifies for overtime pay. It’s the latest philosophy coming out of the White House, a move that will ensure the U.S. can fly a regulation-nation banner.

ABC and MDCE have offers you can’t refuse

An important webinar about the upcoming American Boating Congress from May 11-13 and the deadline for big savings on the registration fee for this year’s Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which runs Nov. 15-18 are both worth checking out now.

Marine council sets MRAA political agenda

The Advisory Council of Marine Associations recently submitted its annual resolutions for political action to the board of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and the board endorsed the recommendations.

Online retailers’ tax-free days are numbered

Are we approaching a time when Internet sellers will be required to collect sales tax on all sales in the same way brick-and-mortar retailers do? It appears the issue is alive again following two related events that came down last month.

All taxes are not created equal

Some taxes are good and some are bad. More specifically, the federal gas tax and the death tax are worthy of attention these days. After all, Washington is talking tax code revisions and revenue increases and that’s always scary.

Michigan show shines, while biofuels group switches sides

Today is for “the wearin’ of the green.” But if you’re a Michigan dealer who exhibited in the recent 23rd annual Spring Boating Expo, it’s more likely “the bankin’ of the green.” That, and an unexpected group joining our industry’s call for changes in the Renewable Fuels Standard, leads today’s blog.

Persistence will pay off in ethanol fight

I’m tired of writing about ethanol and I’ll bet you’re tired of reading it. But winning the battle to halt ethanol’s march has never been more likely than it is now in the current Congress and it’s critical that all marine dealers take time to weigh in now.

Collective needs overrule personal passions

You just got a seat on your marine trade association’s board of directors? Congrats — it’s a clear vote of confidence and respect to be elected by your fellow members to serve. But after the applause and handshakes, you should not be confused about the serious responsibility you’ve just been handed.

Boating grants are a boon to industry growth

You’ve probably heard of the Boating Infrastructure Grant program, affectionately dubbed the “Big P” by those of us who have long cheered the benefits of seeing federal dollars spent to support recreational boating. It does things the industry couldn’t do for itself.

More fish, less fish and no algae

From the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, issues including red snapper, Asian carp and dangerous algae blooms are getting major attention. And they very well should because they directly impact boating.

Dealers should check employment law compliance

An inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration walks into a dealership and asks to see the required posted notices to all employees. Regrettably, some aren’t there, others are out of date. That will be a $7,000 fine (per occurrence) for non-compliance, the man from the government says.

EPA’s ‘quick kicks’ on ethanol

Seeing no gain of yardage in the ethanol game, the Environmental Protection Agency “quick kicked” by announcing it will further delay, until sometime in 2015, a determination of the quantity of ethanol required to go into the nation’s gas supply for 2014.

Council needs to be a check on new Congress

As the lame-duck session of the 113th Congress that has raised accomplishing nothing to a high art gets under way, the Advisory Council of Marine Associations will tackle a wide-ranging agenda at its annual meeting this weekend in Orlando.

We need the horsepower of the RV industry

I turned on the TV in Chicago last night and what did I see? It was a well-done Go RVing commercial. Here I am, I thought, in the nation’s second-largest market and I see the RV industry appropriately hitting it with a slick message. And I’m immediately ticked.

Is it time to use a “sue and settle” strategy?

Wisconsin warned boaters and swimmers that there’s blue-green algae in their lakes. Toledo, Ohio’s recent “don’t-drink-the-water” was a national disgrace. People who touch or ingest water containing it (microcystin toxin) can become sick. Certainly not a climate in which we can grow boating. Is it time, then, for the marine industry to take a page […]

In Florida, advocacy is making boating better

There might be no other state where boating groups are more engaged in efforts to secure the marine industry’s future than in Florida, proving once again that our industry’s marine trades associations do what individual dealers couldn’t accomplish by themselves.

Trade groups should encourage legislative caucuses

Taking a page from the National Marine Manufacturers Association playbook, state and local marine trade associations should be active in encouraging the formation of caucuses in state legislatures that are sensitive to pro-boating policies.

High-octane fight against Renewable Fuel Standard

Kudos to the National Marine Manufacturers Association and BoatUS as they fight fire with fire by supporting the American Petroleum Institute’s launch of ads urging Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard and its disastrous ethanol mandate.

Algae blooms threaten boating’s future: Part 2

The Environmental Protection Agency says that summer algae blooms are one of the nation’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. Summer algae blooms (which derive from excess phosphorus) are currently polluting the nation’s lakes and bays from the Chesapeake to the Pacific Northwest. And it’s game on in what’s going to be a battle […]

Should we support a gas tax hike or oppose it?

We are an industry sensitive to price increases at the gas pump. The higher the price, the more negative the pressure on our ability to attract prospective boaters. So when a significant hike in the federal gas tax is being pushed, it grabs our attention.