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Where’s Boating’s Bailout?

Kudos to the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA). Robert Soucy, MRAA’s Chairman, and Phil Keeter, President, have sent a letter to Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary, and Ben Bernanke, Fed Reserve Chairman, on behalf of the 3,500 MRAA member dealers.

In the letter, MRAA called on them to “use all your tools to support industries, like ours, in distress and do for our industry what you have done for home mortgages and auto loans. The credit crisis has had a dramatic impact on our industry, and boat sales have contracted severely,” they explained. “Our industry needs relief, and we need it quickly.” 

Well, I want to add my full support to this appeal. I want to call for a Boating Bailout! After all, banks, insurance companies, automakers and God knows who else are all lined up – so let’s get our boats in the line, too! Here goes:

Dear Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke:

America’s pleasure boat industry would genuinely appreciate just a small piece of the $700 billion pie you guys are dishing up.

Please understand, we’re team players and we’re not greedy. It’s OK for you to give the big banks $125 billion to share. We’re cool with that. After all, they only boo-booed by making bad mortgage loans to lots of people who couldn’t pay back. We’ve done nothing like that so we’ll settle for a minimal bailout, say just $100 million.

OK. After some additional consideration, I feel certain the boating industry could make it with just the initial $85 billion you slipped AIG a couple of months ago. Yes, of course, I know the AIG bail out is now up to $130 billion and rising but, like I said before, we in boating are team players – a mere $85 billion spread around to America’s boat dealers will get us going again and still leave plenty for all the others who want a bailout.

Listen, here’s the best way to look at this request. Our industry really didn’t screw up anything. You can’t say the same for many of those Wall Street investment companies that are at the front of the line for federal aid. All I’m really saying is we deserve a little, too. I mean, who doesn’t want to be included in the great Hank and Ben show these days? Congress has made you guys the Money Gods!

So, while we temporarily set aside the “Discover Boating” banner until next June, let’s raise up this new one: “Its Only Fair that We Get A Share!”


9 comments on “Where’s Boating’s Bailout?

  1. David G. Brown

    The MRAA executives did what they are paid to do, but I am still reminded of a scene out of Charles Dickens…young Oliver holding out his bowl and asking, “please, master, more gruel.”

    Since when is government the solution?

    — David G. Brown

  2. Jac

    Yeah, how about a bailout for boats? How about a bailout for Restaurants? And don’t forget the Corner Deli? Home Depot, K-Mart, Lowe’s, the Travel Industry, ad infinitum. Where does it end?

    PBB said it best this morning: the Boating Industry has done just fine for the rich and now its time for it to do more for the middle class. The banks have received/will receive the bailout money and need to inject it back into the economy through loans, business and personal. The banks supply money to industries and we are in enough of a jam because of failed economic policies and greed. All that money was supposed to “trickle down” but it didn’t otherwise we might not be in this fix. Clever thinking and innovation will do a lot more than giving more money to more industries. We will become leaner, hopefully greener and we will survive.

  3. arch

    I hope that letter was a humor piece. In this day and age, it’s hard sometimes to know if someone is being serious or not. Some of the comments and rhetoric I’ve heard lately from people in our industry is preposterous.

    Exactly David,

  4. Doug Reimel

    Since we are on the subject of everyone getting money. I am curious to know. With the potential future re-distribution of wealth that may take place. Could you bigger dealers please send your check directly to me. I will be sure to let the IRS know you sent the money directly to me instead of the government. My account in the Cayman Islands will be open soon at Comerica Bank. Yes it is an offshore account and the beauty is it is still F.D.I.C. insured. Again I promise to let the government know you sent your check directly to me. And I am sure you will feel good about it!

    Have a great day
    Doug Reimel

  5. yachtmoneyman

    Norm, I agree with you 100%. We should stand inline for a some help. What ever that maybe. Like my dear old mother say’s “If you don’t ask for something you will get will not get anything” The letter will most likely find it’s way to the round file on the floor.

    This is a perfect time to not rely on the GOV and take control of our own futures (not that we have not be doing so all along). One of the way’s myself and a group of other marine industry pros are doing is getting ready to launch the marine industries first credit union. we are just a few months from opening our first branch. STAY TUNED FOR THE PRESS RELAESE!!!

  6. Gordy McKelvey

    I agree with Arch. I hope that letter was a humor piece. If it actually was sent it really makes us all look like a bunch of whinners. The government is into almost everything these days and after tonight it’s going to get a lot worse. We as an industry don’t need “Big Brother” poking around any more that he is.

    I leave you all with this thought: An American taxpayer who votes for a Democrat is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders. Toodles!

  7. Arch

    YACHTMONEYMAN, I have some business advice for you. If you are going to be involved in a business venture, your reputation is very important. Therefore, you might want to think twice about what you say before you put it in writing. Based on comments I’ve read from you now and in the past, and many unanswered questions I and others have posed to you on this forum, you aren’t doing your reputation any good.


    I’ve also heard from several on this forum and others in the industry that you have not replied to their emails. Why don’t you just tell us who you are, rather than hide under your forum name? If you are in fact going to be involved in a marine industry credit union, then tell us who you are.
    Question: Is this credit union going to be endorsed by the NMBA?

  8. Larry Keeter

    Get real! These ‘trade official’ mental giants have nothing better to do but dream up this stuff to justify their own existence. They want you to think that this long-time eroding flee bag business is on par with auto, real estate, or other multi-billion dollar industry.

  9. brad michael

    Good letter, however I would have pointed out two things> With out a bail out the number off bussiness’ and people that will be out. Lastly, unlike the big three, we build some of the best boats in the world!

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