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WaterLife: Monthly member newsletter from the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA). For the latest news, visit www.NMTA.net
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January 2018

It’s here! The - BIGGER - BIG Seattle Boat Show now in THREE locations  open its doors for the 71st time on Friday, Jan. 26. This year marks the 15th year the NMTA and Northwest Yacht Brokers Association have collaborated to offer boaters a unique experience, both indoors and afloat at CenturyLink Field Event Center, Bell Harbor Marina, and South Lake Union. Updated activities in the Kids Zone and fun features including an elaborate display of over 25,000 dominoes, our special Career Fair, and FREE PARKING with e-ticket purchase make this year’s Show one that can’t be missed. 
Allstate Yacht Sales
Cardinal Yacht Sales
Clipper Round the World Race
Factory Motor Parts
Ideation Design Group
The Moorings
Natural Systems Design
Randy Cowley Yacht Consultants
Redline Recreational Toys
Rozema Boat Works
Seanet Company
Snow & Company
Solo Watersports
Zodiac Nautic

Jan. 26 - Feb. 3: Seattle Boat Show!
Jan. 29: Career Fair at Seattle Boat Show
May 11 - 12: Northwest Paddling Festival
May 17 - 20: NEW! Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show
In This Issue: January 2018

Click to navigate to article:
President's Report
January 2018

Happy New Year!! Here at the office and at home the holiday decorations are coming down and it feels like summer or at least an early spring is right around the corner. Just knowing the days are getting longer puts a smile on my face and gets me thinking about my boat, plus the other 240,000 registered boats in Washington.  Over the years I’ve talked with many boaters that consider their annual trip to the Seattle Boat Show the official start of their boating year which is music to my ears. 

Our tagline for the 2018 Seattle Boat Show is MORE: More Locations, More Boats, More Gear, and More Free Parking. For our exhibitors and members, the plan is for more attendance and more sales.  This will be the 19th Seattle Boat Show in CenturyLink Field & Event Center. It’s essential we keep pushing the show forward with new attractions and promotions to keep the show fresh and a can’t-miss event.

Our number one new attraction this year is the addition of Bell Harbor Marina on the Seattle waterfront, just 1.4 miles from the stadium. Bell Harbor Marina will feature over 50 new and brokerage boats up to 100 feet. We’ll have boats doing sea trials and the 150’ Point Ruston Ferry will be docked in the marina serving hot food and drinks.

Our number one promotion this year happens across the street from Bell Harbor Marina in the Bell Street Pier Parking Garage (2323 Elliott Ave.) where we have free parking for attendees that buy e-tickets online at SeattleBoatShow.com . We’ll have more shuttle busses than ever running in all directions so our guests can easily get to our three locations.  

Right now, I am pleased to report boaters have received the message because our e-ticket sales are up nicely from this time last year. New boat sales in December and the fourth quarter were fantastic. December saw new boat sales up 52 percent in units and 160 percent in value. For the fourth quarter units were up 24.5 percent and the value was up 30 percent. This means for 2017 Washington new boat sales were up 6 percent in units and 15 percent in value over 2016. 

Don’t forget about our other promotions that attract attendees every year – over 220 free boating and fishing seminars, 24 advanced Boat Show University courses, our signature Friday tasting events – Uncorked and Sails & Ales.

Just as exciting, SeattleBoatShow.com was completely rebuilt this fall, and is contributing to our strong ticket sales. One of our goals was to streamline the “path to purchase” of e-tickets. We’ve accomplished this, and showgoers can easily purchase tickets on their phone in 90 seconds. Searching and viewing the list of over 400 exhibitors, nearly 1,000 boats, 250 seminars, and 7 partner hotels has never been easier.

New Boat Show in Anacortes! May 17 – 20

I’m pleased to announce the NMTA and the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce recently finalized plans to co-produce the new Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show at the Port of Anacortes’ Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes, May 17-20, 2018. 

Our vision is to create a complete destination show from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in-between that serves NMTA and Anacortes Chamber of Commerce members. It’s been a pleasure to work with the Chamber because our missions to serve and support our member businesses are so similar.

We plan to have in-water display space for new and brokerage boats. A shoreside tent for accessory displays. Shoreside space for trailerable boats, and are working on plans to include the new and brokerage boats on display at the dry storage facilities just south of the marina. We have space to display 300 plus boats which will draw serious boat buyers from across the region.

One of my favorite sayings is “boating means something different to everyone”. Sail or power, cruise or fish, fresh or salt, big or small, expensive or on a budget - the beauty of Northwest boating is that we have it all and we can do it year-round. NMTA’s mission is to “grow boating”. We want non-boaters to discover the boating lifestyle and current boaters to use their boats more often.

Frequently I hear boat show attendees ask where the affordable or small boats are. Sometimes I try to explain the economics of boat shows to these attendees or simply just agree there aren’t enough boats in their price range. This leads to another shared vision for the show - to do whatever we can to keep costs low for exhibitors and boaters. That said, the largest expense for a boat show is advertising and if we want to attract boat buyers we need to advertise. I’m confident we can thoughtfully balance these two needs – affordability for our members with a large enough advertising budget to attract attendees for a quality show.

The Anacortes waterfront and community are a perfect venue to showcase recreational boating and fishing outside of the hustle and bustle of Seattle. Anacortes is personally one of my favorite places in the Northwest and where I keep my own boat. It’s only 90 minutes from Seattle and looks, smells and feels like boating from the minute you arrive.

We’ve built the foundation for a great show. We have confirmed dates, May 17-20, a show name - Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show, created a nine-person Boat Show Committee (five from the Chamber and four from NMTA), created a budget and display rates. NMTA and Chamber members can expect a boat show application before the Seattle Boat Show opens on January 26 and we are working on a new show website now.  This will allow our staff to talk with members during the Seattle Boat Show and help them determine if the show will be a good fit for their business.

The NMTA Board, Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, Port of Anacortes, local businesses and I are all excited about creating the next great boat show in the northwest for our members. 

See you soon at the Seattle Boat Show and hopefully again in Anacortes.


George Harris
NMTA President/CEO

Legislative Report
Peter Schrappen, NMTA Director of Government Affairs

Boat Shows and Lobbying: Same Game, Different Name
Having returned from the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) in November, I am still struck by the sheer quantity and quality of boats at this show. The miles of boats configured around floating docks are a sight to see, as the sun, people, and general buzz all converge in South Florida once a year. Flying back from the show, I was staring out of the airplane when the realization hit me in a flash, “There are so many similarities between FLIBS and lobbying!” I can picture you sitting next to me asking, “Please explain yourself,” in a semi-interested fashion with an “uh-oh, here goes Peter” look.

For some context, I led a delegation of NMTA members to this show to promote marine tourism in the great Pacific Northwest. All the friendly pro-boating laws in the world (like the Marine Tourism Bill) will not matter if the word is not out. It’s a simple equation: Friendly boating legislation + Marketing the Pacific Northwest destination = A vibrant boating economy. That means each year, 30 sponsors come together to promote boating tourism. A 10-foot-by-10-foot booth is staffed, a Northwest Party is thrown on opening night, and a glossy publication (think an inflight magazine equivalent) is handed out. It is a good life!

So, here’s how that folds into lobbying. First, take the booth. If the Northwest contingent is not at the one place where boating world converges outside of the Northwest, we are not part of the discussion about boating opportunities. Similarly, if you recognize the importance of government affairs (Gotcha, you are reading this column!), then the next step is to have representation in Olympia, and to be on a first-name basis with your lawmaker. As you know by now, “If you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu” holds true both in Olympia and South Florida. Similarly, if you “fish where the fish are,” then yours truly is working marine issues such as updates to copper-bottom paint legislation at every legislative reception and fundraiser I can muster (more on this bill later). 

How does the party fit in? It’s an appreciation party for all those vendors who help create a $4 billion boating economy in Washington state. I organize fundraisers (aka appreciation parties) when and wherever I can both for NMTA members and targeted elected officials, too. Outside of that, NMTA sends campaign contributions to show gratitude. With the right captain and crew attending, sharing our story maybe plants a seed. More to the point for me, the party allows me to publicly thank the NMTA members and cast a wider net to prospective members in a fun setting. That’s just like lobbying fundraisers.

The third leg of this effort is our “inflight” magazine. Not every amazing shot or feature can go into this handout. An editor is needed, and this communication tool needs crisp, concise, and creative messaging. That same approach applies to legislation. Lawmakers want to be delighted in their meetings. They want their world rocked. They are tired of being bored. During legislative meetings, I’m drawing on the representatives’ past experiences and reframing our boating message around their worldview (not vice versa). They are at the center and the messaging revolves around them. My job is to delight them, bring out wonder, and forge a path together.

Whether it is talking to a prospective customer (visitor) at the Boat Show or a top prospect in the state capitol, it’s the same. As it is playing out in Olympia with the bill to phase-out copper, the approach does not deviate. I’m visiting (notice I’m not “meeting”) with a select group of targeted lawmakers in their home turf. Plus, I’ve attended their appreciation parties and ensured that they know who we are. Department of Ecology (believe it) particularly serves as the unique voice to grab lawmakers’ attention. Their involvement, especially on the Democrat side, adds credibility. The flip side is that without their support of the law to push the copper phase-out to 2021, it would darn near be impossible. 

Then there’s the crisp messaging. Boatyards have drastically improved their performance since the copper phase- out legislation first went into effect in 2011. From 2006-2008, they were discharging 110 parts per billion (PPB). From 2011-2014, it’s now down to 31 PPB. 

Lobbying can be opaque. What I know now after putting together a program for a boat show, something you are familiar with, is just like lobbying (but different). Let’s see where this approach gets us!
(Interested in taking part of the NMTA-FLIBS experience? Email me for more info: Peter@nmta.net

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Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan - NMTA Update

The Northwest Marine Trade Association staff has been closely following a 10-year proposal on a new Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan that would take effect beginning in 2019, and could potentially impact the 2018 fishing seasons.

The proposal recently submitted to NOAA came to light on Dec. 1, and was negotiated between the Washington Department of Fish staff and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Puget Sound Treaty Tribes.

Last month, the NMTA staff of George Harris, Peter Schrappen and Mark Yuasa, attended two meetings with WDFW director Jim Unsworth and staff in Olympia. Other sport-fishing industry groups on hand for the meetings were Puget Sound Anglers, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Fish Northwest and Coastal Conservation Association as well as some members of the WDFW Commission.

The NMTA is very concerned about the harvest management plan set forth by the department, which could adversely affect the future of marked-selective fishing opportunities for hatchery salmon from 2019 to 2029.

NMTA President/CEO George Harris sent a letter to WDFW Commissioners with copies to Governor Jay Inslee; Jim Unsworth, WDFW Director; State of Washington Senate and House Members; State of Washington Members of Congress; and Mike Grossman, Washington Attorney General’s Office. You can view the letter at nmta.net/ChinookHarvestManagementPlan. Members that would like to learn more about the plan are encouraged to read the Tidal Exchange story at tinyurl.com/NMTA4

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Seattle Business Magazine named NMTA member Hewes Marine Company its midsize Family Business of the Year 

By Treva Lind
Seattle Business Magazine - View the story HERE

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NMTA unveils 2018 Northwest Salmon Derby Series

The Northwest Marine Trade Association unveiled the 2018 Northwest Salmon Derby Series schedule.
“This is one of the premier year-long fishing events that encourages boating and fishing in the Pacific Northwest,” said Mark Yuasa, Director of the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) Grow Boating Program and coordinator of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series.

“We’ve added a new derby to the series, which is the Brewster Salmon Derby on Aug. 2-5 in central Washington,” Yuasa said. “This brings the total to 15 events in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada.”

The 2018 Northwest Salmon Derby Series kicked off with the sold-out Resurrection Salmon Derby in Anacortes, Jan. 5-7 and concludes with the Everett No-Coho Blackmouth Salmon Derby, Nov. 3-4. 

When anglers purchase a derby ticket to any of the 15 derbies, they are automatically entered into the drawing for the grand prize boat, which will take place at the conclusion of the Everett Derby in September or November 2018. If an angler enters all 15 derbies, the angler’s name will be entered 15 times into the drawing.  

This year’s grand prize boat is a Kingfisher 2025 Falcon Series powered with  Honda 150hp and 9.9hp motors on a EZ-loader galvanized trailer; fully rigged with Scotty downriggers, Raymarine electronics, WhoDat Tower and a Dual Electronics stereo – a $65,000 value.

Carefully and selectively, the Series has been very keen to partner with derbies that are wild-fish friendly. Some events have gone to “hatchery fish only” even during times and places where retention of unmarked Chinook and coho are acceptable by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife rules.

The derby series strives in the protection and enhancement of wild Chinook and coho stocks. We encourage anglers to fish selectively and carefully to release unmarked Chinook and coho salmon, particularly when the rules require release.

By working with government agencies to protect wild stocks, while accessing abundant hatchery salmon, NMTA believes this formula is the road map to the future of sport.

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Dealer Outlook:  New Year Looks Promising for our Industry
I can’t recall the last time we went into New Year’s Day with everything working for us. Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, calls it the “best tail winds in years.” I call it time for dealers to make more money in the boat business!

Heading into our 2018 winter boat show season, which kicks off this Friday with the Houston International Boat, Sport and Travel Show, the economic news couldn’t be better. Check out these figures:

The NMMA’s New Powerboat Registrations Report and advance data updated through October 2017 show that new powerboat registrations were up 4.7 percent for the rolling 12-month period through October. Moreover, virtually all segments were up. Cruisers were up 9.7 percent; pontoons were up 7.4 percent; towboats were up 6.7 percent; PWC were up 5.6 percent; outboard-powered boats were up 4.9 percent; and boats 27 feet and larger were up 7.7 percent. And these numbers include a short-lived 37 percent drop in boat sales in Florida (the No. 1 state in sales) in September after Hurricane Irma.

Consumers are spending! In November, retail spending for the holidays really cranked up. Americans spent more in November and at retail for the holidays — an increase of 0.6 percent — the best since 2011. It’s a clear signal that low unemployment, high consumer confidence, expected tax cuts and fatter paychecks, and the hot financial markets are underpinning a strong economy heading into 2018.

You say you want more — try these: The wealth effects from stock indexes are reaching a new high. Personal income rose 0.3 percent in November alone. Disposable personal income went up 0.4 percent in November. And consumers are spending it while unemployment is at a 17-year low.

Now add more fuel in the form of new housing stats that jumped to a 13-month high in November. New residential construction rose 3.3 percent, to 1,297,000 units in November, from the previous month, with a significant uptick in single-family construction, to 930,000 units (up 13 percent in the past 12 months). We have long known that as housing goes, so goes our industry.

Gone is the one cloud that has persistently hung over new-boat sales. Homebuilder optimism is at an 18-year high, with a very healthy outlook for 2018. In November, existing-home sales were up 5.6 percent, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million, and new-home sales were up 17.5 percent, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733,000. This is the highest level of existing-home sales since December 2006; new-home sales were at their best level since July of 2007.

Two of the biggest early shows — the Houston event and the Chicago Boat, RV and Sail Show, which opened Jan. 10 — are bellwether events that set the pace for the myriad indoor shows slated across the country through March. It’s clearly a good time to be exhibiting at local shows.

All signs point to continued growth for the economy and new-boat sales in 2018.

Norm Schultz writes the “Dealer Outlook” blog that appears in Soundings’ www.TradeOnlyToday.com every Tuesday and Thursday. He served as president of the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association for 34 years during which he directed production for over 130 boat shows in the Great Lakes region. 

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Fish Northwest Update
Carl Burke, Fish Northwest Lobbyist 

As we say goodbye to 2017 and look ahead to 2018 the political winds are about to shift in Olympia.

The 2018 Legislative session begins on January 8 and for the first time in years the Democrats will be the majority party both  in the House and Senate.  

It is too early to predict how policies enacted by the Democratic majority will impact the boating and sportfishing communities. What we do know is that we will be working very hard with legislators on both sides of the aisle to educate them about specific issues that pose very real challenges to the industry and citizens of Washington State’s ability to fish statewide.

The list of issues which we will be actively involved in during the 2018 Legislative session is long, but several are of particular note.

First, will the state find a long-term funding mechanism to increase production of Chinook, coho and steelhead in state hatcheries? For the past two decades, operating funds have decreased at both a federal and state level. If the state does not address this issue, we will be faced with a continual decline in fishing opportunities for those three species. At a political level, there will be fish conservation groups who oppose increased production in state and federal hatcheries. We at NMTA believe that increasing hatchery production is essential to sustain our sport fisheries targeting on hatchery salmon while participating in conservation measures to protect wild fish.

To the south of Puget Sound, the Columbia River spring outbound populations of salmon and steelhead are being threatened by the controversy over the amount of spill that Bonneville Power Authority (BPA) will be forced to release to protect out migrating juveniles to enhance their journey to the ocean. Spills and flow is important to minimize the amount of predation on these juvenile salmon from the Idaho border to the mouth of the Columbia River at Astoria.  If the federal court rules in favor of BPA, the loss of production will be extensive and effect all coastal fisheries from Neah Bay to the mouth of the Columbia.

Here’s a brief list of other issues we will be deeply involved in during the coming year:
  1. Recently the federal government completed a population assessment of juvenile salmon present in the ocean from Oregon to the Canadian border. The results were startling and very concerning because they found that populations were the lowest since sampling has been in place. They also noted increased numbers of Pacific mackerel that feed aggressively on juvenile salmon when they are present, migrating off our coast during warm water conditions (El Nino).  Declining ocean survival poses a very real threat to our coastal fishers.  
  2. How the state will address the overharvest of our forage fish (herring, anchovies and sardines) will have direct consequences to the health and size of our salmon and steelhead populations.  
  3. How will the federal and state governments deal with the declining numbers and health of orca whales in Puget Sound?  Recently, the feds have called for increasing the numbers of Chinook production from Puget Sound hatcheries with a goal of providing a greater food source for orca whales. Certainly, fishing closures to protect the chinook salmon food source continues to be on the table.
  4. The U.S./Canada Salmon Treaty is currently being re-negotiated. The outcome of these negotiations will directly affect our fishing opportunities in Washington, especially for chinook salmon.  
  5. The aquaculture issue will be hotly debated in the Legislature in 2018, as the result of massive numbers of Atlantic salmon escaping from a net pen facility last summer at Cypress Island. The environmental consequences from this event will get full exposure which could result in legislation regarding the industry.
  6. Will WDFW reconsider the recently agreed upon Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan with the Stillaguamish Tribe, which currently suggests severely restricting sport fishing opportunity in Puget Sound resulting in a colossal negative impact to current winter and summer Chinook salmon fishing. This issue will play out during the 2018 North of Falcon annual salmon season setting process.
In future Waterlife issues, we will examine fishing opportunities for 2018 that can have a positive outcome and provide opportunities to sport salmon fish for our 750,000 license holders.  

Finally, considering all the issues mentioned above, WDFW will again ask the 2019 Legislature to approve a statewide general license fee increase that is becoming increasingly difficult to support while continuing to pay more for less fishing opportunity creating a crisis for salmon and steelhead anglers and WDFW.
Stay tuned!

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Financial Report: Steps for maintaining a thriving family business
David B. Fitch, Wells Fargo Advisors

Only you can decide if claiming Social Security at age 62 or waiting to claim later makes more sense. Lifestyle and philanthropic intentions, marital and employment status, and gender are all factors.

When do you claim? 
If you’re in a position to think through your Social Security claiming schedule, do it. It could mean thousands or tens of thousands to your annual retirement income. 

Here’s your choice: You can start receiving monthly payouts at the qualifying age of 62 like many people. Or you can hold out for a bigger payout down the road. 

It’s your call – and it could be a game-changer in retirement. Though an immediate need for funds will usually trump other considerations, delaying Social Security for just eight years – until age 70 – could mean up to 30% more from Uncle Sam every month. 
Some key considerations will likely factor into your claiming strategy: 

What’s age got to do with it? 
If 60 is the new 40, then 80 is the new 60. Longer life spans are only part of the story, though. The rest of it plays out every day in 21st century lifestyle and retirement expectations, not to mention philanthropic intentions or plans to help out the family or grandchildren. 
Along with modern realities, retirees’ multiple income sources and investments are changing traditional Social Security claiming patterns. It may make more sense to begin drawing funds from other income sources while delaying Social Security. Or you may even decide to put off retirement for a few years to make it possible. 

What’s your claiming combo? 
If you’re married or in a relationship, you’ll want to look at where you both stand in relation to retirement. We’re talking “still working” versus “already retired.” Depending on your personal circumstances, a number of scenarios could apply, including: 
  • Both spouses or partners wait until 70 to claim
  • One spouse or partner claims early while the other waits.
  • A lower-earning spouse claims a spousal benefit at or after full retirement age while deferring his or her own retirement benefit (available only to anyone born on or before May 1, 1950, from full retirement age through age 70)
Your claiming strategy may be as unique as your financial circumstances and retirement outlook. 

What’s your gender? 
Longer life spans apply here, too. Women, on average, outlive men. Take gender into account in your claiming strategy. Look at your gene pool, retirement expectations, and whether or not you’ll receive dependent Social Security benefits should you lose your spouse. 
Give yourself the gift of planning ahead, especially as you approach Social Security eligibility, to help you get more from this valuable retirement income source.

Next  steps:
  • Decide on a Social Security claiming strategy that works for you. 
  • Write it down, revisit it occasionally, and tweak it whenever necessary.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of David B. Fitch, Associate Vice President - Investments in Bellevue at 425-450-2245. © 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Did you Know? 
Peter Schrappen, NMTA Dir. of Government Affairs

As I wind down the year, here are some “did you knows” that might be news to you. Here it goes. 

Did you know that over that $500 million dollars was appropriated in this year’s legislative budget to address the shortage in career and technical education? Thanks to one of NMTA’s legislative champions in Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard), vocational training is not only funded to this unprecedented amount but it’s now part of basic education. This inclusion means that the state must continue to fund CTE moving forward. Yahoo!
Did you know that each month NMTA’s Government Affairs Committee brings in a guest speaker to offer insights and solicit feedback?

That’s correct. Under the guidance of your committee chair Gregg Reynolds of Global Marine Insurance, we have heard from Seattle’s Mayor Jenny Durkan, Rep. Tarleton, Seattle City Council Member Rob Johnson, Seattle Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman to name just a few of these civic leaders we have heard from.

We’d love to have you join us. Email me to get on the email list (Peter@nmta.net

Did you know President Trump has signed over 70 pieces of legislation? I didn’t either. 

Did you know the Washington Boating Alliance is back up and running? You are reading this right. Ably-led by NMTA member Martha Comfort, now I’m at the helm and have this all-inclusive, consensus-based group getting together to hash out differences with regulators and agencies and hear about upcoming boating events. If you aren’t on the WBA email train, just let me know. 

Did you know that 2,298 bills were introduced and 366 of this 2,298 number actually became law in 2017? NMTA made it easier for larger boats to visit with one of these new pieces of legislation in 2017.

Do you know what NMTA’s top legislative priority is in 2018? When the legislature convenes on January 8, your team will be there which includes yours truly and Cliff Webster of the firm Carney Badley Spellman. Our top priority is to improve the copper-paint ban. Specifically, the bill will move the phase-out to 2021; exempt wood boats from the phase-out and look at alternatives to the all-out ban with a new study of this issue. Pretty exciting!

Did you know that NMTA’s staff and members attend a industry-based lobby day in Washington D.C. every year? It’s true and you are invited. The topics are as varied as the industry is and it’s my personal (work) favorite time of the year. If this piques your interest (and it should) and you want to take a more active role in our participatory democracy, let me know. This year’s event (called the American Boating Congress is April 30-May 2). 

Do you know
... what events are coming up for NMTA Government Affairs?

First off, thanks to all who attended and contributed to our January 4 NMTA Legislative tee-off at Elliott Bay Marina with Rep. Noel Frame (D-Ballard) and Seattle Port        Commissioner Fred Felleman. This meeting got me pumped up about these upcoming events for the Government Affairs squad. Get out your calendar!
  • January 18: NMTA Lobby Day in Olympia + evening reception
  • January 23: Can’t make it to the NMTA Lobby Day but want to make your voice heard? Come on down to Oly on Jan. 23 and I will set up the meetings with whomever you want to meet with. 
  • February 1: Washington Boating Alliance Leadership Summit at the Seattle Boat Show
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Grow Boating Grant & Event Sponsorship Applications due January 31

Do you have or know of a group or organization that helps serve NMTA’s core purpose of increasing the number of boaters in the Northwest and encouraging boaters to boat more often? Apply for an NMTA Grant!

Applications must fall into one of the following categories:

Youth Boating Grant
  • Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at getting or increasing youth participation in boating activities.
 Discover Boating Grant
  • • Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at introducing new people to boating.
 Boater Education / Safety Grant
  • • Awarded to a group or organization seeking funding support for an event or program aimed specifically at educating  new or current boaters on how to be safe on the water.
Applications for 2018 must be received by January 31, 2018. Grants will be awarded in mid-April, 2018. For more information and to download an application, visit www.NMTA.net/Grow-Boating

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Welcome New Members!

Allstate Yacht Sales is in Gig Harbor and buys and sells boats, offers consignment sales and provides boat transport and other services. They look forward to exhibiting at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show.

Cardinal Yacht Sales, together with NW Diesel Power in Bellingham, is a top-rated boat shop in the Pacific Northwest. They exclusively carry the new line of Targa Boats, and will be exhibiting at Bell Harbor Marina at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show. 

Clipper Round the World Race is a 40,000-nautical mile race around the world on a 70-foot ocean racing yacht. The boats were in Seattle in 2016 and are making a return in 2018. Come visit them at the Seattle Boat Show in the East Hall, Booth 1028 to learn how your business can get involved when they are in town next.

Factory Motor Parts is out of Minneapolis and works with dealers and installer shops offering automotive, boat, and power sports parts and supplies. They hope to exhibit in the Seattle Boat Show this year as well.

Ideation Design Group is a leading design and production house specializing in a wide range of marketing products and services, including custom yacht graphics. They have worked with many of our members in their marketing for the Seattle Boat Show this year as well. 

The Moorings will be in the Seattle Boat Show, East Hall, Booth 1303 and are excited to get you and your family out on the water. They are a global yacht charter vacation company and have new locations in the Exumas, Belize, and Croatia.

Natural Systems Design focuses on the engineering and design of restoration of waterways, including many projects in Seattle that are focused on fish habitats. They are joining NMTA’s Health Trust and happen to be our neighbors!

Randy Cowley Yacht Consultants is out of Friday Harbor and has been in the industry for many years and is starting up his own consulting and brokerage business. They carry West Bay Sonship Motoyachts, Paragon Motoryachts, and Duffield Motoryachts

RedLine Recreational Toys membership provides a way for families to enjoy competition wake boats, pontoon and fishing boats, PWCs, ATVs, UTVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles, campers, toy haulers, motorhomes, and more, without the high costs of renting or the hassles of owning. Come learn more at the Seattle Boat Show, East Hall, Booth 705. 

Rozema Boat Works is based out of Bayview, WA., and has specialized in custom metal boat construction for over 60 years. They produce oil spill response boats, tugs, passenger vessels and much more. They’ll be exhibiting at Bell Harbor Marina so make sure you come down to see their sturdy designs.

Seanet Company is based out of Newport Beach, California, and is the factory authorized dealer for Absolute Yachts on the West Coast. They are excited about being more involved in the Pacific Northwest and with the Seattle Boat Show. 

Snow & Company is from Seattle and builds, designs, and remodels commercial fishing vessels. With our partnership with NPFVOA, Snow & Company will be joining the NMTA Health Trust.
Solo Watersports is a new company out of Redmond and is a personal watercraft that allows you to be the driver, spotter, and skier all in one. Come check out this amazing new product at the Seattle Boat Show! 

Zodiac Nautic is excited to be exhibiting in the Seattle Boat Show this year. They’ve been in business for over 120 years and their boats are perfect for any water activity, and are seen around the world. Cap Sante Marine in Anacortes is their local dealer.

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West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series Grand Prize Boat Awarded to Lake Coeur d’Alene Angler

SEATTLE – Nov. 10, 2017 – Gary March of Worley, Idaho, had hit a low point in his life while on a recent mule deer hunting trip at Fort Peck Reservoir in northeastern Montana.

“I was in an area that didn’t have cell phone coverage, and nine miles from the boat launch when I lost control of my truck and boat, and went off a 30-foot embankment,” March said. “There was a little damage to the boat, but the truck is totaled. It took me a few days to get the trailer fixed before I could get it home.”
While waiting for repairs in Jordan, Montana, he sat in his hotel room, and noticed three voicemails on his cell phone that lifted his emotions.

Those calls were coming from Karsten McIntosh with the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA). McIntosh had great news: March’s name had been randomly drawn on Nov. 5 at the Everett No-Coho Blackmouth Derby from more than 4,000 anglers following the conclusion of the 2017 West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series.

McIntosh had notified March that he had won a grand prize, fully-equipped 22-foot OceanPro Hewescraft aluminum boat with Honda motors and trailer valued at around $85,000.

And this is where the story gets interesting since the boat that slipped off the side of a remote road along the fifth largest artificial lake in the U.S. was also a 22-foot OceanPro Hewescraft!

“(McIntosh) called me, told me I won a boat and I said you’ve got to be kidding me,” March said. “My emotions were pretty low at the time, and then I was right back on top. I had a pretty big swing of emotions at that moment.”

Call it divine intervention or fate, but according to March, everyone has always called him “Lucky” his whole life and winning this beautiful boat definitely sealed the deal!

March’s name was entered into the derby series drawing after fishing in The Big One Salmon Derby on Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho on July 26-30.

“I had a really slow tournament this summer, and have fished it for over 20 years with my wife Clare,” said March. “This was the first time I fished the tournament after a few years off.”

March who lived most of his life in Spokane, had just retired back in March after a 45-year career with White’s Boot Company in Spokane.

The boat is the 14th grand prize boat, motor, and trailer package that has been given away since the Series was created in 2004. This year’s Hewescraft 220 OceanPro boat is powered by a 250-horsepower Honda and a 9.9-horsepower Honda trolling motor, on an EZ Loader tandem axle trailer. The boat came fully-equipped with top-of-the-line extras including Raymarine electronics, Scotty Downriggers, and a Dual Electronics stereo. 

“How exciting for Gary to win this fully-loaded boat, and I can’t wait to see him out on the water at Coeur d’Alene next summer,” said Mark Yuasa, who coordinates the Northwest Salmon Derby Series and chatted with the “Lucky” derby winner. “There was nothing more thrilling than to hear how happy he was after winning this impressive fully-geared fishing boat.”

The West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series is a fishing promotion program directed by the NMTA that encourages boating and fishing in the Northwest. In 2017, the Series included 14 derbies in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada. For each derby an angler competes in, they get one entry into the drawing for the grand prize boat held at the final derby in the Series. 

Now that March is retired and has a new home on Lake Coeur d’Alene he plans to make good use of the boat and hopefully eclipse his best chinook catch of 24.9 pounds on the expansive 25-mile lake.
“I’m retired and with this waterfront home on the lake and now the owner of a new boat, I will definitely be fishing this derby every summer,” he said with excitement.

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Member Spotlight: Ian Wilkinson

For Ian Wilkinson, general manager of Foss Harbor Marina, 2017 ended on a high note. He received good news in December that he’s a Certified Marina Manager. Once he completes the needed time as GM, he will be bumped up to a Certified Marina Operator. 
Congrats, Ian!

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New Year, New Fishing Opportunities
It’s the start of 2018, and there are plenty of on-water salmon fishing activities to ring in the New Year!
If you catch my drift this isn’t a time to sit back on the couch in front of a fireplace or TV as winter Chinook fishing is hitting full-stride, and the table quality of these fish are like non-other to be had on the BBQ grill.
Keep in mind closing dates on many fishing areas mentioned below could hinge on catch guidelines or encounter limits for both sub-legal and legal-size Chinook that often make or break how long anglers can fish for hatchery-produced salmon.

This unfortunate situation came to fruition this past November for two northern marine areas when the sub-legal catch rate skyrocketed.

So on that note, my word of advice is to go sooner than later, which should guarantee you more time on the water.

The San Juan Islands (Marine Catch Area 7) opened Jan. 1 with fishing allowed through April 30 for hatchery Chinook.

Let me stand on my soap box, and expound to you about the island chain being as close as you can get to awesome scenery and wildlife viewing that is oh so very similar to southeast Alaska’s coastline. And let’s not forget the decent chance to catch a quality large-size chinook just minutes from nearby boat ramps or marinas. When the weather is dicey you can often find an array of places to hide from windy weather or rough water.

A good gauge on success in the islands will occur when hundreds of anglers hit the water for the Resurrection Salmon Derby – part of the NMTA’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series – on Jan. 5-7 in Anacortes at Cap Sante Marina.  This is followed by the already sold-out Roche Harbor Salmon Classic on Jan. 18-20. For details on all derbies, go to nwsalmonderbyseries.com/derbies/.

Closer to Seattle is central Puget Sound (Area 10), which has been quietly producing some fair to good action at places like Southworth, Allen Bank off Blake Island, Manchester, Rich Passage, West Point, Jefferson Head and Point Monroe. Even places like Elliott Bay have been kind at times to those participating in the Tengu Blackmouth Derby that was held every Sunday through New Year’s Eve. The closure date for 10 is Feb. 28.

Back in mid-November, northern Puget Sound (Area 9) fell victim to the huge sub-legal Chinook (fish under the 22-inch minimum size limit) encounter rate and was shut-down until further notice.
Area 9 was scheduled to reopen for hatchery chinook from Jan. 16 through April 15. Areas 8-1 and 8-2 – eastside of Whidbey Island – also experienced a set-back in November, and was supposed to reopen sometime this month. Keep an eye out for an announcement by WDFW to come out on the situation very soon.

Before I get off my soap box, also don’t overlook south-central Puget Sound (Area 11), Hood Canal (Area 12) and southern Puget Sound (Area 13), which are all open now through April 30. Other winter Chinook fisheries on the “must go” soon list are western Strait (Area 5) from March 16 to April 30; and eastern Strait (Area 6) from March 1 to April 15.

Salmon politics started rumbling like an active volcano on Dec. 1 when state and tribal fishery managers released the 368-page Puget Sound Chinook Harvest Management Plan.

This fishing plan – sent to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries for review – guides conservation and harvest of Puget Sound Chinook salmon from the ocean clear into inner-marine waterways takes effect from 2019 through 2029.

The controversial plan has raised issues and many in sport-fishing industry are concerned that the plan could adversely affect future sport salmon summer and winter fishing opportunities. Let’s just say it has the potential to erupt like Mt. St. Helens did back in 1980 leaving devastation in its wake.

The Northwest Marine Trade Association staff attended a meeting last month in Olympia with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) director Jim Unsworth and staff on this situation.

Other sport-fishing industry groups on hand were Puget Sound Anglers, Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association, Fish Northwest and Coastal Conservation Association as well as some members of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

The NMTA and other user-groups asked specific questions, and are waiting to get an analysis response and more details on the proposal from WDFW before making any further decisions.

There is an 18-month public comment period, and this will surely be a hot topic of many debates in months to come. To view the 338-page plan, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01947/wdfw01947.pdf

Seattle Boat Show drops anchor at three locations

The Seattle Boat Show from Jan. 26 through Feb. 3 is the one-stop place to get your fix on hundreds of fishing boats, informative seminars, and an array of state-of-the-art gear and electronics.

There will be 55 free fishing seminars, and more coverage on a variety of new topics by top-notch experts providing anglers with the most in-depth wealth of knowledge on how to catch fish across the Pacific Northwest. For a complete list of all fishing and boating seminars, go to seattleboatshow.com/seminars

This will also be a time when visitors can check out the Northwest Salmon Derby Series grand prize $65,000 KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series boat powered with a Honda 150hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on an EZ-loader galvanized trailer. The fully-rigged boat comes with Scotty downriggers; Raymarine electronics; a custom WhoDat Tower; and a Dual Electronic Stereo.

There are 15 derbies in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, Canada, and the drawing for the grand prize boat will take place at conclusion of the Everett Derby in September or November. For derby details, go to nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

I’ll see you on the water or at the biggest boat show on the West Coast, the great Seattle Boat Show!

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Health Care Corner: January 2018

New Year, New Medical Plans
As the New Year quickly approaches, this means new medical benefit plans are also just around the corner for many people.

Now is a great time to make sure you understand your benefits, new or old, and that you’re getting the best possible benefit from your plan.

Here a few tips to help you get the most from your medical benefits in 2018: 
  1. Know Before You Go – Knowing the basics of your health insurance benefits will make you a more confident and well-prepared consumer. Understanding how your plan operates and basic information such as your deductible, copay and out-of-pocket maximum will give you a better idea of how much you can expect to pay. 
  2. Research - A little bit of research before you head to the doctor’s office or pharmacy can make a big difference. Confirming that your doctor is in-network, especially if you recently changed plans, will ensure you get the best possible rate. 
  3. Ask questions – Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if a medication they prescribe might have a lower cost alternative or how much they expect a suggested procedure to cost. 
  4. Speak Up – While your annual preventive care visit should be covered at no cost to you, other tests (or even questions you ask) may not be categorized as preventive and that means you could be charged. You can always ask your provider at the beginning of your appointment to make you aware of any topic or procedure that is discussed will not be considered preventive. 
  5. Double Check – After your appointment, make sure to read your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) carefully to check that the charges match the appointments and procedures that were performed.
Understanding health insurance benefits can be a daunting task, especially with the constantly changing health care environment. Fortunately, NMTA member companies have access to the NMTA Health Trust and their team of professionals to help navigate their employee benefits.

If you would like to find out more about the NMTA Health Trust, contact Capital Benefit Services at 425-641-8093.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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