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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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October 2017

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NMTA Annual Meeting

November 8 at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott

Join NMTA members and staff at the Seattle Waterfront Marriott for the NMTA Annual Meeting on November 8. 

This year, Bob Donegan, President of Ivar’s Seafood Company, will be the featured speaker. Donegan is active in the Seattle community and will share highlights, stories, and knowledge of Seattle and it’s maritime background  that he has gained since joining Ivar’s as Chief Fin Officer in 1997.

NMTA is especially excited to welcome you to the Seattle waterfront for this event to showcase our new venue for the 2018 Seattle Boat Show - Bell Harbor Marina! Each registered attendee to the Annual Meeting will also receive a complimentary parking pass to the Bell Street Garage for the evening, the site of our free parking promotion for the 2018 Seattle Boat Show. Be the first to try our big promotion! 

What: NMTA Annual Meeting 
Where: Seattle Waterfront Marriott 
2100 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121 
When: Nov. 8, 2017 - 6 to 9 p.m. 
Registration: $20/person - Click HERE to register. 
Includes drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
Admiral Ship Supply Inc.
AGWater, Inc.
Alaskan Observers
Blackpoint Marine NW
Fab Dock
Freedom Boat Club Tacoma
Marine Detail Specialists
North West Coastal Charters
SiriusXM Radio

October 19-20: Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference 

November 8: Annual Meeting

November 16-18: Pacific Marine Expo (Booth 1212)

January 26 - Feb. 3: Seattle Boat Show
In This Issue: October 2017

Click to navigate to article:
President's Report
October 2017

Last month we said farewell to Tony “The Truth” Floor. Tony served as NMTA’s Director of Fishing Affairs from 2004 to 2017, and before that spent 30 years with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). For 14 years, NMTA asked Tony to promote our saltwater fishing opportunities and provide leadership for our sportfishing advocacy. To Tony I say – “Thank You and Mission Accomplished”.

Tony’s passion for salmon fishing, crabbing, shrimping and enjoying the outdoors was infectious and Tony deserves credit as being one of the best known and respected voices for keeping saltwater anglers on the water, looking forward to their next trip, and looking forward to their next boat purchase. Tony did this with his monthly “Tony’s Tackle Box” blog, managing and growing the West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series for 14 years and countless trips and interviews with the media. Tony inspired me and infected me with a passion for saltwater angling, so I know firsthand how important and effective his work was. 

Modern day salmon fishing is highly regulated and unfortunately complicated to the new angler. Tony frequently reminded all of us that if you focus on what you can’t do you’ll never leave the house so “tell me what you can do”. Tony did exactly this and showed the way to countless year-round opportunities and places to chase salmon, lingcod, crab and shrimp with a boat. These opportunities are vital to your businesses because the sales data here in Washington shows that over 50 - 60 percent of new boats sold are used for some type of recreational angling all or some of the time.

Tony has retired from NMTA, but not from angling, and if you know where to look you’ll find Tony onboard his Osprey 24 doing what he loves. Thank you Tony, and tight lines.

Going forward, NMTA will continue to make recreational fishing promotion and advocacy a priority. In September, we welcomed Mark Yuasa to our full-time staff as Director of Grow Boating Programs. Previously Mark was the outdoor columnist at the Seattle Times for 25 years. Mark is a passionate angler, boat owner, and outdoor enthusiast that understands the full scope of boating here in the Northwest from stand-up paddleboards to superyachts. Mark will be responsible for managing our year-round grow boating programs and Grow Boating Committee. NMTA’s Grow Boating program is the largest regional program in the country and currently includes the West Marine Northwest Salmon Derby Series, public relations, grants and non-NMTA event sponsorships. Mark will also be a much needed oar in the water to help us produce our number one grow boating event – the Seattle Boat Show. Mark is an accomplished writer so he will follow in Tony’s footsteps with his own monthly sportfishing column – “The Reel Times with Mark”. 

Protecting and expanding our sportfishing seasons is just as important as promotion. For this reason, NMTA has hired sportfishing lobbyist Carl Burke directly. Previously you have read Carl’s legislative reports in WaterLife as the lobbyist for Fish Northwest. Carl also lobbies for the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA). NSIA is an Oregon-based trade association specifically for fishing tackle manufactures and retailers. 

The NMTA Fish Committee is going to be reactivated this fall and led by our Vice-President and Director of Government Affairs, Peter Schrappen. The first task will be to use the same discipline and process that has been successful for our other advocacy committees and determine our sport fishing legislative and policy priorities for 2018. This will allow Carl and Peter to clearly communicate to the Washington state Department of Fish & Wildlife, lawmakers, the Governor’s Office and other sport fishing organizations on what our short-term and long-term goals are. Our direction comes from our members, and I encourage those members that depend on recreational fishing opportunity to get involved and participate in our priority setting process. If you are interested in serving on the Fish Committee please contact Peter here at the office 206-634-0911 or by email, peter@nmta.net. 

Annual Meeting & Bell Harbor Marina
The NMTA Annual Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8 at the Marriott Waterfront hotel from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. The Marriott Waterfront is right across the street from Bell Harbor Marina, which will be a new third location for the 2018 Seattle Boat Show. In addition to in-water moorage for 80 boats that is just 1.4 miles from CenturyLink Field Event Center, we have access to a 1,500 stall parking garage that will allow us to bring back our best ever promotion – free parking with the purchase of an online ticket at www.SeattleBoatShow.com. 

The Seattle waterfront is undergoing a major transformation with the completion of the seawall replacement earlier this year, the SR-99 tunnel and the removal of the viaduct in 2019. The Seattle waterfront is on track to become a pedestrian friendly, world class destination and the Seattle Boat Show will be the number one attraction every January and February.

At the center of the waterfront redevelopment is Bob Donegan, CEO of Ivar’s Restaurants. Bob has been a leader for the waterfront businesses and a strong supporter of the redevelopment. Bob will be our keynote speaker at the annual meeting to share his insights and vision for the waterfront. I hope you can join us for an informative and fun evening.

See you on the water,


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Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference starts TOMORROW!

The Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference, presented by Marine Floats, is right around the corner! We’ll be kicking off the conference tomorrow (Wednesday, October 18) with a round of golf or tour of the Port of Blaine, concluding with Happy Hour that evening. We have sixteen seminars, including a specific Canadian Track, on Thursday and Friday. Come learn how to better serve your customers and stay at the beautiful Semiahmoo Resort.

Questions? Contact Kate Anderson at kateanderson@nmta.net.

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2017 Q3 Boat Sales Data 

At press time, NMTA has received preliminary 2017 third quarter sales data from the Department of Licensing via our friends at University of Washington Sea Grant. New boat sales for July, August, September were up 18.3% in units and up 28.2% in dollars. NMTA members can log into the Members Only section of www.NMTA.net to see full quarterly sales data reports from 2003 to 2017. Renewing members will receive a new NMTA membership card this week with a new Members Only password.

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Welcome New Members!

Admiral Ship Supply Inc.  is a marine hardware supply and chandlery store in Port Townsend, WA. They are located in the heart of the shipyard at the Port of Port Townsend and can cover all of your nautical needs. 

AGWater Inc. is the first retail business for MyBoatStatus monitoring system.  You can go online to MyBoatStatus.com to learn more about this new technology!

Alaskan Observers is based in Seattle and recruits biologists year-round to work as Domestic Groundfish Observers in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. They help the government obtain the data necessary to achieve a sound management plan for the protection and benefit of future fisheries resources in the Bering Sea, North Pacific, and on the West Coast.

Blackpoint Marine NW is out on the Olympic Peninsula and sells rigid inflatables, kayaks, and yacht tenders. They are excited to open and exhibit at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show!

Dockstar is a new manufacturer of self-powered portable bow and stern thrusters and is located in Hansville, WA. They plan on exhibiting in the 2018 Seattle Boat Show and we are excited to see their new products in the show.

Fab Dock is out of Queensland Australia and they are excited to bring their dry docking solution to the Pacific Northwest! They have the World’s No. 1 Dry Docking Solution that is environmentally friendly. Their product is available in eight countries for boats from 15-100 ft. long. 

Freedom Boat Club Tacoma is joining the club in the Pacific Northwest, along with Freedom Boat Club Seattle. FBC Tacoma is located at Foss Harbor Marina and has five boats in their fleet. Come check out their selection of boats and take the south sound by storm!

MarineDetail Specialists’ mission is to make boats beautiful and keep them beautiful. With seven mobile locations in Seattle, the east side, and the San Juan Islands, your boat will always be shining. Come visit them at the Seattle Boat Show this January.

North West Coastal Charters is located on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC and is excited about exhibiting at the 2018 Seattle Boat Show. Helping customers find the most suitable boat, making sure they are well equipped and provisioned, working on their itineraries and wishes with hiking, kayaking and quiet anchorages is their main mission.

ReconCraft has set the benchmark for rugged and reliable marine craft by combining an extensive background of military and law enforcement experience with world-class marine design and manufacturing processes. They are out of Estacada, Oregon and are expanding into the recreational market in the Seattle area.

SiriusXM Radio is available all over the United States and Canada and is compatible with your marine electronics. They will be exhibiting at the Seattle Boat Show in January and can help your customers with any Satellite marine weather/data/entertainment service needs.
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Seattle Boat Show gets a new look

A lot has happened over the last fourteen years at NMTA and the Seattle Boat Show since NMTA unveiled its current Seattle Boat Show logo. With 2018 bringing somesignificant changes, including the addition of a third venue at Bell Harbor Marina and a new website, NMTA and its Boat Show Committee decided it was time to evolve the Seattle Boat Show logo and brand. We, along with Bullseye Creative, conducted surveys and focus groups to learn more about what people like and don’t like about our brand. After much debate, we are excited to present our new logo which you can see on this ad, set to appear in the November issue of Harbors Magazine. The logo is a modernized version of the original logo that feels more high-tech than homemade. The logo emphasizes the words BOAT SHOW with three flags signifying our three locations. These flags, which have become an iconic part of the Seattle Boat Show identity through the years, are given a waving, more fluid appearance that feels more approachable and inclusive, and therefore has universal appeal. Say hello to the new face of the Seattle Boat Show! 

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Legislative Report
Peter Schrappen, NMTA Director of Government Affairs

A funny thing happened on the way to to the forum 
So much has changed in the last year on the legislation and desire to phase-out copper-bottom paint. It’s worth backing up and filling you in on where things are with the push to phase-out copper-bottom paint. You may remember from the article that boaters and marine businesses were getting their heads around the phase-out of copper-bottom paint by the year 2020. I remember Scott Anderson’s quote of “We are taking this phase-out with our eyes wide open” from an article I penned (“Copper is dead”) that spoke to how his boatyard was looking at this upcoming change.  Yes, results on the alternative (read: non-copper) paints were mixed but they seemed to be good enough to keep this phase-out moving forward by 2018 for new boats and 2020 for all recreational boats up to 65 feet.

That’s at least how the issue appeared in March. In what seems a lifetime ago, my feature story sparked considerable dialogue within the boating community. In fact, I received a number of calls, ranging from well-known boaters, asking everything from “Um, what phase-out of copper?” to “What are you doing to stop this crazy law?” to “What alternatives exist for the racing sailboat community?” 

The trickle of calls turned into a groundswell in just a few short weeks. NMTA was the logical organization to convene further conversations about what exactly was going on with the bill and the alternatives and the rest of the country’s position towards copper. To their credit, NMTA moved into action. I grabbed my lunch pale and got to work meeting with businesses to hear them out on their concerns. A “task force” was formed to give the industry more time to hear from experts. Over eight weeks, the group met; vetted concepts and came to the conclusion that improving this legislation to ban copper was necessary for a variety of reasons.   

To start, Washington is just too small of a boating market to sway paint companies to spend research-and-development dollars on non-copper paints. Washington’s boaters have always longed for bigger-boating states (like Florida) to join us. Voila, enter California! In my outreach, I learned that this state, the second in the country in boat registrations, is all set to phase-out high-copper-leaching paints by 2018. As this task force looked closer at what was happening in California, they liked what they were seeing.

As this process wrapped up in July, the NMTA board unanimously adopted the California model. Not only is California such a huge market force with 830,000 boat registrations but there are other attributes too following their lead. For one, the Golden State is a harbinger of future environmental legislation. A growing segment of Washington legislators look to them with fondness on how they regulate chemicals and enforce environmentally-friendly rules. California has an outsized quasi-seal of approval. To put it another way, if you want to know where Washington’s legislature is going, look to California first. Second, California regulators and environmental groups have had copper in their cross-hairs for a longer period than Washington. They have run the numbers around leaching, micrograms, liters per day, centimeters squared, etc, that Washington simply hasn’t. 

So this “California goulash” of regulations has culminated with the 2018 regulation that any paints that leach more than 9.5 micrograms/centimeters squared/liter/day would be outlawed. In effect, 190 paints would be banned and boaters could choose from a list of 80 that were below this 9.5 threshold. According to the task force, that 180 number sure beats the 12 that are completely non-copper. 

The group also made some other requests to this legislation. They asked their lobbying team (okay, me) to outlaw the application of this paint (not outlawing the sale of the paint because it just applies to recreational boats) to ensure that this law is fairly enforced. Lastly, they wanted this bill to apply to only Washington state registered boats. 

Meanwhile, more and more interest and concern is coming to the surface around this question of “what exactly is in these alternatives?” Econea, an active ingredient in one of the leading alternative paints, is banned in Europe. How is it illegal in Europe but okay for Puget Sound? I’m no chemist but I do know that lawmakers and environmental groups are not keen in swapping out one bad chemical for an even worse one. The concern, which is getting more traction, is that these chemicals are messy especially with marine life and juvenile salmon.

Long story short: I’ve got my work plan fleshed out for 2018 and it’s all about copper and improving the copper legislation. I’ve got a prime sponsor (Rep. Mike Chapman (Democrat – Clallam and Jefferson Counties) and an industry and boaters on my back. Let’s do this!

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Dealer Outlook: Holiday selling season has already begun
I know what you’re thinking — we’re not even to Halloween yet; then comes Thanksgiving. But in case you haven’t noticed we’re already being barraged with TV ads for Christmas stuff, and stores such as Kmart, Target and many more already have their Christmas items on shelves next to their plastic pumpkins and Pilgrim hats.

Now I don’t want to get into an ideological snit-fest that this early unveiling will make Christmas seem old hat by the time it gets here. But it doesn’t take a degree from Wharton (mine’s proudly from Indiana University), either, to recognize that if you can’t beat ‘em, you’re best to join ‘em.

So we might as well acknowledge that the Christmas retail season no longer kicks off around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Indeed, a RetailMeNot study found that nearly 80 percent of retailers indicated plans to begin holiday sales earlier this year. Further, 45 percent of Americans plan to start shopping before Nov. 1. So look for Black Friday deals to start well before Thanksgiving and go beyond Cyber Monday, it said. Obviously, the big retailers believe customers will respond to related product offerings and buy now.

Accordingly, for marine dealers who want to cash in on Christmas spending, now is the time to begin executing those holiday sales offers and promotions — before everyone else cleans out consumers’ wallets.

And why not? Overall, Christmas sales are expected to show gains this year, given the improved economy, low unemployment and consumer confidence well above last year.
For example, Deloitte Touche sees holiday sales rising 4 to 4.5 percent between November and January, to a possible high of $1.05 trillion, given that disposable personal income has grown as much as 4.2 percent — more than double the 2 percent rate a year ago. What boat dealer wouldn’t like a piece of that action?

Part of the rationale for stuffing retail shelves early is to counter predictions that much of the overall holiday sales boost will come from e-commerce. For example, although eMarketer’s holiday forecasts are more subdued (3.1 percent projected growth) than others, it predicts that online holiday sales could grow 16.6 percent, the biggest increase in six years. Any way you look at it, money is going to be spent.

But experts say retailers will have to be creative and use aggressive promotions (meaning discounts) to cash in. Here are some thoughts worth consideration:
Declare it’s “sales time” now. Why do virtually all retailers of any shape and size have sales during the holiday shopping season? Because they work! Get aggressive and creative. Offer one big bargain item a day or a week or a weekend only. A big discount on some popular item(s) can attract Christmas shoppers, particularly from within your existing customer base.

But experts say make certain your discounts are worthwhile. Like it or not, today we’ve become conditioned to being drawn by discounts. So a little 5 or 10 percent off, unless it’s on some major item, won’t draw. And remember, depending on the item, shoppers can easily compare prices these days.

Hold a holiday in-store event. I recall a dealer in northern Ohio who traditionally had a three-day Thanksgiving in-store holiday party with great success. It drew heavily from his existing customer base, but sold some boats and accessories to newbies, too. The showroom was brightly decorated, the refreshments were enticing, and the dealer even featured a few speakers on fishing and cruising subjects.

Good advertising and promotion will make it work. They can’t come if they don’t know about it. Determine the best channels to use to attract your best customers and prospects. Is it conventional newspaper ads, radio, social media, email? Whatever you choose, promote heavily.

Using social media is good because it has the possibility of going viral, although odds are it won’t. But the most powerful way to attract your customers is still email. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, marketing with email is three times more effective than social media, and the average customer order is 17 percent higher.

Presuming you have a good email list to which you regularly send a newsletter or something similar, it’s obviously a good vehicle to promote Christmas sales. However, sending out separate emails each time a new or different item is offered at a Christmas discount price can prove to be successful. And experts insist the more personal the email to existing customers, the better the rate of return will likely be.

Moreover, it’s appropriate to reward these loyal customers with special offers, such as extra discounts just for them and not available to the general public. It indicates to customers that they are definitely “special,” and experts say that’s a hard message to resist.

So as we head toward that “most wonderful time of the year,” now is the time to make a move a move and have sales, not sugarplums, dance in your head.

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 

Since our last printing, one of the longest legislative sessions in state history has finally concluded without a Capital budget and key policies that impact our industry and sports fishing opportunities still unresolved.  So, let’s start at the beginning.  
Most of our readers and members probably remember that WDFW had requested a major general fee increase for the various sports fishing licenses.  From the beginning we took a consistent position with the agency and legislators regarding our support of the proposed fee increase.

We were clear that there needed to be progress in the North of Falcon process to put an end to “in season management” which is a vehicle that prevents predictable seasons for the general public.  This did not happen. Secondly, we expressed a desire to see funding of our many state hatcheries to be directed to those hatcheries that provide the greatest recreational opportunity.  Again, there was no movement to address that concern.

We asked to have input into developing regulations regarding specific fisheries that provided the greatest recreational opportunities.  We asked the agency to deliver a strong message to the tribes that the public should have access to river systems like the Puyallup and Skokomish because our tax dollars are funding the production of salmon and steelhead in those hatcheries and the public is denied access by the tribes.
In short, the legislature was sympathetic to our concerns and the agencies fee increase legislation was defeated.  This means that in the 2019 legislative session the agency will again approach the legislature and user groups to gain support for fee increase legislation.

The one thing that is certain is that our various salmon and steelhead stocks statewide are in trouble.  Rising water temperatures in the ocean, Puget Sound and Columbia River are placing our various fisheries stocks in peril.  If our Coho stocks continue their downward spiral it will result in the closure of fisheries for other stocks to avoid the bycatch of Coho salmon.

At the same time that this is happening, our state hatcheries continue to have their production budgets slashed.  As a result, fewer and fewer fish are being produced in them.  To coin a phrase, this is a “perfect storm” for future salmon returns.  We at Fish Northwest will continue to work the legislative process and ask legislators to help create a predictable and sustainable source for funding our state hatcheries.  Increased funding is crucial in preventing the collapse of our statewide salmon fisheries into the future.

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Successful summer promoting boating with KING-5 Evening
Mark Yuasa, NMTA Dir. of Grow Boating Programs

The NMTA’s Grow Boating Program partnered with KING 5’s Evening – a television show that airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. – for a summer-long program that featured 11 entertaining on-water episodes from July 10 through Sept. 21, and offered excellent exposure for boating in the Pacific Northwest.

The successful series on the 30-minute show took viewers to an elegant floating studio on-board a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 479 sailboat courtesy of Marine Servicenter, and a Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40 catamaran courtesy of Signature Yachts.

Each boat whose company is based on Lake Union in Seattle was branded with the Evening and KING 5 logo decals and flags from Prism Graphics in Seattle.

The Husky Boatgating episode aired Sept. 7 right after the NFL football regular-season kickoff game, and ended up rated #1 in prime time for that time slot, according to KING 5 executive producer Lindsay Sieverkropp.

This episode featured a leisurely cruise on the catamaran from Lake Union through Montlake Cut to Husky Harbor, and shout outs were given to Signature Yachts and The Seattle Boat Show.

The show metric demographics for people in the 25 to 54 age group reached 643,973 viewers on KING 5 for all the boating episodes.

On social media, KING 5 had 33 posts on Facebook this summer with a total reach of 124,559; 1,855 clicks; and 18,450 video views.

Another show featured Dungeness crab fishing with Freedom Boat Club, FunShare and wakesurfing with Seattle Boat Company, sailing with Seattle Sailing Club, and pontoon cruising with Carefree Boat Club to dock-side restaurants as part of the getting out on the water without owning a boat.

Other episodes took viewers to Elliott Bay Marina for the Downtown Sailing Series; Sail Sandpoint putting the kids at the helm; and a story showcasing five boats – Cobalt, Ranger Tug, Lake Union Sea Ray, Beneteau and Hewescraft with suggestions from NMTA President George Harris on how a new boater can use them.

The Grow Boating Program serves NMTA’s core purpose to increase the number of boaters, and since 2003 has invested more than $1.5-million to promote boating in Pacific Northwest via grants, event partnerships and sponsorships, giveaways, grass-roots efforts and a yearly program to get the media out on the water to report on the fun of a boating lifestyle. Other marine trade associations have indicated NMTA’s program is one of the strongest and most robust in the country.

The shows were such a hit that KING 5 and Evening indicated they look forward to working with the NMTA again next summer.

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Goodbye, my friends
I popped out of bed this morning and took that long walk down the hallway into my office here at Chateau Floor. I turned on my laptop and stared at a blank screen, knowing it is my last column to write as retirement has arrived. It’s all about the ticking of the clock and it’s time to hum the tune of former NFL Monday Night Football broadcaster Don Meredith who sang “turn out the lights… the party’s over,” when the outcome of the game was imminent. Ready to hum?

Well, my involvement on the sport fishing scene is about to become history as I retire from 14 years at the Northwest Marine Trade Association (producers of the Seattle Boat Show) effective October 1. From the beginning, my assignment has been to promote sport fishing, following a 30-year Public Affairs career at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. While many consider my professional career as a dream job, and some say it isn’t really a job, regardless, forty years is enough. I’m done, baby!

As a young boy, sport fishing was in my blood. Growing up on the lower Hood Canal, I would sneak into private boathouses at first light with my fishing rod in hand and attempt to catch pile perch schooling under the dock with pieces of oyster, clam and mussels while most of the world was still asleep. Sometimes, when I got hungry, I ate the bait! Sicko little kid.

And during those early years, my dad took me out occasionally on a Westport charter boat during the summer to catch Chinook and coho salmon that fed my appetite to eat, sleep, and go fishing. The seeds of my lifelong passion sprouted. Yeah, a little sicko fishing junkie for sure.

With a degree in journalism from Western Washington University in my back pocket in 1977, it was salmon fishing legend Frank Haw, then director of our Department of Fisheries, who hired me for an open position in the public affairs office, which changed my life forever. Imagine having a job where your recreation is your profession and your profession is your recreation. After 44 years, I remain passionate about salmon and all sport fishing species, including shrimp and crab.

As written in this space before, Frank is the ultimate optimist, consistently focused on the “can dos” of life while blazing a path to prioritize sport fishing opportunities at the Department based on the cost/benefits funded by taxpayer dollars. This fish management policy direction established a healthy sport fishing industry for businesses and Washington anglers.

Today, Frank continues to be my mentor as well as my saint who I will forever revere. Thank you, Frank Haw, for giving me a chance to follow the path you blazed and contribute to your leadership and agenda.

For the last 14 years, my assignment at the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) has been to represent over 700 member businesses belonging to the association in fish management decisions and to promote sport fishing and the Northwest Salmon Derby Series. I’m checking the box on my self-evaluation form as “mission accomplished.” That’s a good boy!

During my tenure at the NMTA, I have had the privilege to report to NMTA President George Harris who is, and has become, one of the brightest lights in the sport fishing industry. George, like Frank, knows where Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth and knowledge exists. He drinks it like Kool-aid. As a result, he understands the dynamics and importance of our industry to Washington’s economy and practices tirelessly what he preaches, 24/7. 

When I first met George, it was his annual task to manage and produce the Seattle Boat Show, “the Biggest Boat Show on the West Coast.” He is and was an accomplished sailor, owner of a big sleek sailboat, yet he loved to fish. Attempting to feed his passion to fish for salmon, he installed a downrigger on his sailboat. Bad mojo, George. A downrigger on a sailboat is like trying to make a cow fly.

Within two years of working with George, he sold his sailboat and bought a 24-foot Sea Sport and rigged it for serious salmon fishing. If Schick Shadel alcohol treatment hospital in Seattle had a program to treat “fishingitis,” George would qualify. Like I said, he drinks the salmon fishing Kool-aid by the semi-load. I can relate.

With that introduction, I am turning over the helm of my responsibilities at NMTA to George, who now sets a fresh course to work with other sport fishing leaders, with a goal of establishing viable and meaningful sport fishing opportunities for Washington anglers. Trust me when I say, you are in good hands.

In preparing to write this column, my mind wandered through the 40-plus years of memories from my career, triggering a desire to thank so many people who influenced my path and direction. You know who you are. While a thank you is incredibly insufficient, your friendship and support of my attempted contribution to make fishing opportunities better for Washington anglers, I say thank you.

To all my fellow salmon anglers who love this sport as much as I do, I say never, ever, give up the fight to maintain and improve our right to exist. Find a way to support our representatives, lawmakers, and leaders on the frontline as their efforts are critical to our future.

So it’s time to say farewell and goodbye to Tony, as I prepare to launch my boat into the fishing trips of my future. It’s been an incredible ride and I have been one of the luckiest dudes alive. Long live sport fishing in Washington. See you on the water.

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Meet Mark Yuasa: NMTA's new Director of Grow Boating Programs

NMTA is pleased to announce that Mark Yuasa has joined the Northwest Marine Trade Association staff as the Director of Grow Boating Programs.

Mark worked at The Seattle Times for 33 years, and spent 25-plus years as their outdoors columnist where he contributed 7,539 by-lines including 2,920 in the print edition of the newspaper.

At the NMTA, Mark will be responsible for overseeing the Northwest Salmon Derby Series; writing a monthly fishing column that will appear in various publications; and managing grants and grow boating event sponsorships and productions tied to the Seattle Boat Show, Seattle Boat Show at Kirkland Uncorked and Northwest Paddling Festival.

Mark is a regular guest radio host and blogger for KIRO/ESPN 710-AM The Outdoor Line. He also writes for Northwest Sportsman Magazine and crosscut.com – an independent Pacific Northwest reader-supported, non-profit online news journal.
Outside of work he volunteers at the Seattle Buddhist Church’s Boy Scout Troop 252 Scoutmaster; the Boy Scouts of America Chief Seattle Council’s Thunderbird District Camping Committee Chairman; and T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge 502 Inductions Adviser, which promotes camping and provides service to the Chief Seattle Council and their communities.

He is married to Jeanne Chang and has two sons, Taylan (20) and Tegan (15).

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

“In a family business, every decision and policy has to be evaluated based both on how it works for the business and also how it will affect the family dynamic – and that adds an extra dimension,” says Daniel Prebish, Director of Life Event Services for Wells Fargo Advisors. Here are six steps he suggests you can take to ensure your family business is positioned to thrive and survive:

1. Put people in jobs based on ability. It’s best to hire when you have a business need for a position, not because a family member needs a job, Prebish says. Then choose the candidate whose talents, not lineage, best fit the job. “The most successful family business owners are very honest about the talents of their family members,” Prebish says. “The oldest child may be a better fit in a sales role rather than CEO. Or maybe a child is better off being an artist and not affiliated with the business at all.” Sometimes, recruiting talent from outside the company is the best way to fill a job.

2. Clarify and define job responsibilities. Family firms tend to be more informal than other companies, and that can lead to misunderstandings about expectations. Take the time to write formal job descriptions that detail each employee’s responsibilities and goals, and establish regular reviews. The older generation should also refrain from micromanaging. “Parents tend to constantly second-guess what a child is doing, and then the child never feels like he is actually contributing,” says Jim McKown, High Net Worth Strategist for Wells Fargo Advisors. “You need to think, ‘If they weren’t a family member, how would I be handling this situation?’ And that’s how you should handle it.”

3. Leave work at the office; leave your personal life at home. Try not to talk shop during family gatherings, especially at holidays, weddings, and other special events. And refrain from bringing personal drama into the office. 

4. Groom the next generation. Invest in education and experiences for young family members, sending them to industry conferences and getting them training to develop a skill the business can use. McKown recommends encouraging them to work elsewhere before joining the family firm to establish themselves as employees and giving them an opportunity to mature and make mistakes outside the business. Having the next generation develop a solid background in business may help secure your investment as you pass it on.

5. Outline your succession plan. Passing a family business on to the next generation can be tricky, and that’s why it’s important to have a strong succession plan. “It should start with how you define success: Is it keeping the business as a family entity over many generations, or are you comfortable selling it to another firm with more resources that could build it into something better?” Prebish says. You will also need to consider how to pass along ownership in a tax-efficient manner, how company founders will be taken care of in retirement, how to replace the current talent and adapt it for a changing market, and how the business may be a part of your personal retirement plan.  

6. Know when to seek outside help. Many business owners consult with outside estate and financial planning experts to help with succession planning. But a disinterested third party can also help resolve disputes and look at the business rationally because there is no emotional attachment, McKown says. 

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of David B. Fitch, Associate Vice President in Bellevue, WA at 425-450-2245.

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Policy: The Shocking Truth
Peter Schrappen, NMTA Dir. of Government Affairs

If you have an interest in stray current, ground fault protection or using a toaster to make breakfast, then this is the column for you. Recently, thanks to Dwight Jones of Elliott Bay Marina, I learned way more about electricity than I ever knew possible.

Dwight shared with me that a new standard was moving forward. As I looked into this issue, I channeled my inner-Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes. Whew, did this issue have all the makings for mistakes, misinterpretations and ramifications that could devastate the recreational boating industry.

First, what is stray current? According to our friends at Corrosionpedia (I’m not making this website up), stray current is the electricity flow via buildings, ground or equipment due to electrical supply system imbalances or wiring flaws. It refers to an existence of electrical potential that can be found between objects that should not be subjected to voltage.

From my third grade understanding, it’s the leakage of current that doesn’t return home. All appliances can leak a certain level of stray current before a problem arises (toasters for example can leak 3 milliamps of stray current). Second, there’s nothing wrong with adopting standards. There’s nothing wrong with adopting standards around stray current. And there’s nothing wrong with asking marinas and boaters to be responsible for the wiring in their boats and around the marina. After all, too much stray current (especially in freshwater) leads to electric shock drownings.

Problems bubble up, however, when those regulated (that’s us) and industry experts (i.e. electricians that wire marinas) are not at the table when standards are created. The axiom that “if you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu” holds true and there’s no better example than what’s happening around the country on this specific issue.
So, what’s happening?
  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently adopted a National Electrical Code that is then adopted at the state level.
  • This gigantic code has a small portion about marinas. The marina portion has an incredibly low standard of standard 30 Ma across an entire marina. More specifically, if ten toasters are on at the same time, the breaker trips and everyone loses power.
  • How did this happen? The American Boat and Yacht Council put together a study that was then misinterpreted (according to their president) by the NFPA.
For those keeping score, a misinterpreted study led to unattainable standards that would be in place until the next code is adopted in 2020. A few other oddities to note: No one at the national marine level (no associations, dock builders, boaters) was aware of this emerging issue or lobbying to prevent this mistake from happening. While I’m making up this lobbing effort as I go, relying on my tried-and-true rules of thumb (like “building consensus around a priority”), here’s what I can tell you:

The Coalition Against Unattainable Standards (I just came up with that moniker) won a year reprieve from Washington’s Labor & Industries, which was all set to adopt the 30 Ma standard. Our position is that 30 Ma at each boat and 100 Ma of stray current at the entire facility protects human life and is a feasible solution. No marina is going to go through a process to improve their wiring if the new mark of 30 Ma.

This coalition, led by members of the Northwest Marine Trade Association and the Recreational Boating Association and their (highly-regarded – hey, hey what can I say?) government affairs professionals are meeting with L & I during this next year with real-life evidence that we all want the same thing: Safe marinas.

In the meantime, I am enthused that sound policy will come out of this situation. I’m working the issue on the national level and also leading the effort at the state. The good news is that I was enthused after our group’s first meeting with L & I. The L & I leaders are group met with want to get this right. They realize that there’s no data (or no data that we can find thus far) to support a cumulative 30 Ma. They want marinas to improve their wiring and no one wants standard that make marinas less safe. That’s a good place to start but there’s work to be done and once again shows what can happen if boaters and the business community are not engaged at every step oflover the way when new laws and regulations are produced. Democracy (and policies) are determined by those who show up. 

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Get to know Clean Boating Foundation's newest team member

My name is Adria Lau, I am beyond excited to be the Clean Boating Foundation’s newest Program Manager. As a senior at the University of Washington I believe that my major’s—Environmental Science and Art History—will come in handy in my future at the Clean Boating Foundation. I am a strong supporter of both the boating industry as well as the environment and it is my sincerest hope to strike a balance between the two in a healthy, sustainable way. As a student at the University of Washington I have worked on several research projects including a project partnered with NASA studying the effects of the permafrost melt in Alaskan lakes and streams. In high school, I did an independent study project in which I used oyster shells to filter copper and zinc from storm water. My entire life has been spent dedicated to the resources that we use on a daily basis, especially those that we as boaters find so much enjoyment in. 

My passion for the water began at a very young age, when I would go fishing with my father, or spend hours canoeing on Union Bay. After all, I don’t think you could name your child after the Adriatic Sea without her turning out to love water. As a college student, I admit that it is difficult to spend time on the water, but when time allows I enjoy canoeing, kayaking or sailing with the University of Washington Sailing club. Besides boating, I am interested in art, writing, hiking and travel. I cannot wait to see where this next year takes me, and I look forward to meeting with you!

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Health Care Corner: October 2017

Open Enrollment Season - Changes Bring Opportunities

Let’s face it. The annual open enrollment process for selecting benefits is a tedious and often laborious one, not only for the HR team but for employees as well. Making benefit decisions is important and the selections made affect employees and families in a personal and financial way throughout the year.

As employers across the country brace for open enrollment season, there are a few lessons learned that are worth sharing to make the process as seamless as possible. 

Make It ‘Active’
Instead of simply allowing employees to passively enroll in the same benefit plan they currently have, consider making the enrollment an “active” process. This means making each employee actively select the plan they want. This allows you to educate employees on the benefits you are offering, even if no changes are being made.

Show Examples 
One of the best ways to explain the benefit plans to employees is by illustrating different scenarios that may play out. Specifically demonstrating how the benefit plan works if someone goes to the doctor, needs a prescription filled or has a more catastrophic issue can be more informative for employees than simply looking at numbers on a page. 

Insurance 101
Employers often take for granted that their employees understand the insurance lingo that is so commonly used. Take the time to explain what deductible, copay and coinsurance mean. It may sound simple, but many employees are unaware of even the most basic terminology. 
Communication is Key 

This is the one time a year where communicating to your employees on their benefit package can’t be overdone. Employers who engage, over communicate and actively seek out questions from their employees face far fewer concerns throughout the year.

Start Early
Starting the communication process as early as possible gives both the HR team and employees and their families enough time to make educated decisions. No one likes to feel rushed and year-long benefit decisions shouldn’t be made in a hurry.

Get Help
The NMTA Health Trust has a team of professionals dedicated to making the open enrollment process as smooth as possible. We are available for phone calls, questions, in-person meetings and strategy sessions to address any concerns you or your employees may have. 
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