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NEWS - WATERLIFE NEWSLETTER - QUARTER 4, OCTOBER 2018
 
WaterLife: Monthly member newsletter from the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA). For the latest news, visit www.NMTA.net
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October 2018



Join NMTA members and staff Wednesday, November 7 for the at the NMTA Annual Meeting at the Seattle Yacht Club.

This year, Matt Gruhn, President of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), will be the featured speaker. With more than 20 years in the marine industry, Gruhn has led a reinvention of the MRAA, helping the organization grow its membership by more than 240 percent, through a complete evolution of the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program, launching an online virtual training course catalog, all of which he suggests was accomplished by defining and communicating a relevant vision and mission.

What: NMTA Annual Meeting
Where: Seattle Yacht Club
1807 E. Hamlin Street
Seattle, WA 98112
When: Nov. 7, 2018 - 6 to 9 p.m.
Registration: $20/person - Register at https://tinyurl.com/nmtaannualmeeting2018
Beverages and dinner will be provided.


October 24-26: Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference
November 7: NMTA Annual Meeting
January 25 - February 2, 2019: Seattle Boat Show
May 10-11, 2019: Northwest Paddling Festival
May 16-19, 2019: Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show
NW Marina & Boatyard Conference is NEXT WEEK! 
ALT Insurance Group 
Gonnason Boats
Lucca's Landing Marina 
Planar Marine & Truck Air Heaters Ltd. 
Northwest Docks 
Barletta Pontoon Boats 
Cruisers Yachts 
Fish Baranof 
The Gold Eagle Co. 
Highliner Charters
Lakeside Boat Service Inc. 
Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA)
Tom's Boat Shop 
Tow Boat Seattle, LLC 
Mudarri Motorsports Co. 
NexOptic Technology Inc. 
Spencer Aircraft Supply 
Wyld Gear LLC

 
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In This Issue: October 2018

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

I’d like to personally welcome 19 new members (see list on page three) that joined NMTA this quarter and thank the nearly 700 members that recently renewed their membership and trust in NMTA. For fun, I looked up NMTA’s 19 oldest members. We have two members – Boat Country and Fisheries Supply – that have maintained continuous membership since 1947, the year NMTA was formed. The other 17 oldest members have been members continuously since the 1950’s.
 
A time machine would be fun to travel back to the early days of NMTA to find out how the work we do today compares to the work done 60-years ago. As my friend Tony Floor likes to say, it would likely “be the same, but different.” Same would be businesses focused on increasing sales and boating participation, lowering costs, recruiting and retaining employees, complying with all sorts or regulations. Different would be more computers, e-commerce, email, social media and even more regulations and taxes.
 
For the benefit of all our members – new and old – I’d like to share all the ways new and returning members can connect with NMTA staff, volunteers, other NMTA members and help us fulfill our mission – growing boating in the Northwest.
 
Let’s get started with our 18th Marina & Boatyard Conference presented by Marine Floats, which will take place October 25-26 at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington. Peter Schrappen, NMTA’s Vice-President and Director of Government Affairs organizes this annual event that brings together nearly all the Northwest marina and boatyard owners and staff. Owning and operating a marina or boatyard is no small task because of city, state and federal regulations to comply with. Every year, Peter puts together a “who’s who” list of experts and emerging issues for marinas and boatyards. This year Hillary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands and head of Department of Natural Resources, will be among the speakers. If you would like to register please go to www.nmta.net or contact Peter for more information at peter@nmta.net.
 
The NMTA Annual Meeting is Wednesday, November 7 from 6-9 p.m., at the Seattle Yacht Club. This is a great night for members to meet with NMTA staff and board members and hear firsthand from me what NMTA has been focused on this past year. Our keynote speaker will be Matt Gruhn, President of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA). MRAA produces the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo every year and manages the Marine Industry Certified Dealership training. The night will include a buffet dinner and presentation of NMTA’s four annual awards. You can register now at www.nmta.net or contact Katie Groseclose for more information at katieg@nmta.net.
 
Committee Meetings
NMTA direction comes from its members and this is the best place for members to get involved. I attend many meetings outside the NMTA office every month and regularly with people I’ve never met. I know firsthand what it feels like to walk into a meeting room for the first time. I share this perspective to hopefully encourage you to join us at NMTA for your first committee meeting. Presently we have 10 standing committees that meet regularly and recommend activities, policies and direction for the NMTA board and staff. With the exception of the Board of Trustees, Seattle Boat Show and Anacortes Boat Show Committees, all committees are open and members are welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings. Generally, meetings take place at the NMTA office during business hours. Following is an overview of our committees. Our website, www.nmta.net, features a calendar with all the upcoming NMTA meetings and events. You can also contact the staff person responsible for a particular committee for current topics and upcoming meetings.
 
Government Affairs Committee (GAC)
Staffed by Peter Schrappen (peter@nmta.net) and chaired by member Neil Falkenburg of West Bay Marina, this committee meets the first Thursday of every month at 10 a.m. The GAC typically has a guest speaker each month – often a legislator, regional policy maker or senior staff from a state agency. The GAC establishes NMTA’s legislative priorities on an annual basis for Peter and NMTA’s business lobbyist Cliff Webster. The GAC will meet next on Thursday, November 1.
 
Political Action Committee (PAC)
Staffed by Peter Schrappen (peter@nmta.net) and chaired by board member Wendell Stroud of Marine Floats, this committee meets as needed in concert with a GAC meeting. The PAC works hand in hand with the GAC so that the non-partisan NMTA can financially support state legislative candidates that support legislation that is helpful to recreational boating and fishing and small businesses.
 
Marina & Boatyard Committee

Staffed by Peter Schrappen (peter@nmta.net) and chaired by member Brandon Baker of Elliott Bay Marina this committee meets quarterly and currently is working closely with Peter on the National Electric Code for marinas, DNR lease renewals and mitigation points needed for modernizing marina facilities.
 
Superyacht Committee
Staffed by Peter Schrappen (peter@nmta.net) and chaired by member Dan Wood of Crow’s Nest Yachts this committee focuses on superyacht tax policy and NMTA’s Superyacht Northwest display at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
 
Grow Boating Committee
Staffed by Mark Yuasa (mark@nmta.net) and chaired by board member Joe Cline of 48° North magazine, this committee meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. The Grow Boating Committee has an annual budget of $135,000 to fund and develop programs and publicity that increase boating and fishing participation. This is done with grants, promotions, event sponsorship and publicity. The Northwest Salmon Derby Series is the best-known of the programs. This is our “laboratory” to try and develop new and innovative ideas to inspire people to buy a boat or use their boat more often.
 
Fish Committee
Staffed by George Harris (george@nmta.net) and Peter Schrappen (peter@nmta.net) and chaired by Dave Knutzen of member Northwest Marine Technology, the Fish Committee meets as needed to develop policies and direction so NMTA can advocate for improved sport fishing opportunity. Carl Burke is the NMTA sport fishing lobbyist.
 
Paddling Committee
Staffed by Katie McPhail (katiemc@nmta.net) and supported by enthusiastic paddlers and industry volunteers. This committee meets as needed in the winter and spring to direct staff in the production of the Northwest Paddling Festival held every May at Lake Sammamish State Park. The Paddling Festival features over 60 member and non-member exhibitors for two-days of education and on-water demos of all types of “human powered” craft. Mark your calendars for this year’s show May 10 – 11, 2019.
 
Boat Show Committee - Seattle
Staffed by Katie McPhail (katiemc@nmta.net) and chaired by member Giuseppe Alvarado of Port of Seattle, this nine-person committee is appointed by the NMTA Board and each member serves a three-year term. Three new committee members are appointed each year. The Seattle Boat Show Committee sets policies, guidelines and approves space allocation for NMTA’s largest event. The committee also reviews budgets, recommends rates and ticket prices and works closely with staff to develop advertising and promotions. Mark your calendars for this year’s show, Jan. 25 – Feb. 2, 2019.
 
Boat Show Committee - Anacortes
Staffed by Katie McPhail (katiemc@nmta.net) and chaired by member Andy Schwenk of Northwest Rigging. The Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show is co-produced by the NMTA and the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce and has four NMTA appointed and five Anacortes Chamber of Commerce appointed members. The Anacortes Boat Show Committee sets policies, guidelines and approves space allocation for NMTA’s newest event. The committee also reviews budgets, recommends rates and ticket prices and works closely with staff to develop advertising and promotions. Mark your calendars for this year’s show, May 16-19, 2019.
 
Finance Committee
Staffed by Jennifer Higgins (jennifer@nmta.net) and chaired by NMTA Board Chair Craig Perry of Leschi and Lakewood Marinas. This committee consists of current Board members and meets quarterly to review NMTA’s investments and Investment Policy Statement, NMTA office lease, and work closely with NMTA auditors. The NMTA received its eighteenth consecutive clean audit from Clark-Nuber, CPA in September.
 
Board of Trustees
Staffed by Katie Groseclose (katieg@nmta.net) and chaired by NMTA Board Chair Craig Perry of Leschi and Lakewood Marinas. NMTA is governed by a member elected 13-member Board of Trustees. Each trustee serves a three-year term with three new trustees elected by the membership every spring. Every March all NMTA voting member contacts receive a self-nomination form to let us know if they are interested in serving on the NMTA Board and appearing on the ballot. The Board Nominating Committee (Board Chair, two current board members, and two at large members) review the self-nominated members and select six to appear on the April ballot. Self-nominated members not selected to appear on the ballot can collect fifteen signatures from voting members to appear on the ballot.
 
The NMTA is your association and the NMTA office is your club house. I hope to see you soon.
 
Sincerely,

George Harris

NMTA President/CEO

Washington State – New & Used Vessel Sales Data

New boat sales in Washington state are up 10.7% in units for the first two quarters of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. The actual number of new boats registered in the first 6-months of 2018 was 3,588 compared to 3,240 for the same period in 2017.
 
The value of these new boats is up an impressive 23.8%, $192-million compared to $155-million. Preliminary August sales data shows that the third quarter is off to a very good start with new unit sales up 10.6% over August 2017 and the values up 29.4%.
Brokerage boat sales are also up nicely with unit increase of 24.2% and 9.8% in the first and second quarters respectively.
 
“I think all of our members know boat sales and participation are up nicely for 2018,” said George Harris, NMTA President and CEO. “Nationally, new boat sales are up 6.7% and to know precisely that Washington is nearly double the national average is invaluable. I really appreciate the work of University of Washington Sea Grant to make this very precise data from the Department of Licensing available to our members.”
 
Detailed sales data is available back to 2004 for NMTA members at www.NMTA.net.

 

 
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NW Salmon Derby Series Grand Prize Boat Awarded to Post Falls, Idaho Angler
 
Sept. 28, 2018 – Joshua Stokes of Post Falls, Idaho, was at home watching TV with his father Roy Stokes on Sept. 23 when his cell phone rang.
“I saw the 206 Seattle area code number, and hit ignore since I had no idea why someone from there would be calling me,” Joshua said with a chuckle. “Then I listened to the voicemail message. I told my dad wouldn’t it be “rad” if I won the boat. He was like yeah right and jokingly said I probably won a hat or t-shirt and they want your address.”
 
Little did the Post Falls native realize, but the call was coming from Mark Yuasa the director of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series. Mark had some great news: Joshua’s name had been randomly drawn at the Everett Coho Derby from almost 7,000 anglers following the conclusion of the 2018 Northwest Salmon Derby Series.

Yuasa left a voicemail although he didn’t tell the younger Stokes that he’d won a grand prize, fully-equipped aluminum boat valued at around $65,000.

Yuasa went back to cleaning up at Everett Coho Derby that drew more than 1,700 anglers when his cell phone rang about five minutes later.
“(Yuasa) told me I won the boat and I was super spaced out and fully didn’t realize what happened to me,” Joshua said. “It still doesn’t feel real and I’ll know for sure once I get the keys to boat.”
 
Joshua’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 25-29.

“This was the first year I bought a ticket to the Big One Derby since I was 15 years old, and that ticket was totally worth it now,” he said. “I’d been fishing with my dad since I was three years old, and caught my first fish a 28 pound chinook at Lake Coeur d’Alene soon after. I got so scared and wouldn’t go near the huge fish. In 1996, I caught a 22 pounder in the derby and took 17th place.”

Both have been longtime members of the Lake Coeur d’Alene Anglers Association and Joshua’s dad was the past president of the club.
The boat is the 15th grand prize boat, motor, and trailer package that has been given away since the Series was created in 2004. This year’s Kingfisher 2025 Series boat is powered by a 150-horsepower Honda and a 9.9-horsepower Honda trolling motor, on an EZ Loader tandem axle trailer. The boat came fully-equipped with Raymarine electronics, Scotty Downriggers, a WhoDat Tower, and a Dual Electronics stereo.

“How thrilling this was for me to hear the excitement in his voice and all the plans he has in store to take the boat out fishing,” said Yuasa. “This boat and motor package is top-of-the-line and will provide Joshua and his dad with more fishing memories to come. He said he can’t wait to take the boat out soon.”

The Northwest Salmon Derby Series is a fishing promotion program directed by the NMTA that encourages boating and fishing in the Northwest. In 2018, 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.

For more information, visit www.NorthwestSalmonDerbySeries.com.

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Legislative Report
Peter Schrappen, NMTA Director of Government Affairs
 
Challenging Issues for State of Washington Sealife
 
“The last generation.” That is the title of the local Fox affiliate’s story on the crisis facing the population of Southern Resident Killer Whales. As of June 2018, 75 whales exist as part of the J, K, and L pods. 

And maybe the “last generation” isn’t too far off. By now, you have seen the awful story of the Southern Resident Killer Whale carrying her dead calf around the west side of San Juan Island. More recently, there’s the loss of another Orca. Not only is it heartbreaking but it also brings more attention to Governor Jay Inlsee’s 44-person Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force, which includes NMTA’s President George Harris and recreational angler Ron Garner.

This group is meeting five times around the state. Plus, there are subcommittees in place to further drill down on three areas that affect the health of whales. These groups are looking at the lack of prey, toxins, and vessel noise.

All three topics interface with boating in one way or another, and it’s crucial that we, the state’s $4-billion boating economy, have representation. It’s too early to see what will ultimately come from this group, which wraps up on November 6, but I can tell you that Governor Inslee is looking to this cross-section of Washington state’s civic and elected leaders for guidance and direction.

And let’s just say there are some pretty heavy decisions ahead of them. Included on the list, reducing the number of pinnipeds (that’s a fancy word for seals and sea lions) in Puget Sound, which gorge themselves on salmon. Not to be outdone, there’s talk about the role of hydroelectric power and the benefits of spills in the Columbia River. (That’s cover for talking about dam removal along the Snake River).

Then there’s chinook salmon. Hatchery production, long-heralded for saving recreational fishing in the Northwest, might be the answer (although some science indicates that these whales prefer wild chinook), but if the hatchery number gets too high, implications arise with the Endangered Species Act-listed chinook population.

Speaking of Endangered Species Act and wild chinook, did you know that our state allows gill-nets to indiscriminately kill wild chinook while they go about their catches. Recreational anglers can only target hatchery-produced salmon – they return wild chinook and keep the adipose-finned-clipped hatchery-produced salmon. The tribes and commercial fishing sectors, when they go about using gill-nets, capture everything that gets tangled up in those nets. 

And the list keeps growing and gets closer to home when it comes to the type of gear on a recreational boat. Another topic that’s picked up steam at this task force is the amount of noise put off by your boat. In particular, whales are susceptible to transducer responders on vessels. (It will be interesting to see how recreational vessels compare with the behemoth Washington State ferry fleet). There’s also the current closure to the west side of San Juan Island to recreational boats (but not tribal or commercial vessels).

If I seem apprehensive that this group will come up with a bold, systems-thinking approach to their conclusion, it might because I’ve seen this movie before. The list is long and my grey hairs are many. Whether it’s targeting recreational boats (and businesses) with Seattle’s fetish with bike lanes (over marine interests), reducing the amount of drawbridge openings in Seattle, the No Discharge Zone (and on and on), I know all too well what happens when good intentions meet immediate deadlines. Add a quarter cup of influential who have nothing to do with recreational boating and it’s easy to see how limiting access, funding and ease of recreational boating can occur.

On the flip side of my cynicism, I am very encouraged to see what’s happening as the National Electrical Code for 2020 gets developed. Thankfully, we have a voice on this code-development-panel and we have Washington’s stake in the ground that 100 milliamps for an entire facility is safe. You may remember that Washington pushed back at Labor & Industries; convened multiple meetings; and provided data to them that 30 milliamps is neither realistic or any safer than 100 milliamps (especially in salt water). This important work took hold both in the Evergreen State and spread to this national panel in Washington, D.C.

As I surveyed a current hot issue (whales); looked back to look forward (the National Electrical Code), I want to end with a newish issue for boaters to bookmark. While you may hear about the Trump administration reducing regulatory burdens, there’s a movement afoot within the National Marine Fisheries Service to drag out (or even flat-out reject) permits for fixes to current docks and marinas. I’m in the “learning more” phase on this issue but talk about an issue that impacts us all.
 
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Malibu Boats Reports 84.6 Percent Sales Increase

 Malibu Boats reported last month sales of $138.7-million for its fourth quarter ended June 30, 2018, an 84.6 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago. The company said in a statement that unit growth was up 70.1 percent to 1,708 boats compared to last year, primarily driven by its acquisition of Cobalt. Net sales per unit increased 8.5 percent to $81,182 per unit. Net income was up 30 percent to $13.3-million.
Malibu’s stock increased 8.5 percent in pre-trading to reach an all-time high of $54.00.

Malibu U.S. sales were up 13.5 percent or $9.4-million, to $78.6-million for the fourth quarter. Net sales for Cobalt for the quarter were $54.1-million, with 638 units sold. Net sales for the Malibu Australia segment increased $0.1-million, or 1.6%, to $5.9-million for the fourth quarter.
Malibu chief executive Jack Springer said that fourth-quarter sales exceeded expectations.

“All of our brands performed well,” he said in the statement. “While the global trade environment presents a number of uncertainties, our international business is a relatively small portion of our overall performance and we are confident that we have the strategies in place to mitigate its impact.”

Malibu’s fiscal year sales rose 76.3 percent to $497.0-million, with unit volume increasing 64.9 percent to 6,292 boats for the year. Net sales per unit was up 6.9 percent to $78,990 per unit. Net income dropped 0.3 percent to $31.0-million.

Springer said the company expects to conclude its acquisition of Pursuit Boats in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“After closing the transaction, our strategy will be to increase throughput to meet growing demand, apply our operational excellence expertise to enhance margin and continue our track record of product development,” he said.

(Article was written by Trade Only Today, news for marine industry professionals. For more stories and news, visit https://www.tradeonlytoday.com/)
 
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 Tariffs - by Peter Schrappen
 “There’s a horse loose in the hospital” is how comedian John Mulvaney in his latest Netflix comedy special describes what’s going on at the national level when it comes to President Trump’s maneuvers. Mulvaney goes on to explain that sometimes the horse is quiet and other times he’s charging around – the larger point is that this era of history is one of change and disruption and you may not always get what you think you wanted.

When it comes to tariffs and President Trump, I would posit that President Trump is 100% following through on his long-held beliefs that current trade deals mean that the U.S. is on the losing end. The way forward, while many economists would disagree, is to levy tariffs on imported goods.
If tariffs aren’t something you are too familiar with then let me back up a little. A nice working definition of a tariff is a tax on goods coming into a country. You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that the President has a great deal of latitude to issue tariffs without Congressional approval.

And this is where recreational boating production enters the conversation. Of all the industries in the U.S., the country’s $36-billion boating industry is the only one that faces a triple whammy. First, there’s the tariff on steel and aluminum (that’s Tariff 232 for those keeping score). Then, there’s an anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese aluminum sheet, and lastly the tariff on 300 marine-related products (and we are talking about the guts of boats here like engines, propellers, fuel injection pumps and on and on).

All this uncertainty, tough talk and anti-free-trade measures result in rising costs of raw materials, component parts, and retaliation from our top trading partners. Put another way, economists don’t agree on much, but one thing that does bring them together is that no one wins by raising tariffs.

Widening the lens even more, it’s always a good idea to underscore just how uniquely American boating is for those who take to the water. As NMTA’s President George Harris likes to say whenever he can, “Boating means business.” And its big business for family-run smaller operations sprinkled throughout the Northwest and rural areas in particular. Taken collectively, boating contributes $39-billion in annual sales and supports 35,000 marine businesses (about 2,000 just in Washington). There are 12 million registered vessels in the U.S. (with Washington contributing about 250,000 to that number). 

So how do these tariffs affect boating again? Aluminum sheet is the primary material used in 44% of recreational boats. The Commerce Department announced on June 18 an anti-dumping duty (paid at the time of import) of an eye-popping 167.16% on common aluminum sheet imports from China. Combining the three-headed tariff monster together, that’s a 210% tariff on Chinese aluminum. And to what end? It’s not like the Chinese will just sit back and not raise tariffs on their imports. I suspect they could find one or two examples of slights they feel on goods entering their country. Adding even more to this precarious situation, it’s a good reminder that Washington is the most trade dependent state in the country. Cherries, anyone?

Let’s just say this horse is making some noise in the hospital. And the other horses from other hospitals are responding in kind. As a result, the global price of aluminum has increased 20-30%. In addition to increased costs of manufacturing materials and components, Canada, the European Union, and Mexico – which account for 69% of annual U.S. boat exports –  responded by applying retaliatory tariffs on all boats comprised of aluminum.

The timing of this disruption could not come at a more booming time for the boating industry. Looking at preliminary numbers for Washington, boat sales are up 60% in dollars during Q2 from this same period last year and up 5% in units. This news complements what the National Marine Manufactures Association is seeing nationally: Boat sales have hit a ten-year high.

I’ll give the national head of the boating industry the last word here. Thom Dammrich, President of the NMMA, doesn’t hold back when he says: “Simply put, these tariffs are a disaster for our industry. All types of recreational boats are on the retaliatory lists from both Canada and the EU. As a result, rather than protecting American manufacturing, these tariffs directly harm the entire recreational boating industry—one of our country’s enduring American-made industries. To make matters worse, Canada, Mexico, and the EU are the top three export markets for American-made marine products and in 2017 they accounted for nearly 70 percent of marine exports.”

(If this issue interests you, please drop me a line (Peter Schrappen, peter@nmta.net) and I’ll keep you in the loop as we go along. Plus, there’s the NMTA website (www.nmta.net) that has given this issue some prominence.)

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Dealer Outlook:  Expressing gratitude can mean more business
 
A good sales person in a dealership makes a habit of expressing gratitude for a prospect’s visit as well as a customer’s purchase. Saying thank you begins to build a relationship and future business is all about relationships. But in practice it can take more than just the ol’ thank you note or some canned email to build that relationship.
 
These days it seems every merchant, service or eatery that gets my email address sends out a thank you email faster than I can digest the food (never mind the ones that want me to do surveys, too!). They’re usually cookie cutter pieces that trigger “delete.”
 
A professional salesperson can do better than that says Evan Baehr, co-author of Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams. He’s also cofounder of Able, a low-interest tech loan company. “Effectively expressing gratitude to others takes a certain kind of noticing,” explains Baehr, “and getting from an intellectual agreement about the merits of gratitude to a daily practice is no easy feat.”
 
That understood, there are distinct skills a boat sales person can learn and perfect that will make the road to any relationship a shorter one. The key is this: “Once you pick up on something that a person cares about, showing gratitude can be pretty easy - and fun,” explains Baehr, who offers several practices worth considering:
 
First, the old-fashioned hand-written thank you note on nice paper shouldn’t be shunned. It definitely gets read more than emails. But it needs to specifically show how your meeting made an impact on you. Too often this is what gets sent: Dear Joneses: Thank you for visiting our showroom. I enjoyed meeting your amazing family and hope we can work together. Is there anything else you need? Sincerely. It feels cold and generic and will likely have low impact.
 
If you learn and practice the power of observation, however, you can do much better, like this: Dear Joneses: I hope you enjoyed our time together as much as I did. I loved your story about learning to water ski as a kid. I’ll use your advice with my own boys. Thanks for sharing your stories and I’m here to make your boating plans a reality. Sincerely.
 
The key to this improved note is your observation that is a sincere appreciation for something specific to them. It shows you listened, shared personal information and remembered their story.
 
Second, depending on how big a sale could be at stake, you may want to take the thank you to a higher level. Baehr suggests sending something fun. “Busy people get a lot of inbound communication,” he says, “so if you want to stand out, make your communication stand out. People get fewer handwritten notes than emails, so notes always win that one. But people get even fewer FedEx packages. So consider a package, or at least something beyond a note.”
 
For example, Baehr’s coauthor of Get Backed, Evan Loomis, wanted to send someone who had helped with their book a nice thank you gift. Bottle of whiskey? Fancy pen? No, thanks. He listened and observed that this person and his 9-year-old son enjoyed Nerf gun fights. What did he FedEx? The fanciest Nerf gun he could find with a note about never losing another Nerf war.
 
In another example, Baehr revealed he had some of his favorite quotations printed on nice card stock that he would occasionally include with a hand-written thank you note. Those small details matter.
 
OK, let’s get outrageous. . . send a video thank you! According to Baehr, the COO of Main Street Genome, Eric Koester, records a video message on his iPhone and sends it as a form of a thank you, follow up, or sometimes even an introduction. Sending a video – or even an audio note – lets you convey emotion, enthusiasm, and context in a quick and unique note. It’s a technique Baehr also uses at his company, Able.
 
Finally, you can always make a good old-fashioned phone call. Baehr cites a friend who keeps a call list handy. When he has a few minutes in the car, he dials the next person on his list. He knows many of them won’t be able to answer during the workday, but even leaving a voicemail provides an opportunity to say thanks, tell them he’s thinking of them, offer a little encouragement and reinforce a desirable relationship.
 
Taking the time to creatively show gratitude, and work toward building a relationship, could be a top sales person’s winning combo.

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 I sit here in my office composing this article, I find myself gazing out the window watching the first significant rain of the fall bringing life back to my lawn and plants. The two days of rain signifies the transition between the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

This gift of rain in a really, dry summer hails the arrival of the first fall coho salmon to Puget Sound and interior rivers. It could not come at a better time because returns of chinook salmon to our interior streams, coast and Columbia River have fallen well short of projected returns during the spring and summer.

The single bright spot for sport fishers and the industry is that these early coho returns initially appear to be the strongest in recent years. Our member businesses thrive when anglers and boaters have meaningful opportunity to harvest these coho after conservation goals have been met.

In recent years coho returns have decreased below normal levels so hopefully this signals a turnaround in ocean conditions and survival rates that can be sustained into the future.

In August the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission named longtime Department of Ecology employee Kelly Susewind to be the agency director. Our industry and sportfishing organizations will be meeting with the new director in the coming month to establish a positive relationship and solve problems that are of concern to boaters and fishers.

The agency will be requesting a general fee increase in the 2019 legislative session and the renewal of the Columbia River Endorsement. We will be very involved with the legislature and agency to address our concerns and opportunities.

The Orca Task Force created by Governor Jay Inslee to address the decline of resident and non-resident Orca whale populations is winding down with a report of recommendations to be delivered to the governor’s desk in November for possible legislative action in the 2019 session. We will be providing more information during the coming year as the actions move through the legislative process.

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Big News for Big Boats 
by Peggy Mulhern of Nicoll Black & Feig

A big win has come the way of the larger boat segment at the federal law. Under a law passed in August 2018, the U.S. Coast Guard (“USCG”) will now allow U.S. vessel documentation for recreational vessels of 300 gross tons or more. This issue has been the top legislative priority of the U.S. Superyacht Association, a trade association that works in concert with NMTA.
 
Until the passage of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (“NDAA”), yachts of 300 gross tons or more have been subject to USCG inspection as “seagoing motor vessels.” Under the NDAA compliant yachts will be exempt from the USCG inspection requirement. This inspection requirement has deterred many yacht owners because the USCG inspection regulations and standards were designed for merchant and cargo ships,
most yachts cannot comply. The result has been that most yachts of 300 gross tons or more, operating outside inland waters, have been registered under foreign flags.
 
On August 13, 2018, the President signed into law the NDAA which includes a provision requiring the USCG to develop regulations for U.S. documented yachts of 300 gross tons or more that are comparable to the Large Yacht Code ("LY3") that has been adopted by the
U.K. Marine and Coastguard Agency. The USCG has one year to develop this new code.
Until that code is adopted, yachts of 300 gross tons or more that comply with LY3,
or an equivalent code, regulation or standard that is acceptable to the USCG, will be eligible for U.S. documentation.
 
Still, some parts of the new law may dissuade yacht owners from applying for U.S. documentation. First, large yachts must comply with other requirements for U.S. documentation, including citizenship requirements for the yacht’s owner and crew. Second, as part of the application for U.S. documentation, owners of large yachts will be required to disclose the identity of the yacht’s beneficial owner to the USCG. Third, large yachts cannot carry passengers for hire, which means they cannot be time-chartered (bareboat chartering may be allowed).
 
Superyacht industry leaders have worked hard to get this law on the books and look forward to seeing more yachts flying the U.S. flag. “The economic impact of more large yachts flagging U.S. could be significant, as these large vessels would now provide more high-profile opportunities for American crew, keep yachts traveling in U.S. waters, and spend more time in our repair and refit yards,” stated Kitty McGowan, president of the USSA, in their released statement after this big win.

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Welcome New Members!

Alt Insurance Group LLC in greater Puget Sound area including Anacortes is a network of experienced insurance agencies, each with expert knowledge of many types of insurance coverages for individual, family or marine and other businesses.
Gonnason Boats in Kent has been family owned and operated since 1947. They deliver quality, experience and integrity with every recreational boat and product they offer.

Lucca’s Landing Marina is a historic, seafaring property located in Gig Harbor which has been transformed into an 18-slip marina equipped with water and power.

Planar Marine & Truck Air Heaters Ltd. offers heating systems for commercial trucks, boats and heavy equipment. The company, based in Surrey, B.C., sells a variety of quality air heaters directly to customers and provides installation and service with a 2-year warranty backed-up by the manufacturer.

Northwest Docks is based in Anacortes building some the best welded Aluminum docks that live up to weathering the harsh Pacific Northwest environment. They also build custom Aluminum gangways and bridges of any size.

Barletta Pontoon Boats in Bristol, IN has a local, hand-picked production team that offers pontoon boat building experience with an excellent reputation for quality craftsmanship.

Cruisers Yachts in Oconto, WI creates an entire family of innovative yachts from the unrivaled quality, style, and luxury of a Cruisers Yacht to their fast and stylish, smooth and comfortable Cruisers Sport Boats.

Fish Baranof based out of Sitka, AK strives to offer quality self-guided fishing trips for anglers using the best equipment, boats and knowledge. The company also has vacation packages and rental boats for use outside of fishing.

The Gold Eagle Co. in Chicago, IL offers a wide range of protectants and cleaners as well as many other useful marine-care products. Their products are carefully tested to ensure they do exactly what the label says they will.

Highliner Charters in Anacortes offer fun-filled, guided adventures ranging from salmon and bottom-fish fishing to crabbing, whale watching and sightseeing in some of the most beautiful waters in the Pacific Northwest.

Lakeside Boat Service Inc. in Renton has been servicing the greater Seattle area since 2002 with personalized indoor boat storage, in-shop service, and maintenance and restoration. Their crew of professionals provide quality care, paying close attention to details.

The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA) in Oregon City was founded in 1993 to provide a strong voice of lobbyists in local, state, regional and federal governments representing the business interests of members that rely on sport-fishing as their livelihood.

Family-owned and  operated, Tom’s Boat Shop in Wilbur near Lake Roosevelt is a full-service boat dealer that upholds their reputation by providing the best customer service possible.

Tow Boat Seattle, LLC is a vessel assist service primarily on (or “in the”) Lake Washington and Lake Union areas that offers disabled vessel towing, scheduled towing, jump starts, fuel delivery, soft ungrounding, parts delivery and more.

Servicing the greater Seattle area since 1953, the All City Fence Company services commercial and residential customers with the highest quality standards in the fencing business. The company will be attending the Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference on Oct. 25-26.

Mudarri Motorsports Co. in Kirkland is founded on trust, integrity and respect for clients offering exceptional values in sales and business practices. They carry a line of Donzi, Baja and Fountain, all high-performance boats.

NexOptic Technology Inc. based in Vancouver, British Columbia is a creative optical development company focused on engineering its first consumer product for the growing outdoor recreation market and recently completed preliminary testing on its smartphone lens system.

Spencer Aircraft Supply in Puyallup provides a full-line of aviation and pilot equipment, gear and hardware, travel products and lightweight camping gear.

Wyld Gear LLC in Casper, WY offers a full-line of high-quality outdoor coolers, clothing, thermos (plural?) and drinkware for the most demanding of outdoor enthusiasts.
 
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NMTA and Washington Retail Association launch partnership around workplace safety and the Retro program

Did you know that if you run a safe workplace you can get a rebate back from the state? That’s correct. Thanks to this new relationship with the well-regarded Washington Retail Association, NMTA’s members that fit into the retail classification can earn money back each year. The program is called Retro and it works well for all sorts of sectors of Washington state’s economy, and now it can work for you. If you’d like to learn more, please email peter@nmta.net 

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October 2018
 
Anglers who live in the Pacific Northwest have plenty of year-round fishing opportunities to rave about.
As an outdoor journalist this means my word count on stories never dwindles and I’m constantly heading to the pencil sharpener to make sure the end of the No. 2 has enough lead to jot down my “slimy” scribbles on a notepad.

Now let’s keep this writing streak going as there’s still a “boatload” of time to hit your favorite fishing holes before the winter holidays roll around.
Fundamentally it’s all about decisions, decisions on where to go and what you want to catch!

On top of the autumn decision list are salmon in local marine waterways like central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 10) open through Nov. 15 for coho or chum or south-central Puget Sound (11) open through April 30 for a trio of coho, chum and hatchery-marked chinook.
Last month an unexpected nice coho return streamed into Puget Sound creating a fishing frenzy and keep in mind the caboose on this “silver streak” is still sitting somewhere out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

This past winter, WDFW biologists predicted a coho return of 557,149 (249,174 wild and 307,975 hatchery), and it looks like the actual run size could be larger than what appeared in the crystal ball.

Add to the fishing equation in the coming weeks a hard-fighting fall chum – better known as dog salmon for their gnarly, toothy jaw line at spawning time – with an expected Puget Sound return of 1,216,031.

We rolled out the red carpet for Puget Sound hatchery kings this past summer, and there’s no doubt the good times will keep on rolling for our next salmon royalty well into next month and beyond.

Look for coho and chum in Area 10 at Jefferson Head, West Point south of Shilshole Bay, Point Monroe, Allen Bank off Blake Island and Southworth.

Further south in Area 11 anglers can score a hat trick (a coho, chum and hatchery chinook) by hitting Colvos Passage, Point Dalco, the Clay Banks off Point Defiance Park, Redondo Beach and Three Tree Point.

As the days get shorter heading into winter be sure to watch the chum catch rates soar at estuaries off Kennedy Creek in Totten Inlet, Johns Creek in Oakland Bay, Hoodsport Hatchery in Hood Canal, Chico Creek in Dyes Inlet and Curly Creek near Southworth.

Other chum fishing holes are North Bay near Allyn, Perry Creek in Eld Inlet, Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, McLane Creek, Eagle Creek south of Potlatch State Park, and the public-access shores off Highway 101 from Eldon to Hoodsport.

Your other marine salmon options are Hood Canal (13) open now through April 30 and southern Puget Sound (13) open year-round.

Anglers will also begin targeting migrating salmon in local rivers like the Skagit and Snohomish river systems – closed in 2016 and 2017 for coho – as well as the Chehalis, Clearwater, Bogachiel, Calawah, Green, Humptulips, Hoh, Queets, Quinault, Sol Duc and Wynoochee. Anglers should consult the WDFW regulation pamphlet or app for what is open and what types of salmon species you can target in each river. Details: https://wdfw.wa.gov/.

Winter Puget Sound Dungeness crab outlook

If you like winter crabbing as much as I do, then you’ll be happy to know the fishing season has reopened daily through Dec. 31, despite summer catch assessments showing the overall crab abundance was the lowest seen in a decade.

“After looking at the (summer-time) catch data of pounds harvested this will go down as the lowest dating back to 2008,” said Don Velasquez, a WDFW Puget Sound shellfish manager.

Marine areas open are Neah Bay east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (Marine Catch Area 4); Sekiu in western Strait of Juan de Fuca (5); Port Angeles in eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca (6); San Juan Islands (7); Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay (8-1); Port Susan and Port Gardner (8-2); and a section of northern Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet (9) except for waters south of a line from Olele Point to Foulweather Bluff.

The winter crab season won’t reopen in central Puget Sound (10), according to Velasquez since the summer catch quota was exceeded. Other areas not reopening during the upcoming winter fishery are south-central Puget Sound (11); Hood Canal (12); and southern Puget Sound (13).
“Some said crabbing was fine and others were asking what’s wrong,” Velasquez said. “We had a mixed bag of reports from Area 7 (San Juan Islands) and 8-1 and 8-2 (east side of Whidbey Island) had an average year.”

Velasquez said sport anglers who got out during the July opener in Area 9 (northern Puget Sound) benefitted with good catches as the tribal fisheries didn’t get out until a couple weeks later. Preseason test fisheries conducted by WDFW in Area 10 (central Puget Sound) showed a low abundance of crab thus leading to poor success this past summer.

For more information, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/.

First razor clam digs of 2018-19 season approved

The first autumn coastal razor clam digs of the 2018-19 season were approved to begin on Oct. 11 (minus-0.6 feet at 8:58 p.m.) at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Oct. 12 (-0.3 at 9:41 p.m.) at Twin Harbors and Copalis; Oct. 13 (0.1 at 10:26 p.m.) at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.
All digs are reliant on testing for marine toxins known as domoic acid — a natural marine toxin produced by certain types of marine algae. Clams with high amounts of marine toxins can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
Domoic acid levels must remain under the 20-parts-per-million (ppm) cutoff range in order for WDFW to allow digging on beaches. Latest sample test results from all beaches were at 1-ppm.

The tentative coastal razor clam digging dates have been set and Long Beach will see a very brief 2018-19 season, although WDFW shellfish managers are hopeful it is just going to be a gap year.

WDFW attribute this decline of razor clams to low salinity levels from Columbia River freshwater run-off along the southern-most beaches.
There is no shortage of razor clams at Long Beach with about 330,000 clams available for harvest in 2018-19, but 80 percent of them are less than 2-inches long.On the other-hand coastal beaches to the north look robust for the fall and winter digs.

Twin Harbors is in good shape, and Copalis and Mocrocks beaches razor clam populations are up over last year.
WDFW is working with Olympic National Park staff to assess possible digging dates on Kalaloch Beach.

[This is a duplicate statement from above.] Upcoming digs are reliant on testing for marine toxins known as domoic acid — a natural marine toxin produced by certain types of marine algae that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

Domoic acid levels remained well under the 20 parts-per-million cutoff ranging from 0.0 to 2.0.
Other proposed evening low tide digging dates, and final approval will be announced about one or two weeks before each series of digs:
Oct. 26 and 28 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Oct. 25 and 27 at Twin Harbors and Copalis.
Nov. 8, 10, 23 and 25 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Nov. 9, 11 and 22 at Twin Harbors and Copalis; and Nov. 24 at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.
Dec. 6, 8, 21 and 23 at Twin Harbors and Copalis; Dec. 7, 9 and 20 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Dec. 22 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.
For details, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclam

NW Salmon Derby Series reeling-in good participation

It has been an extremely busy 2018 season with the NW Chevy Dealer Silverado truck and fully-loaded KingFisher boat traveling across the Pacific Northwest. In all we had 14 derbies including our newest – the Brewster Salmon Derby Aug. 2-5 on the Columbia River – and returnees after a two-year hiatus were the Edmonds PSA Coho Derby and the Everett Coho Derby with each drawing thousands of anglers.
We had a total of 6,585 anglers entered into the derby series, and a winner of the fully-loaded, grand-prize KingFisher 2025 Series boat powered with Honda motor on an EZ Loader Trailer.

The winner of the Everett Coho Derby – which lured 1,694 adult and 201 youth participants with 548 coho averaging 7.04 pounds on Oct. 22-23 –  was Michael Rien with a 13.27-pound coho worth $10,000! Also congratulations to the youth winner Baron Kuehlwein with a 10.79-pound coho worth $300!

For the second year in a row the winner of the grand prize derby boat hails from the Big One Salmon Derby in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho! Joshua Stokes, who is an avid angler from Post Falls, Idaho, has fished the Big One Salmon Derby for as long as he can remember.
A huge “thank you” goes out to all our sponsors that also include Scotty Downriggers; Raymarine Electronics; WhoDat Tower; Dual Electronic Stereo; Tom-n-Jerry’s Marine; NW Sportsman Magazine; The Reel News PSA; Outdoor Emporium/Sportco; Harbor Marine; Silver Horde; Prism Graphics; and Salmon & Steelhead Journal.

We’ve got a lot of exciting news on the plate for the 2019 Northwest Salmon Derby Series and we’ll be making announcements very soon, so stay tuned! For details, go to www.NorthwestSalmonDerbySeries.com.

In the meantime, the days may be getting shorter as we head into fall and winter, but there’s nothing like a feisty coho or chum salmon tugging on the end of the fishing line.

I’ll see you on the water!
 
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Health Care Corner: October 2018

Keys to Getting Your Employees Involved in their Benefits
 
For many employers, offering a comprehensive and affordable employee benefits package entails hours of analyzing and reviewing various options only to find that their employees often remain disinterested or uniformed on what they are being offered. With open enrollment season upon many employers and employees, now is the time to take proactive steps to engage your employees and educate them on how to best utilize the benefits you offer.

Communicate Early and Often: With the constant news and political infighting around the Affordable Care Act, your employees may be hearing a lot of outside noise regarding health insurance. Getting the message out that your open enrollment season is here, whether via email, company meetings, payroll stuffers is important in making sure they understand their benefits.

Go Online: Encourage your employees to create an online account with their health insurance carriers. Want to check on a claim, find a doctor, or print out an ID card? All of this and much more can be done on almost every insurance carrier’s website.

Give People Choices: Most insurance carriers allow employers to offer more than one medical plan. Offering a base plan and allowing employees to “buy-up” to a more robust benefit option means they can get the coverage they need for their family.

Provide Voluntary Plan Options: Offering a suite of voluntary enrollment benefits – disability insurance, dental, vision, life insurance - can often be done at no cost to employers.

Tap in to Your Team of Experts: The NMTA Health Trust has a team of experts that can help walk you and your employees through the maze of open enrollment.

Give our partners at Capital Benefit Services a call today at 425-641-8093 or visit us online at www.nmtahealthtrust.com  to see how the NMTA Health Trust can help you and your employees get the most from your employee benefits while saving on your company’s bottom line.
 
 
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