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NEWS - PRESIDENT'S REPORT - QUARTER 2, MAY 2021
 

PRESIDENT'S REPORT

July 2021

NMTA President/CEO George Harris

Board election ballots were tallied on June 4 and I’d like to welcome two new and two returning board members. Deke Jones with Salmon Bay Marine Center was elected to a 3-year board term. Deke is active with NMTA’s Superyacht Committee and its Superyacht Northwest global campaign to bring cruising superyachts to Washington state. Tony Bulpin with Sea Hawk Paints and Clint Kirry with Hewes Marine Company were both re-elected to three-year terms. Occasionally we have unexpired terms for trustees that need to be filled as was the case this year, and Tori Parrott, owner of Signature Yachts, was appointed to a one-year term at our June meeting. Tori will also begin serving as chair of the Seattle Boat Show committee for the next two years.

We held our first in-person board meeting in June – our first since February 2020. Special thanks to Seattle Boat Company for hosting the meeting in their Newport Shores conference room and rooftop deck. Following the meeting we invited board chairs from the past 25 years to join the current board for lunch and some recognition for our extraordinary member volunteers (see picture below). Since 1996, we have had 13 individuals serve a two-year term as board chair. It’s hard to describe the commitment our board chairs have made to NMTA with their service. Perhaps the simplest measure is time – each board chair spends a minimum of 12 years on the NMTA board. Initially as a member elected first-time board member for 3-years, then reelected by members for another term, and then another six years progressively serving on the executive committee as secretary/treasurer, vice-chair and ultimately board chair.

 
I’d like to welcome Mark Helgen with Union Marine as NMTA's new Board Chair for the next two years. Mark has served on the NMTA Board since 2011 and has served on the executive committee since 2015. Mark and I are looking forward to celebrating the Seattle Boat Show’s 75th anniversary in February and staying focused on being fierce advocates for our members on critical issues like the soon to be released boatyard permit, federal permitting for our marinas and health insurance.
 
 NMTA board chairs pictured from left to right are: Kevin Roggenbuck 1996-98, Bill Baker 2003-05, Alan Bohling 2005-07, Bill Youngsman 2009-11, Mike Burns 2011-13, Bruce Hedrick 2013-15, Craig Perry 2017-19, James Baker 2019-21, Mark Helgen 2021-23. Not show are: Larry Carpenter 1998-2001, John Wedeberg 2001-03, Dwight Jones 2007-09 and Patti Segulja-Lau 2015-17.
NMTA board chairs pictured from left to right: Kevin Roggenbuck 1996-98, Bill Baker 2003-05, Alan Bohling 2005-07, Bill Youngsman 2009-11, Mike Burns 2011-13, Bruce Hedrick 2013-15, Craig Perry 2017-19, James Baker 2019-21, Mark Helgen 2021-23. Not shown are: Larry Carpenter 1998-2001, John Wedeberg 2001-03, Dwight Jones 2007-09 and Patti Segulja-Lau 2015-17.
 
Seattle Boat Show
Applications for the 2022 Seattle Boat Show, its diamond anniversary, were mailed and emailed to all members in late June. As usual, applications are due on or before August 31 for the lowest rates and guaranteed space allocations. This year’s show includes several notable and exciting changes.
 
First, the show dates are now fully in February. We will open on Friday, February 4 and close on Saturday, February 12, and the Super Bowl is Sunday, February 13 (a move-out day). In March the NFL owners and players approved adding an additional game to the season, now 17 games, which extends the regular season by one week and moved all consumer shows at Lumen Field Event Center one week later on the calendar.
 
The second change is the in-water location for brokerage and new boats. The Afloat portion of the show will take place at Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina. The Northwest Yacht Brokers Association decided not to have a display at South Lake Union as part of the Seattle Boat Show. As I’ve written before in this column, I am a believer and supporter of the Seattle waterfront. We attract boaters from all 50 states and our new waterfront is second to none! Bell Harbor is also “show ready” with pristine docks, ample power on every dock, and an event-loving management team at the Port of Seattle. I’m certain Lumen Field Event Center plus Bell Harbor Marina is the best location in the northwest for local and out of town boaters to become inspired northwest boaters. Bell Harbor is just 1.1 miles from the stadium, adjacent to the second largest parking garage in Seattle, and the short distance allows us to move attendees and exhibitors easily and quickly between the two locations.
 
In early July the Boat Show Committee met to review and select an advertising campaign for the 2022 Seattle Boat Show. Bullseye Creative, NMTA’s advertising agency since 2010, presented six different campaigns for consideration. The creative challenge this year is how to communicate our return to an in-person show, the afloat/in-water relocation to Bell Harbor, and have some fun celebrating our 75th anniversary. In the end it was an easy decision for the committee and in short order they unanimously selected a campaign called “All Together Now” that leverages our beloved jingle “The Boat Show, The Boat Show, The Big Seattle Boat Show …” with the fact boaters and businesses can be all together again, in-person in February 2022. Below you can see a graphic with show dates that highlights the 75th anniversary and the addition of Bell Harbor Marina.
 
Join us for the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Boat Show.

The entire NMTA staff, show committee and board are thrilled to be planning an in-person show again. We were up for the challenge in 2020 to move our shows online and I’m extremely proud of what we accomplished and what we learned. In fact, earlier this month NMTA received the Innovation award from the Washington Society of Association Executives for the most innovative work by an association in 2020. You can see a picture belowNMTA received the Innovation Award from the Washington Association of Society Executives (WSAE) for Seattle Boat Show Connected. Peter Schrappen received the award on our behalf and the trophy will be on display at our office. of NMTA's Peter Schrappen accepting this award last week. Yes, the recognition is much appreciated, but it’s clear a virtual show can’t replace the excitement and shopping experience of an in-person show for boaters and the return on investment for member exhibitors. That said, I do think seminars and education work well on a virtual platform and we saw this clearly during Seattle Boat Show Connected. For 2022 we will be offering all our seminars online for our attendees.
 
We know there is uncertainty for dealers, brokers and manufacturers about availability of inventory for display. As a first step, the Boat Show Committee has expanded new boat model years for display to include 2022, 2021, and 2020 and Bell Harbor Marina is open to brokerage and new boats. It’s important to remind dealers that recently sold boats with model years 2022, 2021 and 2020 can be displayed. I’ve talked with several dealers that are already making arrangements with new owners to display recently sold boats at the show.
 
Exhibitors with application or show questions should contact Boat Show Director, Katie McPhail, at katiemc@nmta.net.
 
Q1 & Q2 Boat Sales
New boat registrations in Washington through the end of June were up 7.3 percent in units and up 27.8 percent in value compared to the first six months of 2020. For the same period, registrations by brokers were up 15.3 percent in units and up 47.8 percent in value. It’s notable that boat registrations were down in June 2021 compared to June 2020 marking the first month-over-month decrease in 13 months in Washington. In my conversations with dealers, brokers and manufacturers this sounds like a supply problem rather than decreased demand for boats. You can see more boat registration data at this LINK.
 
Growing & Promoting Boating
NMTA continues to drive interest in boating and fishing with our Grow Boating efforts with earned media and summer events.
 
NMTA is again partnering with KING 5 Evening to promote boating. Now in its 5th year, NMTA members provide Evening with boats to use as an ‘on-water studio’ for hosting the show. So far this summer Evening has hosted five shows from the water, showcasing a variety of boats and locations including Lake Union, Shilshole Bay and the Foss Waterway. The program will run weekly throughout the summer with a 3-week hiatus during the Olympics happening now.  
 
Below are links to a few of the new episodes from this year. Additionally, Evening has been re-airing many boating stories that were produced two years ago. These have included stories about shrimping in the San Juan's and kayaking on Elliott Bay.
 
Boating on Lake Union on Sailing Catamaran - June 8, 2021
Foss Waterway on Pontoon Boat - June 23, 2021
Summer Fun in the PNW with Boat Clubs - July 7, 2021
San Juan Islands Shrimping - July 19, 2019
 
The 2021 Northwest Fishing Derby Series is back on the water this month with the Lake Coeur d’Alene Big One Salmon Derby, followed by four August derbies, and three in September. We’re calling this year’s derby series a “victory lap” because our Grow Boating committee has decided to retire the Derby Series and put it in the NMTA Hall of Fame as a great 16-year NMTA promotion that without question raised the profile of salmon fishing, increased participation and delivered anglers young and old to member businesses, marinas and communities all across the region. Special thanks to our sponsors this year: Kingfisher Boats, Yamaha Marine, NW Chevy Dealers, EZ Loader boat trailers, Raymarine Electronics, Dual Electronics, Shoxs seats, WhoDat Towers, Burnewiin, Scotty Downriggers, Prism Graphics, Sportco & Outdoor Emporium, Master Marine, Tom-n-Jerry's Boat Center, Harbor Marine, Bayside Marine, Salmon & Steelhead Journal, The Reel News, NW Sportsman Magazine, Seattle Boat Co., and Lamiglas Rods.

As the Derby Series winds down, the Grow Boating committee is excited to start a new multi-location promotion called PonTunes. NMTA and the Seattle Boat Show will bring “tunes” to six member marinas onboard a Pontoon boat that will cruise the fairways playing live music. 
 
I’ll close with a big THANK YOU to all the members that have renewed their NMTA membership for 2021/2022. This past year was extraordinary for business owners and employees and we’re all fortunate to be in the boating business and opening the door to new and returning boaters.
 
I hope summer continues with business busy and just the way we like it. See you on the water.
 
Sincerely,

George Harris
President/CEO
 
P.S. Our next in-person event is the Northwest Marina & Boatyard Conference, presented by Marine Floats, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, at the Kitsap Conference Center. This is a must attend event for marina and boatyard owners and employees. NMTA Vice-President and Dir. of Government Affairs, Peter Schrappen, will be emcee and host for this always fun and informative conference. Members can register here.

 
 
 
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