At the Helm: An industry united | Boating Industry

At the Helm: An industry united | Boating Industry

By Adam Quandt

As the recreational boating industry gears up for another American Boating Congress in Washington D.C., I’m reminded of my early days entering this industry.

I was not born into this industry, like so many of my colleagues. I didn’t necessarily grow up as a boater, aside from the occasional fishing trip with my dad as a kid. Yet, upon joining the ranks, I was instantly hooked by this industry. Why? Well, boating is fun, of course, but the thing that really hooked me was and continues to be this industry’s passion.

The recreational boating industry is a big, small industry. The U.S. recreational boating industry generates roughly $230 billion in annual economic impact, supports more than 36,000 business and 812,000 jobs, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Yet, when you walk any boat show or attend any industry event, it’s like a class reunion. Laughter and hugs all around as friends and colleagues catch up.

Across the industry, there is a camaraderie likely not found to the same degree in similar industries. And while American Boating Congress is really a culmination of our industry’s united front, we must continue to band together year-round.

Whether it’s advocacy for our industry at the local, state and federal levels, pushing technology further through innovation and partnerships, or something else entirely, our industry’s ability to unite and work together continue to ensure that boating is here to stay. And with increasing challenges ahead, from economic stability to competition for customers’ free time, it will be more important, maybe more than ever before, that the recreational boating industry remains united.

Part of the industry’s ability to unite comes in the form of celebrating each other and hard work across every segment. This issue of Boating Industry does just that in celebrating invention and innovation with the annual Top Products Awards.  From new boat models to new services and everything in between, the recreational boating industry is ripe with continuous innovation to enhance experiences in boating across the board and this year’s Top Products provide a shining example of that.

Across the industry, from competitors to colleagues, as we head into another summer of helping people make memories on the water, let’s remember to stand united to continue growing the spotlight on boating and pushing ourselves further well into the future. 


Boat Lyfe