This month, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana) and Representative Mike McIntyre (D-North Carolina-7) joined the U.S. recreational boating industry’s Congressional Boating Caucus as co-chairs. The Senator and Congressman join Republican counterparts Representative Candice Miller (R-Michigan) and Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) in this role. Donnelly was previously the Democratic co-chair in the House of Representatives.
Recreational boats are uniquely American-made with 83 percent of powerboats sold in the U.S., made in the U.S. The Congressional Boating Caucus is an informal, bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives formed by NMMA in 1989 to advocate the interests of the recreational boating industry. Recreational boating contributes $72 billion to the U.S. economy annually, employing 348,000 Americans. What’s more, 97 percent of boating businesses are small businesses. The Caucus seeks to improve economic conditions that negatively impact the industry, protect our nation’s waterways for the estimated 83 million American boaters who use them each year, address boating safety and create international trade opportunities. There are four Caucus co-chairs: one Democrat and one Republican from both the Senate and the House.
Marine manufacturing has a particularly strong impact on the states that these Members of Congress represent: North Carolina, Indiana and Michigan:
North Carolina: In 2011, retail sales of new powerboats, boat motors, trailers and accessories totaled more than $400 million. The state ranked 10th in the U.S. for boat registrations with 467,828 in 2011. There are 1,165 recreational boating and marine manufacturing businesses in the state, contributing 13,180 jobs.
Indiana: In 2011 retail sales of new powerboats, boat motors, trailers and accessories reached more than $176 million ranking the state 24th in the U.S. There were 217,297 boats were registered in the state in 2011. There are 431 recreational boating and marine manufacturing businesses in the state, contributing 8,334 jobs.
Michigan: The state ranked 3rd in the nation for retail sales on new powerboat, boat motor, trailers, and accessories with a total of $450 million. There were 803,391 registered boats in Michigan in 2011. There are 1,519 recreational boating and marine manufacturing businesses in the state, contributing 13,040 jobs.
NMMA President Thom Dammrich says, “We are pleased to welcome Sen. Donnelly and Rep. McIntyre as new co-chairs of the Congressional Boating Caucus. Both Members of Congress continue to show a commitment to the recreational boating industry and we look forward to the guidance and leadership they will provide.”
logo courtesy National Marine Manufacturers Association