The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.
1. Missing New Jersey dealer may have faked death, authorities say
The case of powerboat racer and boat dealer Andrew Biddle continues to get stranger, with New Jersey officials saying they believe he faked his death and is a “wanted person,” ABC News reports.
Biddle and another person were on his pontoon boat when it crashed into buoy near Longport, N.J., last month. The passenger survived, but Biddle was presumed dead at the time, according to police, although his body was never recovered.
Biddle and his business partner, Tracy Blumenstein, were facing multiple counts of theft by deception and fraud related to their dealership, Professional Boat Sales in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
2. Algae blooms slowing Ohio boating industry
The larger-than-usual algae blooms on Lake Erie are hurting the marine industry there, especially boat rentals, local companies report.
3. Presidents signs highway bill, funding Sport Fish and Boating Trust Fund
President Obama has signed a 10-month extension to the Highway Trust Fund, ensuring it remains solvent for the near future. The Sport Fish and Boating Trust Fund, which funds many state and local fishing and water management programs, is paid for out of the gas taxes authorized by the Highway Trust Fund.
4. Small business optimism ticks up
Small business owners were more optimistic in July than in June, as the National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Optimism Index increased from 95 to 95.7 for the month.
5. Connecticut lawmaker seeks tighter regs for under-18 boaters
After an accident where a 16-year-old was killed by a boat piloted by another 16-year-old in Connecticut, selectman Drew Marzullo is seeking more regulations for young boaters.
The 16-year-old driver was licensed under current law, but Marzullo wants to see more supervision for boaters that are 16 to 18 years old.