At the Helm: A whole new world

By David Gee

“Words, he decided, were inadequate at best, impossible at worst. They meant too many things. Or they meant nothing at all.” ― Patricia A. McKillip, In the Forests of Serre.

To say the world has changed since the printed edition of Boating Industry went to press a couple of weeks ago is an understatement to the point of ridiculousness.

And even though I ostensibly make my living with words in one way or the other, words are sometimes inadequate, as fantasy and science fiction author Patricia McKillip penned in one of her novels.

A fast-spreading, highly contagious global pandemic has of course long been the subject of science fiction, but that hardly prepares you for the real thing.

We are obviously cognizant of the fact you have lots of places and sources where you can get the latest on COVID-19. That’s not what you come to us for.

And while there are going to be some stories we view through the coronavirus lens, we aren’t going to making that the focus of everything we do.

The outbreak is changing things though. As we reported, NMMA has canceled the American Boating Congress, scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C. from May 12-14. That is obviously an important industry event and we devoted a fair portion of our March/April issue to it.

However, NMMA will now be hosting a virtual American Boating Congress on May 13, where they will provide more information on how the association is pursuing outreach and advocacy efforts, particularly as COVID-19 continues to strain businesses across the country and threaten the broader economy.

The other day all of the content directors of our company’s 13 or so different consumer and B2B publications convened for a conference call. We remarked about how boating, riding motorcycles and snowmobiles, and off-roading and other things we cover and write about can be at least part of a cure that ails us.

No, it’s not a coronavirus vaccine, but recreating can restore us, recharge us, physically and mentally. Think of the derivation of the word recreation…said another way it’s re-create, or to create again. 

I think of why we all like to be on the water; whether it’s skiing, surfing, wakeboarding, or just cruising around soaking up the sunshine.

It frees us from thinking about work deadlines, and things at home, how much money is in our checking or retirement accounts (by the way, don’t check your 401K any time soon) and on and on. 

So we’ll need boating now more than ever, as Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin stated so well in his recent blog post on our website.

Above all though, stay safe, and we’ll talk soon. 

*Note, for those of you who also read the print version of the March/April 2020 issue of Boating Industry, you’ll see this letter has been revised since the COVID-19 outbreak.

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