ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Half way though its 40th anniversary, Boat Owners Association of the United States has set a goal of reaching one million members by the end of its 45th anniversary, BoatU.S. said in a release earlier this week.
BoatU.S. membership now stands at 670,000 and has grown by 10 percent over the past year, the fastest rate of annual growth since the association was launched in 1966.
BoatU.S. Founder Richard Schwartz attributed much of the growth to a strategic partnership BoatU.S. formed in 2003 with West Marine when the association sold its retail and catalog division to the marine equipment retailer. Under the terms of the agreement, West Marine customers can join BoatU.S. in any of its stores.
“Association growth over the past year has been nothing short of
extraordinary,” Schwartz said. “Our successful strategic partnership with West Marine has doubled our annual membership growth rate, ultimately giving BoatU.S. a bigger voice and greater clout when dealing with government.
“As we move toward 50 years of service and our golden anniversary 10 years
from now, there is no shortage of issues that BoatU.S. will have to tackle
including increasing limits on waterway access, post 9/11 security concerns,
licensing of boaters and environmental threats to our waterways.”
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