RMRC launches online boating research network

CHICAGO – Most statistical research available on the recreational boating industry can now be viewed at one Web site – www.boatingresearch.com – developed by the Recreational Marine Research Center, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said in a press release yesterday.

The Recreational Boating Research Network includes more than 1,200 past studies that are accessible by researchers and anyone interested in boating industry statistical information.

“This is the first effort to consolidate and collect all existing research on the recreational boating industry in one location,” said NMMA Market Research Director Jim Petru. “As much as 80 percent of the information on the site is accessible to anyone who registers as a member of the Recreational Boating Research Network.”

Petru adds that abstracts for all future statistical research on recreational boating will be uploaded to the Research Network, and that any one who registers as a member can upload their own research to the site.

The Recreational Marine Research Center was created jointly through a partnership between Michigan State University and NMMA. The development of the Research Network was funded by a United States Coast Guard grant, which was endowed to the RMRC to improve upon current statistical information available on recreational boating.

With the introduction of the site, RMRC enters phase two of the USCG program.

“In Phase II we will identify current holes in existing research,” Petru said. “We are holding an invitation-only stakeholder symposium later this month to develop a National Boating Research Agenda and a strategy for encouraging financial support for these research initiatives.”

The symposium is being held Nov. 17-18 and will involve various boating agencies (USCG, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and organizations (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, Sea Grant) that conduct, fund and utilize boating research.

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