OAK PARK, Ill. – In closed session March 8, the Alabama State Senate Committee on the Judiciary passed a bill which would ban houseboats, boats over 30 feet 6 inches, and boats with an excess of 500 horsepower from nine major vacation destinations, the Marine Retailers Association of America said in a statement Tuesday.
“MRAA is shocked that a state would do this in secret session and calls on all marine retailers in Alabama and neighboring states to unite in strong opposition to this alarming bill,” said Phil Keeter, MRAA President. “MRAA is ready to help however we can to kill this destructive bill.”
Senate Bill 487 would severely impact thousands of vacationing families who use public lakes and reservoirs and the supportive businesses in a region, which go beyond the state of Alabama. According to the bill’s language, new access would be blocked and families that vacation on recreational boats on these lakes would be turned away. Marinas and other businesses that rent houseboats and fishing boats could face economic hardship on the nine lakes, and boaters could also face unsafe operation on remaining lakes where overcrowding may persist.
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