NMMA embarks on youth-oriented partnership for 2007 boat and sportshows

CHICAGO – The National Marine Manufacturers Association has joined with Captain Kids, a national organization designed to connect kids, parents and educators to a broad range of maritime activities in, on and under the water, the NMMA said in a statement today. The partnership will include a Captain Kids Discovery Point exhibit hosted at several NMMA boat shows and sportshows throughout the 2007 season.

The Discovery Point Exhibit will be unveiled at its first NMMA show Jan. 10-14, 2007 at the New Orleans Boat Show. The interactive exhibits in Discovery Point include stations to encourage children to get interested and involved in the water, such as model boat building, knot tying and boating safety. Other areas will cover exploring and identifying different types of boats, ocean literacy, fishing and conservation. Parents are able to enjoy the exhibit with their children and learn more about particular boats and how to get connected right in their own area.

“We’re excited to work with an organization such as Captain Kids that naturally aligns with the long term goals of the boating industry and the industry-wide Grow Boating initiative,” said Ben Wold, NMMA executive vice president. “NMMA boat and sportshows offer an exceptional opportunity to introduce children and their parents to the joys of the on-the-water lifestyle.”

Recent research shows childhood boating experiences have a direct influence on boat purchases as an adult. The NMMA’s 2005 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract noted 78 percent of people who had never owned a boat, but experienced boating as a child, expressed current interest in purchasing a boat. Among this population, 48 percent of those whose parents owned a boat and 39 percent of those whose parents had not owned a boat were currently interested in buying a boat.

“Captain Kids is designed to get children involved in the marine industry at an early age while also educating them on the environment, ocean science, boating destinations and other aquatic information,” said Tom Griffin, Captain Kids president. “Working with the NMMA to bring this program to several shows in 2007 will help share enthusiasm and boating know-how with thousands of families around the country. This partnership demonstrates a clear industry commitment to the next generation of boaters and the stewards of our greatest natural resource—water.”

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