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Weekly 5: Early returns show strong Chicago, Toronto boat shows


The BI Weekly 5 is a collection of tips, news and data affecting the boating industry this week. Be sure to look for the BI Weekly 5 every Tuesday on BoatingIndustry.com.


 1. Early returns show strong Chicago, Toronto boat shows

Organizers are expecting about 40,000 to have turned out for the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV show, which ended Monday.  If that number holds up, it will be a 13 percent increase from 2013.

The Toronto International Boat Show, which ended Sunday, also was reported to have good traffic over the weekend. Final numbers for both shows should be released this week.

2. Boating on the agenda in state legislatures

As state legislatures across the country reconvene, several states are considering boating-related bills.

  • In Alabama, a House committee passed a bill that would make the punishment for drunken boating the same as drunken driving.
  • In Illinois, a new version of SB 1478, a 2013 bill that would have required boater education, is expected to be introduced.
  • The Minnesota DNR is supporting a proposal to require additional aquatic invasive species education for boaters
  • In Virginia, companion bills have been introduced in the state House and Senate to exempt those 45 and older from boater safety education

3. Drought declared in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared the state to be under drought conditions last week, certainly no surprise to boaters, fishermen, farmers and others in the state.

That comes after the federal government designated parts of California and 10 other states (Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho and Oklahoma) as natural disaster areas because of drought conditions.

4. Ethanol industry organizing ‘Day of Action’

The nation’s largest ethanol producers are banding together to oppose the EPA’s plan to cut ethanol requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard with a Day of Action this Thursday.

Many marine industry associations including NMMA, MRAA and BoatUS favor revisions to or repeal of the RFS because of concern over damage some ethanol blends can cause in marine engines.

5. Are Google tabs hurting your business?

When Google announced its tabs for its Gmail service last year, many expected it to be a major blow to email marketing. Now, at least one company is blaming the feature for its poor financial performance. But there’s no reason to panic for most companies, writes digital marketing expert Dela Quist.


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