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. Study: Renewable Fuel Standard created more problems than it solved
The Renewable Fuel Standard “created more problems than solutions” and is too reliant on corn ethanol, a 10-year study by University of Tennessee researchers found.
Ethanol, especially 15-percent (E15) blends, has long been a target of many marine industry groups and companies due to the engine damage caused by the fuel.
According to the study, the RFS, with its emphasis on ethanol, has hampered advancements in other biofuels and caused other environmental issues.
2. Morris Yachts optimistic on recovery
Maine yacht builder Morris Yachts is getting back on track as its market slowly recovers, the Bangor Daily News reported.
The company went from selling 21 or 22 boats in 2007 to just four last year. From 130 employees in 2007, the company employs just 25 people today.
But owner Cuyler Morris is optimistic about the future. “Since Aug. 1, we’ve done 33 test sails,” he told the paper. “That’s more test sails than we’ve done in three years. I’ll remain optimistic.”
3. Dredging firm to plead guilty in boating death
A Louisiana-based dredging company will please guilty to criminal negligence in the death of a Mississippi boater, the Biloxi Sun Herald reported.
Mark Barhanovich died in 2012 when his boat hit a partially submerged pipe causing his motor to break and flip into the boat, striking him. C.F. Bean, the dredging firm, had taken down lights and other warning devices before a hurricane and failed to replace them, a U.S. Coast Guard report said.
4. New Jersey Senate passes boat tax cut
The New Jersey State Senate voted Friday to pass a controversial 50 percent sales tax cut for boat buyers.
It is a modified version of an earlier bill, vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie, that had capped the sales tax on boats at $20,000. The new bill gives a tax cut to all boat buyers. It heads to the State Assembly next.
5. Florida boat repair tax cut helps land $30 million project
And another tax cut, which took effect earlier this year, has helped ensure a yacht repair and rebuild project that could top $30 million stays in Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The Anodyne, a 98-foot yacht is being rebuilt and extended to 108 feet at a Fort Lauderdale shipyard. Leaders of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida say the project — creating work for 50 people in about 20 businesses — would likely have gone elsewhere if it wasn’t for the law that capped sales tax on boat repairs at $60,000.