Oct 31, 2023
Did I scare you? I didn’t think so, but there are things that I find scary in the boat business and this seems like a good time to talk about it.
The world is getting more complicated and more political all the time it seems and I admit that some of it is for the better. Certainly, we care about our environment and especially the lakes and oceans, and the marine life there. My world revolves around boating, but there is a far wider world and in that world, decisions get made, sometimes at a high level, where we have little or no input. Suddenly, boo! Something pops out that hits us.
In this edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest, we learned that AkzoNobel’s VC 17 m, a very popular anti-fouling paint has suddenly been discontinued because a component is no longer approved. So, boo! No more VC17.
I’m concerned that we may also be surprised by other new boating safety regulations. We may suddenly find that PFD wear for children, or maybe even for everyone aboard any pleasure craft under 6-meters in length, (or even under 9-meters!) has suddenly become mandatory. It has been discussed. Don’t be startled if it becomes law.
Our marine trade associations across Canada are working hard to stay on top of the many regulations presently under discussion but as we saw with the luxury tax, the politicians can and do, ram through unpopular, or even vigorously opposed new legislation. Letters to your Member of Parliament can make a difference. One letter is good, but many letters have a better chance of success and a coordinated national campaign of opposition stands a better chance again.
So, it’s always valuable to be both a member of your marine trade association and to personally be active and informed about what’s going on with the association. Be prepared to do some volunteer work. Get involved and help guide our industry to avoid scary surprises. I plan to attend the Canadian Marine Advisory Council meetings in Ottawa this fall. There are many important issues being discussed. Some really scare me, at least from a negative business perspective. I promise I will work with our marine trade associations to share the important information with you.
Andy Adams – Editor