Great “lntel” at the conference

Andy Adams 2018 Edited 400

Dec 6, 2022

Last week in the Editor’s Message column, I wrote that to gain the best guidance at a time of high uncertainty, the consensus of opinion that you could get from attending the Boating Ontario or the Boating BC conferences may have the most value.

I’m always impressed by the collective wisdom of the “herd”. I attended the Boating Ontario Conference and there were a few key themes that kept coming up throughout the three days. 

The “vibe” was really positive and many people commented on that. I know people are feeling like we are just emerging from the lockdowns but actually, we had a pretty normal and open business season this past summer. Seeing other people should not be that novel yet, it felt like it was. Interesting…

Of course, the conference was mainly focused on the big issues facing the industry and in particular, facing the dealers. Clearly, many were celebrating an excellent season in summer of 2022 and quite a number expressed that it had been their best year ever.

We also heard that supply chain issues were getting resolved and that product was finally more available. The impression I came away with was that the consumers are still looking for new boats or at least are planning to repair and refit existing boats. The take-away is that there is generally a positive momentum for boating, even though other comparable expenditures like luxury travel is enjoying strong demand too.

The downside comments mainly centred around staffing issues and we have suffered tech shortages for years now…nothing new there. Except that more than a few people said they had turned to bringing on older people to fill the staffing needs and that “boomers” continue to be willing to work hard, be reliable and some are available. They may be looking for a retirement income boost by working in the summer and as long as they can keep up with the physical demands, maybe returning boomers are a viable solution to marina labour needs.

The more research and demographic data we get about the shortages of labour (really young people willing to take a physical labour job), the more sense it makes to bring on older workers. To cover the load, maybe you hire more people for just part-time hours but it looks like this may be the best solution. Demographically, there are not so many young Canadians in total and in the current labour market, they are in short supply. It seems that is not likely to change in the near-term.

Andy Adams – Editor

Related Posts

NMMA Canada’s Day on the Hill event hits a new high in 2024


While the Day on the Hill lobby session has been a key activity for NMMA Canada for many years now, I feel that the event hit a new high in the 2024 session in Ottawa on May 27 and 28th.

Lead by Executive Director Marie-France MacKinnon and executed by her team and their public affairs firm, BlueSky Strategy Group, the results were impressive. The NMMA Canada Board of Directors were organized into teams with business interests and special skills matched up to politicians and senior bureaucrats to most effectively present the marine industry’s agenda of issues. 

Read More

Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.

The Hydrobike, a key concept that embodies a vision for the future

DECATHLON, determined to erase the boundary between land and water, introduces its latest forward-thinking concept: the HydroBike. This innovation from the French sports giant aims to democratize access to nature while staying ahead in the transformation of their business model. 

The initial assessment: paddle sports are often inaccessible to less experienced individuals, assuming the acquisition of paddling skills.

Read More

Compass works when electronics don’t

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

Even in the event of an onboard power failure, a Ritchie Navigation SuperSport Helmsman SS-1002 magnetic compass still works. Plus, when the vessel is moving slowly in fog or while trolling, it can do something a GPS can’t: show the actual heading in real time. As a back-up to modern electronics, it’s a vital navigational tool that belongs on every commercial and recreational boat.

Read More