Marine accessories manufacturers have seen a 25% increase in National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA) dues that are helping fund Discover Boating, the industrywide initiative to increase awareness of and participation in boating.

“We have a new slew of contributors this year,” Discover Boating president Carl Blackwell told Soundings Trade Only.

The 700 accessories manufacturers that are members of the NMMA, of which Blackwell is chief marketing officer, have had their dues — which vary based on sales — raised in recent months. That cash goes directly into Discover Boating coffers, Blackwell said.

“If we can get more parts of the industry to contribute so it doesn’t all rest just on the backs of engine manufacturers, boat manufacturers and dealers, I think that’s how the industry wins,” Blackwell said. “So having the accessories manufacturers contribute as well was a nice win for the campaign and a nice endorsement for us.

Joe Lewis of Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina in Florida, chairman of the Grow Boating initiative and Discover Boating, added, “We have a funding task force that’s been making recommendations to the board about increasing our budget. One way to do that is getting more industry stakeholders contributing — industry segments like insurers, bankers, other lending institutions, both at a wholesale and a retail level, marinas, aftermarkets and parts guys — they’re really not supporting the initiative the same way they probably might if they were so inclined.”

Lewis pointed to the Go RVing marketing campaign as an example.

“If I had to look at the two industries, all the players on the Go RVing side have really embraced the marketing concept of GoRVing. They have gotten fully behind it and are using it to their full advantage. I can’t say that of the marine industry to date. We do have some that have gravitated to it and are using it to their benefit, and we have others who have no idea what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and how they can benefit,”Lewis said.

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