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ABBRA schedules boatyard tour before IBEX

The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association will host two major industry events in the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg, Fla., area on Sept. 29, one day before IBEX opens and as part of the conference’s 2014 Super Sessions.

ABBRA will offer a regional boatyard study tour facilitated by industry business leader Jim Bronstien to River Hawk Marine, Maximo Boatyard, Embree Marine and Sailors Wharf Boatyard from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ABBRA also is hosting a forklift and straddlelift training course and plans to release details about the courses and the instructor later this week.

The boatyard study tour is meant to provide IBEX’s national and international attendees a unique opportunity for an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the operations of four boatyards in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area.

The analysis will include aspects of the operation such as cost controls, marketing opportunities and regulatory compliance. Additionally, the tour will offer participants an opportunity for peer-to-peer discussions aimed at improving boatyard operations through the sharing of best management practices.

“These facilities are great examples of the diverse and dynamic boatyard business in this region, and we are giving boatyard operators an opportunity to tour these facilities, study these businesses and hear directly from fellow owners/operators,” Bronstien said in a statement. “This will be a very informative day, and all should take advantage of the chance to see the differences and similarities between these yards and their businesses.”

ABBRA executive director Gordon Connell says he anticipates strong interest in the tour because it is being held in response to supportive feedback that ABBRA and IBEX organizers received for adding something such as this to the program.

ABBRA hosted very successful boatyard study tours in the past, and we are answering the call to bring them back. Our facilitator, Jim Bronstien, is one of the boatyard and marine industry’s most well respected business leaders, and I know his leadership on these tours will make them extremely valuable and time well-spent for the attendees,” Connell said.

Registration for the tour is available by visiting or by calling the ABBRA office at (954) 654-7821.


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