Sail America plans wide-ranging industry survey


Sail America is launching a campaign to reach out to Sail America's membership and the sailing industry at large, with the goal of finding out what is happening in every major segment of the industry, president Sally Helme said in a letter to members.

"Our plan is to conduct roundtable discussions by industry segment so we can focus on the unique challenges and concerns of each group," Helme said. "The business issues for a new boatbuilder are quite different than those of a sailing school, which are different than those for an equipment company, retailer, charter company, broker, new boat dealer and so on."

The discussions are expected to be completed by May 1.

The group plans to share highlights of the meetings with the entire membership during June's Sail America Industry Conference in Annapolis. The conference schedule will provide an opportunity for follow-up breakout sessions for each industry group should they want to get together again.

"We believe that one of the most valuable services Sail America can provide its members is a neutral and independent forum for the various industry segments to get together and share ideas, experiences and best practices," Helme said. "This new initiative is critical for all of us. 'Business as usual' won't cut it and we are all challenged to reinvent our business models in order to survive and prosper."