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Celebrating life on the water Part 2

If there’s a marine trade association that has run the ball into the end zone for a touchdown, it’s the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

Specifically, the NMTA has set a high bar for participation in this Saturday’s “Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day,” the industry’s first nationwide celebration of boating. (Click here for background in Tuesday’s Dealer Outlook.)

While a few area marinas participated in National Marina Day last year, this year the Seattle-based NMTA has orchestrated a group promotional effort. Moreover, they backed it up when the NMTA’s Grow Boating committee opted to provide some funding to help offset the cost of events at participating marinas. It’s resulted in a flurry of industry promotion in local papers, newsletters and blogs, even the hanging of five giant 30-foot street banners.

“I’m really proud of the 14 Washington state marinas participating,” NMTA president George Harris says.

“The quality of the events and features is really impressive and it’s a great example of how all stakeholders can work together to increase boating participation,” he added.

On Saturday, the 14 marinas will be holding a combined 74 activities, demos and other events. Here’s just a partial list of some of the events planned:

Port of Anacortes and Cap Sante Marina (Anacortes):An environmental cleanup event; marina tours, Coast Guard demo, a marina bird tour, See What’s Under the Dock activity.

Foss Harbor Marina (Tacoma): Onsite vessel safety checks, fire extinguisher certifications, Coast Guard Auxiliary boating seminars, kid’s games, BBQ, live music.

Bremerton Marina (Bremerton): Free overnight dockage on National Marina Day, docking and knot-tying classes, fire extinguisher training, Boater Education Card class, BBQ.

Eagle Harbor Waterfront Park (Bainbridge): Canoe and kayak rodeo, free lessons, Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel checks, Anchoring seminar sponsored by Open Water Marina, sailing on Solings by Bainbridge Island Yacht Club, rigging workshop by Bainbridge High School sailing team.

Elliott Bay Marina (Seattle): Novice sailing lessons using five J22 boats, the Leukemia Cup Regatta followed by the Leukemia Cup after races party and auction.

Ocean Alexander Marina (Seattle): Moss Bay Rowing kayaks available for free use, 30-minute sailing lessons by Lake Union Charters, fire extinguisher certifications, free snacks and drinks.

Point Defiance Marina (Tacoma): Hourly fishing tutorials on rod set up, knot tying and basic techniques, 75 percent discount on boats in rental fleet, BBQ of hot dogs and beverages.

Port of Edmonds (Edmonds): Seahawk, Pettit, and Interlux paint reps on non-copper bottom paints, Sea Scouts teaching knot-tying and splicing, Fish & Wildlife personnel, Trout Unlimited reps, Beach Watchers clinics on tending to beached or injured marine mammals, music.

Dock Street Marina/Delin Docks/ Foss Landing Marina (Tacoma): Sea Grant with pumpout info, Parks life jacket program, Kids Zone, kayak demos and races, blindfolded dingy races, West Marine on safety flares, Citizens for a Healthy Bay, food, music.

Port of Everett: Boat show, boat rides, Coast Guard seminars, Beach Watchers seminars, yacht club booths, Sea Scout seminars, Harbor Marine bottom paint seminar, food, music, beer garden.

Nationwide, a record 250-plus marinas are set to host activities on Saturday. But the opportunity to hold events that showcase marinas and the boating lifestyle exist all summer long. There’s no shortage of good ideas that a marina or a combo of marinas and dealers can put together to the advantage of both. If you missed National Marina Day this year, plan to be involved next year. In the meantime, get your feet wet by hosting a boating lifestyle event later this summer.

“I’m really proud of the fourteen Washington state marinas participating in Welcome to the Water on National Marina Day. The quality of the events and features is really impressive. Kudos to AMI, NMMA and the Recreational Boating Leadership Council for their support and showing our members what the potential for National Marina Day is. This is a great example of how all stakeholders in recreational boating can work together to increase participation.”

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