Your decisions can shape the future

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Give us your opinion: There’s general agreement in our industry that boating education for our customers is good for them and, therefore, good for our business. Education breeds confidence and confident skippers use their boats more and are more committed to the sport for the long haul. Your opinion today will help. Here’s the background:

Among many organizations offering boating education, the United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS stand out. Late last spring, these two teamed up to unveil “Partner In Command,” the first in a series of online seminars designed to provide boaters with a convenient way to improve boating knowledge and skills (See Dealer Outlook on May 28). It’s proven popular. Going forward, the plan is for up to 15 online seminars.

At the moment, seminar No. 2, called “Boating on Rivers, Locks and Lakes,” has just come online. What seminar No. 3 should be is the question and you can help. There are three topics being considered. Knowing what dealers think is important to this decision.

The choices are: (1) Boat Handling (also called Seamanship); (2)Engine Maintenance; (3)Marine Electrical Systems.

Please go to the comment section below and simply vote for one of the options. But do it today while you’re reading this. The team putting the seminars together is monitoring your answers.

Small Business Saturday: Its coffee and community . . . a day we should all shop small. It’s a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country and a day marine dealers could benefit from with just a little effort.

Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is gaining more and more public recognition nationwide. It is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day — Nov. 30 this year.

Small business is us. How easy it would it be to join in Small Business Saturday by simply, say, inviting customers to join you for coffee and donuts, or a hot dog on the grill? In the email invitation, tell them you’re proud to be a small business in the community, and you appreciate that Small Business Saturday recognizes America’s family businesses. Why not have some special Christmas gift items on sale for Small Business Saturday only? And, of course, offer them a genuine thank you for supporting your small business.

You can click here to find more details, join in, and get ideas, materials and resources.

Fishing Follow-up: Last Thursday, I blogged about Leon County (Fla.) Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford’s unimaginable decision to overturn a 20-year-old constitutional amendment that bans gill nets in the state’s waters. After I wrote it, I thought I might have been too vocal in my criticism. But thanks to Ed Wiser for his comment that let me know I was right on. In part, Ed wrote:

“I am in Tallahassee and well-acquainted with Jackie Fulford. She is an activist judge who combines ignorance with arrogance — a dangerous combination. For 20 years the jurists of this state have been upholding the constitutionally mandated net ban and now, because Fulford disagrees with it and wants to make headlines, the destruction of juvenile game fish begins anew.”

Good news: A Court of Appeals ordered a stay while the case is appealed. So, no gill nets will be sinking into Florida waters for now. But since it’s still in the courts, all fishing interests must remain aware and engaged.

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