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NMMA schedules third Cuban trip for December

Space is limited to 10 qualifying participants who will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Due to high demand to attend the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s first two trips to Cuba, the group is holding a third and final exploratory trip to the country for members.

Space is limited to 10 qualifying participants who will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is limited to one representative per company, unless space allows otherwise. NMMA members will receive priority.

The registration deadline is Aug. 17, and a non-refundable deposit is required to secure a space.

The NMMA said Cuba has 11 million residents and if it were a U.S. state it would rank seventh in population. Cuba has 1,400 miles of coastline similar to the Florida Keys — if the Cuban Keys were superimposed on the Atlantic Seaboard, they would stretch from Miami to New York, according to the NMMA.

The NMMA said Cuba also has more than 100 freshwater lakes suitable for boating. Built by the Soviets from the 1960s through the 1980s, the 3- to 5-mile lakes irrigate rice fields and teem with largemouth bass. That means 95 percent of Cubans live within five miles of boating waters.

The NMMA is trying to help boat companies learn about the island and its people before the trade embargo is lifted. It is still in place, and exports to the country are illegal.

The trip will take place Dec. 7-11 and will include visits to Havana, a recently built marina in Varadero and older marina complexes and existing boating sites in the region.

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