NMMA’s industry showcase gave Congress a taste of recreational boating

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Chaparral Boats’ Ryan Swaims (right) instructs a guest on how to use a virtual reality boat simulator.

Chaparral Boats’ Ryan Swaims (right) instructs a guest on how to use a virtual reality boat simulator.

Coinciding with Congress’ return from summer recess, the National Marine Manufacturers Association held its inaugural boating industry showcase in the nation’s capital last month.

The Captains, Cocktails and Canapés event drew nearly 400 participants, including eight members of Congress. It featured a line-toss competition provided by the Annapolis School of Seamanship and a virtual reality simulator from Chaparral Boats that let guests experience helming a boat. Also on hand were members of the BoatPAC board, who had held meetings with members of Congress earlier in the day to discuss trade, infrastructure and conservation efforts.

“This event gave NMMA a great opportunity to connect with lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill and highlight, in a fun and interactive way, the economic importance to the U.S. economy,” Nicole Vasilaros, NMMA vice president of government and legal affairs, said in a statement. “We were elated to have nearly 400 attendees and be able to reach such a broad audience.”

The NMMA is planning to make the industry showcase and annual event.

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