Skip to main content

Trade group leader reflects on Sandy anniversary

Melissa Danko was relieved to see an end to Tuesday’s workday.

The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy brought with it a flurry of phone calls and emails from news outlets anxious to recap the year after the storm that devastated the marine industry. As executive director of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Danko was an obvious source for reporters looking to see where the industry is a year after the storm, which caused $650 million in damage to boats and sank 1,400.

“I am definitely personally looking forward to getting past it,” Danko told Trade Only Today on Tuesday. “It’s just very emotional.”

Danko has been neck-deep in helping the marine industry recover in New Jersey since the storm struck a year ago Tuesday.

She has talked to state and federal agencies on behalf of destroyed boat dealerships and marinas, tried to help expedite the permitting process for those needing to rebuild and shot videos during chilly March weather to ease boaters’ minds about debris in waterways.

The challenges are ongoing.

“I fought long and hard with the [Economic Development Authority] because [the Department of Housing and Urban Development] found a loophole preventing giving money to marinas, so we lobbied pretty hard to fix that and they did,” Danko said of her most recent ongoing challenge.

“We’re still going through that now. I think I know of two marinas that have been given grants and there are 80 applicants. One marina is still being asked for information by the [Small Business Administration] and it’s been almost a year. Those are the parts of the storm recovery that get challenging.”

Danko says putting the one-year anniversary behind her will allow her to focus on the future instead of the past.

“For me and other people I know, we just want to move on and move forward,” Danko said. “There are daily reminders of Hurricane Sandy everywhere, whether it be through work or on a personal level. It has dwindled a little over the past few months, and it would be nice to get to the point where we’re not all dealing with a piece of Hurricane Sandy.”

“We’ve seen some amazing things over the year,” Danko added. “So many people have rebuilt, and it’s hard because you want to look at the successes of those who have overcome the storm, but you also don’t want to overlook those who are still having a hard time.”

— Reagan Haynes

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .