The Virginia Marine Trades Association hosted its fifth annual conference last week at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point.
With more than 60 conferees, the event exceeded crowds from past years, organizers said.
This year's speakers were from national groups such as the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, National Marine Manufacturers Association, the American Boat and Yacht Council, MYMIC Marine Technologies and NJ Sea Grant.
"We were really pleased to have such well-known presenters share their knowledge and experience with our group. Their interest in coming to our meeting reinforces that Virginia is a player in the marine industry on a national level and the VMTA is a valuable resource for all marine businesses in the state," VMTA president Don McCann said in a statement.
This year's educational sessions provided information about coming regulations and requirements for pressure washing, an overview of the current prosperity and pitfalls of the entire industry, tips for being a better manager, Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules that are affecting marinas and boatyards, and the reasons that certified technicians are valuable and important.
"I greatly enjoyed the presentations, talking with the vendors and seeing other owner/operators of marine-related businesses,” Dandy Haven Marina owner Andy Gurkin said.
“Keeping up on the regulatory landscape, while daunting at first, allows a knowledgeable owner to become and stay compliant. It is my hope that those that do not participate understand the challenges to their business and our industry and are putting effort into their practices, rather than hoping for the best.”