ABBRA members get insider tour of local boatyards February 17, 2015
On January 23, members of the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association who were in town for their annual conference got a special treat. MIASF Executive Director led about 25 ABBRA members from around the country on an insider’s tour of Fort Lauderdale’s diverse marinas and boatyards.
The goal of the tour was to help participants understand what makes this region such an economic engine and learn about the South Florida’s recreational marine trade association’s efforts and initiatives to take a leading role, face challenges and implement strategies for stability and growth.
The tour left from the Pier 66 Marina and headed north toward Las Olas before turning around and heading up the New River. Points of interest included the Hall of Fame Marina, Bahia Mar Yachting Center, Las Olas Marina, Apex Marine, Lauderdale Marine Center, Marina Mile Yachting Center, Cable Marine, Universal Marine Center, Rolly Marine Services, Westport, Yacht Management New River Marina Service Center, Marina Road Boat Yard, Bradford Marine and Roscioli Yachting Center.
Highlights included seeing a herd of manatees splashing in the water just off of Secret Woods Nature Center and a first-hand glimpse at numerous boats, including the one the tour was given on, lined up waiting for the New River rail bridge to open as a train passed over it.
Participants received a fact sheet with information about the New River, South Florida marine industry’s economic impact and depth and dredging statistics.
The conference’s theme was “Taking the Lead: Setting Service Standards & Achieving Business Stability,” and it featured keynote presentations from Peter Johnstone, CEO of Gunboat, and Jim McManus, CEO of The Hinckley Company. The focus of the conference centered around areas of interest such as the steadily increasing and more stable marine economic environment, the role and value of customer service standards and customer retention strategies, the responsibility to set and manage customer expectations and the policies, procedures and the best management practices that advance and make the boatyard business profitable.