Newsletter April 2020


From The Captain's Chair




Captain's Chair - Showing Leadership Amid Economic Reopening Plans

MIASF is consistently working with local, state, and federal agencies, law enforcement, elected officials, and professional lobbyists to confirm and protect the marine industry’s status as an essential enterprise. As we are made aware of specific situations and occasions that arise, we are engaging with all necessary stakeholders to help provide clarity and understanding of the orders and keep our essential marine businesses open.

The mayor of the City of Fort Lauderdale is holding meetings with business, community, and health care leaders to develop a plan for the phased reopening of businesses, and MIASF was asked to participate as an essential and important industry to be included. We are grateful for the thoughtful governance that has been shown by our local elected officials, and offer special thanks to Commissioner Ben Sorensen who spearheaded the recent city commission vote that now allows recreational boaters to refuel their vessels at fuel docks throughout Fort Lauderdale.

During the Mayor’s meeting on the first phase of reopening the economy, a universal thread of “common sense” emerged, using an optimistic approach that is measured, considerate, and maintains strict safety standards. Although every industry has been impacted, as an essential, core, and legacy industry, we have not just the incredible opportunity but the enormous responsibility to continue guiding our community by demonstrating our characteristic knowledge and capability to thrive.

An interesting byproduct of the stay-at-home impacts of coronavirus is the fast-tracked trajectory of the use of technology to remain viable and connected. At MIASF we are using APPS, virtual platforms, and video to stay connected with each other and our members. During the last few weeks, I hope you have had a chance to view some of the staff-developed informational videos on boat ramps and hand washing, our Some Good News series, and our Board of Directors, Anchor Members, and staff video recognizing the amazing and selfless efforts of all frontline workers.

We have the opportunity to show true leadership in our community. We all want to get back to work yet protect our families, businesses, and employees. MIASF will continue working with all our partners to protect our essential marine businesses with a goal toward thoughtfully and systematically getting our economy moving again.

Thank you for all the meaningful things you are doing to protect the marine industry, our community, and your families. I know it has been said many times, but we truly are in this together and together we will recover.

The entire MIASF team is available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Feel free to reach out anytime.


Advocacy Report

Advocacy Report

MIASF’s legislative agenda and advocacy have been in the forefront of the association’s activities this month, with much of the effort easily managed through virtual communication. On the federal level, we continue to monitor the FEC bridge operation, which has been reduced significantly since the suspension of the Brightline passenger rail service. The live feed of the camera is available for public view on our website at https://www.miasf.org/live.  March 30th marked the deadline for comments on the current test deviation that offers a predictable opening the first 10 minutes of every hour and default open position when there is no train traffic. The test deviation operation will continue for several more months while comments are reviewed, and it is determined if adjustments are needed.

March began with a presidential order of travel restrictions. MIASF, together with its federal lobbyist, was successful in having Customs and Border Protection release a clarification document stating yacht crew with B1 visas were recognized as sea crew and with exception to travel to the U.S. Another issue impacting foreign crew was the expiration of their stay in the U.S. and an inability to leave. MIASF confirmed that crew in this position should immediately apply for an extension of stay by filing an I-539 form with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS.gov). This must be done before the expiration date on the I-94. Failure to do so can result in a three-year wait period before receiving a new visa for overstaying the permitted time. USCIS is understanding of the impact of COVID-19 and visa extensions will be reviewed with that in mind.

Recognizing that visas and cruising licenses were going to continue to be an issue as more and more boats were opting to cancel the summer cruising plans in the Mediterranean and spend the summer in the United States, discussion was had on how best to address the situation and make the states more welcoming to the yacht business and the economic impact it represents. The result was the draft of proposed legislation presented to appropriate members and committees of Congress regarding temporary relief on crew visas, cruising licenses, and recreational demise charters. It is hoped the language may be included in the next round of recovery legislation with our Florida representatives in bipartisan support.

At the state level we, like many other industries, were engaged from the beginning to ensure the marine industry was recognized as essential. This effort was accomplished; however, it was immediately followed by a weekend of boaters not following social distancing guidelines and large groups at sandbars.

To control the behavior, local governments issued a variety of orders closing boat ramps, marinas, and fueling stations. While the intent was the same, the rules varied and when the Governor issued his emergency order, he included Miami-Dade’s language, which had gone through several amendments. The effort to clarify and separate marine industry businesses from irresponsible recreational boaters caused confusion, particularly with decision makers without the intimate knowledge of the dramatic differences in recreational boating as a business. Our state lobbyist has worked diligently on our behalf, championing our position, and working for clarity in orders.

Locally our municipal governments have struggled to balance the convoluted emergency order and compliance with understanding the importance of the industry to the economic health of the community and the responsibility to maintain a safe and secure environment for their citizens and the vessels that require ongoing attention. Fortunately, many of the challenges have been addressed. Language mixing boat ramps and marine services has been better defined to permit the shipyards to continue to operate as the essential businesses they are, and Broward County has taken the position that fuel sales are permitted. Additionally, City of Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Ben Sorensen spearheaded the effort to open the fuel docks in Fort Lauderdale, passing the initiative on a 3-2 vote. MIASF and its local lobbyist continue to work together with leadership in those communities to find a resolution to the issue as we move forward. Boat ramps are open with some restrictions in accordance with the City of  Fort Lauderdale emergency order issued on April 28th.

Mayor Dean Trantalis has created a panel to advise him on how and when to reopen businesses and amenities. The Mayor has extended an invitation to MIASF CEO/President Phil Purcell to serve on the panel representing the marine industry. Phil has accepted and looks forward to representing the marine industry during this process.


Business Highlight - Bennett Marine

Business Highlight - Bennett Marine

For over half a century, Bennett Marine has enhanced the boating experience, providing millions of boaters with exceptionally durable and dependable trim tab systems. The original design behind the adjustable trim tab systems was simple but proved to be a vital component to almost any boat, allowing the driver to have maximum control over the handling characteristics of the hull, to reduce bow rise, correct listing, improve visibility, increase efficiency, and more.

Bennet Marine was founded in 1960 by Charles Bennett in Detroit, Michigan before relocating to Deerfield Beach, Florida in 1977. With the company’s present-day global distribution network, Bennett Marine has become a trusted brand world-wide with a reputation for outstanding reliability and product support. In 2005, the company celebrated with an extraordinary milestone of 1 million trim tab systems sold and has consistently remained on the leading edge over the years with ongoing investments in staff, processes, and product innovation. The result – the most diverse and exceptional product lineup in its class with both electric and hydraulic systems available for any size boat. In 2017, Bennett Marine was pleased to join the Yamaha Marine family.

Bennett Marine’s continued growth and Yamaha’s ongoing support are demonstrated by the vast array of continuous advancements. The state of the art 2030 fiber laser has allowed for the maximum output of stainless sheet metal components and the ability to rapidly produce a myriad of custom shapes and designs that accommodate the ever-changing needs of the marine industry, while also meeting the stringent quality and production demands its customers expect. Bennett’s fleet of high of volume CNC machines are capable of 24-hour production, consistently holding tolerances to microscopic levels. With sophisticated multi-sensor measuring tools, the Bennett quality team is able to inspect incoming and outgoing CNC parts to the most minute tolerances, ensuring the highest manufacturing precision quality.

Bennett Marine has seen tremendous increases in demand for various product lines and is ensuring that protection capacity remains in step. Additional staff, fixtures, and testing equipment have allowed for this consistent growth. With a finely crafted seven tank electro polish process Bennett Marine has the ability to produce insourced, mirror finish tabs with maximum quality and corrosion resistance.

The implementation of the Yaskawa robotic weld cell allows Bennett Marine the ability to efficiently provide high volume boat builders with exceptional quality welds and extremely consistent products. With ongoing staff additions and planned footprint expansions, the shipping team has seen continual growth in efficiency and capacity. With a rich legacy, decades of growth and innovation, and an exciting future with endless possibilities, Bennett Marine anticipates great things to come.


Faces in the Industry - Paul Wohlrab Retires

Faces in the Industry - Paul Wohlrab Retires

Paul Wohlrab, Outside Sales Manager at Lewis Marine Supply (who recently acquired Jerry’s Marine Service) announced his retirement on April 10, 2020.

Paul had more than 45 years in the boating industry. In the last decade he led the outside sales team at Lewis Marine Supply and the sales team at Jerry’s Marine Service, based in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to that, he held management positions at Reverso Pumps, Tides Marine, and Mase Generators North America. Working for Bennett Trim Tabs and Pompanette rounded out his career that began in the 70’s as the sales manager for Gondolier Magazine, a regional boating publication.

Paul has been active for the past several years on the MIASF workforce and education committee. Paul plans to enjoy more time with him family, do some fishing, and enjoy leisure time in the industry he loves. He thanks all who have aided in his success.


MIASF News - Some Good News

MIASF News - Some Good News

The creative team at MIASF has blatantly plagiarized a popular online video series called Some Good News (SGN for short) at the urging of its celebrity host, John Krazinski. As the popularity of his SGN series grew, John showcased people from around the world copying his show’s format and style and has encouraged others to share in the Some Good News phenomenon. Of course, we took him up on his offer. Be sure to check out our social media outlets or YouTube channel to view MIASF’s Sean Smith awkwardly reading from a homemade teleprompter in the latest episodes and send us your Some Good News to include in an upcoming segment. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNIRU1DrdXc 


MIASF News - Annual Meeting Status

MIASF News - Annual Meeting Status

MIASF’s Annual Dinner Meeting and Awards Ceremony has been postponed until May 2021. Given the current pandemic and concerns regarding lifting social distancing guidelines too soon, MIASF made the difficult decision to reschedule the otherwise annual event. We will soon be announcing the details of a virtual annual meeting that will meet the requirements of the association’s bylaws and look forward to planning an extraordinary event next year to celebrate our legacy and longevity with a 60-year Diamond Jubilee.


MIASF News - Board of Directors Ballot

MIASF News - Board of Directors Ballot

The MIASF Board of Directors Ballot will be sent to members via email in early May. As a reminder, associate and complimentary members are not eligible to vote and only one bundle administrator from each general member company may vote. Candidate information and biographies will be available online soon. Please contact info@miasf.org for more information.


Member News - Informa U.S. Boat Shows

Member News - Informa U.S. Boat Shows

Richard “Richie” Sturm - In Memoriam

May 7, 1952 - April 25, 2020

 

Richard “Richie” Sturm passed away peacefully on April 25th after a battle with gliobastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.  A beloved member of the Informa U.S. Boat Shows organization for over 24 years, Richie began his career in 1995 as a consultant with the boat show’s previous ownership, Show Management/YPI. Turning his passion for boating into a fulfilling career, Richie was central to the success of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the Palm Beach International Boat Show and the Miami Yacht Show.  Working as a business advisor after receiving a degree in accounting from Ithaca, College, Richie also loved the open water and had a curious mind. 

Informa U.S. Boat Shows President, Andrew Doole remembers Richie saying, “Richard was the key guy for in-water boat sales and marina design for more than 20 years and was instrumental in helping us grow our top shows.  An avid diver, fisherman and reader, he and I followed a lot of the same Florida authors - I will miss his help in building my collection. All of us at Informa will miss him a great deal.”

Richie will always be remembered for his wry sense of humor, storytelling and his beloved pet bichon frise, Stella.  Richie is survived by a large circle of friends as well as his loving sister Merry Sturm, brother-in-law Daniel O’Connor, niece Jaime O’Connor and nephew Tyler O’Connor.


Member News - Zeidel & Co.

Member News - Zeidel & Co.

Crew apparel company, Zeidel & Co. has been making and donating face masks to a local hospital since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people wear face coverings in areas where the 6-foot social distancing guideline is hard to maintain, such as in grocery stores where infected people who do not show symptoms can unknowingly spread the coronavirus. Staff made their first delivery of about 35 masks to Good Samaritan Medical Center. While they were making them, a yacht crew member came in to pick up a uniform order, spotted the masks and asked if they were for sale.

 

Zeidel will now donate about 25% of the 40-50 masks the team expects to make each day and sell the rest exclusively to the yachting community for about $7.50 each. That cost pays for labor and supplies for not only the yachting masks but those donated to hospitals as well.


Member News - Suntex Marinas

Member News - Suntex Marinas

Suntex Marinas recently recognized Hank Spencer of Cross Timbers Marina as the Ron TenEyck General Manager of the Year. “With all that is happening in the world right now, we thought it would be a good time to share a recent celebration,” said Ron TenEyck, senior vice president, Suntex. “This past year was challenging with some extraordinary weather events across the country. Even during this time, Hank took care of his employees and customers, met his 2019 budget and always had a smile on his face. Day in and day out, Hank exemplifies the Suntex core values.”

 

Additional awards included MVP Award, Administrative Assistant of the Year, Most Improved General Manager of the Year, Food and Beverage General Manager of the Year Award, Upstream Award, and Marina of the Year.

 

The candidates for all awards were chosen based on numerous criteria – including financial considerations, customer satisfaction, team performance, project completion and more. The Ron TenEyck General Manager of the Year Award was renamed in 2019 to recognize and honor TenEyck’s service during the span of his career with the company and his ongoing contributions to the success of Suntex in his new role.


Member News - Derecktor

Member News - Derecktor

Following the opening of Derecktor Ft. Pierce in 2019, Derecktor is proud to announce the recent promotions of Cliff DeFreitas and Robert Mac Keen. DeFreitas, former Project Manager at Derecktor Dania, has been promoted to General Manager of Derecktor Dania. Cliff joined Derecktor in March of 2018 and brings nearly 30 years of marine industry experience to his new position.

 

Highly respected within the marine industry, Cliff’s resume includes time at Jones Boat Yard and Merrill-Stevens. Known for his ability to negotiate contracts and manage complex refit projects, Cliff’s primary focus will be ensuring Derecktor Dania remains South Florida’s most complete superyacht repair and refit facility while continuing to deliver high-quality craftsmanship and customer service.

 

Rob Mac Keen, Project Manager at Derecktor Dania, has been promoted to Yard Manager of Derecktor Ft. Pierce. Rob joined Derecktor in October of 2018 and brings more than 25 years of marine industry experience with him to Fort Pierce. Boat focused since birth, Rob’s resume includes time at Apex Marine, Jones Boat Yard and Bahamas Marine International. Specializing in shipyard operations, Rob is focused on bringing Derecktor Ft. Pierce online during the next 12 months, with a goal of hauling a vessel by the end of 2020. Once fully operational, Rob will be responsible for ensuring Derecktor Ft. Pierce delivers the same high-quality craftsmanship and customer service our clients have come to expect.


Member News - Fassmer

Member News - Fassmer

Congratulations to Fassmer for successfully launching and testing tenders built for the U.S. Navy. By working through the scheduling details to use a local boat ramp with MIASF and local authorities, Fassmer was able to complete this imperative step on April 8th to meet the delivery of the tenders.


Member News - Lauderdale Propeller Service

Member News - Lauderdale Propeller Service

MIASF was saddened to learn of the passing of Lauderdale Propeller Service owner and president, Drew Cooney. Mr. Cooney, 65, died in February after a three-year battle with cancer. Lauderdale Propeller Service has been in business in the Fort Lauderdale area since the 1940s. In 1994, it moved to its current location on State Road 84. Mr. Cooney’s sons have assumed the business, with Brandon Cooney as president and Chase Cooney as general manager.


Member News - GMT

Member News - GMT

GMT, a Fort Lauderdale-based travel management company for the maritime community, has temporarily redesigned its logo with a “social distancing” theme to reflect the company’s full support of the practice. Many corporate brands – including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Audi and Volkswagen – have altered their logos in recent days to promote the practice of social distancing, the popular term for keeping 6 feet away from other people in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the current pandemic.


Member News - NMMA

Member News - NMMA

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced the deployment of a comprehensive COVID-19 response strategy. To date, the president’s salary has been reduced by 40% and the leadership team has had a significant reduction in compensation and benefits. The NMMA team has been reduced by 23 members and the remaining employees have transitioned to a three-day work week with reduced pay. The export development program has been eliminated. In accordance with local government guidelines, the NMMA team has been working remotely since the second week of March. This transition was completed seamlessly with remote access and technology, ensuring the team’s ongoing collaboration and service.

 

A new Task Force led by the advocacy and marketing communications teams provides essential daily news and information for members and stakeholders while helping to secure critical government funding and support for the industry. Ongoing webinars, consultations, and resources, can be accessed at NMMA.org/coronavirus  or by emailing TaskForce@nmma.org.

 

This COVID-19 response strategy streamlines NMMA’s workflow for the foreseeable future and includes an aggressive advocacy offensive to protect recreational boating, as well as boat shows, sales, and marketing opportunities that best position the industry once the global crisis is over.


Member News - Palm Beach International Boat Show

Member News - Palm Beach International Boat Show

Following the latest restrictions and with considerable communication with local and state officials, Informa U.S. Markets and MIAPB have determined that the Palm Beach International Boat Show cannot proceed with the live event and have announced the Virtual Boat Show launching on the show’s currently scheduled day of May 14th.

The primary concern continues to be the health and safety of visitors, community, exhibitors, staff, and vendors. The Virtual Palm Beach International Boat Show will continue to connect the community of passionate yachting and marine enthusiasts with nearly 500 premier exhibitors. More details will become available soon.


Member News - Gillen Yacht Services

Member News - Gillen Yacht Services

Delta "T" Systems has appointed Dania Beach, Florida-based Gillen Yacht Services as its newest authorized sales and service provider. The agreement formalizes a relationship the two companies have had in working together on high-profile projects. It authorizes Gillen Yacht Services and its certified technicians to inspect, service, repair and install Delta "T" Systems products throughout South Florida, the yachting capital of the world. Ventilation engineering is a collaborative effort between the businesses, with each bringing its unique perspectives to the design to maximize engine performance.

As part of a corporate name change from Gillen Diesel and Marine Services, Gillen Yacht Services is incorporating Delta "T" Systems into its marketing strategy. In addition to adding Delta "T" branding to its vehicles, it plans on bolstering its website's educational section on the importance of engineered engine and mechanical space ventilation. In turn, Delta "T" Systems is promoting the company to its South Florida customers who require service or installation assistance with its products.


Member News - Engineered Yacht Solutions

Member News - Engineered Yacht Solutions

Many thanks to Engineered Yacht Solutions for generously leading a group of marine businesses in an initiative to deliver more than a thousand lunches from YOT Bar & Kitchen to frontline workers at several area hospitals. Raising $11,000 toward the effort were Foster’s Yacht Services, Silver Lining Inflight Catering, Lauderdale Marine Center, Cheoy Lee Shipyards, Northrop & Johnson, and Advanced Mechanical Enterprises. Well done!


Upcoming Events - Elevator Pitch Competition

Upcoming Events - Elevator Pitch Competition

MIASF is moving forward with nine contestants in its annual Elevator Pitch competition for high school students interested in pursuing a marine industry job or career. The virtual competition has been adjusted to a semifinal and final round that will be conducted via video conference. The winner will earn a $500 scholarship and the runners-up will receive Visa gift cards.


Salty Jobs

Salty Jobs

Salty Jobs hosts, Sean Smith and Sarah Kelly tag team in this episode with Marine Professionals Incorporated as they install and check the navigational equipment and run a sea trial to test the remote-control system on board a catamaran. You can view this and all Salty Jobs videos here.

 

Job Showcase:  D.S. Hull Company

Warehouse Clerk

Full time employment, including health insurance, profit sharing, paid vacation, 401k benefits.

·         Must be able to pass pre-employment drug screening.

·         Must apply/inquire in person (ANY/ALL questions and inquiries will be answered during scheduled interview).

·         Required work hours: 8:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

·         40 hours of work or more guaranteed per week.

 

Marine Distributor Parts Counter Cashier

Full time employment, including health insurance, Profit Sharing, Paid Vacation, 401k Benefits and Great Pay.

·         Be Punctual and Reliable

·         MUST BE ABLE TO PASS PRE-EMPLOYMENT DRUG SCREENING!!

·         Hourly pay-based position. Always plenty of room to grow.

·         This IS NOT a commission-based sales position.

·         Job hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

·         YOU MUST APPLY IN PERSON: (8:00am-4:00pm, M-F)

·         ANY/ALL questions and inquiries will be answered during scheduled interview

 

Looking for motivated candidates, desiring stability and long-term employment. Warehouse experience preferred.


Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Did you know there is a Special COVID-19 section on the MIASF website with up-to-date state and local emergency orders to help you stay abreast of the rules? Check it out here.