18th Annual Business of Boating Conference Recap

Business of Boating Conference | Courtesy of MMTA

As the maritime industry grows and evolves, organizations like the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA) work to bolster the safety and success of recreational boating. 

Based out of Foxboro, MA, MMTA recently hosted the 18th annual Business of Boating Conference with a lineup of educational sessions at Foxboro’s Lakeview Pavilion. Industry experts addressed topics on technology, employment law, government relations, workforce funding, national sales updates, national codes and compliance, and more. 

Key takeaways for boaters, marinas and maritime businesses from the conference include the following information and resources:

Marina Electrical Systems — design and code compliance updates:

  • Critical changes recently occurred in the National Electrical Code, specifically Article 555, “Marinas, Boatyards, Floating Buildings, and Commercial and Noncommercial Dock Facilities.” Review the NFPA 70, National Electrical Code 2023 latest edition. 
  • Routine maintenance and inspections should be performed at least annually per NFPA 5.20 “Maintenance of Electrical Wiring and Equipment” requirements. 
  • Boat owners should have all electrical work completed by American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC)-certified electricians.

Local Massachusetts regulatory, legal and government relations updates:

Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll | Courtesy of MMTA

Local Massachusetts Resources that help market your business:

  • The Massachusetts Office of Outdoor Recreation (MOOR) plays a critical role in the local economy, adding $11.8 billion to the GDP and directly supporting 102,687 jobs. In December 2023, MOOR launched a small grants program aimed at supporting inclusive and accessible outdoor recreation events. Learn about the MOOR Events Grants Programs.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game recently launched the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program to provide financial assistance for private and municipal owners of conserved land and improve wildlife habitats, steward biodiversity and offer public recreational opportunities. Learn more about the program here.
  • The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism is hosting the 2024 Governor’s Conference on April 2 to discuss the tourism industry with Governor Maura Healey. This is a great opportunity for industry members to network and collaborate.

Regional Workforce Training:

  • Check out MMTA’s Schools & Training Program Database for a list of marine training providers throughout New England.
  • The MMTA Job Bulletin provides frequent posts for employment opportunities across New England announcing positions from mechanics and engineers to boatyard crew workers and sales reps. 

MMTA presented Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll with the 2023 MMTA Elected Official of the Year award, and Warren Kelly received the MMTA Frank Farrell Award honoring industry leadership. 

“Workforce is always a big topic. It was nice to hear from students and instructors this year, considering many of our member businesses struggle to find employees, and that causes a critical impact in the industry," says Randall Lyons, executive director of MMTA. "Legislative topics are also key this year, because our members need to be aware of several action items.”

MMTA focuses on public advocacy and provides resources, education and professional development to people employed in the marine industry. The association provides essential resources and stays up to date with the latest trends, changes and innovations. Check out MMTA’s workforce training videos, boating safety resources and services at

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