Photo Contest Winners

Marinalife 20th Anniversary Photo Contest Winners

Elnicki Wade

WE ARE PROUD TO announce the winners of Marinalife’s 20th Anniversary Photo Contest. Choosing three finalists and four runners-up was no easy task after receiving a gamut of noteworthy images from around the country. But those top seven shots, presented on the following pages, caught our eye because they exemplify what we love about boating – the breathtaking power of nature, the joy of family gatherings on the water, the elegance of an old vessel, and the whimsical charm of pets and aquatic creatures.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the photo contest by submitting memorable pictures of life on the water. We hope these winning shots rekindle fond memories of summer boating during this chilly winter season.

Nature's Fury on the Horizon - Photo Contest Winners - Marinalife
Nature's Fury on the Horizon by Larry Tibbe

Nature's Fury on the Water by Larry Tibbe ⊳

After an early evening cocktail cruise at Longboat Key Club Moorings in Florida, Larry Tibbe saw a perfect storm rumbling on the horizon. “We were just walking the docks and checking out the boats, when I looked up at a big cloud formation in the sky,” remembers this Vietnam veteran, amateur photographer and avid boater. Just as suddenly as the storm appeared, it began to dissipate, so he pulled out his camera and caught the shot before it was just a lovely memory.

Nearly a half century ago, Larry taught himself to sail by reading books and magazines on the topic, and later joined the University of Michigan’s sailing team. He now lives in Sarasota Bay and cruises around Florida’s West Coast and Keys in his Sea Ray 40 Sundancer. In this part of the country, awe-inspiring displays of nature are as regular as the tides. When it comes to photographing them, he admits, “Sometimes you just get lucky.”

Small Boat, Big Memories - Photo Contest winners - Marinalife
Small Boat, Big Memories by Katinka Domotorffy

Small Boat, Big Memories by K. Domotorffy

Katinka and her family were heading back into Catawba Landing Marina after a long day of tubing, swimming and fishing in the waters of Lake Erie when her son and his two cousins turned around and flashed big ear-to-ear smiles.

The boys embodied the reason she crams provisions and people into her 18-foot Zodiac as often as possible in the summer. “You don’t need a big boat to have a great time,” says this Ohio resident. “It’s all about building memories on the water with each generation of our family. Away from the distractions of work, school activities and video games, the kids get to be kids, and we all take time to enjoy the simple pleasures we share in boating.” She took the photo with her iPhone camera.

Reflections on the Eastern Shore - Photo Contest Winners - Marinalife
Reflections on the Eastern Shore by Kimberley Kelly

Reflections on the Eastern Shore by Kimberly Kelly ⊳

At the crack of dawn, Kimberly launched from Gargatha (population 381) on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, eager to begin a photography workshop. The instructor, renowned photographer Jay Fleming, led her group of novice shutterbugs into the Chesapeake Bay. The tide was out, and the waters were dead calm.

The subject of their photo shoot was a wooden hull skiff, recently painted red, white and blue and anchored next to an old oyster watch house in the remote marshlands near Wachapreague. The contrasting images set an idyllic scene that captured an old seaside way of life, refreshed with bold colors to represent the ever-changing waterfront lifestyle.

Fairwinds Marina in Annapolis is home to Kimberly’s 21-foot Boston Whaler that carries her and her husband into the Bay for pleasant days of fishing. Kimberly brings her reliable Canon cameras along to document her journeys as she explores the hidden gems of the region.

Marinalife also extends congratulations to the four runners-up in the 20th Anniversary Photo Contest. Their images remind us that the water often brings out the child-like wonder and rebellious spirit in both two- and four-legged visitors.

Related Articles
Women Commodores Break the Mold in North Fork

Sailing has traditionally been considered a male-dominated activity, with men occupying prominent positions in professional racing teams and boards of directors across organizations. However, the North Fork and Shelter Island regions are challenging this norm, as women are currently serving as commodores at four out of the five yacht clubs in the area.

For the past two years, Alyssa Constant, Ellen Talbot, and Lisa Reich have served as commodores of the Orient Yacht Club, the Old Cove Yacht Club, and the Shelter Island Yacht Club, respectively. Mary Kalich has held the title of commodore at the Mattituck Yacht Club for the past eight years.

According to all four of these women, their boards of trustees and officers, which usually consist of 14 members, are fairly evenly split between men and women, with either 50% female representation or close to it.

Yacht club commodores Mary Kalich (Mattituck) and Ellen Talbot (Old Cove) - Credit: Nicholas Grasso

Although Greg Young is currently the commodore of the Southold Yacht Club, multiple women had previously held the position in recent years. Nevertheless, this current predominantly female group of commodores is a historical exception, despite the presence of women on yacht clubs' boards.

Commodores are top figures at yacht clubs and come from various backgrounds. They typically work their way up through the organization and oversee all operations. Yacht clubs are known to be family- and youth-oriented community centers that organize activities on and off the water. 

On the North Fork and Shelter Island, women currently hold four of the five commodore positions. The yacht clubs are part of the Peconic Gardiners Junior Sailing Association, which oversees the coed racing circuit across various clubs each season. The junior sailing program attracts a mix of boys and girls.

The boys at North Folks yacht clubs make up around two-thirds of junior sailors in the Peconic Gardiners Junior Sailing Association (PGJSA), which includes four South Fork yacht clubs. Many colleges offer all-women sailing teams as well as coed teams. Shelter Island hosts three all-women regattas throughout the season and has previously offered all-women and all-girls educational sailing clinics. These efforts aim to make women feel welcome and secure in the male-dominated sport, and the all-female regattas also feature an all-women race committee.

The Shelter Island Yacht Club member, Amanda Clark, competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and has hosted junior sailing clinics. However, commodore Jodi Reich, her mother-in-law was the one who introduced her family to sailing and inspired her to continue the multi-generational activity. Reich believes that community figures can inspire and guide the next generation of sailors.

For the full article visit The Suffolk Times.

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Pacific Sailboat Crew Rescued After Abandoning Ship Sunk by Whale Collision

On March 13th, a party of companions had already been sailing for 13 days from the Galápagos to French Polynesia on the Raindancer, a 44-foot sailboat. Suddenly, they heard a loud noise, and Rick Rodriguez, the owner of the boat, was in the middle of enjoying some pizza when he felt the stern of the boat lift up and shift to starboard. It became apparent that they had struck a whale. The crew quickly inflated their lifeaft, and loaded their dinghy with essential supplies such as food, water, and communication equipment, and within 15 minutes, the Raindancer sunk beneath the waves.

Raindancer Crossing The Panama on Feb. 3rd, 2023 by Rick Rodriguez

After the collision with the whale and the Raindancer began to sink, Rick Rodriguez promptly sent out a mayday distress signal on the VHF radio. He and his companions then proceeded to evacuate onto the lifeboat and dinghy, taking essential supplies with them. In a report by The Washington Post, Rodriguez recounted that he and his friends felt a sense of disbelief and shock that this was happening, but they remained calm and focused on gathering what they needed to prepare for abandoning the ship. Despite the surreal situation, they managed to act efficiently and without much emotional turmoil, as Rodriguez stated: "While we were getting things done, we all had that feeling, 'I can't believe this is happening,' but it didn't keep us from doing what we needed to do and prepare ourselves to abandon ship."

Following the evacuation, the crew of the Raindancer spent 10 hours adrift before being rescued by the civilian boat Rolling Stone. The rescue was described as seamless and efficient. The Raindancer was equipped with various communication devices and emergency equipment, and its crew was trained to handle worst-case scenarios. Despite these measures, collisions between whales and boats have been on the rise since 2007, with approximately 1,200 such incidents recorded to date. Alana Litz, one of the individuals on board the Raindancer, believes that the whale they struck was a Bryde's whale, and she and her companions observed the animal bleeding as it swam away.

Rodriguez expressed his gratitude for the swift rescue, stating: "I feel very lucky and grateful that we were rescued so quickly. We were in the right place at the right time to go down." Despite the unfortunate event, he and his companions were grateful to have made it out alive and credited their preparedness and training for helping them handle the situation as best they could.

For the full story visit The Washington Post.

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Recreational Boating Maintains Momentum Heading into 2023

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The start of a new year brings the beginning of boat show season for the $170 billion U.S. recreational boating industry and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which represents 85 percent of the country’s recreational boat, marine engine and accessory manufacturers. The recreational boating industry is preparing to welcome an estimated two million Americans to dozens of boat shows between January and March to shop the latest boats as they continue prioritizing outdoor recreation. Boat retailers and manufacturers have historically generated between 30-to-50 percent of their annual sales at boat shows.

An estimated 100 million Americans go boating each year as consumers continue to invest in the unique experiences that come from being on the water. (Photo: Business Wire)

Coming off a record year of extraordinary demand in 2021 led to the second highest ranked year in nearly two decades for recreational marine expenditures at $56.7 billion. New powerboat retail unit sales normalized in 2022, down an estimated 15-18 percent, to pre-pandemic growth years (2015-2019) with an estimated 250,000 new units sold, 25 percent above previous averages (2008-2014). Looking ahead to 2023, early indications point to continued healthy demand with new retail unit sales expected to remain on par with 2022.

This momentum comes as Americans demonstrate an ongoing prioritization of a life well-lived, spent enjoying outdoor experiences with family and friends and marine manufacturers continue strategically managing production and inventory pipelines following two years of supply chain bottlenecks. Segments driving growth in 2022 included entry-level boats such as personal watercraft, freshwater aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats, as well as pontoon boats that are less than 26 feet.

“Last year was a healthy year for recreational boating with momentum coming off of record sales in 2021 due to continued demand and the fact that supply chain shortages prevented our industry from overproducing like we saw happen in other sectors over the past two years,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president. “With boat shows fully returning following two years of limited events due to COVID, we’ve already seen encouraging sales reports within certain categories, coupled with consumers continuing to invest in the unique experiences that come from being on the water.”

New data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), released in November, shows the outdoor recreation economy has seen record-breaking years, sustaining remarkable growth despite navigating a post-pandemic environment. In 2021, outdoor recreation generated $862 billion in economic output, accounting for 1.9 percent of U.S. GDP, making it a larger contributor than agriculture, extraction of oil and gas, and mining. Outdoor recreation also supported 4.5 million American jobs. What’s more, recreational boating and fishing are the number one contributor to the near-billion dollar outdoor recreation economy, surpassing RVing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

With dozens of boat shows being held around the U.S., including Discover Boating®’s 10 show line-up this winter, manufacturers and dealers will unveil the latest product innovations and technologies, offer exclusive promotions and provide immersive boating activities to engage potential first-time boat buyers as well as millions of boaters look to come together during the off season.

“We’ve done extensive research to better understand boaters of today and tomorrow and local boat shows are a consistent favorite given the sense of community they create by bringing together boaters of all interests, access to all local dealers and new boat models in one place, the ability to board and buy boats, shop the newest gear, and be immersed in education and experiences—they take pop-up retail and social meet-ups to the next level,” said Ellen Bradley, senior vice president of marketing and communications for NMMA.

U.S. Recreational Boating by the Numbers

Unless otherwise noted, the following additional data are from the NMMA’s 2021 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract.

  • Annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services totaled $56.7 billion in 2021, up 12.7 percent from 2020.
  • It’s not just new boats seeing strong sales; an estimated 1.15 million pre-owned boats were sold in 2021, up 9.2 percent over 2020.
  • The recreational boating industry is an economic driver supporting more than 690,000 American jobs and 35,000 American businesses.
  • Outdoor recreation accounts for 1.9 percent of U.S. GDP, generating $862 billion in gross economic output, of which recreational boating and fishing is the single largest segment with an attributed $50.4 billion, supporting 4.5 million American jobs. (Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis)
  • Recreational boating is a uniquely American-made industry: Ninety-five percent of boats sold in the U.S. are made in America.
  • An estimated 100 million Americans go boating each year.
  • Recreational boating isn’t just for the one percent. Sixty-one percent of boat owners have an annual household income of $100,000 or less.
  • Ninety-five percent of boats on the water in the U.S. are less than 26 feet—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.
  • Leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories in 2021 were the following states:
  1. Florida: $5.4 billion, up 3.7 percent from 2020
  2. Texas: $2.4 billion, up 2.6 percent from 2020
  3. Michigan: $1.5 billion, up 16.3 percent from 2020
  4. North Carolina: $1.24 billion, up 2.8 percent from 2020
  5. Minnesota: $1.2 billion, up 13.8 percent from 2020
  6. New York: $1.16 billion, up 10.5 percent from 2020
  7. California: $1.1 billion, up 17 percent from 2020
  8. Wisconsin: $1 billion, up 17 percent from 2020
  9. Georgia: $924 million, up 1.9 percent from 2020
  10. Alabama: $898 million, up 7.4 percent from 2020

About NMMA: The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at and get engaged with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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