As originator of the highly successful, 12-year run of the Great Upstate Boat Show in Queensbury, the ENYMTA can boast of an annual event that attracted 3,500 people in 2017, and sold nearly 150 boats valued at some $6 million. Read more
Jon Andersen, President of Andersen Boats, heads the Association, which represents 49 marinas, boat dealers, service providers, yacht clubs and support businesses.
The Great Upstate Boat Show is held at the Adirondack Sports Complex, which offers 98,000 square feet of exhibition space. The show has grown every year with good results, according to Roger Phinney, Executive Director of the Association, who said the 2017 show had the biggest sales ever.
Another major thrust of the organization is the “Boat Upstate New York” campaign, which is an effort to build upon the show and draw more boaters to the Association’s area. A goal is to “touch base with everybody along the west edge of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Lakes,” Roger added, “increasing the market up here to sell boats.” It’s intended to provide a service to all the members in the 518 area code, not only Lake George.”
The Web based program will answer questions that current and prospective boaters might have about the area: Where can I find dock space? Where can I get my boat inspected and washed?
The Association is also focusing on another area that dealers see as essential for the future of service work in their business: the Marine Tech Services Program through BOCES (the Board of Cooperative Educational Services district).
Champlain Valley Tech is coordinating the program, teaching people to learn marine services -- just like auto mechanics, hairdressers, building trades, and other curriculums at the school.
The model is a two year course on marine tech in New Hampshire (and on Long Island) which is accredited by New York State. Students include adults, and student loan programs apply through BOCES. Partial credit for high school classes taken towards an associate’s degree are included.
“There’s a dramatic void – a shortage – of marine technology workers,” Roger noted. “We need support from dealers for internships, and summer work -- basic marine stuff, so students can learn marine repairs & service. This will create jobs. Lots of jobs are now looking for workers. We need to start marketing this in the eighth grade through Guidance counselors.”
While he said most people see the marine market as seasonal jobs, marinas repair shops are still open in the winter for repairs. “And these are portable jobs, real good jobs. We need to get this program certified and up and running, and transport it to the Saratoga area, where there is bigger audience to draw from.”
The importance of the effort is brought into sharp focus with the realization that the average age of a certified marine technician is reported to be 55 years old.
ENYMTA honored long term Executive Director Roger Phinney on Monday evening, September 11th. Roger’s moving on a bit, but not retiring. His successor, Joel Holden, will be allowing Roger some freedom, but not a lot -- Roger is not going too far away. Senator Betty Little spoke at the event and complemented Roger, as well as poking a little fun at him. ESMTA congratulates Roger as well!