GENMAR'S 10 BOAT COMPANIES RESIGN FROM MARINE ASSOCIATION
The 10 independent boat companies of Genmar Holdings, Inc. -- Aquasport, Carver, Crestliner, Glastron, Hatteras, Larson, Lund, Ranger, Trojan and Wellcraft -- have announced their resignation from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
Genmar is the world's largest independent boat manufacturer, with more that 5,000 employees and over 1,000 retail dealers handling its products.
The decision to resign follows a recent announcement by Genmar Chairman Irwin L. Jacobs that the company strongly disagrees with the NMMA's policy of including personal watercraft companies in the organization, thereby helping to promote legislation and public acceptance of these controversial products.
"Many of Genmar's companies have been part of the NMMA since it was formed, and we regret that we will no longer be able to contribute to many of the positive aspects of this national association," said Jacobs. "The personal watercraft issue, however, represents a conflict of agendas within the membership, and we want no part, even indirectly, of promoting an activity we believe is making our waterways less enjoyable for boaters and fishermen."
Jacobs pointed to recent statistics, such as Florida, where in 1996 personal watercraft (PWCs) accounted for just 7 percent of all the watercraft, but were involved in 37 percent of all accidents.
Since making Genmar's position on PWC's and the NMMA public, Jacobs said that he has received hundreds of letters and phone calls in support of his position from marine dealers, other boat manufacturers, legislators and boating journalists.
In a letter sent October 31, 1997 to NMMA members, Jacobs said that PWC's are creating a negative profile as it relates to our lakes and rivers.
"It isn't difficult to understand why many past, present, and potential boaters are getting fed up with trying to enjoy their sports of fishing, water skiing and /or pleasure boating." Jacobs said. "Unlike the boating industry, the PWC Industry hasn't done enough to police itself in terms of noise, safety or drivers education.
"The NMMA's lobbying arm in Washington has been high profile in helping the PWC industry defend itself," he added. "Not only does this use of the NMMA confuse the public and regulators about the difference between boating and PWCs, it damages the public image of boating that the boating industry has spent million of dollars over the years trying to build."
"I am convinced the PWC industry will ultimately force new regulations an restrictions on the boating industry that will cause irreparable damage to us all due to their product's potential dangers and the abuse of our lakes and rivers." Jacobs noted. "Let the Personal Watercraft Industry Association fight its own battles and stop damaging our boating industry. It has grown at our expense and it is time we respond."
The Genmar companies resignation from the NMMA is effective immediately.
For additional information contact: John Tuzee Director of Corporate Communications Genmar Holdings, Inc. 612-337-1967