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The Masthead
News & Views
California Bill SB941
A California bill that would require the
state Division of Boating and Waterways
to issue vessel operator cards to people
who have passed an approved exam
has passed the legislature and is
headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.
SB 941, which was supported by the
Recreational Boaters of California,
passed this week.
The requirement to obtain a vessel op-
erator card would apply initially to opera-
tors 20 years of age or younger with a
phased-in implementation date, depend-
ing on the age of the individual.
The seven-year phase-in would begin in
2018 and eventually would apply to eve-
ryone as of 2025. The requirement
would apply to operators of engine-
propelled vessels.
Importantly, online education, such as
the BoatUS Foundation course, will be
an option.
For more information Google California
Bill SB941
One of the greatest concerns facing the
recreational boating industry today re-
lates to the Renewable Fuel Standard,
specifically the introduction of E15 into
the marketplace. E15 is fuel that is 15
percent ethanol in volume. The fuel cur-
rently stocked at the majority of our na-
tion’s gas pumps is E10, or 10 percent
The EPA has introduced ethanol as an
energy-saving initiative and an alterna-
tive to petroleum-based fuels. However,
ethanol actually has lower energy con-
tent than gasoline. That means that
about one-third more ethanol is required
to travel the same distance as on gaso-
The potential for consumers to use fuel
with a percentage of ethanol above 10
percent in boat engines is detrimental to
the U.S. recreational boating industry,
an important economic driver for large
parts of the country. There are serious
and well-documented human safety,
environmental, and technology concerns
associated with ethanol blends over 10
percent in recreational boat fuel tanks
and engines.
NMMA is hard at work to prevent this
dangerous fuel from affecting our indus-
try. The documents below explain just
how NMMA is working with the EPA,
Congress and key industry stakeholders
to make a difference.
Questions? Contact Jeff Gabriel
or Nicole Vasila-
ros at
As a part of the EPA’s work to finalize
the Renewable Fuel Standard, the
agency submitted the Renewable Vol-
ume Obligations (RVOs) to the Office of
Management and Budget. This number,
which is not currently publicly available,
will mandate the amount of ethanol that
is blended into the U.S. fuel supply.
The National Marine Manufacturers As-
sociation continues to advocate on be-
half of the recreational boating industry
and is actively engaged in this process
to ensure that boaters continue to have
access to the fuel they need.
NMMA’s Nicole Vasilaros, director of
federal and legal affairs, says, “NMMA is
encouraged as the EPA takes a step
forward by sending the 2014 RVOs to
OMB and urges the White House to ex-
pedite this already delayed process. Our
desire remains that the final rule will
adequately ensure the availability of E10
and E0 in the marketplace — failure to
do so will breach the blend wall and
flood the market with E15. Mid-level
blends are prohibited for use in marine
engines, and studies have proven that
misfueling will lead to significant engine
damage and failure. NMMA will continue
to work with the White House to ensure
the broad availability of E10 and E0 on
behalf of the recreational boaters who
require it in order to enjoy our nation’s
Source: NMMA
President Signs Legislation Impor-
tant to Recreational Boaters
“Highway Bill for Boaters”
WASHINGTON, DC, June 11, 2014 –
Acknowledging that recreational boating
is a significant contributor to the nation’s
economy as well as a growth engine for
local communities, President Obama
signed bipartisan leg-
islation earlier this
week that recognizes
that the Federal gov-
ernment needs to do
more to help small harbors, address
longstanding dredging issues, and im-
prove boating and navigation infrastruc-
ture. Boat Owners Association of The
United States (BoatUS) applauds the
passing of the 2013 Water Resources
Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)
and thanks the bill’s sponsors, Con-
gressmen Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Nick
Rahall, III (D-WV) and Senators Barbara
Boxer (D-CA) and David Vitter (R-LA),
and the President. BoatUS was an ac-
tive advocate for WRRDA and will be
working on its implementation.
“Maintenance dredging for small harbors
and shallow-draft channels has been
chronically underfunded,” said BoatUS
Government Affairs Senior Program
Coordinator David Kennedy. “In addi-
tion, funding for infrastructure such as
jetties and some inland navigation locks
has been significantly curtailed. The
2013 WRRDA Act directs the US Army
Corps of Engineers to consider factors
beyond total tonnage shipped in making
dredging funding decisions, requires
that not less than 10% of the value of
operation and maintenance funds be
directed to ‘Emerging Harbors’ or those
that have less than one million tons of
cargo shipped annually, and directs the
Army Corps to report to Congress on
the maintenance needs of the Atlantic
Intracoastal Waterway.”
Also, WRRDA for the first time treats the
Great Lakes as one single comprehen-
sive navigation system, potentially
allowing funding for dredging of smaller
harbors. In addition, the US Army Corps
is directed to study potential new reve-
nue sources for the Inland Waterways
Trust Fund – and is required to consult
recreational users, among other stake-
Added Kennedy, “From small West
Coast ports to Great Lakes harbors of
refuge, inland locks, and the Atlantic
Intracoastal Waterway, boat owners
depend on federal waterway infrastruc-
ture projects to keep them safe and pro-
vide authorized waterways deep enough
for us to navigate. With 12 million regis-
Sept. 2014 Page 18
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