2014 has arrived and the winter boat shows
The territory finished 2013 pretty well,
with most dealers remaining pretty busy up
until the Holidays. All of us hope that the New
Year picks up where the old one left off and
that we continue to see growth in our businesses.
Mark your calendars for Oct. 8-11, which
are the dates for this year’s Conference. The
Conference is a wonderful place to network
with other dealers and the manufacturer members of our organization. Each year it seems to
become more and more valuable to those who
attend. The course content is excellent and
filled with valuable information you can use to
expand your knowledge and help your business grow.
I have it from a very reliable source that
the Conference Committee is working on some
pretty neat stuff to make the 2014 Conference
the best one EVER! Truthfully, you owe it to
yourself and your business to attend. The real
PLUS this year is that we are back in Sanibel,
FL, where the water is clear, the fishing is excellent, the golf courses are wonderful (some
filled with cute little alligators), tennis courts
are available on the property and the spa is
All in all, there is plenty of stuff to see and
do. So plan on attending and bringing the family. Spend a few days in the sun before or after
the Conference relaxing from the hectic schedule we all hope this year will bring. So watch
MEJ for information and be sure to check your
‘in boxes’ and regular mail for details of the
Conference as they come together.
ell, the winter hit rather hard this year. The Great Lakes are in a deep freeze as I write this. The 2013 season
was greatly improved over 2012, and it looks like 2014 will be another growth year.
As technology evolves, we see less and less complicated installations physically and more and more complicated installations configuration-wise. There is an autopilot that calibrates itself now! There are apps that cost pennies and
make the chartplotters of less than a decade ago look arcane. The whole world is
advancing faster and faster, with no end in sight. What's a well-trained NMEA installer
The answer is—keep on learning. Just because the pilot calibrates itself doesn’t
mean that it installs itself. And even as we see devices coming on board that do ‘install
themselves,’ such as an iPad, this does not represent the end of the marine technician.
Actually this should be a call to action to freshen your skills and evolve into the new
world of automation and measurement.
There once was a time when having a ship-to-shore radio constituted a full electronics package. And we can all remember when radars and autopilots gained acceptance across the pleasure boat industry. Now we have crowd-sourced bathy charts, GSM,
satellite and WiFi data links and sensors that measure every temperature change, current draw, vibration or movement. The increased complexity of these systems means a
greater need for properly installed devices, a greater need for proper training and huge demand for software and services
that are the enabler of these high-tech systems.
The NMEA is keeping pace with technology by revising our current training programs and introducing new ones. As a
Director, it has been a pleasure to see this evolution of the organization. These times demand a more nimble and responsive organization. The innovative and dedicated members of the BOD are determined to keep the NMEA relevant as the
Electronics on boats are here to stay. What type of electronics and how they are configured and sold are ever-changing.
Fortunately, there are certain immutable truths to the boat business. The lure of the sea will always attract the adventuresome among us. Safety at sea is a primary concern. ‘Oh God thy sea is so great and my boat is so small’ was uttered by a
Panamax captain last year. And we thought Panamax vessels were so big! Some things will never change, and human nature
is one of those things.
2014 is off to a robust start. Momentum from last year’s season should carry through into this year’s boating season.
Don’t forget to keep learning. We all are doing what we love, I think, so there is much to be grateful for. The ‘roaring ‘90s’
may never return, but the marine electronics business remains a great place to be. Here's wishing a prosperous new year
for all of my fellow NMEA members.
Technical Marine Support, Inc. ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
The whole world is
advancing faster and
faster, with no end in
sight. What's a well-trained NMEA
installer to do?—
Keep on learning.