Making Waves

Attendance at the 94th annual New York National Boat Show is up from last year’s event, according to show organizers. The NY show, viewed as an indication of how the year will rate for boat and personal watercraft sales, opened Dec. 27 and ran for nine days.
Michael Duffy, Northeast regional manager for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, estimated the show would post a 10% increase in attendance, likely attracting 80,000 visitors .
The demise of the International Jet Sports Boating Association has contributed to the cancellation of the Jet Jam Westcoast Offshore Series. According to promoter Tim Gewecke, the inability to obtain insurance and sanctioning details for 2004 has prevented anyone from signing on to sponsor the event.
“As of right now there is nothing in stone and we are only waiting like the rest of you to find out what is going to happen and who is going to be our insurance carrier and sanctioning body,” said Gewecke. “All I can tell you right now is that the current form of the IJSBA has been disolved and we are waiting for the manufacturers to decide what is going to be the next sanctioning body.”
Biologists in Florida say boat and PWC-related deaths of Florida’s lovable, but slow-moving manatee dropped to their lowest levels since 1998. Of the 380 manatees that died in state waters during 2003, only 73 were as a result of watercraft; last year the number was at an all-time high, with 95 deaths attributed to boating.
Possible reasons cited for the decline include slow-speed zones, a reduction in commercial traffic, and safer boating practices by the public.

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