National Boating Federation

Welcome from the National Boating Federation



Founded in 1966, the National Boating Federation (NBF) is the largest non-profit, nationwide alliance of recreational boating organizations. The Federation is composed of boating and yacht clubs and their associations representing over 2,000,000 of America's recreational boaters.

NBF promotes safe boating through education, acts as a legislative watchdog and advocates for favorable boating legislation, regulations and best management practices.

The membership represents no commercial interests and sells no products. The Officers and Directors are all volunteers with strong backgrounds in all aspects of recreational boating. Our membership spans the continent from Canada to Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.

You can count on YOUR National Boating Federation's continuing commitment to the wise and direct use of YOUR boat tax dollars for YOUR benefit … be it adequate access to our ocean waterways, lakes and rivers, right of passage and of anchoring, or promotion of our prudent exercise of those rights. NBF works to avoid onerous legislation and promotes good legislation.

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Here is What's New at NBF

News Release
November 2016


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard's Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety released the Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program 2017 to 2021 Wednesday.

This plan is the third in a series of five-year strategic plans and continues or updates boating safety initiatives and progress measurements that have proven successful over time, while closing gaps identified in the most recent review of strategic opportunities. "This strategic plan is an important piece of the Coast Guard's boating safety program," said Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy. "Over the next five years, the Coast Guard will work closely with representatives of national recreational boating safety organizations to implement the various elements of the plan."

The plan includes three primary initiatives: improve and expand recreational boating education, training and outreach; update, leverage and enforce policies, regulations and standards; and improve and expand recreational boating data collection and research.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to boat responsibly while on the water: wear a life jacket, take a boating safety course, attach your engine cut-off switch, get a free vessel safety check and avoid alcohol or other impairing substance consumption.

For further information on the current and past strategic plans, go to

For more information on the Coast Guard's boating safety program, go to

Losing its Cool: Will Ice Melt Heat Up Naval Operations in Arctic Ocean?

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- As diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean expands navigable waters, scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research have traveled to the region to study the changing environment and provide new tools to help the U.S. Navy operate in a once-inaccessible area.

"This changing environment is opening the Arctic for expanded maritime and naval activity," said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, chief of naval research. "Developing a deeper understanding and knowledge of this environment is essential for reliable weather and ice predictions to ensure the safety of future scientific and operational activities in the region."

A recent announcement from the National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed 2016's sea ice minimum -- the annual measurement of when sea ice hits its lowest point -- tied with 2007 for the second-lowest ice minimum since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s. The lowest minimum ever occurred in 2012.

ONR sponsored its scientific research through two initiatives within its Arctic and Global Prediction Program-Marginal Ice Zone and Waves and Sea State. Additional research involved the program's Canada Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (CANAPE) initiative.

Scientists measured the strength and intensity of waves and swells moving through the weakened Arctic sea ice. The accumulated data will be used to develop more accurate computer models and prediction methods to forecast ice, ocean, and weather conditions.

Read the entire article here...

Safety Alert: Check for Problems Before Your Life Depends On It...

We're not inflating the importance of this message. This safety alert reminds all inflatable life jacket users of the importance of performing periodic maintenance on their equipment. Instances of fatal accidents where inflatable life jackets failed to properly inflate have been documented. When a life jacket fails to inflate properly, the results can be life threatening. Unknown bladder leaks may exist, fabric degradation or an improperly installed CO2 cylinder is all it takes to render an inflatable life jacket ineffective by preventing its inflation or ability to stay inflated.

Various manufacturers of inflatable equipment will likely have different maintenance instructions for their products and directions for the user to service and inspect the devices. Knowing and following the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions are critical. Proper maintenance service and inspection will ensure all parts of the life jacket including the bladder, inflation mechanism and CO2 cylinder are checked and in good working order.

The Coast Guard highly recommends routine maintenance, service, and inspection in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
The following inflatable life jacket inspection guidance is for informational purposes only and does not supersede any manufacturer recommendations or instruction...

Safety Alert: Routine Lifejacket Inspections

The Coast Guard issued a safety alert to remind all vessel operators to routnely inspect their lifejackets to ensure they are suitable for service. Recently Coast Guard inspectors discovered over 60 lifejackets that were required to be removed and destroyed. It was discovered that the unicellular foam buoyant material within the nylon outer shell had degraded significantly over time, broke apart, crumbled and in some instances was reduced to dust. The lifejackets were properly stored, kept dry, and not under direct sunlight; however, the location was very hot at times.

Click here to view or download...
the Marine Safety Alet: Stem to Stern, Foam to Dust, Inspecting Your Lifejackets is a Must!

Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping our nation safe. "If You See Something, Say Something™"
engages the public in protecting our homeland through awareness–building, partnerships, and other outreach.
Click here
to read more about the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign.

Reminder About Ethanol in Gasoline

Risks of using high ethanol blends may include:
Phase separation
Corroded and rotted fuel lines
Destruction of gaskets
Engine damage

Helpful links (source):

Programs that establish standards for gasoline (EPA)

Gasoline boats and personal watercraft (EPA)

E15 (EPA)

Three Ethanol Myths Clarified (Boat US)

Ethanol and older outboards (Boat US)

AAA warning against using E15 in some cars (Fox Business News)

The National Boating Federation continues to monitor the use of ethanol in gasoline and works to help repeal or reform the EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.

NMMA Partners with OPEI on "Look Before You Pump" Ethanol Education Campaign

"Look Before You Pump" ethanol education campaign. NMMA is now distributing 'Look Before You Pump' messaging and materials to our membership and other stakeholders.

Created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, the 'Look Before You Pump' campaign helps consumers protect their boat, other non-road vehicles, and outdoor power and small engine equipment investments.   Read more...

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