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

Thank you for providing feedback on the US Coast Guard Listening Session website for the joint USCG-NOAA-USACE 21st Century Waterway initiative. Your feedback is extremely important to us, and we appreciate you taking time to share your comments and feedback regarding your requirements for emerging needs for navigational information and service delivery systems in an eNAV environment.

The Office of Navigation Systems would like to notify you that the presentations given at each Listening Session around the country are now available online for you to view!

Simply click on the following link to be re-directed to the Notice on the USCG Navigation Center website: 21st Century Waterway Feedback Website

NMMA Member Mercury Marine Helping Industry Fight E15

NMMA member Mercury Marine is helping the industry tackle the issue of E15 through marketing and communications efforts around the country. Most recently, Mercury partnered with one of its television sponsors to produce a video for consumers detailing the dangers of E15 in boat engines while educating them on what to look for and how to help. Additionally, through media relations outreach, Mercury is spreading the word on the negative impact E15 can have on boats and the overall economy.

See this recent article in Midwest Energy News as an example of the press coverage. To learn more about battling E15 on behalf of our industry please contact NMMA's Director of Federal and Legal Affairs, Nicole Vasilaros at or NMMA's Director of State Government Relations, David Dickerson at

What Every Boater Needs To Know About Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)

The eBeacon is published with assistance from Boat Owners Association of the U.S.

The USCGAuxiliary publication, eBeacon, helps us to understand Electric Shock Drowning:

Electric Shock Drowning, or ESD is a little-known and often-unidentified killer whose deaths and injuries are entirely preventable. In just four months last summer, there were seven confirmed ESD deaths and at least that many near misses; in all likelihood, dozens more incidents went undetected. Every boater and every adult who swims in a freshwater lake needs to understand how it happens, how to stop it from happening, and what to do — and not to do — if they ever have to help an ESD victim.

What every boater needs to know about Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)...

A Reminder About Ethanol in Gasoline

The National Boating Federation hopes your summer boating season is going well!
This is a reminder about a few of the risks of using high ethanol blends in your boat's gas tanks. We encourage you to pass it on to your membership.

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.

National Boating Federation Request for your Testament of Harm Due to Ethanol

The National Boating Federation would like to compile YOUR information related to any incident you may have had that can be documented as being influenced by ethanol.

The attached form asks you to insert a short capture of the situation you have experienced. Should you need more than the box provided for such comment, please use another blank paper to continue. The reason is: We need your signature and contact information on the first page, with the beginning of the comments. Please, also, sign the last page of the comments you provide, if there are more than the one page.

Supporting documentation is encouraged to be included in your submittal. This can include pictures, assessments from professionals, repair bills that show the name of the business, the actual repairs being assessed and/or made, and the final charge.

Where possible, please also include the percentage of ethanol involved in the damage. Currently, there is as much as E85 available in some areas. We must know whether this E85, as the most ethanol content fuel available, or E10, the most dominant form being sold today, is the blend that caused your failure.

We encourage this form be passed to your friends and family, and ask them to do the same. We are NOT limiting this to boats! If you have an automobile, a lawn mower, or even a chain saw that was damaged by ethanol, wherein there is documentation to support the claim, we would like to know about it.

Our mission in this situation is not to get you reimbursement! We are compiling information of "harmed" individuals in order to launch this campaign against the current "Renewable Fuel Standards". Today, we see 10% to 15% ethanol impregnation in our daily fuel supplies, but that could increase with the way these standards are currently written.

As stated on the submittal form, please provide the information to: Ed Payne at email address:

For those who have issues with scanning their document information, please make copies and mail to: National Boating Federation, P.O. Box 4111, Annapolis, MD 21403-4111. If doing this, PLEASE email to the above address anything you can, such as the form included here, as the priority communication.

We thank you, in advance, for providing your information!

Ed Payne
2014 National Boating Federation Secretary

President Signs Legislation Important 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 legislation earlier this week that recognizes that the Federal government needs to do more to help small harbors, address longstanding dredging issues, and improve boating and navigation infrastructure. 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, Congressmen 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 active 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 addition, 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 comprehensive navigation system, potentially allowing funding for dredging of smaller harbors. In addition, the US Army Corps is directed to study potential new revenue sources for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund – and are required to consult recreational users, among other stakeholders.

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 infrastructure projects to keep them safe and provide authorized waterways deep enough for us to navigate. With 12 million registered boats in the US and over 80 million persons participating in boating, we also need to remember that boating generates $121 billion in US economic activity and over 950,000 jobs.

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...

Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund

The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund serves as the backbone for conservation funding in the United States, and is a critical funding pool for a diverse set of important state and national recreational fishing and boating programs.

Taxes on fishing tackle equipment, motorboat fuel, imported boats, and small engines are pooled together to create this fund of about $700 million a year. In turn, the money is then allocated to federal and state programs for recreational boating safety, fisheries management, habitat conservation, vessel pumpout stations, water and boating access infrastructure programs, and aquatic resource education programs, among others.

Download your copy of the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund brochure...

USCG Posts Results of Recreational Boating Survey Results

Recreational boating is one of the most widely enjoyed forms of outdoor recreation in the United States, and understandably so.  Our nation’s spectacular waterways, including the oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, thousands of inland lakes, reservoirs and the many river systems, offer breathtaking boating opportunities nationwide.

In our continuing effort to protect and/or make your boating experience even better, the U.S. Coast Guard and our many partners strive to enhance both safety and enjoyment. Our focused effort begins by gaining the knowledge and understanding of who the boating community is, the assets they use, and defining the services and needs they desire. Through proper planning and insightful stewardship of limited resources, we seek to optimize those resources and align them to meet the boating community’s needs and desires.

This National Recreational Boating Survey is a foundational tool for doing just that. With the data gathered through this Survey, we now have valid scientific estimates of how many boats there are in our country, the types of boats, how many people participate in boating, and how much time is spent boating on the water.

This data is then used to comply with the directions given to the U.S. Coast Guard by the Office of Management and Budget and through audits to assess the effectiveness of our programs and to normalize various performance measures so that we and our partners can determine which variables most significantly influence boating participation and safety (i.e. the weather, the economy, changes in lifestyle, and safety initiatives).

You can locate this data both in this report by clicking here or on the web site. I encourage you to use it to support your efforts and ultimately to inform and enhance the public’s safety and our boating experience.

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