Category Archives: NMMA

TACO Spotlight: Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Uses His Love for Water to Help Veterans

While many across America will be outdoors this Memorial Day, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Tim Hoffmann will be in his truck driving more than 1,000 miles from Maine to Indiana to help veterans in need.

It all started in 2013 after Hoffmann retired from both his civilian and Army Reserve careers in Nursing Administration. As a lifelong fisherman and boater looking for ways to give back, he saw an opportunity for the boating and fishing industries to come together to help veterans.

“We could reach many deserving vets who had served in combat and were experiencing significant challenges and hardship on their return to civilian life,” said Hoffmann, who was drafted into the military in 1968 during the Vietnam War.

In 2014, Hoffmann and his daughter Ann launched Vets On The Water [VOTW], a Maine-based nonprofit dedicated to helping active duty, disabled veterans and Gold Star families experience and enjoy time on the water. Activities include fresh and saltwater fishing, sailing, cruising and ice fishing.

While Hoffmann would normally be on the water with veterans this Memorial Day, he instead is adding another boat to the VOTW program – a specially adapted SunChaser Geneva 22 Fish Deluxe pontoon by Smokercraft with a Yamaha Outboard engine, electronics from Raymarine and a trailer from BassPro.

On Sunday, May 27, Hoffmann and his daughter are departing Rockport, Maine for the Smokercraft headquarters in New Paris, Indiana – a 16-hour drive taking place over Sunday and Monday, Memorial Day. On Tuesday, Hoffmann said he plans to tour the facility and meet the entire Smokercraft team before heading back to Maine with the new boat in tow – arriving just in time to prep for another day with Vets On The Water.

Smokercraft is donating a specially adapted Sunchaser Geneva 22 Fish Deluxe pontoon. Stock photo courtesy of Smokercraft.

Phil Smoker, Smokercraft Vice President of Sales, said the pontoon is the second boat the family-owned company is donating to VOTW. He said the addition of the pontoon will provide veterans in wheelchairs an opportunity to participate because of the accessible boarding and ability to more easily maneuver around the deck.

“We love what he’s doing for our vets and we hope that the program only continues to grow,” said Smoker.

VOTW is entirely volunteer based. There’s no overhead costs and 100 percent of every donation, whether fishing or boating products, gas cards or meals, goes to veterans. Because of this, Hoffmann’s mantra is that the program belongs to all who give their time, equipment or services to the cause.

Hoffmann, second from the left in red, onboard the 18-foot specially adapted Smokercraft Freedom 180, which was also donated by the Indiana-based company for the program. For this boat, Suzuki donated the engine, Venture Trailers donated the boat trailer and Fulton donated trailer accessories. Photo courtesy of Tim Hoffmann.

Hoffmann also works with the VA Maine Health Care System in Togus, which identifies eligible clients, obtains physician orders for participation and provides transportation and VA staff on each watercraft during the weekly trips.

Weather permitting, Hoffmann and his team of volunteers conduct nearly 60 trips per year for an estimated 1,000 veterans.

Hoffmann with retired Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, who lost portions of both arms and legs from an IED while on active duty in Afghanistan. In Sept. 2013, Mills founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed to benefit and assist combat-injured veterans. Read more about Mills at www.travismills.org. Photo courtesy of Tim Hoffmann.

Shortly after the program first launched, Hoffmann reached out to TACO for some aluminum rod holders. After speaking with Mike Kushner, TACO’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hoffmann said he was surprised when a pair of brand new Grand Slam Outrigger Mounts, Aluminum Tele-Outrigger Poles and a pair of 4-rod Aluminum Rod Holders arrived at his house just five days later.

“I think we’re the only people in the country who are using outriggers for fishing mackerel, which is a very small fish,” said Hoffmann. “But it allows us to get another two or more lines in the water and not get tangled.”

VOTW also uses this 23-foot SeaCraft with a 3-foot long bracket and a Tohatsu 250 outboard engine. In this photo, Hoffmann rigged his TACO outriggers with multiple flags to honor veterans. Photo courtesy of Tim Hoffmann.

Hoffmann also connected with Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association [NMMA]. Together with the BoatUS Foundation, the American Sportfishing Association and the NMMA, Hoffmann is looking for ways to replicate the VOTW program throughout New England and potentially nationwide.

“What I really like about Tim’s effort is that it’s totally volunteer driven,” said Dammrich, who first learned of Hoffmann and the VOTW program two years ago. “He wants to find other volunteers like himself in other parts of the country who are willing to take this on, with the support of the boating industry, to get veterans on the water.”

Hoffmann said he is optimistic VOTW will continue to grow because of the many organizations and individuals who believe in the program.

“I had the idea, but the program truly belongs to the people who participate and support it,” said Hoffmann. “We create the opportunity for the vets, but the real opportunity is for people like Mike Kushner and others, the boaters and fishermen, who step up and take the vets out.”

Looking to the future, Hoffmann is hoping to network with scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Holes, Mass. to plan offshore shark and bottom fishing excursions. Additionally, he said he has no plans of slowing down his work for veterans in Maine and the surrounding areas.

While the VOTW does not have an official Web site, Hoffmann encourages veterans and others who want to learn more to visit the organization’s Facebook page, “VETS on the WATER.”

In the coming days, we’ll be posting updates about Hoffmann’s road trip and Smokercraft visit to our TACO Marine Twitter and Facebook pages. Until then, thank you to all the amazing military men and women who have served our great nation. We wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day.

NMMA Mourns Loss of Jeff Napier, NMMA Founding President and Hall of Fame Recipient

The following is from the National Marine Manufacturers Association – remembering former NMMA President Jeff Napier, who passed away Tuesday after battling Parkinson’s disease.


NMMA is mourning the loss of former NMMA President and Hall of Fame recipient Jeff Napier, who died Tuesday at his home in Italy after battling Parkinson’s disease. Napier served as the first President of the NMMA beginning in 1980, with a myriad of accomplishments during his career that have left a lasting positive effect on the vitality of the boating industry.

In 1964, Napier started his career in the recreational boating industry as a lawyer and lobbyist for the Boating Industry Association (BIA). As the lawyer for BIA, Napier performed much of the legal work to merge the association with the National Association of Engine and Boat Manufacturers (NAEBM) to create the NMMA.

During NMMA’s early years, there were about 450 members, which produced four boat shows and had no Washington presence.  By the early 1990’s, under Napier’s leadership, NMMA grew to include 1,800 members, a staffed Washington office with additional state lobbyists, and more than 20 boat shows.

In addition to producing hundreds of boat shows, Napier created the original boating industry political action committee in the 1970’s.  In the face of non-tariff barriers that threatened NMMA member exports, he created the International Marine Certification Institute (IMCI), gaining recognition for the association by the European Union, which led to European certification of NMMA member products.

“A friend, colleague and mentor, Jeff was a visionary who helped push the boating industry forward in so many ways. Jeff understood the need for the boating industry to own and control major boat shows to give the industry a voice in how they were produced, and also saw how shows’ revenue could support other industry initiatives and ultimately grow boating,” said NMMA Executive Vice President Ben Wold. “He was always so supportive of NMMA members and its staff, and a mentor to so many of us who have enjoyed long careers in the boating industry.”

Using his ability as a consensus builder, Napier helped establish the direction for the Uniting the Industry for Growth campaign, which provided dealers an open forum to meet with manufacturers to discuss sensitive issues, including warranties and dealer agreements. He also convinced NMMA’s board to fund extensive research programs, which exposed challenges the industry was facing and identified the steps that needed to be taken to turn it around. These were the seeds that have since grown into the Grow Boating efforts underway today.

“Jeff’s leadership played a key role in the growth and success of NMMA, devoting his entire career to bettering the boating industry and community. He reached out to me often during my tenure as NMMA president to share his experience and insights; caring deeply about the industry and the people long beyond his tenure at NMMA,” noted NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “On behalf of NMMA, we offer our deepest sympathies to Jeff’s family on their loss.”

Modern Fish Act, E15 & Aluminum Tariffs — Why Your Attendance at ABC is Imperative

We would like to share this note from the President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.


Dear Members, Colleagues, and Boating Industry Stakeholders,

Never has there been a more critical time to get involved in advocacy and attend the American Boating Congress (ABC). In 2018, the recreational boating industry is facing major policy decisions that will come to a head this summer and have long-term impacts on boating in the U.S., including getting the Modern Fish Act passed, stopping the year-round sale of E15, and defending our industry from domestic and global tariffs. Your presence at ABC will ensure your business, your employees and your customers are protected.

It is necessary we engage with our nation’s decision makers now to shape legislative decisions in the coming months. With so many key policy decisions on the horizon impacting your business, it’s imperative you attend ABC. We need as many people from our industry as possible to join together on Capitol Hill and demonstrate the size, impact and importance of our industry. Not only will you have a chance to speak directly with your Members of Congress, but ABC will arm you with information you need to make informed business decisions.

This year’s ABC is packed with informative sessions and speakers through the close of the conference on Friday, May 11. From high profile members of the Trump administration to leading decision makers and influencers across Capitol Hill, the robust schedule will connect attendees with people and information that matters to the future of our industry. Access the 2018 ABC schedule here, and learn more about the important issue workshops here.

Visit www.nmma.org/ABC to register today!

Thank you, and see you in Washington,

Thomas J. Dammrich
Thomas Dammrich
NMMA President

TACO Outriggers Taking Center Stage at Miami Boat Show, Booth C199

The event you’ve been waiting for is almost here! Opening tomorrow at 10 a.m., the Progressive® Miami International Boat Show takes over the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin on Virginia Key. In tent C, booth 199, we’ll be showcasing the TACO Marine Grand Slam Professional Series outrigger mounts, poles and accessories – manufactured for high-performance sport fishing boats.

But why wait until tomorrow to see the latest from TACO? We’re giving you a sneak peek at three of our new Outrigger Top Mounts, carbon fiber and aluminum poles and Sport Fishing Rigging Kits below.

The Grand Slam Pro Series 400 Outrigger Top Mount features heavy-duty construction designed for today’s high-performance center consoles. The GS-400 is built to withstand the rigors of various fishing techniques, such as dredge or high-speed wahoo fishing.

The Carbon Fiber Tele-Outrigger Poles compliment the Grand Slam 400 and feature our patent-pending swivel roller design for a more natural bait presentation. Carbon Fiber is lighter and stronger than aluminum and prevents whipping.

Introducing the Grand Slam 312 Center Rigger Mount – the only center rigger completely functional from underneath the hard top. The GS-312 features an innovative rotating lever to raise and lower the center rigger while standing on the deck of the boat.

The Grand Slam 314 Center Rigger Mount features the same benefits as the GS-312 with the added performance expectations of today’s larger center console boats. The GS-314 is intended for hard tops up to four-inches thick.

Enhance the thrill of blue water fishing with our premium Aluminum Tele-Outrigger Poles – featuring our patent-pending Tele-Outrigger design available in four colors and two sizes: 15 or 18-feet.

Complete your TACO Marine outrigger system with our Sport Fishing Rigging Kits – Available in single, double or triple lines with either mono or braid. Designed for aluminum or carbon fiber poles.

DISCOVER MORE

Our TACO Marine Outrigger Top Mounts and Aluminum Poles carry a 3-year warranty guarantee. Our TACO Marine Carbon Fiber Poles and Rigging Kits come with a 1-year warranty guarantee.

Find the complete TACO Marine catalog here.

For all these great products and more, visit tacomarine.com or fill out the contact form below.

Taco Marine and Ship Shape TV join forces to benefit the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation.

Taco Marine Project Boat

Miami International Boat Show

The Taco Marine Project Boat, currently featured on Ship Shape TV, is a series of episodes of the full renovation of a neglected 1989, Pursuit 2650 boat. Now that the boat’s rehab is in the final stages, it will be on public display for the first time. See it at the Center Court at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, February 16th to 20th, at Miami Marine Stadium Park in Key Biscayne, Florida.

The Taco Marine Project Boat showcases innovative products from more than 30 of the marine industry’s leading equipment and accessories suppliers, including Armstrong Nautical Products, Boat Outfitters, Canvas Designers, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, Magic Tilt Trailers, Pacer Group, Quantum Paints, Taylor Made Systems, T-N-T Custom Boatworks, VectorWorks and Yamaha Outboards.

rub rail selection tipsJohn Greviskis, host of Ship Shape TV, will be on hand
throughout the boat show to Ship Shape TV logodiscuss the project boat and many of the products that have been installed on the Taco Marine Project Boat. Representatives from Taco Marine and other participating suppliers will also be on hand to answer your questions.

When completed later this year, the totally updated and like-new boat will be auctioned off and the proceeds will benefit the I’M LOGAN IT Foundation* (created by the Kushner family in loving memory of Logan Matthew Kushner – visit IMLoganIT.com for more information).

I'm Logan It Foundation logoThe I’M LOGAN IT non-profit foundation raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) and provides college scholarships for student athletes who exhibit similar values and qualities as Logan Kushner – including a strong sense of leadership, resilient in spirit, team pride, good sportsmanship and helping others.

Miami International Boat ShowFor additional information on the Taco Marine Project Boat, visit the Center Court display at the Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show. To see what has been done, and watch the final process of rehabbing the project boat with photos and videos, go to the TacoMarineProjectBoat.com blog.

A special thank you: Taco Marine appreciates the support provided by NMMA and Miami International Boat Show.

Taco Marine is excited to have the support of some of the marine industry’s leading equipment and accessories suppliers:

Ship Shape TV and taco Marine

 

*The I’M LOGAN IT Foundation is a charitable fund maintained by the Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF), a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. PO Box 307, Safety Harbor, FL 34695-0307

2016 Innovation Award for Taco Marine’s Carbon Fiber Outrigger Poles

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the winner of the 2016 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award for Fishing Equipment, Gear & Tackle: Taco Marine’s Carbon Fiber Outrigger Poles.

The awards recognize exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products, and this year’s judges evaluated 77 products and selected 17 winners in 16 categories.

Tele-Outrigger poleTaco Marine’s new innovative design for carbon fiber outrigger poles is much stronger and lighter than any  aluminum pole on the market today. These outrigger poles can pull dredges of ballyhoo, mullet or squids through the water at high speeds – difficult to do with aluminum poles. The innovative swivel roller design mechanism pulls the bait into a more natural swimming action. What’s more, it’s easy to rig, telescopes to less than 8 feet and includes a nylon mesh carry bag to protect the poles. For more information about these award-winning poles click Carbon Fiber Poles.

 

The Innovation Awards judging committee is composed of BWI members who do product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. The committee is co-chaired by Zuzana Prochazka and Alan Wendt.  Prochazka is a boating and travel journalist and photographer who has been in the marine industry for two decades. She regularly writes for a dozen magazines including SEA, SAIL, Bluewater Sailing and Southern Boating. Wendt is president of Boating Writers International and has served as a judge for more than 15 years. The other esteemed Innovation Award judges are:

  • Frank Lanier: An author and award-winning journalist, his articles on seamanship, marine equipment reviews and vessel maintenance appear regularly in numerous marine publications worldwide.
  • Marilyn Mower: Past editor of ShowBoats International, Southern Boating and the Marine Business Journal magazines and currents Books Editor for Boat International Media producing annual editions ofThe Superyachts, Megayachts: Concept, Design, Construction and Refit.
  • Lenny Rudow: Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media and Electronics Editor for BoatUS Magazine, and Boating Editor for Texas Fish & Game.
  • Lawrence Husick: Patent attorney, entrepreneur, freelance writer for several boating publications, and life-long cruising sailor. He has worked with innovators in the marine industry as both counsel and consultant, and frequently speaks to audiences about new technologies afloat.
  • Nigel Calder: Well-known industry author and Technical Editor or an Associate Editor of PassageMaker, Professional Boatbuilder, Sail, Ocean Navigator and Yachting Monthly magazines and a freelance consultant on marine energy issues.
  • Gary Reich: Editor at large for Chesapeake Bay Magazine and regularly published in periodicals such asSoundings, PassageMaker, Chesapeake Bay, and Lakeland Boating magazines, and online at boats.com and boattrader.com.