A panel of 14 distinguished national boating leaders that serve as a sounding board for Boat Owners Association of The United States (www.BoatUS.com) got a close up primer on how the national boat owners group works on local issues when the BoatUS National Advisory Council gathered for their annual meeting in St. Augustine, FL, recently. The historic city of St. Augustine is one of five Florida jurisdictions moving forward with plans that could regulate anchoring under a state pilot program. BoatUS has worked on the issue and encouraged its members and boaters to speak up at recent hearings.
On the Council’s agenda were a range of issues, some of which included: emerging US Coast Guard regulations requiring life jackets, potential interference with GPS signals, boat engine cut-off switches, homeland security issues, ethanol in boat gasoline, early hurricane preparation, boating access challenges and bans on copper-based anti-fouling paint.
The 45-year old Association also appointed four new members to its Council, “Which adds new strength and greater depth on issues important to the nation’s recreational boat owners,” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “We are always challenging ourselves to bring in new voices with fresh perspectives.” The new appointees include:
Captain Mike Fields, President, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). A Boating Law Administrator with the Kentucky Division of Law Enforcement, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Capt. Fields grew up boating on the many lakes and rivers in Kentucky, and worked almost every major body of water in the state as an officer and sergeant.
John P. Flynn, Public Policy Advisor, Patton Boggs LLP. Mr. Flynn has more than 30 years of maritime, transportation and marine resource experience. Both as an enlisted member and commissioned officer in the US Coast Guard, Flynn spent 12 years on Capitol Hill, including working as a legislative assistant and congressional fellow to US Senator John Breaux on legislation such as the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (Wallop-Breaux) and Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation. Flynn boats with his family the Potomac River on a 23-foot Cobia.
Cleve Hardaker, President, Recreational Boaters of California (RBOC). Mr. Hardaker, born in Rhodesia, immigrated to Australia then San Diego, California in 1977. He was a Board member of the Pacific Coast Yachting Association was appointed to the RBOC Board of Directors in 2008 and is the organization’s president elect for 2012. An avid sailor, he’s also crewed a Sydney to Hobart Race, a Chicago to Mackinac, and competed in 17 Newport to Ensenada races. He still sails his Catalina 30 Sojourn, which he purchased new in 1991.
National Commodore Nicholas Kerigan, US Coast Guard Auxiliary. A member of Flotilla 12-03, First District, Southern Region, Cdre. Kerigan joined the Auxiliary in 1992, and has served all elected positions through National Area Commodore, Atlantic Area (East) as well as several staff positions. A winner of several personal awards and commendations, Kerigan is a retired Morgan Stanley Information Technology Vice President.
For a complete list BoatUS National Advisory Council members, go to www.BoatUS.com/membership/company_info.asp .