BoatUS Asks Boaters to Help Coast Guard Members: Donate to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Jan. 24, 2019 – With the partial government shutdown now more than a month old, the nation’s largest advocacy, services, and safety group for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), recognizes the hardship members of the U.S. Coast Guard are facing by not receiving their paychecks. In addition to working on a legislative solution to pay our Coast Guard, BoatUS urges recreational boaters to consider making a donation to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA), the official relief society of the U.S. Coast Guard, at cgmahq.org.

BoatUS made a $25,000 donation to the organization, which is using the funds for “lapse assistance” to help Coast Guard members receive interest-free loans to pay bills. CGMA is the only aid group authorized by the Coast Guard to provide lapse-related assistance to Coast Guard members, both active duty and civilian personnel. These bridge loans may total up to $1,500 for members and civilians with dependents or $1,000 for those without. Coast Guard personnel may apply at cgmahq.org/shutDown/clients.html.

“The dedicated people who come to our aid night or day, in sunny skies or stormy seas, now could use a little bit of our help,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “This valuable lapse program can help our Coast Guard professionals pay utilities, mortgages, landlords or other creditors, greatly helping members during this time of financial stress.”

Established and operated “by Coast Guard people for Coast Guard people,” CGMA has a long history of helping the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, serving as a vital financial safety net. It is an independent nonprofit that receives no Coast Guard or federal funding.

Go to cgmahq.org to make a donation.

RBOC Urges Boaters to Take Action as per BoatUS: "Pay our Coast Guard"

WASHINGTON, January 16, 2019 – With the federal government shutdown now in its fourth week, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is supporting bipartisan legislation to immediately restore pay for U.S. Coast Guard members. S. 21, “Pay Our Coast Guard Act,” recently introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), and its companion bill, H.R. 367, “Pay Our Coast Guard Parity Act of 2019,” introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), aims to restore paychecks to the more than 40,000 active duty U.S. Coast Guard service members.

BoatUS is urging recreational boaters to ask their members of Congress for support of S.21 and H.R. 367 and offers a simple way to do that by going to: https://bit.ly/2AMDbJy.

In a January 15 letter to Sen. Thune and Rep. DeFazio, Vice President of BoatUS Government Affairs Chris Edmonston wrote, “While we understand the current debate over funding of the Department of Homeland Security is primarily about issues not directly related to the U.S. Coast Guard, we are concerned over the potential deterioration of its ability to fulfill its wide range of missions including search and rescue, boating safety regulation, and support for aids-to-navigation. We support your effort to ensure that USCG personnel will receive compensation notwithstanding the final passage of the DHS 2019 appropriation legislation. This will allow them to focus on their missions and help ensure the safety of recreational boaters.”

Added Edmonston, “Despite the current lapse in funding, thousands of USCG professionals have continued to perform critical missions regardless of their own financial uncertainty. This is a true testament to their dedication, living the Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus — Always Ready. It is very fitting for the Congress to take action to ensure their well-being for the long term.”

Boat Owners Association of The United States is the nation’s largest advocacy, services, and safety group for America’s boat owners with more than half a million dues-paying members.

BoatUS Call-to-Action: Boat Owners Must Speak Up Now

BoatUS Warns Against President’s Proposal to Sell E15 Year-Round

Boater’s group asks boat owners to speak up now

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 17, 2018 – A proposal by President Trump to allow the sale of E15 (15 percent ethanol) gasoline year-round has set off alarm bells at the nation’s largest boating advocacy group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).

E15 is prohibited by federal law for use in recreational boat engines, voids many marine engine warranties, and is currently banned for sale by the Environmental Protection Agency during summer months over concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. Under the President’s April 12 proposal, however, a waiver to the Clean Air Act would permit the sale of E15 in the summertime at the same roadside gas stations where most recreational boaters refuel their trailered vessels.

“We are very disappointed,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “The proposal to sell E15 during the boating season is a recipe for misfueling in the highest order and a giveaway to the big ethanol and corporate farming interests at the expense of America’s middle-class boaters. The little E15 warning label currently required on gas station pumps does next to nothing to protect boaters’ engines, and if a waiver is granted, it would dramatically increase the chances of E15 getting into a boat’s gas tank.”

“With ethanol, boaters continue to pay the price with increased repair bills, lower fuel economy and poor reliability. Instead of more ethanol, we need more effective misfueling-prevention measures that will educate and protect all consumers,” added Kennedy.

A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conclusively demonstrated that E15 damages boat engines, and 92 percent of readers of a prominent boating industry publication reported in 2017 that they have seen damage caused by ethanol. A 2016 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of consumers were not sure or did not pay attention to the type of gas they used.

Boaters have long suffered under the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) mandate to increase the volume of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply. BoatUS is asking boaters for help on the issue by posting a message to their congressman’s or senator’s Facebook page urging for RFS reform. This can easily be done by going to https://bit.ly/2H62s2p.

Passed in 2005, RFS requires the blending of biofuels, such as corn-ethanol, into the nation’s gasoline supply. To keep up with this mandate, in 2010 the EPA permitted E15 (fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol) into the marketplace, but only for some vehicle engines. 

The more than half-million-member boat owners group supports fuel choice, including smart biofuels development such as isobutanol, and the availability of ethanol-free fuels that are increasingly more difficult to find. “As more ethanol-blend fuels fill up the pumps, the fuel that most boaters want for safe operation is being pushed out of the market,” added Kennedy.

BoatUS is a member of the Smarter Fuel Future coalition.

RBOC Urges Boaters to Take BoatUS Survey Today - Second Home Loan Interest Tax Deduction

RBOC urges California boaters to take the following BoatUS survey today to help us gauge the effect that AB 71 [Chiu] would have on your boating. To take the survey: click here

AB 71 [Chiu] would repeal the state income tax deduction for loan interest paid on 2nd homes which include boats and RVs.

Currently boats that have cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities qualify for this deduction.

We would appreciate you taking the short survey to help us gauge the effect of this change on your boating.

More information:

RBOC is opposing AB 71 [Chiu] unless the measure is amended to remove the provision that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes.

RBOC supports the provisions of AB 71 that propose to increase the amount of tax credits available for low income housing.

However, RBOC is concerned that the provisions of AB 71 that would eliminate the state tax deduction for mortgage interest on second homes would lead a significant number of prospective boat purchasers not to invest in a recreational vessel.

This would have a direct, negative impact on the future purchase of recreational vessels, the multibillion dollar state boating industry including ancillary products and services, as well as the economic health of many communities across the state that rely on revenues generated by boaters.

It is also important to note that the amount of the mortgage interest deduction is already capped regardless of whether the taxpayer has one home or two, and that recreational vessels that are second homes may not necessarily be vacation homes but could be used by owners who commute to work during the week.