Fishing & Boating News

NMMA ToMake Certification Mandatory For All Member Boat Manufacturers

Requirement takes effect with 2007 model year

by: Dan Green, NMMA Staff,

(Aug. 13, 2004 - CHICAGO, IL) To demonstrate its commitment to boating safety and a quality consumer experience, the board of directors for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is requiring that all NMMA member boat manufacturers have their boats NMMA Certified to ABYC standards. The NMMA Certification program will also require participants to have a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) program instituted at their company in order to be certified. These new requirements take effect with the 2007 model year. The delay in adoption will provide boat manufacturers more time to learn about the benefits of the NMMA Certification program, and will give NMMA time to launch a communications program to raise the level of awareness of NMMA Certified at the manufacturer and consumer level. "We are confident that when boat manufacturers understand the significant benefits of being NMMA Certified, and the reasonable costs involved, they will be enthusiastic about getting their boats NMMA Certified to ABYC standards," says NMMA president Thom Dammrich. There are currently 140 boat manufacturers participating in the NMMA Certified program, representing 75 percent of all boats produced in the U.S. each year. The goal of the NMMA board, the American Boat & Yacht Council and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is that all boat manufacturers be NMMA certified. Among the benefits of the program is that NMMA Certified boats are safer than other boats. "Data from the USCG indicates that non-certified boats are 15 times more likely to be recalled by the USCG for safety reasons than NMMA Certified boats, and statistically, certified boats are involved in fewer accidents," says NMMA Vice President of Engineering Standards Thomas Marhevko. Aside from promoting safety and a quality customer experience, the NMMA Certified program provides its participants with a competitive advantage, protects them from litigation (in some cases), and helps many participants to receive product liability insurance discounts for their involvement. "I found the entire process to be very inclusive and user friendly, and was surprised to find that indeed there were several things which through simple changes would yield a better boat. Having just been through it, I can honestly say that the process had value and improves the quality of the boat built," says Scott Deal with Maverick Boats. In addition to improving the quality of the boat, NMMA wants to improve the customer experience, which led to the NMMA board adopting the requirement for a CSI program to be instituted by each Certified boat manufacturer. While NMMA has a CSI program, the new mandate only requires Certified boat manufacturers to have a CSI program in place. "A structured feedback system provides manufacturers with a consistent measure of quality and customer satisfaction, which will help the industry fulfill the needs of the consumers," says NMMA CSI director Terry Leitz. For more information, contact Marhevko at (312) 946-6213; tmarhevko@nmma.org. National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce over 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers in the United States. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy, market research and data, product quality assurance and marketing communications.