About BoatPAC


We are the federal political action committee of the recreational boating industry, promoting your business interests in Congress. BoatPAC supports the election of candidates to the United States Congress who are strong advocates for recreational boating and ensures that our priorities are protected. All contributions to BoatPAC go to candidates for federal office and are distributed on a nonpartisan basis. 


BoatPAC promotes advocacy and engagement in the political process. We encourage voluntary contributions by educating and mobilizing BoatPAC eligible individuals to support candidates for political office who champion recreational boating issues in Washington, D.C.

2020 Successes

  • Secured $750 billion in small business loans and assisted boating industry in obtaining over $100 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.
  • Advocated for the safe reversal of marine manufacturing restrictions in 36 states, and essential business  status in all 50 states.
  • Secured reopening of boating activities and access in all 50 states.
  • Assisted 3,000+ marine industry stakeholders to understand federal stimulus packages.
  • Extended the loan forgiveness period to 24 weeks, allowed PPP recipients to defer payroll taxes, expanded the amount of funds that can be used for operating costs and secured fl exibility for seasonal employers.
  • Facilitated 3 cabinet secretaries to tour boat plants.
  • Developed an industry-wide “Guide to Getting Back to Work” resource and published a “Marine Manufacturing Suggested Best Practices” document to guide marine re-opening.
  • Directly assisted members with filling Section 301 tariff exclusion extension requests and saved members over $25 million in taxes.
  • Hosted largest American Boating Congress ever, with 900 attendees, 17 speakers and top Congressional and administration officials.


  1. Continue to monitor state and local boating access restrictions.
  2. Guide businesses through state re-opening plans and phase-in restrictions.
  3. Secure federal relief programs to support marine industry recovery.
  4. Work with state and local decision-makers to support the responsible re-opening of boat shows which accounts for upwards of 50% industry sales.
  5. Focus on recreational infrastructure to promote boating access:
    1. Pass Great American Outdoors Act to invest in outdoor recreation and federal maintenance backlog infrastructure.
    2. Pass water infrastructure bill with a focus on small and emerging harbors.
    3. Reauthorize the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, to support $650 million in conservation, infrastructure and boating safety programs.
    4. Creating a small business pre-disaster mitigation loan program.
  6. Support funding for state and local budget shortfalls and protect boating and fishing resources.
  7. Promote testing and health initiatives that protect workers and consumers.


BoatPAC is managed by the following volunteers from the recreational boating industry:

Clarke Smith – International Special Risks – Chair

John Swick – Safe Harbor Marinas – Vice Chair

Melanie Ashby – MariCorp US

Jason Blackburn – Faria Beede

Dave Briggs – Wayzata Marine

Raul Chacon – MG+M The Law Firm

Jim Emmons – Water Sports Foundation, Inc.

Ray Fernandez – Bridge Marina

Cale Grauer – EMP Industries

Barry Hall – Gem Products

Jim Hardin – Grady White

Robert Healy, Jr – Viking

Charlie Johnson – Maverick Boat Group

Greg Lentine – Norcross Marine

Dave Marlow – Brunswick

Jinger McPeak – Enovation Controls

Martin Peters – Yamaha Motor

Richie Rodgers – Sportsman Boats

Dana Russikoff – Rodan, LLC

Larry Russo – MarineMax

Paul Vitrano – Polaris

Jeff Wasil – BRP

Mick Webber – HydroHoist