What the pandemic taught us about handling stress and how boating, yes boating, curbs the impact

See the original om ThriveGlobal.com: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/what-the-pandemic-taught-us-about-handling-stress-and-how-boating-yes-boating-curbs-the-impact/

Did you know that in 1911, a surgeon named Richard Clement Lucas predicted that by 2020, human feet would be comprised of one big toe only? Or that in 1900, John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., the curator of mechanical technology at the Smithsonian Institution, predicted that the letters C, X, and Q would be abandoned because they were “unnecessary”? These are just a few of the numerous predictions that have been made throughout the years; however, what none of these alleged soothsayers did predict were mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, and a crippling pandemic that would bring the world to its knees  However, amid the stress and burnout that has persisted to impact our mental health and emotional well-being, humans are, by nature, creatives. This pandemic forced us to reimagine the definition of fun and how we spend our free time. Boating was an answer.

According to research reported in Boating Industry Magazine, your brain on a boat is happier and the activity itself is one of the best ways to access the wellness benefits that water provides. One of the most popular sounds of ambient noise is the sound of waves gently crashing on a shore due to its ability to put you in a relaxed state. “Simply the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness” said Wallace J. Nichols, author of the bestseller “Blue Mind”. As the research highlights, it triggers a biological response that lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and increases serotonin, the “happy chemical” that aids in relaxation. 

So, it should be no surprise that the boating industry, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), experienced record growth for new boat sales in 2020- a year that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) point out that our mental health has been “languishing” due to Covid-19. This growth is also shown in data collected and analyzed by our own organization, Boat History Report, which provides a service that is similar to Carfax but for the boating industry. According to our state title and registration data, after a brief initial decline of new boat titles being issued, we have continued to see an enormous increase in year-over-year new boat registrations and titles being issued.   Americans are looking for an escape from the stress of the pandemic – they want to unplug, disconnect, and momentarily forget – things that are hard to do when tethered to land.

Take Me Fishing and Discover Boating’s pandemic public service campaign called Get On Board, shows that the evidence is abundantly clear that boating leads to a “relaxing and unwinding” experience. In a study done in 2005, NMMA found that 90% of Americans live less than an hour from a navigable body of water, and that the most popular boating-related activity is simply relaxing with family and friends. What’s more, boating offers families the chance to have some outdoor fun while still abiding by the social distancing recommendations issued by the CDC. Plus, it opens up a host of other socially distanced stress-relieving activities like snorkeling or scuba diving, fishing, scalloping, and exploring places only accessible by boat. It’s no wonder that boating and on-water activities have sky rocketed in popularity during these trying times. 

It is still undoubtedly a very difficult time for all of us and the abundance of stress and uncertainty is testing our perseverance. Yet there are some things we can control, like the opportunity to build resilience as a society as well as individually, and by learning new ways to care for ourselves. Just because the year hasn’t quite operated on an even keel, there are always new ways to curb the impacts of negative, unforeseen circumstances.

Bottom line, this year has caused us to navigate adversity and sail into new opportunity; it’s brought us together even when we’re apart; it’s reshaped summer vacations and family memories; and through it all, boats of every shape and size have allowed millions of Americans to get onboard – both figuratively and literally, with their health, social distancing, and stress management. 

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NASBLA Award for Caroline

Copied from the official NASBLA Press Release found here: https://community.nasbla.org/blogs/taylor-matsko/2020/03/10/mantel-presented-with-nasbla-award

Mantel presented with NASBLA Award

Caroline Mantel, from BoatHistoryReport.com and Vice Chair of NASBLA’s VesselCaroline Mantel - NASBLA Award Identification, Registration & Titling (VIRT) Committee, was awarded the prestigious NASBLA Award during the 2020 NASBLA State RBS Workshop in Lexington, Kentucky.

The NASBLA Award is given in appreciation to an individual who has either given a lot of time and effort to the association to help achieve its objectives or who is acknowledged nationally, statewide or in their community for notable contributions to the betterment of boating.

Mantel has dedicated countless hours to the VIRT Committee and its various charges. In addition, she continues to work to advance boating safety by advocating for thorough and precise vessel identification throughout a vessel’s chain of ownership from the hull numbering to registration to titling.

Mantel’s tireless efforts to ensure boaters can make better used-watercraft purchases for protection against stolen boats, and most importantly prevent boaters from purchasing a boat with hidden damage, which certainly has a negative impact on their boating safety does not go unnoticed. Mantel is to be commended for her efforts for the betterment of boating safety. Congratulations Caroline!

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COVID-19 Dealer and Broker Assistance Program

We’re here to help by offering free access to our service for 3 months.

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly impacted the boating industry, especially dealers and brokers. We at Boat History Report recognize this and want to do our part to help our colleagues in the industry.

We realize that social distancing measures have kept traffic to dealer locations down, and some locations have closed altogether. However, we also know that buyers are still shopping for boats online and viewing boats through virtual walk-throughs.

Therefore, we are providing our Dealer and Broker service free for 3 months under our COVID-19 Dealer and Broker Assistance Program.  Also, if you are a current subscribing dealer or broker, your billing has been paused as of April 1st. 

I started this business 15 years ago, with a mission to make boat buying more transparent.  Since then, we have amassed over 100 million unique records which allow us to provide the end-user with a credible report that is highly desirable in today’s information-driven economy.  Our business operates similarly to Carfax, and allows consumers to verify the history of the vessel seamlessly during the online shopping process.

Our hope is that by including a Boat History Report with your listings, your customers will feel more confident in the virtual shopping process during a time when they can no longer physically visit your location.

You can sign up for our COVID-19 Dealer and Broker Assistance Program online through this link: https://www.boathistoryreport.com/dealer/.  If you would prefer to speak with me directly, please feel free to call me at 1-800-441-7599, ext. 144, or send an email to ElitePartner@boathistoryreport.com.

As a boater and business owner, I am proud to be a part of an industry that comes together in a time of need.  I hope that this small gesture can help to relieve the financial burden we are all facing during these unprecedented times.  To see a message from our Founder and CEO, Grant Brooks, please see our page on YouTube here: Boat History Report


Grant W. Brooks
Founder / CEO


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Carfax for Boats Law

We were featured in another article on the passing of the Carfax for Boats Law due to our participation on helping get it passed.  We’ve been called the Carfax for boats for years because #BoatsCantTalk #Carfaxforboats #BoatsCantTalk


Carfax for boats law lowers chance of buying damaged vessel By Palak Patel / ppatel@jacksonville.com

Thinking about buying a used boat? A new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 7 helps ensure that you won’t be left high and dry.

Known as ‘Carfax for boats,’ the law enables boat buyers and sellers to have access to the history of boats and include any accidents or damages done to the vessel, similar to that of a vehicle’s history.

Florida is the fifth state to implement this law.

Established in 2011 by the Uniform Law Commission, the law was first passed by Virginia, with Connecticut, District of Columbia and Hawaii following soon after, according to Caroline Mantel, director of business development at BoatHistoryReport.com. Mantel, who served as vice chair for the Vessel Identification, Registration & Titling Committee under the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, was personally involved in helping the law move forward.

Officially named the Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act, the new law requires boaters to fully disclose any hull damage or theft directly on the title of the vessel, which goes into effect on July 1, 2023.

Reporting of a vessel’s history will mostly rely on self-reporting since boat insurance is not required in the state of Florida; failure to do so will result in the responsible party getting heavily fined, with the first offense starting at $5,000.

“Of the 923,000 registered boats in Florida, one in 30 boats has some sort of negative history associated with it, and in Duval County, it’s one in 28,” said Mantel.

The problem, however, is not with buying a pre-owned boat.

The problem is currently there are nine nontitling states — a boat with a branded title from Florida can be registered in Tennessee (one of the nontitling states) and will show up as having a “clean” title in the registration.

Until all 50 states start requiring vessels to be registered and titled properly, the law won’t be as effective as it should be.

Furthermore, all boats damaged prior to 2023 will not require such branding, which could potentially enable damaged boats to circulate in the boating industry without consumer knowledge.

“This law will be great in 10 years from now when all the boats have been titled correctly,” Mantel said.

However, this law will still significantly impact the boating industry and help provide greater transparency for safer boating.

“The goal is to make boating safer; this includes boat buying and selling, being out on the water, laws that protect boaters, etc. Anything that makes boating safer helps the boating industry and other businesses associated with it,” said Mantel.

President of the Jacksonville Marine Association, Rusty Gardner, agrees with Mantel.

“The ability to protect their [potential boat owners’] rights and assure the boat dealers that a boat is in good condition is great,” said Gardner.

On the other hand, he added, boat salvagers are at a disadvantage because their business is based on fixing boats and selling them off as “good condition” vessels.

When asked about the impact this law will have on the boating industry, Gardner doesn’t think it will negatively influence the industry at all.

“It’s going to positively impact the consumers, which is who we want to make happy,” Gardner said, “because at the end of the day, they are the ones that are going to go boating and enjoy their time on the water.”

For more information, visit BoatHistoryReport.com.

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‘Carfax for boats’ law will alert buyers to vessels’ shady pasts

“Even if that happens, BoatHistoryReport.com will remain the primary research source for prospective buyers who might not have an opportunity to see a title until sales negotiations are well underway, she said.”

Boat History Report is proud to have played a critical role in helping to bring the Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act to Florida. This new law will help to create greater transparency and safer boating which supports our mission and purpose. Thank you to Ron Hurtibise at the Sun Sentinel for creating great awareness around this pivotal step towards making boating safer. BoatsCantTalk  BetterGetTheHistory BoatHistoryReport


Read the full article to learn more about how this new law will affect the marine industry:  New boating laws in South Florida


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Not sure what the difference between a recall and advisory is?

You’re not alone.  A big thanks to BoatUS for helping to explain the difference and why they are important!

Some highlights:

A “safety recall” involves a safety problem that relates to a boat or associated equipment that is less than 10 years old. The recall must pertain to a violation of federal safety regulations or “a defect that creates a substantial risk of personal injury to the public.”

A “Product Correction Bulletin” and “Service Advisory” generally involve the same thing: an issue that doesn’t pose an imminent threat to life and limb but can be dangerous.  Repairs are generally at no cost to the boat owner.

To read more, and learn about other types of notices, see the complete article by BoatUS here:  BoatUS: Recalls, Bulletins and Advisories Explained


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Judging a Boat by Its Gelcoat

batPicture yourself enjoying a Saturday on the water when suddenly your boat bursts into flames or starts taking on water. Sound terrible? Without knowing the history of a boat before you buy, this nightmare could become a reality quicker than you think. Boats are frequently involved in accidents that cause lasting consequences for owners down the line. The mission of Boat History Report is to find, document, and disclose as much information as possible about every individual boat in and out of the water today. In doing so, they empower consumers to make educated purchases and protect themselves from costly mistakes.

Many consumers will look at a boat that appears to be shipshape and dismiss any possibility of it having been involved in a collision, stolen, run aground, damaged in a hurricane, sunk, swamped, or any other serious incident. In reality, however, there are many instances where vessels have sustained multiple collisions and are being sold to unsuspecting buyers without disclosure.  This jet ski for instance, has been involved in SIX individual accidents! JetSki Report

fiber fiber2

In the photos above, the boat’s fiberglass and gelcoat are repaired so well that one would never suspect it having been in an accident. What you can’t see though, are the repairs done to the electrical wiring strewn across the opening. If the wiring was repaired using subpar connections, corrosion can occur causing sporadic electrical failures and a fire hazard at sea. There is also a likelihood of water intrusion, which could cause mold, rotting of wooden stringers or bulkheads, and a host of other expensive repairs. Knowing if a vessel has been involved in an incident such as this can prevent hidden consequences that are often catastrophic.

Boat History Report has aligned themselves with many big players in the marine industry including an exclusive strategic partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the world’s leading provider of insurance fraud intel. They also collect records from DMV/DNR and maritime law enforcement from all 50 states, the US Coast Guard, insurance companies, and hundreds of other public and private sources. These relationships, coupled with partnerships with over 200 independent NAMS and SAMS Certified Marine Surveyors has led to reports that are accurate and reliable.

As part of a continued effort to provide a first class customer experience, Boat History Report is very excited to announce the arrival of their new website! This advanced customer interface is mobile friendly, faster, easier to use, and features more detailed reports. With the addition of new features for dealers and brokers, they now have the ability to easily run their entire inventory and provide reports within their listings to the information driven boat shoppers. As the leading provider of watercraft history reports, Boat History Report helps boat buyers make better used watercraft purchase decisions by putting all available information at their fingertips.

Jake Attaway

Staff Reporter

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Updated Site Design with Dealer/Broker Focus

Boat History Report is very excited to announce the release of our updated site design which includes an enhanced features for the dealer and broker community!  Read more below.


Orlando, FL – (June 24, 2015) – Boat History Report, the leading provider of boat and yacht history reports, today, announced the launch of its new website BoatHistoryReport.com, with emphasis placed on significant advances for the dealer and broker community.

“In an age where consumer purchases are information driven, being able to provide a boat’s history to the buyer is a must,” said Founder and CEO Grant Brooks when making the announcement.  “Our Elite Partner Program, designed for dealers and brokers, is based on building the trust of their customers through the use of unbiased third-party history reports.”

By offering volume based pricing, an integrated API, and the ability to instantly run and publish reports on their entire inventory, the program is more accessible than ever for dealers and brokers. It also includes the ability for custom report branding that allows dealers/brokers to display their company’s branding directly on the report.  Additionally, dealers can use the service to run reports on all potential trade-ins, and brokers can research potential yachts they are considering representing, ensuring that they are making wise investments.

Boat History Report was formed to help its customers make informed used boat and yacht purchase decisions by putting all available information at their fingertips.  Reports include information such as whether the boat has been damaged in a hurricane, involved in an accident, run aground, sunk or had a recall.  This information helps buyers guard themselves against buying a boat with hidden damage that could negatively impact safety on the water.

About Boat History Report

Boat History Report is the leading provider of boat and yacht history reports, serving used boat buyers, sellers, dealers/brokers, marine surveyors, law enforcement, and finance and insurance companies. Boat History Report helps these clients make better lending and used boat and yacht purchase decisions. A Boat History Report is the most trusted resource for boat history information and is an essential step in the used boat buying process. Founded in 2005 and based out of Florida, Boat History Report has customers all over the world. For more information, please visit www.BoatHistoryReport.com or email us at info@boathistoryreport.com.

Boat History Report is proud to be a member of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA), National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) and Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County (MIAPBC).

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BHR excited to announce our new Strategic Partner, NICB

With hundreds of thousands of potential buyers attending boat shows in the upcoming months, Boat History Report’s (BHR) strategic partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) could not have come at a better time.  This new partnership will help to further prevent boat buyers from unknowingly purchasing stolen and salvaged boats being sold without proper disclosure.  The addition of NICB’s boat data further solidifies BHR as the leading provider of watercraft history reports. By partnering with leading marine organizations, including YachtWorld.com, BoatTrader.com, and NadaGuides, BHR continues to provide the tools necessary for consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing used boats.

Interesting Facts and Statistics:

  • 75,000 recreational boats were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina -Insurance Journal (January 2, 2006).
  • Over 65,000 recreational boats were damaged or lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy. -estimate by Boat Owner’s Association of The United States.
  • As of April, 2014- 60% of stolen watercraft from 2013 had not been recovered.  Sources: NICB, US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI), National Crime Information Center (NCIC).
  • Fort Lauderdale Boat Show annually attracts an audience of more than 100,000. (Oct 30 – Nov 3rd, 2014).

You can read the full news release here: https://www.nicb.org/newsroom/news-releases/nicb-welcomes-boat-history-report-as-strategic-partner


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Make the Most of the Show!

Boat Shows are increasing in size exponentially- in 2013, Palm Beach increase its land display area 22% and its boat display in water by 33%!  If you don’t know how to walk a show, you won’t survive the crowds and excitement a 200’ Mega Yacht can generate.  Here are some tips in making the most of your day without pushing anyone over the edge…

  1. First and foremost, find out the shows hours and locations.  Going to a show right when it opens is typically the least crowded time.  As the day progresses and more people begin stirring, you will see a lot more congestion and have a much harder time getting face time with any brokers/dealers or reps.  Also, by going early, you avoid long entrance lines and have a better shot at choice parking, as it is usually limited to begin with.
  2. Find out who the guest speakers are and what the most advertised events are.  At the Miami International Boat Show in 2013, the guest speaker and wildly advertised big event was Bear Grylls.  However, he spoke at 10 am, right when the show opened on the very first day.  You had to be in line, waiting to get in so that you could even have a chance to see him.  Often times the larger shows will host other boating and marine celebrities.  For example, Guy Harvey or Carey Chen may be doing autographs and pictures at specified times.  You may have marine legends and stars who speak on behalf of their shows or charities.  Also, usually the shows manager will point out a few of the must see items, and progress/history of the show itself.
  3. BRING CASH!  Almost every boat show I have gone to has required you to pay for everything in cash.  You can use the ATM’s they install but you’ll pay at least $5 in fees per transaction.  If you don’t have cash, you won’t get in, nor will you eat or drink.  You can usually save a few dollars by buying your ticket online before the show also so make sure to check into that.
  4. Bring food and drinks with you.  Most shows allow you to bring in outside bags.  Food at the shows is expensive.  You will easily spend $4 for a water and $10 or more for a measly portion of cafeteria quality food (I should note that not ALL show food is bad.  Just all show food I’ve had!).  Bring in some sandwiches or chips and a couple of drinks.  This way you can stay hydrated and save a few bucks.   You’re going to need every penny for that new boat anyway!
  5. Try to go to the show during weekdays.  Most shows are at least 3 days so go on Friday.  The weekends are when EVERYONE goes.  That means docks are crowded, you can’t get on boats, lines are long, and there are typically people that are just looking around and aren’t seriously considering buying a boat.  If you want to be able to talk to vendors or brokers, you need to be there as early in the show as possible.  Usually the first day in a show is considered the industry day.  It can be more expensive depending on which show you go to, and is typically less crowded.  It’s a good day to talk to people if it’s information you seek.  Plus, if you are going to the show to purchase a boat, by getting their early you have a better chance your dream boat doesn’t sell before you buy it!
  6. If you are seriously buying a boat, know which brokers you want to talk to.  Who is local?  Who has what inventory?  What kind of boat are you getting?  When do you want it by?  Where do you need it shipped to?  If it’s used, make sure to know its history.  Was it used in fresh or salt water? Has it ever been in an accident?  Did it get swamped in Hurricane Sandy?  Is there an environmental lien on it?  Run a history report (a good one is www.boathistoryreport.com) on their inventory beforehand or bring a smart phone/iPad with you to run it there (might be best to buy an account with the history site first so you don’t have to hassle with it while trying to hold a brokers attention).  It would be a terrible shame to waste your day looking at a boat only to find out at the end of the day that it’s been salvaged.
  7. Once you get down to the marinas and boats in the water, it is a maze of floating docks and walkways.  You could easily get lost and look at the same row of boats over and over as the crowds start growing, you’re eyes start blurring at the wealth and your head grows dreary from the rocking docks.  By knowing what is there and where yachts of interest are located, you have a better chance of actually finding them.  Everyone is going to go see the biggest yachts so you know those walk ways are going to be crowded.  Hit them right away.  This will be your best chance of getting that awesome photo or asking all the usual questions- How much to charter it?  What is it selling for?  Who is the owner?  Does it come with a diamond ring?!
  8. Many shows run contests that aren’t overly advertised.  The Miami show for example gave away all sorts of gift cards, hotel stays, food certificates and boating excursions.  They were all listed online under a small section called “Contests.”  The odds of you winning at least something are high because no one knows about them!
  9. Lastly, HAVE FUN!  Go in with a positive attitude.  Look around. Talk to people.  Watch people.  Enjoy the weather and the water.  Be appreciative of the fact that you even live in or close to a city that offers a boat show.  ENJOY IT!!
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