Goboatingflorida.com is hosted by the Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association. We are a member-owned trade association made up of businesses involved in the recreational boating industry. SWFMIA was formed in the early 1970’s when a small group of Ft. Myers boat dealers joined together to stage the first Fort Myers Boat Show.
At the time, the only plan was to generate a few boat sales from a show, but before long the show began to grow, by-laws were written, a board of directors formed and SWFMIA was incorporated. Actually, Boat Shows and Trade Associations are an essential element in the marine industry. Most major boat shows in the U.S. are owned by a trade association and it is the revenue from these shows that fund the lion’s share of operating budgets.
Today, SWFMIA represents the industry from Lee County through Tampa Bay, with over 200 members. We are governed by a Board of Directors consisting of a very diverse group of industry business leaders. Our objectives are to protect, promote and grow recreational boating. We play an active role monitoring legislative and political issues that affect boating, both for our member businesses and for the boating public. We provide a variety of services to our members and keep them informed on industry news and issues.
We produce three annual boat shows. The Fort Myers Boat Show, downtown on the river in November. The Charlotte County Boat Show, in January at the Charlotte County Fairgrounds. The Bonita Springs Boat Show in February at the Naples/Fort Myers Greyhound Track.
About four years ago, our Board decided to create a web site that would be a source of boating information for the public. As you look through the site, you will find all kinds of information useful to enjoying your time on the water. You will also find a listing of our members, the products and services they offer and links to their web sites. This is a great source for just about any type of boat, product or service you might need in our region.
We are working to make the site a better resource to keep boaters informed about legislative, political, and rule making issues related to boating. We have local, state and national lobbyists who keep us up to speed on potential issues. For example, in the last several months, we have been involved in or are monitoring the Manatee Protection Plan being adopted in Pinellas County, the St. Petersburg Downtown Waterfront Redevelopment, the dredging of Big Pass in Sarasota, boat ramp issues in Cape Coral, and development of the Historic District in downtown Fort Myers. We’re keeping an eye on pending statewide legislation standardizing rules on where boaters can anchor. On a national level, pending legislation to increase ethanol levels to 15% will adversely affect most marine engines.
You will also see blogs on our site with all kinds of boating information. Boaters are welcome to provide contributions about your time on the water. Send us a story and a few photos about a recent day on the water or a special fishing trip. How about a great restaurant or watering hole you have been to by boat. We live in the greatest boating area in the U.S. and it would be great if you would share your boating lifestyle with others.
We welcome your comments, suggestions, and input on our site. How can we make it more informative and useful? Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond.