According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the U.S. boating industry is expected to have its seventh consecutive year of growth in 2017, surpassing the pre-recession peak set in 2006. The article, which included an interview with National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA) president Thom Dammrich, attributes part of that growth to boaters upgrading to bigger, automated, more expensive equipment. “Some people want a boat they can spend a day on, entertain friends, go swimming and then do hard-core fishing,” Dammrich says. However, he adds, “If there’s any concern at all, we still have to be attracting the new boater into something affordable.” The article reports that spring boat shows saw high attendance and strong sales. “There’s a real positive feeling in the industry that I would say I haven’t experienced in 10 years,” Dammrich says.