Please visit the ABC 2017 schedule CLICK HERE to make the most of your time attending workshops, special sessions and events that matter most to you and your business.


Business Track

Tax Policy: the impact of reform on your business and customers

Learn how tax reform proposals in Congress could impact your business and bottom line. Panelists will dissect the current legislative proposals impacting corporate and individual tax rates, deductions, and proposed pay-fors. Learn about the Border Adjustability Tax (BAT) and how it could impact the U.S. import/export market. Tax policy experts will be on hand to give a 2017 outlook on reform and specific opportunities for the boating community to engage policy makers.

Infrastructure: improving access across the nation’s lands and waterways with a 21st century infrastructure system

Much of our nation is facing an Eisenhower-era infrastructure system that cannot meet the demands of the 21st century. Roads and bridges are critical to transporting product across the U.S. The “blue and green” infrastructure just as critical to the success of the boating industry and ability of consumers to recreate on federal land and waters. President Trump has promised a $1 trillion infrastructure package to update our crumbling system, address maintenance backlogs, and provide job growth throughout the country. Learn about infrastructure improvements that could benefit boating and make sure our waterways and public lands are included in infrastructure legislation.

Trade: the future of U.S. trade agreements, the EU and North American Free Trade Agreement

President Trump has signaled a change in U.S. trade policy, with one of his first actions to withdraw the U.S. from the multilateral Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). What trade policy could be impacted next? Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Hear from industry experts on the outlook of U.S. trade policy and how the boating industry will be impacted.

Environment and Access Track

Access and Conservation: a case study for Everglades’ restoration

Water quality is essential to recreational boating access and the use and enjoyment of boating industry products. Healthy and sustainable water ensures enjoyable recreation, abundant fisheries, reliable drinking water and attractive grounds for tourism. The current situation in the South Florida Everglades is putting the environment at risk, impacting local economies, and shutting out boaters to our some of our nation’s most popular boating and fishing destinations. Learn potential solutions to address the water flow and water quality issues in the Everglades and what the federal government can do to support state efforts.

Boating Safety: keeping our boaters and waterways safe – 2017 boating safety priorities

Make sure the recreational voice is heard loud and clear by Congress and the United States Coast Guard in 2017. Congress will tackle the 2017 Coast Guard authorization, providing the recreational boating community an opportunity to move forward important safety initiatives involving engine-cut off devices, flares, and on-water training. Learn how you can advocate for boating safety, and also how personnel, budget, and Administrative directives may impact the work of the U.S. Coast Guard, particularly, the Office of Boating Safety.

Recreational Fishing: modernizing recreational fishing saltwater policy and recruiting the next generation of anglers

46 million licensed anglers take to U.S. waters each year, generating $45 billion in retail sales and a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy. What can the industry and government do to support this critical sector? In this session, learn about efforts to attract and retain the next generation of anglers and sustain this economic driver for decades to come. Also learn about how recreational saltwater anglers, specifically, can play a critical role in federal policy decisions this year. Hear from angling experts on the latest legislative initiatives and how boating partners can help sustain our intertwined boating and angling consumers and economies.

Workforce and Compliance Track

Workforce Development: attracting and retaining talent and the role of government in supporting company growth

The recreational boating industry is facing a shortage of qualified and dedicated individuals to design, build and manufacturer products and repair and replace technical and component parts. At a time when many Americans are seeking employment, what can the marine industry do to better attract and retain talent? Does the federal government have a role to play? What opportunities for vocational, technical and apprenticeship programs could benefit the marine industry?

Fuel Policy: the future of ethanol and reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard

Will 2017 be the year Congress finally fixes the broken RFS? Learn about the prospects of ethanol reform and why it’s more important than ever for the boating industry to be vocal in calling for reform. Over 400 million MORE gallons of ethanol will enter our fuel supply this year, putting consumers at risk and lowering the overall availability of ethanol free and E10 fuel options. Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce committee have signaled a desire to make RFS reform a priority and pro-boating ethanol champions have introduced legislation to fix the RFS and ensure boaters have a safe and reliable fuel option at the pump.

Environment, Health and Safety Compliance: national and international marine manufacturing regulations  

National and international manufacturing regulations have a direct impact on your company and the cost of doing business. In 2017 boat manufacturers need to be up to speed on the regulations and requirements coming in the United States for floatation and structural foam, residual risk review and in California for evaporative emissions. In the European Union (EU) the biocide directive caused a flurry of activity as boat builders who sell into the EU have to reevaluate the biocide additives being used in a wide range of products and materials. 

Attend this session to receive the latest updates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and learn about regulatory issues from countries around the world.


Inside the Beltway -- Republican and Democratic Insights

Changes at the White House and the new 115th Congress provide the boating industry a unique opportunity to educate decision-makers on the boating industry's top priorities.  How will recreational and boating interests be viewed in the new Congress and under the Trump Administration? 

The "Inside the Beltway" panel will provide perspectives from both Republican and Democratic strategists on the current political climate, an outlook for 2017, and how the upcoming midterm elections could impact policy decisions on Capitol Hill.  This political perspective will illustrate to attendees why this year's Hill meetings are so critical and how to maximize your advocacy efforts while at ABC.  

General Session

ABC's General Session takes place on Wednesday, May 17, and is packed with dynamic, influential and informative speakers.  Confirmed speakers include Sen. Joe Donnelly (IN), Rep. Tom MacArthur (NJ-03) and Paul Rauch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Assistant Director for Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration. 

From elected officials, making a difference in Washington, to national media personalities with a behind-the-scenes look at government in action, the conference's General Session provides attendees with a front row seat to political insights that matter to your business.


Welcome Reception

Join your industry peers on Monday evening from 6:00-8:00pm to kick off the 2017 American Boating Congress!  The Welcome Reception takes place across the street from ABC's host hotel, the Renaissance, at the historic Carnegie Library.  This is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with your peers, enjoy some refreshments, and take in some DC history.

Luncheon and Keynote Speaker

DATE CHANGE: Join us at a special ABC luncheon with keynote speaker Jake Tapper on Tuesday, May 16!  Tapper is the hugely-influential and award-winning journalist and author, and Chief CNN Washington Correspondent and Anchor. Tapper has been recognized for being a fair and balanced commentator and critic whose unbiased reporting makes him an “equal opportunity skeptic—confronting Democratic politicians just as toughly as he would Republican ones.” Likeable, consistent, and up-to-the-minute, Tapper’s no-spin commentary will make you think while keeping you entertained.

Recreational Angling and Boating PAC Reception

Join us on Tuesday, May 16th from 6:00-8:00pm at the 20 F Street NW, an iconic rooftop overlooking the Capitol.  The PAC reception provides an opportunity to gather with colleagues in the industry as well as meet Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on the top issues affecting the recreational boating community.  For information on how to attend, please contact Erica Crocker at

National Safe Boating Council and National Marine Manufacturers Association Congressional Reception

Finish up your Hill meetings on Wednesday afternoon, and join us to close three productive days on Capitol Hill from 5:00-7:00pm for the Congressional Reception at the Rayburn House Office Building, B338/339.  The reception will celebrate National Safe Boating Week, the North American Safe Boating Campaign, and the 2017 Confluence Award recipients.