Founded in 1954 by a group of like-minded marina owners and boat dealers, CMTA was formed to be the beacon for an emerging industry that was quickly transforming the recreational boating industry. The family friendly sport of boating was attracting a whole new generation of consumers enjoying Connecticut’s stunning lakes, rivers and Sound.
In 1954, much of the nautical attention was focused on the christening of the Nautilus in Groton as the first nuclear powered submarine. But the recreational boating community knew it was time to begin to promote and protect their industry sector by transforming competitors into collaborators to meet the growing demands. And so CMTA began.
From a kitchen table, to various offices at marinas around the region, to its current home at 20 Plains Road in Essex purchased by the Association in 1988, CMTA strives to bring cohesiveness to a statewide network of small businesses and independent contractors. One event that has showcased the State’s marine business, bringing a large cross-section of the membership together has been the Hartford Boat Show, now entering its 47th year. It too has moved from various venues as times changed, and now will enjoy its 11th year at the beautiful Connecticut Convention Center. The January event has won numerous awards and has enjoyed a long and successful history for boat sellers and buyers.
An arena where the organization has diligently remained focused over the years is in the legislative world. Building a network of members who have successfully kept our elected officials and departmental personnel educated on the unique characteristics that impact the marine industry. From the partnership formed with DEP and Amtrak during the railroad’s electrification era to successfully repealing luxury tax after the devastating policy crippled boat sales through the state, to maintaining high environmental standards through the Clean Marina Program and other best-management practices, CMTA continues to strive to build and maintain a quality industry.
The future challenges that face the recreational boating industry are not unlike others in the region and remain on the radar of this 300-business member organization representing thousands of employees. The education and workforce training and development of the next generation is a top priority of the organization, along with solidifying a most competitive position in the region by balancing tax policy, education opportunities and sound, scientific based environmental practices.
CMTA is home to collaborative creative thinking, strategic development and a passion to preserve and protect the industry that brings so much enjoyment to so many people. Connecticut’s beautiful shoreline, peaceful rivers and active lakes are places where memories are have been made by families for generations – from catching the “keeper” to nailing the starting gun at one of the many regattas to just enjoying a sun-filled summer day cruising from port to port. It’s our job to ensure those memories are made for our future generations.
We’re CMTA and we’re 60-years strong respecting the view from the stern and keeping proper watch on the horizon of the future.