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Recreational Boaters Can Join ABYC
Individual Membership - $185 annual dues

Membership benefits include:

24-hour online access to the Standards, including technical help via phone and email
Bi-annual ABYC magagzine, the Reference Point
Opportunity to participate in technical committees to shape the way Standards are written
Discounts on all classes and certifications
Online education discounts
Free resume posting on the Marine Industry Career Network
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It used to be less expensive, so either no recreational boaters are joining or a whole bunch are. I was seriously thinking of joining when I was rewiring my boat, but I found most of the relevant section for free on line. Some caution in that the language is not necessarily user friendly.
The free factor is a libertarian argument. While you could argue that it should be a Government function paid by taxes, non boaters could object that that are paying for nothing. In the absence of Gov regulation there is a private organization filling the role. How will they be funded except by participant fees?
Not taking sides, it is the world we live in. I spent hours on line, bought several books, got advice from forums and suppliers. In the long run, I suspect that $185 would have saved me money, but I never accurately account for boat expenses, because I really do not want to know.
 

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https://abycinc.org/mpage/becomeamember
Recreational Boaters Can Join ABYC
Individual Membership - $185 annual dues
Thank you. I see there are separate sites for industry and recreational members now.

It used to be less expensive, so either no recreational boaters are joining or a whole bunch are. I was seriously thinking of joining when I was rewiring my boat, but I found most of the relevant section for free on line.
I agree the price point is too high to create volume. I would love to know what fraction of boaters go for it, say compared to BoatUS membership. When I can buy a $50 text book, is there sufficient excess value to join? I bet $50/yr could be attractive, particularly access to the help desk, which might be limited to a certain number of calls. Then again, they'd need to attract 3x the members to break even. I bet it could easily be done, just like BoatUS attracts members for a cause. This could be a cause folks would support at the right price point.

In the absence of Gov regulation there is a private organization filling the role. How will they be funded except by participant fees?
The same way the American Heart Association funds their research. They charge for classes and certifications, but rely on fund raising and sponsorships for the rest. Marinas, manufacturers, insurance companies, etc, etc, would all have a vested interest in boaters doing things more safely. There would arguable be a return on their investment. I'm absolutely certain the model could be funded without pounding the recreational user. Imagine if AHA said they finished a study on exercise or certain foods, but if you're interested you had to send them $185. They just tell everyone what they learned.

In the end, it seems ABYC is focused on the trades, who get membership value by distinguishing themselves from non-certified competitors. That's a good model too. I think that focus is somehow keeping them from making full use of the good they could do, with the tax exempt advantage they receive.
 
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