A Note From The President:

2017 marked the twentieth year for me working in the Foundation. The years that have passed have seen some dramatic changes, but a consistency of purpose. Foundation programs have led the boating safety community for years—our award winning Online Boating Safety Course and Life Jacket Loaner Program have likewise had their twentieth anniversaries, and new programs such as on-water education will lead us into the future.

The Foundation touches hundreds of thousands of boaters every year with positive ways to keep our waters clean and to enjoy boating safely. Our programs are funded primarily through small donations from boaters like you. I hope that as you read this Annual Report, you can see the value in our programs and make the choice to help support our safe and clean boating mission. As you read about our programs, I think you’ll see that we are careful stewards of our resources, and provide a tremendous value to our donors and the boating public.




The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. The Foundation provides educational outreach directly to boaters and supports partner organizations nationwide.

With millions of boaters on the water, our aim is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keep boating a safe and enjoyable pastime. The BoatUS Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our work is primarily funded by grants and individual donations.


Numbers and data from across our 2018 programs


We rented out 107 units total to customers
70 EPIRB & 37 PLB


Over 575 sites, 22 new sites, jackets loaned over 140,000 times

Free Course Students

171,000 registered students. An increase of over 15,000 from last year.

Boat Donations

37 donated & 29 sold


Shipped 335 signs & 1197 decals

New Specialized Course

Propane Systems on Your Boat


We held several Facebook live events in 2018 to help engage with our followers.


The BoatU.S. Foundation’s boat donation program continues to grow in terms of volume and net revenue year after year. Although donors have the option to specify a Foundation program to support with the funds once their boat sells, the majority of donors direct us to use the money where it is needed most.

Donors report a variety of reasons for donating their boat, from moving up in boat size to getting out of boating altogether. However, a theme that is common among all donors is their trust in BoatU.S. Foundation to process their donation and provide the necessary services from transportation to storage to brokerage, until their boat finds a happy new home.

Occasionally the Foundation will accept a boat that can be used to directly support the Foundation’s mission as a product testing platform or for new boater training. For example, a donated 22’ center console powerboat turned out to be an ideal model to test our on-water boat safety training curriculum, with real students at the helm who were new to boating.

Nearly 80% of boats donated are powerboats and the other 20% are sailboats, which is consistent with the breakdown of the national makeup of registered boats. Boats that are accepted are generally in good condition, averaging about 25 years old and are typically around 26 feet in length.

Online Learning

Big changes coming to the Free Online Boating Safety Course


Knowing that storytelling is the gateway to behavior change among adult learners, we set out to wrap our critical boating safety material in a series of stories about everyday boaters and their experiences on the water as well as their misadventures.

  • Real Captains' Advice
  • Six Different Boats
  • Locations Across The US
  • Real World Situations


This new course will comply with the NASBLA revised policy on interactivity in online boating safety courses. The new policy allows us to remove the page timers and allow students more freedom to complete the course.

  • Mobile First
  • Interactive
  • Immersive Content
  • Gained Retention


This new interactive course also requires a new platform. Work began on a new Training Delivery System (TDS) mid-2018 with an intended launch date of late 2019. It will be significantly more stable and allow multiple courses.

  • UX/UI Improvements
  • Ease of Use
  • Collect UX Data
  • Simplified Maintenence


The BoatUS On-Water Training Program began its second year of pilots in 2018 and saw great success with 19 completed events. The goal of the program is to cultivate growth in the boating industry by drawing in new participants, while fostering safe boating practices with existing boaters. Through partnerships with Freedom Boat Club, the National Safe Boating Council, West Marine, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association, we were able to test different formats, with different partners.


In 2018 we worked on several projects over the year to help achieve our mission of providing Safe, Smart and Clean boating initiatives.


Kirk La


COO of Boat America Corporation

Janice Hobart



Bob Adriance


Past Technical Director, BoatUS

Bernadette Bernon


Past Editor of Cruising World Magazine

Jim Ellis


Past President of BoatUS

Ronald Peterson


Retired VP, RIS Paper Co.

Robert Putnam


Vice Chair, Audit & Finance Commitee

Ruth Wood


Past President, BoatUS Foundation

Chris Edmonston


President, BoatUS Foundation

Ted Sensenbrenner


Treasurer, BoatUS Foundation

Amanda Perez


Secretary, BoatUS Foundation


finance 2018