American Boat Builders & Repairers Association
ABBRA: Who Are These Guys?
ABBRA, the American Boat Builders & Repairers Association (www.abbra.org) was founded in 1943 as the Atlantic Coast Boat Builders and Repairers Association, Inc. Its purpose was, among other things, to “foster the trade, commerce and interests” of boatbuilders and repairers, and to “reform abuses which may be relative thereto.” States along the East Coast of the United States made up the original membership, but today, ABBRA represents over 250 boatyards, repairers, and associated industries throughout the United States and abroad.
ABBRA Executive Director Gordon Connell says, “ABBRA promotes the highest ethical and service standards in boatbuilding and boat service and repair by sharing industry best practices, providing management training and, through programs like our Webinars, service manager training, and certification. These are all provided with the goal of helping [our members] deliver the best service possible to their customers. Like any other business the goal is to be profitable; however, it’s not easy in a boatyard and our members recognize that professionalism and quality make the difference.”
Although ABBRA is primarily a trade organization, boat owners should use association membership as one criterion when choosing a yard. There’s a searchable directory of members on the ABBRA website; the “advanced search” option is more complicated, but will get you more complete results. Next time you’re looking for a boatyard, check with ABBRA first.