The Boating Trades Association of Texas was organized in 1957 to provide the industry with an effective organization for working toward goals of fair legislation and profitable promotion of the sport of pleasure boating.

The initial movement for the organization came when the Texas Legislature was studying a measure that would have placed a crippling sales tax on boats. Concerned industry leaders from across the state rallied to the danger to find that boating had no effective united voice to represent the industry. Through rapid action, the small group was able to forestall disastrous consequences of the proposed legislation.

From its initial organization in an hour of crisis, the Association has broadened its scope to conduct an extensive program of membership services and benefits.

Today the BTAT’s broad-based, active program is highlighted by an intensive legislative and state agency monitoring campaign.

Since its formation, the Association has been effective in countering the proposed tax on boats, rewriting the controversial Trailer Brake Law, supporting legislation to protect red drum and other species of fish and modifying regulations proposed by the Department of Energy and other governmental agencies. BTAT has also produced a film entitled “Waterways to Adventure” and an assortment of media campaigns to promote pleasure boating. Finally, the Association has launched special projects to educate bankers about the marine industry, and teach young people in our public school system about the fun of boating.

The Association’s membership includes marine dealers, manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, distributors and marina operators, along with a select group of associate members. Local associations in Abilene, Austin, Beaumont/Orange, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Harlingen, Houston, Odessa, San Angelo, San Antonio, and Temple are affiliated with BTAT.

BTAT is governed by officers and directors elected at an annual convention usually held in late fall.