Consumer Protection Bureau


In addition to a regular feature appearing in each issue of BoatUS Magazine, the Association's bimonthly news journal, the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau offers Association Members three significant services.

Consumer Information

The Bureau is a one-stop source for information about state and federal consumer protection laws and boat safety standards, as well as contact names, addresses and phone numbers for marine manufacturers and much more.

Complaint Database

The Bureau maintains the only national database devoted solely to problems involving recreational boats, marine engines and related products and services. BoatUS does not rate or evaluate marine products, but our complaint files provide an overview of problems and how companies handle them. To search our complaint database or file a complaint or compliment go to:

Dispute Resolution

The Bureau operates the only nationwide informal dispute resolution program for boating complaints. Our involvement can help both sides in a dispute reach an amicable settlement without the expense of going to court. As a matter of policy, BoatUS does not become involved in complaints already in litigation, nor can we represent members in lawsuits.

How the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau Can Help Members

  • When a problem with your boat arises, file a written complaint with the manufacturer or company, stating the nature of the problem and how you would like it resolved. Include supporting information such as repair invoices, marine survey reports and photographs.
  • If the company doesn't respond to you in a satisfactory way, send the Consumer Protection Bureau copies of your correspondence. Include your complete name and address, as well as your BoatUS member number, and a complete description of the product or service with which you are dissatisfied.
  • Once BoatUS receives your complaint, we will contact the company on your behalf, keeping the lines of communication open until a reasonable response is received.

All complaints and comments from consumers are entered into the Consumer Protection Bureau's database found online at: Many Members contact BoatUS to learn about consumer problems and about how companies respond to complaints.

For more information about our Dispute Resolution service:

Call 703-461-2856 or e-mail and ask for a copy of the Bureau's brochure, "If You've Got a Problem, We've Got a Solution."