About us

The roster of membership in the American Boatbuilders Association (ABA) is an industry Who's Who of strong and successful independent boat manufacturing companies. Since 1992, the group's aim through collective buying power is to obtain the highest quality materials at the lowest possible cost. ABA is all about leveraging purchasing value. This alliance brings the united voice of a prestigious group of independent boat manufactures to the table. In the aggregate, The ABA Group ranks second in retail market share in fiberglass boats 16' and up. With annual boat sales over $2.6 billion, and material purchases of approximately $420 million, ABA Boat Builders represent a strong growth opportunity for Suppliers. The benefits of this trade association reach beyond positive economics for members as well as Suppliers. There is a savings from pooled purchasing and technical services as well as reduced transaction costs. Improved competitiveness and efficiencies translate into better value for the boat buying public and drives increased sales and product turns for Manufacturers and Suppliers alike. For the Supplier, ABA represents a stable source of volume purchasing with limited financial exposure.

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ABA Mission Statement

Through the collective buying power of its' members, we will strive to purchase high quality materials at the lowest cost of any boat building entity in the United States. We will organize as necessary to bring the united voice of the independent builder to outside influences such as Suppliers, government, and industry associations.

Jay Patton

Our Goals

We focus on improving the quality, safety, value, and environmental impact of our products. We promote cost-effective solutions regarding EPA, OSHA, and other mandated policies and guidelines. We provide a member forum for the consideration of issues that affect the Marine Industry and we provide member interface with other industry organizations to improve the Marine Industry.

Our Amazing Team

THE AMERICAN BOAT BUILDERS ASSOCIATION is a coalition of 26 leading independent US boat manufacturers. ABA member companies have approximately 8,100 employees in the United States, with 21 facilities in 12 states. ABA companies produce approximately 34,000 boats annually. ABA produces more than 23% of all fiberglass boats above 16' built in America.

Jay Patton


Jay is originally from Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1982 and moved to Atlanta in 1983 to work for the Ivan Allen Company. He worked for Ivan Allen for fifteen years in sales, branch management, and executive management positions. He joined ABA in May 1998 as President. Jay and his wife Nancy have one daughter and two sons. He enjoys fishing, golf, and college basketball. Jay and Nancy also enjoy traveling together and cooking. They reside in Marietta, GA.

Doug Alexander

Sr. Project Manager

Doug is originally from Flint, Michigan. Doug started his career with Sea Ray in Oxford, Michigan on the manufacturing line in 1976. He spent the next 37 years with Sea Ray and Brunswick at the Knoxville, Riverview, Cherokee Cove, Corporate, and Brazil facilities. He worked in corporate purchasing, training, Six Sigma, and warehouse management during his tenure at Sea Ray and Brunswick. In 2013 he went to work for Heatcraft as Supply Chain Manager in Tifton, GA. He joined ABA as Senior Project Manager in September 2017. Doug and his wife Diane have two daughters and one grandson. They enjoy family time and traveling. They reside in Acworth, GA.

Glenna Stephens

Office Manager & Coordinator

Glenna is originally from Rumble, West Virginia and moved to Georgia in 1970. She worked for the Ken Stanton Music for many years. She joined the Ivan Allen Company in Marietta and Atlanta from 1986 to 1997. She joined the ABA in July 1998 as our Office Manager and Coordinator. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. She resides in Dallas, GA.
ABA Value Equation For Suppliers
  • ABA Members are financially stable, profitable, and well- managed companies.
  • ABA Members are growing market share each year.
  • ABA Members pay their bills on time.
  • ABA Members treat our Suppliers of Choice fairly.
  • ABA Members are loyal and committed to our Suppliers of Choice for the long term.
  • ABA has over 100 Supplier of Choice Agreements with high compliance ratings.
  • ABA delivers significant volume to our Suppliers of Choice.
  • ABA members are leaders in the marine industry.
ABA Structure
  • ABA is an association of independent boat builders organized to improve and protect their competitive position in the marketplace.
  • Member companies are the sole stockholders of the corporation, with each member holding an equal number of shares, and each having one vote.
  • Each shareholder appoints one director to the Board.
  • Officers are elected by the Board of Directors and serve on the Executive Committee in a non-paid status.
  • Three full time employees: Glenna Stephens - Office Coordinator, Doug Alexander - Senior Project Manager, and Jay Patton - President.
  • The ABA is not a profit center; savings and rebates are passed directly to the members.
  • Operating costs are shared equally among the members in the form of monthly dues.
  • Supplier rebates are distributed in full to the Members based on their purchases.
Our Strategic Objectives
  • Ensure that ABA is buying at the best price, both short and long term, including benchmarking of pricing.
  • Implement Technology sharing initiatives between members, including the study of design, manufacturing, and operations.
  • Work with suppliers to improve the quality, durability, and delivery of parts while containing cost. Form strategic alliances with targeted suppliers and increase our value to those suppliers.
  • Benchmark and share best practices among the members.
  • Expand group purchasing to include an array of products and services, which is as comprehensive as possible.
  • Increase compliance with current agreements.