It could be the Michiana Association of Candlewick Collectors, the Miami Airport Conference Center, the Mid-Atlantic Cricket Conference or the Multi-Agency Craft Conference. Although all are apparently known as MACC, it’s only the latter that has any connection to the world of workboats.

After a two-year hiatus in 2012 and 2013, MACC is back next month at the Little Creek/Fort Story Joint Expeditionary Base in Norfolk, Va. During those two years, the America Society of Naval Engineers attempted to stage an alternative called HiPer Craft, but attendance and participation were disappointing.


Maybe it’s been security issues, but ASNE and the Navy have managed to negotiate the bureaucracy so vendors and visitors will once again have a chance to see, hear and experience what’s new with and for boats designed for government use, both military and civilian.

My first year at MACC was 2005, when the trade show portion was held at Old Dominion University and the in-water demos were at the base — not a good idea given the distance between the two venues. Since then, everything has been held on the base, when it’s held at all.

For me, the thing that stands out about MACC is the demos. Over the years, most if not all of the nation’s go-fast boatbuilders have been there providing rides to anyone with a PFD and a signed waiver.

MACC has also been a showplace for the unusual. In 2008, a catamaran called the Proteus was on display, looking more like some giant insect than a boat. In 2011, the M80 Stiletto, an experimental craft with an “M” bottom was there.

So we’ll find out in a couple weeks if there are any surprises at MACC 2014, scheduled for June 10-12. Look for reports online and in the August issue of WorkBoat magazine.

With a degree in English literature from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!), journalism experience at the once-upon-a-time Seattle P-I, and at-sea experience as a commercial fisherman in Washington and Alaska, Bruce Buls has forged a career in commercial marine trade journalism, including stints at Alaska Fishermen’s Journal and National Fisherman, WorkBoat’s sister publications. Bruce spent 16 years as WorkBoat's technical editor before retiring in May 2015. He lives on Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island, about 20 miles north of Seattle (go 'Hawks!).