Representation for the South African boat building industry was initiated in the late 1970s by a group of small boat enthusiasts led by Greg Bennett and the Boating Industry Association (BIASA) was formed. In 2004 industry leader Bruce Tedder recognized the need for an association to specifically promote the export of South African vessels and address blockages. The Export Council was established in 2004, closely followed by the establishment of the Cape Town Boat Building Initiative (CTBi) under the leadership of Veda Raubenheimer.

In 2010, it was recognized that a National Association was needed and the CTBi and BIASA amalgamated, in order to have a single national voice to engage government. MIASA opened its doors in January 2012 under the leadership of Vanessa Davidson, CEO. A Board of Directors was elected by the membership and the Board provides strategic oversight and good governance of the Association with each member holding a two year term.

The CEO, Chairman and Vice Chairman comprise the Executive Committee that has operational oversight.

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