The DBSV was founded in the mid-1950s by the West German boatbuilding guilds as a registered society, or e.V. Its Management Board consists of the President, the Vice-President and six members. Board members are elected for a four-year term. Elections are held at the annual general meeting during the spring conference, which takes place over several days at the beginning of March. One or more general meetings are held in the autumn, mainly to approve the budget for the following year.
The registered office undertakes classic association work, gathering and processing information and passing it on to member-companies. The DBSV organises joint trade fair stands and writes and publishes bootswirtschaft magazine. Consumer enquiries are passed on to members and the list of members is drawn up. Freelancers handle public relations, look after interests on technical bodies such as the ICOMIA Technical Committee, the ISO and the ICOMIA Superyacht Committee, and maintain the websites.