This week, NMMA provided comments to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in support of the interim rule to update the table of outboard engine weights used in calculating safe loading capacities and the required amounts of flotation materials. NMMA requested this update in 2013 to ensure Coast Guard regulations were in line with American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) standards, as applied through NMMA certification. Additionally, the 2015 USCG Authorization Act directed the Coast Guard to expeditiously update the engine weight table given the potential safety concerns.
While NMMA’s certification and membership outreach programs take steps to ensure the industry is following the most up-to-date standards, the certification program does not encapsulate the entire market of boat manufacturers. The USCG issues upwards of 3000 Manufacturer Identification Codes (MICs), with only a few hundred being NMMA certified members. This interim rule will now reference ABYC standard S-30 to help make sure critical flotation requirements, align with new engine technology weights and that all boat manufacturers are building to the highest safety standard.
The original table applied by the Coast Guard reflected older outboard engines that were lighter in weight and subsequently required less foam. NMMA looks forward to continuing to work with the USCG to ensure boat construction regulations are up-to-date with new technologies and reflect the changing safety standards promulgated by ABYC.
For more information or questions, please contact Nicole Vasilaros at email@example.com.