ABYC president says to ‘fend off government regulations’

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The reason the American Boat and Yacht Council exists is to hold off government regulations by keeping boaters safe.

That’s according to ABYC president John Adey, who told Soundings Trade Only that builders who participate by becoming members have more influence on how regulations get written.

“Our customers and clients want less government and less government interaction,” Adey told Trade Only. “So if we can fend this off by preventing government intervention, we’re better for it.”

Becoming ABYC-compliant actually saves builders money in the long run, Adey says.

“Builders can argue on behalf of their companies so certain things they can’t comply with don’t happen,” Adey said. “There are certain companies that don’t see the value in that. If a boat company gets in an accident, and there have been several lately, they get sued to the tune of millions of dollars.”

A high-profile crash in 2009 was attributable to a boat not being properly lit.

“You’re looking at a high-profile accident that came down to one standard not being met,” Adey said. “The visibility standard I just mentioned is not in the federal regulations. The existence of ABYC is to fend off government regulations. The products have a mix of regulations and standards. ABYC’s existence is to make sure the government doesn’t come and give you more things to do that can’t change with technology because that becomes onerous and it becomes very expensive.”

Read more about ABYC and John Adey in the January issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Reagan Haynes


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