ABYC updates boat-capacity standards

The American Boat and Yacht Council updated its Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft.
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The ABYC changed its standards on upper-deck weight capacity after overloading caused at least one high-profile accident that prompted legislation that sought to regulate boat capacity.

The ABYC changed its standards on upper-deck weight capacity after overloading caused at least one high-profile accident that prompted legislation that sought to regulate boat capacity.

The American Boat and Yacht Council updated its Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft to reflect changes in industry best practices and advancements in technology.

The revision to boat-capacity standards was a response to “high-profile accidents where overloading of upper decks resulted in fatalities,” the ABYC said.

In 2012 a 34-foot Silverton carrying 27 people to observe July 4 fireworks in Long Island, N.Y., capsized, killing three children on board. Investigators later determined that the boat was overloaded, prompting legislation that sought to restrict and regulate capacity, as well as several lawsuits.

The ABYC boat-capacity standard has been expanded to cover upper-deck weight capacity, regardless of boat length.

Other revisions include new battery testing and restraint requirements in E-10: Storage Batteries and added requirements to address current generator technology in A-27: Alternating Current (AC) Generator Sets.

“This was a very active year for our committees as we published 15 standards, almost double of what we published last year,”  ABYC technical director Brian Goodwin said in a statement. “It is imperative that boatbuilders and repair faculties are up to date on these changes.”

A webinar outlining the changes is offered free to ABYC members and is available on demand at www.abycinc.org/supplement56. One continuing education credit will be awarded for watching it.

ABYC members can access the standards anytime by using the online standards library, which the organization said has been revamped with a robust search engine and improved search ability.

Users can purchase the manual or for access without Internet connection they can purchase the new desktop subscription at www.abycinc.org/publications.

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