Skip to main content

Industry Pushes Back Against Speed Restrictions


Several marine industry, sportfishing and conservation organizations are pushing back against proposed restrictions by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries that would limit boats 35 feet and larger from traveling at speeds greater than 10 knots along the East Coast from Massachusetts to Florida.

The restrictions would, according to an action statement from industry political action committee BoatPAC:

• broaden current 10-knot speed restrictions to include vessels 35 feet and larger (down from 65 feet)

• expand existing slow zones to nearly the entire Atlantic Coast

• extend the zones as far as 90 miles offshore

• extend zone restrictions between Nov. 1 and May 31, coinciding with the boating and fishing season

According to a statement from Viking Yacht Co., the proposal was published Aug. 1, and a letter from a coalition of recreational fishing and boating organizations was presented to NOAA, which extended the public comment period to Oct. 31.

“The proposed rule, as written, would be the most consequential maritime regulation that we have ever seen imposed on the recreational boating and fishing sector,” John DePersenaire, Viking director of government affairs and sustainability, said in the statement. “It will affect not only boat owners but marinas, tackle shops, charter boat operators — basically all maritime-related businesses on the Atlantic Coast.”

According to a letter submitted to NOAA Fisheries by a dozen marine industry, sportfishing and conservation organizations, there have been “only six documented occurrences” of strikes with boats smaller than 65 feet in the United States since 2005.

Comments about the proposal can be posted at the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Additional commentary can be posted at NMMA’s Boating United Group, and through the International Game Fish Association.



TowBoatUS Presents Annual Award

The organization recognized its Long Beach, Calif., location with Tower of the Year honors during its annual gathering in New Orleans.


Yanmar Marine Announces Green Strategy

At Boot Düsseldorf, Yanmar Marine introduced the Green Challenge 2050, a company-wide goal to eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions.


ABYC Expands Staff

The new personnel will support education, membership, marketing and finance initiatives.


Scholarship Named for Donald L. Blount

Graduate and post-graduate students in the field of high-speed-craft hydrodynamics are eligible for the scholarship, offered through the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.


Teakdecking Systems Appoints Directors

John Shinske comes aboard as European director of sales and business development, and Anella Alcott will serve as director of marketing.


California Bill Could Affect Boat Warranties

Under the new legislation, the warranty period of a product would begin on the delivery date, not the purchase date.


NMMA Announces Innovation Award Winners

Handed out this week at the Minneapolis Boat Show, the awards recognized four manufacturers in three categories.