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New standard could affect yacht builders

Yacht builders are facing potential redesign issues after the International Maritime Organization passed a measure requiring large vessels to catalyze their engines by 2016.

The measure passed by the group, which includes more than 100 countries as signatories to their treaties, would affect U.S. yacht manufacturers since they would be required to catalyze yachts 24 meters and larger, or just over 79 feet, John McKnight, director of environmental safety and compliance for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, told Soundings Trade Only.

“That’s an issue because the catalyst systems out there now in the field ... wouldn’t fit in many engine compartments, based on their current boat designs,” McKnight told Trade Only. “These yacht designers design two or three years out and the engine compartment would have to be reconfigured to fit in the new engines.”

There could be some relief for the recreational marine industry, McKnight said.

The NMMA and the International Council of Marine Industry Associations are currently working with U.S. and international yacht builders to address the economic and technical burden of implementing the standard. The NMMA has met with the U.S. IMO representative “and we are in the process of assessing whether recreational yacht builders would require an exemption from this rule or need more time to comply,” McKnight said.

— Reagan Haynes

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