The NMMA said it provided comments to the Coast Guard supporting the interim rule to update the table of outboard engine weights used to calculate safe loading capacities and required amounts of flotation material.
The NMMA said in a statement that it requested the update in 2013 to ensure that Coast Guard regulations were in line with American Boat and Yacht Council standards. Additionally, the 2015 USCG Authorization Act directed the Coast Guard to update the engine-weight table.
The NMMA said its certification and membership outreach programs take steps to ensure that the industry is following the most up-to-date standards, but the association said the certification program does not encapsulate the entire market of boat manufacturers.
The Coast Guard issues upwards of 3,000 Manufacturer Identification Codes, with a few hundred going to NMMA-certified members. The interim rule will now reference ABYC standard S-30 to help make sure that flotation requirements align with new engine technology weights.
The original table applied by the Coast Guard reflected older outboard engines that weighed less and subsequently required less flotation foam. The NMMA said it will continue to work with the Coast Guard to ensure that boat construction regulations are up to date with new technologies and reflect the ABYC’s changing standards.