FLIBS 2019: New IMO emissions regulations raise concerns

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Pat Healey

Pat Healey

Viking Yacht Co. held a press conference yesterday at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, where president and CEO Pat Healey talked about the new Valhalla center consoles and the new Viking 46 Billfish and 38 Open Billfish.

Healey then addressed the enforcement of new International Maritime Organization regulations that will require compliance with Tier III emissions limits on diesel yachts. Builders will be required to add Selective Catalytic Reduction systems in the engine rooms of yachts that are more than 78 feet.

“It’s going to affect this industry like something that hasn’t affected it since the luxury tax days,” Healey said.

Many builders were hoping for a six-year extension on the IMO regulations, which would have allowed them to continue building boats to the current emissions regulations. Extensions had previously been granted. “We thought we had it,” Healey said.

BobHealey Jr.

BobHealey Jr.

Viking and other builders hope an appeal will go through in the winter of 2020. Until then, if a boat starts construction before the end of 2020, it’s exempt from the regulations. Also, boats that won’t leave the United States are exempt.

Healey said the proposed regulations will require design modifications to Viking yachts. “We don’t have the room to install the systems,” he said. “If we install them, we have no room to work on the engines.”

Emissions control systems also produce a lot of heat, so ventilation systems would have to be modified.

In a statement, Viking vice president of design and engineering Lonnie Rutt said the technology to scale down the Selective Catalytic Reduction systems to fit in its 92- and 93-footers “simply does not exist yet.”

Healey said engine manufacturers have told him they would not have compliant systems until 2022, at the earliest.

“This is a jobs issue,” he said. “The regulators didn’t consider the people building the engines, the people taking care of the engines and the people building the boats.”

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