10/27/2017: Update of recreational boat outboard engine weight test requirements

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The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that it finalized, without change, an interim rule to update the table of outboard engine weights used in calculating safe loading capacities and required amounts of flotation material. The engine weight table was last updated in 1984, and the Coast Guard Authorization Act (CGAA) of 2015 requires that the Coast Guard update the table to reflect a specific standard. This final rule is effective June 1, 2018.

Congress has authorized the Coast Guard to prescribe regulations establishing minimum safety standards for recreational vessels and associated equipment. In 1977, the Coast Guard established flotation requirements for boats less than 20 feet in length, and established a weight table (Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183) used to assist the boat manufacturer in determining the amount of flotation to be included in a boat’s design and construction.

Table 4 was last updated in 1984, but the size and weight of outboard engines have evolved over the years to the point that Table 4 no longer accurately represents the weights of outboard engines available on the market.

The American Boat and Yacht Council is a non-profit organization that develops voluntary safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of recreational boats. Among the voluntary safety standards that ABYC develops and updates on a regular basis is S-30—Outboard Engines and Related Equipment Weights (ABYC S-30). This standard reflects the current state of marine outboard engine weights. This rulemaking adopts the current ABYC S-30 to replace Table 4 of subpart H in 33 CFR part 183. The current ABYC S-30 is dated July 2012, and was the standard in effect on the date of enactment of the CGAA.

For full details, view the Federal Register Notice.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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