View Poll Results: Do You Believe in the ABYC?
Yes, they serive a vital service for the boating community. 18 58.06%
No they are a secret society and is a pain in the..... 2 6.45%
Yes if it became a public entity 5 16.13%
No ABYC the USCG should handle all standards 6 19.35%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-28-2016, 05:01 PM   #81
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Nice post Northern Spy...agree wholeheartedly. Your mention of the tiered system of best practices and standards is a better explanation of my concerns than my posts.


I agree!!! here here....nicely posted
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:10 PM   #82
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Peggy did a nice job clearing up a lot of the confusion and miss-information. I'll add one more clarification. Anyone can join for $255 per year and have access to all the standards online.
It's taken me a while to get back into this because a) I needed some info from ABYC and b) my computer. (actually just Firefox) decided to have a nervous breakdown on Friday.

ABYC DOES have a boat owner membership category. It's not on their website at present because the website is actually under construction at the moment.

An individual membership is $180/yr, which entitles you to the following:

o
24/7 online access to the most current ABYC Standards
You can download and save and/or print any or all of the standards...even share 'em with your freeloading friends if your ethical standards are low enough
o Technical support via phone/email with ABYC Standards Technical Department
o Discounts on classes, certifications, publications, webinars, and ABYC merchandise
o Quarterly technical journal, the Reference Point
o Listing in the ABYC online member directory
Individual boat owners are even eligible to sit on the project technical committees that create the standards.

As for what the money they collect goes for, I suggest you spend some time browsing under the "education" tab on their website. It barely scratches the surface in showing how much more ABYC does than just create standards, and NONE of it is inexpensive to do. The Calendars--past and future only begin to scratch the surface.

And btw...my publisher told me yesterday that my new book "The NEW Get Rid of Boat Odors, updated, revised and expanded" will be out in about two weeks.
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:52 PM   #83
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Good At $180 I will look at it again.

&

Good I will also look for the new book. Boat doesn't stink YET BUT maybe clue me into something to avoid.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:57 PM   #84
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. "...ABYC standards are not regulations or "codes,"...they are not enforceable... and most insurance companies insist they be followed." The very fact that one cannot get insurance without following AYBC "guidelines" neutralizes their lack of enforcability. Non compliance (based on the OPINION of a "surveyor" who may or may not be "qualified")=No insurance. Simple as that. I agree that one must make every effort to be as safe as possible but the sway AYBC holds over the average boater is, as mentioned, a license to print money by those unscrupulous individuals who wish to take advantage of such "unenforceable" codes.
Insurance companies are only concerned with whether or not a boat they insure is likely to cost THEM money. ABYC standards are safety standards intended to prevent owners and insurance losses. Insurance companies rely on surveyors' reports to tell 'em whether any boat has a condition that puts them or owners and crew at unnecessary risk. Just as a bartender has the right to refuse service to someone who's obviously already had too many, insurance companies have the right to refuse to cover a boat that's likely to become a preventable claim. That does NOT turn ABYC standards into enforcable codes or regulations. And the "sway" that ABYC has over the average boater only indicates the VALUE of ABYC standards. Hard to see how that could make them "unscrupulous."
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:16 PM   #85
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I think your situation may well fit their definition of locker.
Propane tanks stored below decks are required be in a VENTED locker, because propane is heavier than air and flammable, and propane tanks can leak. That's not an ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) standard, it's a USCG regulation you'll find--for free, btw, in the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations)

Since your propane tank is neither below decks nor in any other enclosed space, I don't think you have to worry about being in compliance
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:34 PM   #86
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Since your propane tank is neither below decks nor in any other enclosed space, I don't think you have to worry about being in compliance
Unless I'm mixing up posts, I believe the propane tank storage space in question is inside the flying bridge console. If the poster is describing what I am envisioning, it is an enclosed spce and one gerally also occupied by electrical and elecronics components.
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Old 02-01-2016, 05:45 AM   #87
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Unless I'm mixing up posts, I believe the propane tank storage space in question is inside the flying bridge console. If the poster is describing what I am envisioning, it is an enclosed spce and one gerally also occupied by electrical and elecronics components.
And the wiring for those components typically run thru to the cabin unsealed allowing a path for a propane leak as well.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:48 AM   #88
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Wow...a standoff and a gross misunderstanding at that.


I don't think anyone here s suggesting grossly unsafe boats...just grossly over use of standards that SHOULD NOT always apply to older boats. Because here's not enough data to support the probability of accidents caused by a single omission of a standard.


Insurance should look at say a 10 step standard, and if the owner complies with the 9 most important... be treated accordingly....not just grouped into "non-compliant.


Go back a few ears and remember the hub-bub over prop guards...all the arguments and the final USCG decision. Insurance companies and safety gurus didn't and SHOULDN'T always drive the train.


This is for small passenger vessels...not sure if it is in the CFRs for recreational vessels.


46 CFR § 184.240 Gas systems.
Cooking systems using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) must meet the following requirements:
(a) The design, installation and testing of each LPG system must meet ABYC A-1, “Marine Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Systems,” Chapter 6 of NFPA 302, or other standard specified by the Commandant.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:48 AM   #89
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Wow...a standoff and a gross misunderstanding at that.


I don't think anyone here s suggesting grossly unsafe boats...just grossly over use of standards that SHOULD NOT always apply to older boats. Because here's not enough data to support the probability of accidents caused by a single omission of a standard.


Insurance should look at say a 10 step standard, and if the owner complies with the 9 most important... be treated accordingly....not just grouped into "non-compliant.


Go back a few ears and remember the hub-bub over prop guards...all the arguments and the final USCG decision. Insurance companies and safety gurus didn't and SHOULDN'T always drive the train.


This is for small passenger vessels...not sure if it is in the CFRs for recreational vessels.


46 CFR § 184.240 Gas systems.
Cooking systems using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) must meet the following requirements:
(a) The design, installation and testing of each LPG system must meet ABYC A-1, “Marine Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Systems,” Chapter 6 of NFPA 302, or other standard specified by the Commandant.
Not required for non-commercial vessels.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:49 PM   #90
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I'm just curious..... Does anyone's insurance policy actually say that the boat must meet ABCY standards?

And if you are seeking out a new insurance co, it's probably worth asking if they require that the boat meet ABCY standards for them to insure it. And then ask the proposed surveyor what standards they are evaluating to boat against. Then at least you will know the rules going in and can call foul if someone starts making up new rules.

Also, for better or worse, Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and will seek out the highest return policies they can, and shed the lowest return policies. You should expect nothing less. I've been "non-renewed" when their parameters have changed, and I've "non-renewed "them when their policy restrictions have changed. It's all part of a market economy.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:44 PM   #91
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I'm just curious..... Does anyone's insurance policy actually say that the boat must meet ABCY standards?

And if you are seeking out a new insurance co, it's probably worth asking if they require that the boat meet ABCY standards for them to insure it. And then ask the proposed surveyor what standards they are evaluating to boat against. Then at least you will know the rules going in and can call foul if someone starts making up new rules.

Also, for better or worse, Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and will seek out the highest return policies they can, and shed the lowest return policies. You should expect nothing less. I've been "non-renewed" when their parameters have changed, and I've "non-renewed "them when their policy restrictions have changed. It's all part of a market economy.
I try to insure with ones who I know are most likely to continue to cover. I learned long ago in insuring a building in Jamaica where companies were changing policies annually, so we just went to Lloyd's finally.

Our policy at no point mentions ABCY. It is focused on maintaining the condition as it was at survey and notification of any significant change impacting the safe use of the boat. Now, indirectly ABCY is included because it's within the context of the survey.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:47 PM   #92
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NO...in fact even ABYC member boat builders--and all of 'em are, at least all the major US mfrs are--don't comply with all of 'em. An example is the standard that calls for putting all thru-hulls/seacocks in "readily accessible locations." I would hardly call under an aft cabin berth behind a drawer, or in the engine room behind a battery bank, or in a settee under a pile of stored stuff "readily accessible" but that's where I've found many head intake thru-hulls. ISO--the European counterpart to ABYC--standards apply worldwide, but European and Asian builders don't follow them religiously either.

A GOOD surveyor will note those "deficiencies" that can put the vessel or crew at risk whether or not any standards apply, and insurance cos. will require that those be corrected...and they should. But that's all insurance companies care about. My own last boat was a 20 yr old "project" boat that I bought in non-running and uninhabitable (by anyone with a sense of smell anyway), but structurally sound condition. My insurance company would only issue "port risk" coverage (boat couldn't leave the slip except for test runs by approved engine mechanics) until I'd corrected a list of about 10 such "deficiencies" the surveyor--who had to be one on their approved list, btw--had found...and I had a deadline to get 'em all done. He had to come back and inspect again (he didn't charge me any more to do that) and sign off that I'd corrected 'em all before they'd issue a full coverage policy. He was great 'cuz he also gave me a list of things he'd found that weren't on the insurance list, which was a huge help.

I learned more about systems OTHER than plumbing (and everything else on a boat too) in the two years I spent turning that "floating bag lady" into a beautiful lady who was also in great mechanical shape than I'd learned in my previous 20 years of boat ownership.
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Old 02-06-2016, 08:59 AM   #93
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The idea behind the flame shield on the MA series fuel filter is to allow the automatic fire extinguisher time to be triggered. It doesn't matter whether or not you are aboard the boat, extinguishing the fire is still worthwhile, for your boat as well as all the other boats in your marina. Thus, the modification is far from irrelevant.

A few points of clarification regarding ABYC, and again I'm no ABYC apologist, I have my differences with the organization.

One contributor used the NEC as an example, noting that those standards are readily available, however, they are not free. In fact ABYC Standards are no different, anyone can join ABYC and in doing so gain access to the Standards, in printed or online format.

In the European Union, Australia, NZ and now Canada standards similar to ABYC are mandated, compliance is mandatory. Regardless of where they are built, the US, Asia, etc, vessels sold in those regions must by law comply. I do routinely encounter violations of these standards, however, if the vessel is new, then it makes it very difficult for the builder to avoid making the vessel compliant, which is very valuable to the boat buyer as there's no debate involved. The same holds true for vessels sold in the US that voluntarily comply with the NMMA/ABYC compliance program. While it is voluntary, once a builder advertises that they comply, they are contractually obligated to do so, which is once again very good for the boat buyer, as violations must be corrected.

I believe there is significant misunderstanding about the Standards on the part of the boat buying and owning public, evidenced by the volume of dissension voiced toward ABYC in this forum. That level of misunderstanding can be directly attributed to ABYC's abysmal and virtually non-existent efforts toward public education and dissemination of the standards. So, I'm not sure I blame you and I won't try to be the lone voice trying to drag these boat owners kicking and screaming into compliance. I can, however, try to offer examples when they present themselves here, where compliance is of value regarding vessel reliability, seaworthiness and safety.

One generic example involves tasking professionals when working on your boat. When you visit a boatyard, or retain a contractor to carry out work, unless you have some means of determining to what standard that work will be carried out, you have no way of ensuring its quality and reliability, other than relying on the skills and capabilities of those completing the tasks. If, however, you task them by saying, "Where applicable, I want the work to meet relevant ABYC guidelines", you then establish an expectation and standard, much like you would for a home contractor or electrician, who, by the way, is obligated to meet building codes. If, when establishing the ABYC compliance requirement, the yard or individual says, "what's that?", or "we aren't members" then you should be concerned, because it means they have forfeited an incredibly valuable asset, even if they don't profess complete compliance. The Standards are replete with huge range of data that is not easily and readily obtainable elsewhere, at least not in a single source, from prop shaft run out and bearing clearance specifications to wire size, over-current protection and voltage drop guidelines. It is a definitive source.

As the former manager of a custom boat building and service yard, I used ABYC guidelines as a training aid, and to promote standardization of my technicians work, ensuring they were all carrying out tasks in a uniform manner, one which I believed was correct, reliable and safe. Without this guideline, there are a dozen different ways one might install a seacock for instance. For example, one ABYC guideline calls for thread compatibility between seacock plumbing components. That seems self-evident, yet, I routinely encounter incompatible threads, i.e. mixing of tapered and parallel threads (including on this forum). Without the Standards who could definitively say what's right? I do it one way, using compatible threads, which probably costs a little more because it means I must use a flanged UL listed sea valve, and another competing yard, or a boat builder, does it another way, using the less expensive generic in line ball valve and incompatible, and non-ABYC compliant, threads. The ABYC compliant installation must be capable of withstanding 500 lbs of static force, applied to the most inboard or vulnerable portion of the assembly, for 30 seconds without failure. The non-compliant installation has no load requirement, I've seen these fail when someone accidentally stepped on or even leaned against one. Which would you rather have?

This also holds true for boat builders, without establishing a standard by which their product may be judged everything becomes discretionary. For a boat buyer that becomes the wild wild west because you have no way of evaluating a boat builder's decisions or skill sets, much like you would have no way of knowing if the electrician installing the new electrical panel in your home knew what he or she was doing. Fortunately you don't have to in that case because they are required to meet the National Electric and/or building Codes.

While some of you may have had unpleasant experiences with surveyor-generated, insurer-mandated forced compliance, don't be too quick to shoot the messenger. Those issues have more to do with insurers, who by the way typically make decisions of this sort based on actuarials, loss statistics essentially. They aren't arbitrary. These statistics state, by the way, that the leading causes of fire aboard boats are electrical in nature, and specifically shore power. When I encounter a shore power installation I believe is faulty and dangerous, I can identify it, and rather than simply saying that I believe it represents a risk, I can cite the ABYC Standard it violates, which will in turn guide those carrying out the correction or repair. Trust me when I say this is in your, the boat owner's, best interest. Without that Standard to bolster my observation, I would almost certainly be arguing with those who built or worked on the boat, desperately trying to explain why the current scenario is dangerous and in need of correction, and you, the boat owner, would have to decide who was right without the benefit of professional industry experience. In fact, in spite of the Standards I still engage in these discussions from time to time, particularly with boat builders and industry pro's who remain uncommitted to ABYC compliance.

While the Standards, and the manner in which they are composed, are far from perfect, they do represent an undeniable and significant value to boat builders, buyers, owners and boatyards. Don't be too quick to dismiss them as over-kill, or part of a conspiracy to drive up boat ownership cost. As an advocate for boat owners and buyers, I am especially sensitive to cost of ownership, however, I'm also sensitive to seaworthiness, reliability and safety, as well as ensuring that you get good value for your money.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:46 AM   #94
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Thank you Steve, excellent essay. And thank you for beginning to post on this forum; it's sorely needed.
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:04 AM   #95
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Responding to Steve.

I very much am glad there are standards. If one feels the need to vary from them then present a sound argument, which laziness is not.

I do feel they should be readily available online at no charge.

I have no issue with them being used by insurers or surveyors. I do have issue with some surveys and the review of them by insurers. That issue is where there is not a clear delineation of true safety matters which must be fixed vs. other items that are recommended but not immediate issues. If I'm paying for a survey I want everything observed noted, but not everything observed has relevance to it's insurability. My problems in those instances are not with the standards, but with the surveyor and/or insurer.

I do expect all work to be done to the standards. Even if not absolutely necessary in some cases, what is wrong in going beyond the minimum and doing things to the standard?

As we do get surveys even on new boats, it has on one occasion made things so much simpler. We didn't have to argue over how some wiring was done, but just simply told the seller that it didn't meet standards and to fix it with a specific reference to the paragraph of the standard.

It's not perfect, but it's the best we have.

We compare sometimes to building codes and saying it would be better if ABYC was issued by government and was law. However, I think one major point is missed in that comparison and it's an area in which ABYC is far better. Building codes vary from location to location. Sometimes that variation is very significant. The last thing we need is different standards based on what state a boat is built in. In NC, I knew a man who owned a few hundred small warehouse units. They were all in a small town, 15 miles from a large city. All because of how much money he could save there because the codes weren't the same. The difference was the building fire codes when multiple units were put in one building bank and the walls between the units.
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #96
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In the European Union, Australia, NZ and now Canada standards similar to ABYC are mandated, compliance is mandatory.
Please do take the time to read what Steve wrote and allow it to absorb. We in the US should be careful what we wish for because we are now not required to follow ABYC and if we choose to follow suit with Europe, NZ, Australia etc. we would be required by law. If you think insurers are bad now....

Keeping in mind that the ISO/RCD standards are mandatory I would urge those who are interested to go price the European ISO (RCD) standards. Try and buy ISO-13297 or ISO-10133 etc. etc.. I have them, use them, and I paid for them, not cheap.....

Keep in mind the ISO standards are law and they are still not free standards. UL standards are also not free, SAE standards are not free, the NEC standards are not free nor are Nigel's books, Ed Sherman's book or Charlie Wings books (Charlies book does an excellent job following ABYC electrical standards though).

For $180.00 anyone can join the ABYC and all you need to do is call and ask for an individual membership. My marine library alone holds more than 20X that in value. I've never personally considered the cost of education in the form of standards, books etc. a stumbling block to a hobby that is already insanely expensive.

Once you join the ABYC you could download the standards in .pdf, save them. For $180.00 you now have decades of hard work and volumes of standards you may not even understand. This brings up part of the reason most standards organizations are member based. Not everyone will easily understand, interpret or grasp standards lingo without some training on the subject.

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While the Standards, and the manner in which they are composed, are far from perfect, they do represent an undeniable and significant value to boat builders, buyers, owners and boatyards. Don't be too quick to dismiss them as over-kill, or part of a conspiracy to drive up boat ownership cost. As an advocate for boat owners and buyers, I am especially sensitive to cost of ownership, however, I'm also sensitive to seaworthiness, reliability and safety, as well as ensuring that you get good value for your money.
Amen Steve (Peggy too) and also to everything I "snipped out" of your excellent post. If the boating public only understood the hard work and hours and hours volunteers put in to make the standards what they are, towards the common goal of making boating safer, I think they would be shocked.
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:57 PM   #97
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Maybe boating is INSANELY expensive due to those standards that make boating safer by a one sided look at safety....safety for the idiot...or idiot proofing boating....


Be careful of stating the obvious....you will sound like the others who publish within the environment that supports their world.


I have enjoyed your website and agree with much of what you have personally tested. So I don't disagree that a lot of "standards" need a real life look at what is reallty.


Like all the "experts" that think every marine fuel tank left empty will fill with condensation. Many know better but that myth seems to live on.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:25 PM   #98
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Great first post, CMS! I'd like to learn more about the process. Sounds like you just might be (or have been) intimately involved in that process. Tell us about yourself and your perspective. I'm sure many here would really enjoy some behind the scenes reporting.

I'm starting to read Scalia Disents and am learning about a "whole 'nuther side" of the SCOTUS. I bet you have a similarly unique perspective to the ABYC policy making and standards. I look forward to learning more...and Welcome!
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Old 02-19-2016, 02:37 PM   #99
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I said, "As an advocate for boat owners and buyers, I am especially sensitive to cost of ownership, however, I'm also sensitive to seaworthiness, reliability and safety, as well as ensuring that you get good value for your money" and the order in which I used those those words, 'seaworthy, reliable and safe' was intentional. I bristle at over-use of the word 'safety' as if it's an end in itself. I firmly believe safety is the result of many things, including a seaworthy and reliable vessel, as well as a knowledgeable operator.

I don't believe ABYC compliance significantly drives up vessel cost. It's anecdotal, of course, however, I inspect some very expensive vessels, some are over-priced in my opinion, and their builders make no claims regarding ABYC compliance. Some relatively inexpensive vessel brands do, on the other hand, meet the NMMA ABYC compliance guidelines.

I don't believe mandatory compliance is the best approach, as the bureaucracy it entails almost certainly would drive up boat ownership. It is for this reason that voluntary compliance makes so much sense, it yields more seaworthy, more reliable and yes safer boats, without the administrative cost of ensuring mandatory compliance.
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:19 PM   #100
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I don't believe ABYC compliance significantly drives up vessel cost. It's anecdotal, of course, however, I inspect some very expensive vessels, some are over-priced in my opinion, and their builders make no claims regarding ABYC compliance. Some relatively inexpensive vessel brands do, on the other hand, meet the NMMA ABYC compliance guidelines.
I'd agree with that as it's not significantly more expensive to do things right in the beginning. It is very costly sometimes to correct the mess a builder made of things.

I also don't thing ABYC compliance or lack thereof automatically makes a boat better or worse. However, I do like having a standard and I do want a builder to comply. I also like that I can require compliance and if it doesn't comply they have to fix it.

I think we're all much better off with NMMA and ABYC than we'd be otherwise. I know NMMA was formed to address some serious problems with boat manufacturing. Of course, the manufacturers that were the problem didn't join and when people asked why their boats didn't comply it was that membership was too costly.

I know CE Classification is of limited value but I still give it some value and when I'm looking at two boats and one is A and one is B, then, while I look at other factors, I do believe the A is more seaworthy. We have one of the few 44' sport boats that is built to A standards and I have great confidence in it's seaworthiness.

We, the average consumer, can't be experts on all the technical aspects, and we do need some standards created by those who are expert that we can then look for or insist on.
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