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result? The end result is ultimately saving lives (which
incidentally for lawmaking purposes is worth $3 mil-
lion per life). What we can end up doing, if we are not
careful, is slowly adding cost to the boat for no safety
justification. Adding cost reduces the number of par-
ticipants which eventually reduces the size of our in-
dustry which eventually ends up putting a number of
people out of work (our well meaning commenter in-
cluded). This is big picture stuff here, but something
we all must consider when creating a standard.
While no formula exists like the governments cost
benefit analysis, when data is presented, the ABYC
acts. Take for instance the latest version of E-11 AC &
DC Electrical Systems on Board Boats. A USCG grant
studied issues surrounding in-water shock. Accidents
were analyzed, data was collected and tests were con-
ducted. The information was presented to the ABYC
committee and subsequently a device called an Equip-
ment Leakage Circuit Interrupter (ELCI) has been
added to E-11 2008. This was done over a 2 year time
and will result in lives saved. Bottom line is, even if you
don’t get what you want, the process works and has
been proven for over 50 years; more boats on the wa-
ter, less accidents. I used the term “reasonably safe”
product. No one can foresee abuse or misuse of a
product. When a boat is put hard aground on a rock
jetty at 20 knots, something on the boat will fail and
people will be injured, it’s a fact; can we write stan-
dards that prevent injuries and damage in this situa-
tion? I think we can all agree that it would be a techni-
cal & financial infeasibility to standardize all hazards in
a product, thus the term, “reasonably safe.”
The fact of the matter is that voluntary standards work.
They have the ability to adapt based on safety and
technology and have the teeth of being used in court
during lawsuits. The ABYC process is open and trans-
parent and subjected to comments from anyone af-
fected by the contents of the standard. Membership in
ABYC is not required for participation in the process. If
you take the time to read and comment on a stand
under review, ABYC is required to keep you in the lo
and inform you of the committee decision and your
rights to appeal. All Project Technical Committee
meetings are open, anyone may attend and partici-
pate. Special interests (e.g. promoting a single prod
through standardization) are firmly dealt with and n
tolerated within the standards process. I would enco
age any who might feel the process is flawed to
participate and learn how we have evolved over the
years to become one of the country’s most active co
sensus standards bodies. Criticism is empty without
participation.
Westlawn is an educational affiliate of ABYC.
ABYC standards used to be available only in book form. Later,
the standards became available on CD. Though ABYC stan-
dards have moved to the instant online WebSTIR format, thos
who wish the old book or CD can still purchase them on re-
quest.
Who Will Be The Sept. 2010 Know It All Winner?
Email your answer to:
nnudelman@westlawn.edu
Want to see how much you know? Want to show everyone else how much you know? The first three
people to submit the correct answer to the following question will win a Westlawn tee shirt and cap,
and will also receive a Know It All certificate. The answer and winners to be published in the next issue
of
The Masthead.
Hodge Podge
is a strongly built 52-foot fiberglass motorsailer. A well-designed ocean voyager,
Podge
is fully fitted out
with extensive systems, including hydraulic bow thruster, watermaker, A/C, even a small Jacuzzi. During a recent haul-o
the owner noticed that one of the bronze seacocks for engine intake was severely corroded and discolored and in dang
of failing. With easy access inside the engine compartment, changing the seacock out isn’t a big job, but the owner righ
wants to know if this is likely to happen again. What is the probable cause of
Hodge Podge
’s seacock corrosion proble