2020 USCG Regulations for Recreational Boats

2020 USCG Regulations for Recreational BoatsCourtesy USCG

In 2020 all recreational boats less than 26′ (7.92m) and capable of producing more than 115 lb-ft (15.9 kgm) of thrust must have an engine cutoff device per ABYC A-33, Emergency Engine/Propulsion
Cut-off Devices (2018).

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) recently published the revised book of USCG Regulations for Recreational Boats, which contains the pertinent parts of the regulation (Title 33 and 46, Code of Federal Regulations) and law (Title 46, United States Code), which governs the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Program.

One change in the 2020 volume comes from the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, with requirements for all recreational boats less than 26 (7.92m) capable of producing more than 115 lb-ft (15.9 kgm) of thrust to have an engine cutoff device per ABYC A-33, Emergency Engine/Propulsion Cut-off Devices (2018). The compliance date was December 4, 2019, and enforcement will be on new boats with hull identification numbers (HINs) ending in A020.

“As these requirements take effect in the middle of model year 2020, builders need to pay special attention to implementation,” said Brian Goodwin, ABYC’s technical director. “The good news is that many builders already provide a cutoff device, and engine and controls manufacturers have products available now that incorporate an A-33–compliant device. Mem­bers of ABYC have access to the A-33 standard via ABYC’s online library and can contact the ABYC Tech Department with compliance questions.”

The USCG Regulations for Recreational Boats book includes information on defect notification, manufacturer certification of compliance, labeling, hull identification numbers, capacity, safe loading, safe powering, testing electrical systems, fuel systems, ventilation, personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, fire extinguishers, marine sanitation devices, accident-reporting requirements, and state numbering systems.

To purchase the USCG Regulations for Recreational Boats online ($50), visit www.abycinc.org/cfr.

ABYC, 613 Third St., Suite 10, Annapolis, MD 21403 USA, tel. 410–990–4460.