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Disclaimer:   I am not a spokesperson for the US Coast Guard or ABYC. For an official interpretation of regulations or standards you must contact the US Coast Guard or other organization referenced..   More.....
Available for consulting, or speaking engagements, on boat building standards or boating safety topics.   Located in the Pacific Northwest.  Please contact me for resume' and rates. Contact Me Here

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Fiberglass Boat layup Disclaimer: Throughout this site, I try to provide contact information for the US Coast Guard, ABYC and other organizations. The information on this website, unless it is a direct quote from the US Coast Guard, the American Boat And Yacht Council or other entity, or the United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, or from a published standard, is my own interpretation of the rules and regulations. I try to keep this as accurate as possible, but laws change, standards are revised, and personnel administering them change. Some standards are controversial. Other persons may have different interpretations or methods of achieving an equivalent level of safety to comply with the regulations and standards. This is a personal web site and not affiliated with the U. S. Coast Guard. Any mistakes are mine. If you have a comment or question, contact me here.

1.  This site is free to all users. Membership is not required.

2. This is an ad-free site,  no user data is collected.  However,  I do have to pay for the domain name and for the web site.    Due to the rising cost of managing the site I have an e-junkie Store where I sell compiled versions of the electrical pages, the pages on Capacity/Loading and Flotation, and the pages on Gasoline Fuel Systems into e-books which are for sale through my store.  The price of purchases you make will be used to fund this website. From the books I earn approximately $300.00 USD which is barely enough to pay for the site.

The entire Electrical Pages, Capacity and Flotation Course,  Gasoline Fuel Systems: Engines and Related  Systems, and supporting spreadsheets, of this website may be purchased and downloaded. They are in ebook PDF format and the spreadsheets are in excel. Payment is through PAYPAL   Please visit the store here.

3.  This site is aimed specifically at persons entering the boatbuilding business but the information is also useful for repairers and boat owners.

4.  I will always try to keep the information simple, in plain english, free of legal jargon, and understandable to anyone.  If I must use a legal or nautical term I will try to provide a defintion or explanation of the term.  I also make sure to differentiate Regulations (laws) from Standards (voluntary industry accepted standards).

5.  I will always try to keep the information up to date. Any omissions or corrections will be gladly accepted.

6.  I will try to keep the design up to date using current coding methods, but simple enough to load quickly on most computers, tablets or smart phones. This site was not specifically designed for use with phones but testing has shown it does fit the screen size of most smart phones although I do not recommend it. I have added a site formatted specifically for phones or tablets.  See above where it says Mobile Site

About me:  I am the sole creator and owner of this site.  I am a retired Coast Guard Officer, and later a civilian Coast Guard employee, who spent over 25 years overseeing and helping the recreational boating industry comply with Federal Regulations for recreational boats.  My experiences with boats began when I was a child and I have been around them all my life, both sail and power.  I spent a brief few years working in the Naval Architecture division of a ship yard before making the Coast Guard my career.  During that career I spent seven years as enlisted working on electronics for Gun Fire Control Systems (so I have an electrical background) and after obtaining a commision as an officer I worked in boating accident investigation, worked with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, managed a large Coast Guard repair facility, and then spent the rest of my career in standards for recreational boats as both an Officer and a civilain employee.  I have worked with ABYC, UL, NFPA, SAE and other organizations involved with standards.

About this site:

This site was created primarily for the prospective or newly established boat builder but has proven to be useful to boat owners. It is intended to be a reference for the beginning boat builder who has decided to build boats and sell them. It does not tell you how to build boats, although it has many links to such sites on Ike's List. It does tell you what things you need to know if you are building or planning to build boats and sell them.

This is not just for wood boats, or fiberglass boats, but for all boats.  The rules, regulations and standards here apply to all recreational boats.  They apply primarily to small craft under 60 feet but that is not a hard and fast rule.  For instance, all recreational boats are required to have a Hull Identification Number regardless of size. Another instance is gasoline fuel systems. The rules apply to all recreational boats with permanently installed gasoline engines. I will state at the beginning of each subject what it applies to because Federal Regulations define what vessels each regulation applies to and ABYC standards do so as well.

The rules stated here apply primarily to boats manufactured and sold in the United States, and boats imported into the United States for the purpose of sale.  Boats imported into the USA by a private party for their own use may also have to meet these rules.  However, I will refer to Canadian and European Economic Community rules and the Recreational Craft Directive. Boats made in the USA for export to other countries must meet the rules for those countries.

It is the boat manufacturer's responsibility to ensure that their products comply with the regulations or laws in the country where they manufacture and/or sell their products. They should get copies of the laws or standards that apply to their products and become thoroughly familiar with their contents. This web site can aide in doing that but boat manufacturers should consult with the US Coast Guard or the authority in their country to be sure that their products meet all of the regulations or standards that apply.

Contrary to what you have been told many times over, regulations are not necessarily a bad thing.  Regulations protect both the consuming public and you, the manufacturer.  They insure the public is getting a safe product and at the same time protect you the builder from frivolous lawsuits. They are not absolute protection, because they do not cover everything that can go wrong. But they provide the public assurance that you are offering a safe product.

There are also other people who can help you.

The Coast Guard people that can help you are at Headquarters in Washington, DC. They are all dedicated professionals, very knowledgeable, and will help you any way they can. You can contact them at  202-372-1077.  They also have a contract factory visit program and new builders are given priority on visits, usually within the first year. Their Web site is https://www.uscgboating.org

 The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) is the standards organization for the boat building industry. They have standards that go way beyond what the Coast Guard requires. I am a long time member, have served on committees, and know the people who work there and they are all very helpful and dedicated to boating safety.  Call them at 410-990-4460 or fax 410-990-4466.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association is the largest industry association for boat manufacturers.

There are many other organizations for boat builders.

American Boat Builders and Repairers Association: https://www.abbra.org/ American Boatbuilders Association (ABA) http://www.ababoats.com/
Independent Boat Builders, Inc. (IBBI): https://ibbi.com/
United Marine Manufacturers Association https://www.ummaonline.com/
Boat Design.net: https://www.boatdesign.net/net/
Wooden Boat Foundation: https://woodenboat.org/
Metal Boat Society: https://metalboatsociety.wildapricot.org/
Professional Boat Builder: https://www.proboat.com/

There are more on Ike's List

Also, most states or regions have a Marine Trade Association that represents its members in the state legislature or on Federal issues.  See ABYC's list of State Trade Associations https://abycinc.org/BlankCustom.asp?page=MTA

If you have feedback on any subject on this web site please contact me. My e-mail link is on every page at the bottom of the Home menu. Quite a few other people have contributed to the content and when possible I have given them an attribution and a link if they have a website or business.

Enjoy the web site and I sincerely hope it helps you succeed with your boat building plans!

Revised 07/01/2021 2007 newboatbuilders.com All Rights Reserved

American Boat And Yacht Council  Boat Design Net  Wooden Boat Foundation
This Web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of educational, economic, and scientific issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this Web site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit educational purposes. For more information see: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this Web site for purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use", you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.