New requierments for boats over 20ft.

Discussion in 'Stability' started by dougfrolich, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. dougfrolich
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    dougfrolich Senior Member

    From Schumers Home Page:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2012


    U.S. Coast Guard Only Requires Capacity Limits to Be Posted on Recreational Vessels Under 20 Feet; Urges Same Rule for Larger Vessels

    Investigation Still Underway As To Whether Capsized Vessel Was Capable of Handling 27 Passengers, But Posting Capacity Limits on Boats a Step in the Right Direction that Would Erase All Doubt in the Future

    Schumer: It Doesn’t Make Sense That We Require Capacity Limits be Posted for Everything from Ballrooms to Classrooms, But Not Recreational Vessels Over 20 Feet

    United States Senator Charles E. Schumer, joined by the parents of Long Island boating victim, Victoria Gaines, called on the United States Coast Guard to require capacity limits for recreational boats over 20 feet in length and require that those limits be visibly posted onboard to educate and warn operators and their passengers of the vessels’ total passenger capabilities and weight load. In a letter to Commandant Papp of the U.S. Coast Guard, Schumer urged for the same requirements for recreational vessels smaller than 20 feet be applied to recreational vessels larger than 20 feet and for those capacity limits to be visibly displayed to anyone boarding the boat. Schumer’s request comes after the tragic loss of three children, including 7-year old Victoria Gaines, when a 34ft Silverton boat carrying 27 passengers capsized in Cove Neck immediately following a July 4th fireworks show. While an investigation examining the reasons for the vessel’s capsizing is still underway, there have been numerous questions raised about overall capacity capabilities for such vessels.

    “In the memory of the children we lost on that awful day, we can take some simple steps to educate and warn boat owners and their passengers how many people a vessel can safely handle,” said Schumer. “It doesn’t make much sense that we require capacity limits be posted for most everything from ballrooms to classrooms, and boats under 20 feet in size, but not recreational vessels over 20 feet.”

    In his letter to the U.S. Coast Guard, Schumer noted that the vessel that capsized last week was thirty-four feet long and did not require a U.S. Coast Guard Capacity Information plaque onboard. Schumer argued that such a visibly displayed plaque can help dissuade boat owners, or passengers, from overcrowding a vessel, serving to prevent future tragedies from occurring. Schumer pointed out that the Coast Guard has the clear regulatory authority, and responsibility, to promulgate regulations for the promotion of safety of life as expressed in Title 14 section 2 of the U.S. Code. Schumer called on the Coast Guard to also require that those limits be posted visibly next to the steering console or the stern of boat, and in full view of boarding passengers.

    “While we explore what exactly went wrong during this trip, it is vital we do everything possible to ensure that no family ever has to experience the grief that we are currently going through,” said Paul Gaines. “Posting capacity limits on boats over 20 feet would be a huge step forward and we appreciate the senator’s work and plan to continue working with him to put every possible safety measure in place to protect passengers in the future.”

    “It’s my hope that the posting of capacity information will better inform passengers and operators of the capabilities of the vessels they are boarding and operating so that no parent or family member ever has to experience the kind of horrific tragedy we saw last week,” Schumer continued.

    A copy of Schumer’s letter to the U.S. Coast Guard can be found below.

    Dear Commandant Papp,

    I am writing in regard to a recent Long Island tragedy that occurred on July 4th. After a large fireworks show in Cove Neck, a recreational boat capsized and sank. Sadly, three young children were killed. There were twenty-seven passengers aboard that boat and the boat was designed to hold far fewer. I strongly urge the United States Coast Guard to implement regulations that would require all recreational vessels to establish capacity requirements and to require posting of the requirements on the vessels in a highly visible location for all passengers to see.

    As you are aware, the United States Coast Guard regulates the capacity requirements on recreational vessels twenty feet or smaller in length. The boat that capsized was thirty-four feet long, therefore a U.S. Coast Guard Capacity Information plaque was not onboard. This lack of oversight quite possibly could have prevented this tragedy from occurring. In the memory of the three children who lost their lives that day, Victoria Gaines, David Aureliano and Harlie Treanor, it is of the utmost importance for capacity limits to be established for all recreational vessels.

    Currently, the United States Coast Guard requires that recreational boats smaller than twenty feet long post capacity information next to the steering console or stern of boat. The Coast Guard has the clear regulatory authority and responsibility to promulgate regulations for the promotion of safety of life as expressed in Title 14 section 2 of the U.S. Code. In the wake of this tragedy it is imperative that the United States Coast Guard require all recreational boats to post capacity information in a highly visible location for all passengers to see. This will provide passengers, who are not familiar with boating capacity and safety measures, the option to choose whether or not they feel safe boarding the boat.

    It is quite clear that the United States Coast Guard must implement these two regulations in order to prevent a tragedy, such as the one in Long Island on July 4th, from occurring. In memory of Victoria Gaines, David Aureliano and Harlie Treanor, I hope that you will understand the importance of these regulations.
  2. tazmann
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    tazmann Senior Member

    Tragic yes but at some point we need to hold the skipper-captain-owner responsible for there own stupidity. I thought there was already laws as to how many people you can carry in a private boat without license?
  3. Red Dwarf
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    Red Dwarf Senior Member

    This kind of low class exploitation pisses me off.:mad: The senator knows this will get a ton of press due to the nature of the tragedy so his political machine issues statements like this to stir the pot and sound like a savior of the poor innocent public.

    The sad part is once the lawyers are done everyone involved including the boat manufacturer will probably be broke.
  4. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    There's question how to determine payload - and how to account for intact stability when doing so. Does anyone know if ISO has developed a method? Here's a starting point. ISO 12217-1 is applicable to boats such as Kandi Won where intact stability is concerned, but I don't own a copy, and I don't know if a capacity rating is produced by means of ISO 12217-1.

    At this thread I proposed that rated capacity in individuals/(length*beam^2) should generally be < or = 0.0045 (units: feet). I don't think this should be the sole criterion, but something like it has a place in a set of several criteria. Ideally one would use waterline dimensions when making this calculation; if using overall dimensions a value of 0.0040 might be more suitable.

    Kandi Won, a Silverton 34, reportedly had 27 people aboard (10 of them children). There have been several model Silverton 34s with different beams, but if I were to use overall dimensions (rather than waterline dimensions) and guess that Kandi Won's are 34'x13', then 27/(34*13^2) = .0047, a tad over my proposed cutoff.

    I wonder whether the real issue here might be number of people on the flying bridge. Vertical center of gravity and waterline beam affect intact stability far more than any other particulars. For boats in this size range with an upper deck or flying bridge, perhaps the number of persons allowed there should be limited (in addition to an overall capacity limit). For production boats, this should probably be calculated for each model by a naval architect using the initial weight study before the boat is built, and confirmed by an inclining experiment once a fully equipped prototype or production hull #1 is launched. Any installation of a major weight high in the boat, say an A/C compressor, should further reduce the upper deck capacity rating.

    Another thing to consider is whether positive flotation or watertight bulkheads might have kept Kandi Wan from sinking once she did capsize, and whether these should be required. Keep in mind that empty watertight tanks can be part of a positive flotation approach.
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Legislation isn't going to prevent boneheads, from backing their butts into a hole they can't escape from, which is clearly the case here. I'm not sure anything should come out of this, other then jail time for the skipper. We can all attempt to second guess what might have happened, if this or that had been installed or preformed, but my point is stupidity or in this case possably gratuitous maliciousness or wanton disregard, can be addressed.

    I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with this particular boat or the regs surrounding it. It was an unfortunate incident and the only thing that should come out of it, is the toll exacted on the skipper, that clearly had his head up his butt. He had to know. He had to feel the boat rolling around with everyone up on the fly bridge. He had to know "she didn't feel right" with them up there, but he took no appropriate action, making him liable. The law reads "take reasonable action" or "make a reasonable attempt". The results suggest otherwise, so he should face multiple counts of intentional manslaughter, because you can't unintentionally not notice the rolling. I can only imagine what it was like on that boat the 1/4 hour before the incident. This is when he became liable.
  6. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    27 people equates to well over 2 tonnes of moveable top hamper on a 34 footer, coastal waters, motor cruiser. A very sad story and a cautionary lesson to be learned, as graphically illustrated in this video.
  7. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    No more regulation please, I hardly dare go out of my house for fear of breaking a law as it is.

    You can not regulate against stupidity anyway but they keep trying.
    1 person likes this.
  8. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    We as people are not alowed to think for our selves any more our brains are bored . common sense has no meaning . its just something we used to have long long ago and gave it away !!.
    take away all the safety barriers seat belts in cars and airbags plus safety glass ,child locks on car doors !! crash helmets for a push bike and motor bikes We have this fixation in our minds when we drive we cant get hurt so we go faster and drive with little or no care .
    I had one guy given to me because he was accident prone at work so my remody was if you touch any safety at any time you get your fired on the spot . No goves no glassed , no helmets and no ear muffs for a week . His answer was how can i work then . my answer carefully and with thoughts of others around you .
    day one very little work !
    days two about the same
    day three i got to do something
    day four wow its not that hard
    day 5 he enjoyed a day of doing work the way we used to and no accidents for the rest of the month he never had a accident he even looked out for others that we careless and dangerous .
    When you get home tonight gather up all you kids toys and put them away cut the plug ogg the computer and put it away as well hide the remote for the tv and open the doors in you house . pep out side there a whole world waiting !! .
    People are stupid !!,really absolutely stupid !!!:eek:
    We are sheided to much and common sense has go out the window .
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    And you hav'nt been to UK recently. There are 20MPH speed limits in some places.

    Funny that we have 30MPH bump capable cars with seat belts and air bags ,-----what for 20MPH!!!!.

    Its infuriating that health a safety officers of 22 years old with no real on the floor years of training tell others that have what to do.

    I can cut my toe nails with a 4 inch grinder and never use a guard--at all. Im told I would not be able to work. Ive done things with a grinder the health and safety would have never seen before.
  10. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer


    ISO 12217-1 Small Craft- Stability and buoyancy assessment and categorization Part 1 Non-sailing boats of hull length greater than or equal to 6m certainly includes a stipulated passenger load. They do not say how many people the boat can carry, rather you indicate how many folks will be in the crew and then prove the vessel has adequate stability (meeting or exceeding their requirements under various conditions) with these people aboard. This includes crowding them all hard against the rail on one side.

    Beam of the Silverton 34 (to 1988) is 12'6".
  11. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    People who stick 27 people on a 35 foot boat can't read anyway. Should it be in multiple languages. What about people who get a 200hp outboard boat and put a 300hp on it? What about children, or fat people? The boat is going to need a book with all kinds of charts in five languages.
  12. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    Pointing fingers doesn't bring dead children back to life. So I'm not attempting to suggest who should be sued; I don't know and I don't care. My interest is in preventing future accidents.

    Since doing nothing may lead to more dying in future accidents I'm with my senator, Chuck Schumer, in believing manufacturers need to provide clear information on the operating limits of their boats. To those who are inclined to call the owner/skipper an idiot: what information should non-idiots put in the hands of other recreational boat owners to educate them? Not a ship stability book, mydauphin; something clearer & simpler.

    Here's a suggestion from Preliminary Design of Boats & Ships (Cyrus Hamlin, 1989), p. 70:
    Natural Period, T = Kr * beam / GM^0.5
    GM = [Kr * beam / T]^2

    GM = waterline beam, feet
    Beam = waterline beam, feet
    T = measured rolling period, seconds
    Kr = a constant, preferably derived..., otherwise use .42 for fine waterplanes, .44 for average, and .46 for full (metric .76, .80, .83 respectively).​
    Ibid, p. 71:
    A handy use of this relationship between GM and the rolling period was told to me by Jan-Olof Traung, for many years chief of the Fishing Vessel Section of the Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations. We were in Indonesia discussing some of the perilously loaded small craft one sees in developing countries. In order to evaluate the safety of these craft quickly and on site, he used the criterion that if the rolling period of a boat was greater than the beam of a boat in yards (or meters), then the GM, and hence its stability, was questionable. For instance, if you time the rolling period of a boat with a beam of 18' (6m) as more than 6 seconds, it would be best to stay off it.​
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't think this is a design issue. It's an education or level of expertise issue. We require considerable regulation and testing for driving a car and an aircraft, but precious little for a boat. This is mostly a numbers thing, and I'm not advocating boating driver's licenses, but mandatory Power Squadron (or other agency) small boat handling courses might be a good step. Possibly the course requirement could be around the vessel purchase, with near and off shore add on's as required, based on what you bought and what previous course you've attended. Naturally, this will require federal intervention, because state derived education systems will be wide and quite variable. A state like Kansas wouldn't show the willingness a state like Florida or California might, mostly (again) because of the numbers thing and the ability to justify the costs associated with a new program. Of course nothing will come out of this, because no famous senator's son was killed, but eventually someone with a bit of clout will get on board and will find a way to get it funded. Lets hope we don't have to suffer many more incidents like this in the mean time.
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    There is already laws. A captain of a passenger vessel is supposed to have some qualifications.

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It wasn't a passenger vessel, it was a pleasure craft and no there's zip required for skippers of these. This is the problem, he just didn't have a clue and should have.
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