NMMA issues Action Alert

CHICAGO – The National Marine Manufacturers Association issued an Action Alert message to its members on Friday, calling on them to contact the Florida Board of Professional Engineers about the state’s professional engineering licensing laws.

NMMA said the Ad Hoc Committee of Professional Engineer Licensing of Florida is reaching out to marine businesses, asking them to let the committee know how the community would like to see the PE licensing laws interpreted for the marine businesses. The issue not only affects businesses in Florida, but also could serve as a precedent for other states, according to the association.

In 1999, naval architecture and marine engineering became licensed professions under the Florida Professional Engineering licensing laws. However, NMMA said in the case of naval architecture and marine engineering, there is a huge adverse effect that has become apparent, and that any individual that does engineering designs, calculations or makes any kind of engineering decision without a PE license is subject to a misdemeanor fine of up to $5,000 and may be ordered to cease and desist practicing.

Naval architects, marine engineers, designers of small craft, as well as employees of boat repair yards and possibly some builders are impacted by this issue, the association reported. If a boat yard, for example, changes a propeller on a boat, installs a new engine, or changes a rig on a sailboat, it is practicing engineering and, therefore, is under the purview of the PE licensing laws.

Specifying a laminate schedule, deciding on frame sizes and skin thickness, installing deck hardware, rewiring or replumbing a boat, are all examples of practices that involve engineering decisions.

NMMA also provided a link to download a form in PDF format its members could mail in to offer input on the issue.

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