Chair selected for new ABYC committee

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Steve Knox, president of Knox Marine Consultants has been chosen by the American Boat & Yacht Council to chair its new Product Interface Project technical committee, which is charged to identify and address hazard mitigation strategies surrounding the human interface with boats and their associated equipment, ABYC said in a release yesterday.

As an example of the committee’s mission, one of its first orders of business will be to review engine cutoff devices and develop or revise standards as the United States Coast Guard explores the idea of requiring manufacturers to install engine cutoff devices. Currently, no standard exists for these devices. A subcommittee is expected to have a draft standard later this year.

Under Knox’s direction, the committee held its first meeting March 27 – 28 in Baltimore. In addition to the engine cutoff review, Knox also appointed a subcommittee to investigate occupant protection issues. Another subcommittee is investigating possible changes to ABYC Standard H-41 concerning boarding ladders.

The committee also took on two long-term projects. The first deals with a study of perception-response times. Perception time is the amount of time it takes an operator to recognize that a hazard exists. Response time is the time it takes the operator to formulate an appropriate response and put it into action.

The second is studying ergonomics of operation – for example, the placement of various electronics and gauges in such a position that they are easily visible by the operator, without blocking his/her forward visibility.

Knox has worked in almost every aspect of the marine business, from the engineering department of a nuclear submarine to marine survey. His marine survey practice just celebrated its 20th business anniversary.

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