The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has released new, consolidated boat warning labels. The updated and standardized graphics and messaging increase boater safety by providing easy-to-understand information. Professional-grade printed sheets are now available from ABYC.
The average new boat has numerous warning labels affixed to it. The same length and style of boat from a different builder may have more or fewer labels, in dissimilar locations on the vessel and with unique appearances. Research found that the high number of labels diluted the importance of individual warning messages and they are often removed by owners for aesthetic reasons.
The ABYC project was based on a National Marine Manufacturers Association commissioned study analyzing information from the United States Coast Guard's (USCG) Boating Accident Reporting Data over the course of five years. ABYC evaluated existing labels based on the top accident types. The result was the creation of new warning labels for a given location on a specific boat type.
"ABYC continues to set the standard for safer boating," said Dave Marlow, ABYC chairman of the board. "Through extensive industry research, it developed guidance for manufacturers to provide consumer warnings in a format that is easier to understand. This is a big step forward and one that will certainly benefit boaters."
Labels can be ordered from ABYC at www.abycinc.org/warnings. Each sheet varies slightly in the warning topics that are present and what is required for the given boat type, including helm, transom, occupant and cabin occupancy.