ABYC Unveils Consolidated Warning Labels

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has released new, consolidated boat warning labels. The labels, released by the non-profit safety standards organization, feature standardized graphics and messaging that's designed to increase boater safety by providing easier-to-understand information.  

New boats have numerous warning labels affixed to them. In addition to the Capacity Plate that appears on vessels sold in Canada, boats manufacturered in the US have more or fewer labels, in dissimilar locations, and with varying appearances. ABYC says the high number of labels diluted the importance of individual warning messages and they are often removed by owners for aesthetic reasons.

The group's label 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,' says 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.

Since 1954, the non-profit American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has developed safety standards for boat design, construction, equipage, repair and maintenance. ABYC's product safety standards, credentialing, education and training are aimed at helping members to make boating safer.