NMMA-certified boats have lower chance of accidents: report

NMMA certified boat at Miami International Boat Show, Virginia Key FL

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) has released the results of a study that examined the effectiveness of its standards in enhancing boating safety. The research firms Industrial Economics and ITA International conducted the analysis, which used NMMA-certified boats to ensure compliance with ABYC standards through their inspection process. And although the results – voluntary standards (for marine safety) reduce the risk of involvement in a focused accident by 43 to 47 per cent – were reported at a recent seminar, it’s now ‘official’.

“The results of this report are a testament to the hard work of the recreational boating industry in their efforts to self-regulate with comprehensive industry safety standards with the goal of protecting the consumer,” says Scott Berry, NMMA’s vice president of engineering standards. “The NMMA certification program ensures all participating boat brands meet the most current safety and boat construction standards to deliver a safe and enjoyable boating experience for boaters and their loved ones.”

The report provided strong evidence that compliance with ABYC’s voluntary standards through NMMA Certification reduces the frequency and severity of the type of boating accidents the standards are designed to address. NMMA-certified boats, which are built to ABYC standards, contribute to fewer fatalities from both reduced occurrences and severity of boating accidents.

The report found that:

  • Boats that are NMMA certified to ABYC standards are 43-47 per cent less likely to be involved in certain accidents.
  • For accidents, NMMA-certified boats reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 26-58 per cent.
    Results strongly suggest the effectiveness of the ABYC-standards at reducing the likelihood of accidents resulting in a fatality among focused incidents.
  • NMMA certification is correlated with a higher likelihood of non-fatal injuries during these types of accidents.

NMMA’s certification programme requires an annual inspection of all boat models as well as proven demonstration that any variances found during inspection are corrected.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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