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View Poll Results: Do you adhere to ABYC Standards when working on your boat?
Yes, always 7 12.50%
Sometimes 39 69.64%
Never 2 3.57%
Don't know, don't care 7 12.50%
I will after my insurance co. denies a claim because I didn't 3 5.36%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

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  #26   IP: 148.170.241.1
Old 05-19-2011, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Getting back to standards, imagine what boats would be like without them. How many previous owner nightmares have we dealt with? Without the standards that would be the norm.
I think that's the issue - complete and utter lack of not only compliance with the standards, but of knowledge of the very existence of the standards. It's been my experience that your average Joe Boatowner doesn't comply with ABYC standards in making do-it-yerself repairs to his vessel in part because he's blissfully ignorant that ABYC even exists, let alone what its standards require. And even if he knows ABYC exists, he's not going to spend the money it takes to either become a member or get copies of the applicable standards. Or even if there is a way to get the standards cheaply or even free, he's not going to make that effort, and he's not going to take all that time to read the damn thing and try to parse it and understand what it requires, let alone go to the trouble and expense of actually doing what it says.

So your typical boat owner goes ahead and makes whatever repairs or mods he thinks are good, based on his own gut feel, past experience, what the guy in the slip next to him says, or what some guy who he knows who's owned a boat for years tells him, or whatever - regardless of whether an ABYC standard applies or what it says or anything else.

It seems to me analogous to your state's building code and local ordinances. Joe Homeowner thinks he's a handyman do-it-yerselfer and decides to rewire his garage, or renovate his kitchen and do all the plumbing himself. Does he even have the slightest clue what "the code" requires? And here, it actually IS a legally enforceable requirement. The guy is not even going to pull a permit from the municipality to do the work, let alone follow the code. He's going to go to Lowe's and buy himself a Bernz-o-matic torch and some copper pipe and stuff and start drilling holes in floor joists, based on what he saw some guy on an HGTV show do.

Seems to me there are "levels" of boat owners. I submit that merely by being here and actively participating in this type of discussion, those that are here are at least slightly above average, because we're at least seeking such knowledge and trying to learn what's "right". I know that a hell of a lot of boat owners don't go to the internet to search for such information. They just ask the guy behind the counter at West Marine or their local boat supply dealer or whatever - or just go to Lowe's and look for hardware that looks right and goops and stuff that say they're waterproof.

So yeah, we're ahead of the game, I think.

There's my 4 cents....
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  #27   IP: 24.152.131.220
Old 05-19-2011, 12:46 PM
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I agree with almost everything you said, however
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRust View Post
I submit that merely by being here and actively participating in this type of discussion, those that are here are at least slightly above average,
I think that's an understatement. This bunch here is light years ahead of your garden variety dock expert, West Marine clerk, many professional mechanics and some marine surveyors. I've said it before, this is a good place to be.
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  #28   IP: 148.170.241.1
Old 05-19-2011, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
I think that's an understatement. This bunch here is light years ahead of your garden variety dock expert, West Marine clerk, many professional mechanics and some marine surveyors.
I did say "at least"...
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  #29   IP: 69.162.16.18
Old 05-19-2011, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndutton View Post
Said another way, what will your boat's next owner have to say about you?
Neil's point really rings true.
Just about everything I do on my boat has this consideration attached to it.
I want to do it right for myself first, but I'm always thoughtful of what the next Captain will think of the "improvement".

There is a huge list of those improvements on my vessel that I really wish the PO had considered me before doing them...
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:52 PM
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When Chris Craft started producing thousands of boats after ww2 they began developing preferred building standards. In the 50’s the refined standards were adopted by many builders. This is what ABYC started with, Chris Crafts bible. Volunteer marine experts through the years provided ABYC with the why and how recommendations contained within the voluntary standards. The standards were first provided at very little cost to cover publishing and related expenses. The goal after all was to promote pleasure craft safety and seaworthiness. It would appear today that ABYC’s main focus is PROFIT!


If ABYC had its way Mr. Moyer would not be able or qualified to step aboard a customer’s boat to change the oil without being certified by them. If insurance carriers required ABYC compliance our boats would be non-insurable.

A legitimate Marine Insurance Co. will not exclude coverage under an all risk yacht policy because the owner or a repairer screwed up and caused a loss. Owner stupidity in some way, shape or form comes into play on most claims with the exception of acts of God. Now if as a condition of coverage the carrier mandated replacement of that worn hose the surveyor noted and it directly let to a subsequent loss, your coverage is voided.

Where do you guys find surveyors that require gas tight motor boxes and do not know what a CNG system is…Craigslist?
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  #31   IP: 24.152.131.220
Old 05-22-2011, 04:59 PM
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Honest question Keel,

Given your view of the ABYC in general - which I'm not arguing - is it your position that the standards are without merit? Don't most surveyors refer to the standards as a benchmark?

And speaking of surveyors, the guy who surveyed my boat when I bought it was a real pip but that's for another thread someday. Come to think of it, how 'bout today? I'll get right on it.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:32 PM
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Sometimes

As someone with electrical engineering training and considerable experience, it is my humble opinion that the ABYC standards for wire gauge is over specified. Specifically, the 3% voltage drop recommendation is not a sound trade off between cost and benefit. If one wires a boat to a 5% voltage drop, it turns out that for almost all circuits, 14 gauge wire can be used.

Also, very fine stranded wire is not needed. Automobile wire is less finely stranded and takes more abuse that wiring on a boat.

I partly rewired my 1975 Sabre 28 recently and found no loose connectors or fatiguing wires - including the lightning protection wires which are connected to the keel bolts sitting in the bilge water. These are un-tinned wires and they are still in service today. 2011 - 1975 = 35 years.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:14 AM
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Voted "always", but have 2nd thoughts

Well, virtually always when possible in modifications I make. My boat, 1975 Tartan 27, as built would not even comply even with the current USCG standards if it were not for the grandfather clauses Or, so as not to betray myself, "grandmother" clauses. No blower, no electric bilge pump, etc, etc. I installed those and other features.

I use ABYC standards as a guide, if I cannot follow them to the letter..
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:42 AM
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I hope I didn’t infer the standards had no merit. Nice bait presentation Neil, I’ll only nibble.

The benchmark standards of real significance are published by the USCG, National Fire Protection Agency and Marine UL equipment testing certification. Builders strive to adhere 100% with these players, ABYC not so. Clearly big brother ABYC hopes that one day the voluntary building standards will be building regulations and your builder will have to go to them for the permit and certified workers.

Sorry Sea Ray and Catalina your well respected apprenticeship programs are just not up to our standards...I mean regulations. We can accommodate your workers at ABYC University so you can practice boat building in the US legally. No, there is no other way of securing a degree and yes, we just opened up a student loan program with competitive rates.

Universal saw the writing on the wall in the 60’s that this robust little updraft motor was doomed. They just made it by USCG regs in the 70’s by installing an electric fuel pump, external scavenger tube direct to the manifold and newly modified flame arrestor. Redesigning the intake and carb for down draft function with space limitations was not viable. Thus began the unsafe atomic bomb propaganda that persists to this day. Let’s just say at the time there were many trade show rumors that a push for the federal government to adopt revised gas engine regs that signaled the demise of the up draft gas marine engine in US pleasure boats was afoot. Who was pushing? Only the insiders know for sure. ABYC needs to pump out a few new standards every year to justify those dues.

Yes Neil reputable and charlatan surveyors use the above standards and then some. You do have to be careful with the ABYC bunch. If your annual dues are late you run the risk of getting a call reminding you of copy right infringement and the no quarter given policy.
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  #35   IP: 24.152.131.220
Old 05-24-2011, 10:00 AM
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Wasn't baiting Keel, really wanted to know how you felt.

The ABYC organization might not be the best but until something better comes along what else do we have? In many cases the USCG has adopted the ABYC Standards verbatim so in a way, endorses them.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:57 PM
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keelcooler...wow!

I have an acquaintance that frequents the same watering hole I do and he was with Westerbeke when they went and shut down..er...I mean, took over Universal's shop in Wisconsin. He said it wasn't real pretty.

So, who's going to design a multi-point fuel injection system for the A-4! - We could do ram induction cold air intakes from a dorade and everything!!!

(ok...at least a 3 point system since we have the goofy asymmetrical manifold arrangement.)
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:37 PM
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I'd be happy with a single-injector throttle-body solution!
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:50 AM
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Thumbs up

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Originally Posted by edwardc View Post
I'd be happy with a single-injector throttle-body solution!
Now we're talking! Who's our artist/concept man?
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:56 PM
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ed,
My old '91 Civic basically came with that..although it was technically Dual Point..it had some sort of aux. injector below the throttle body.

Fortunately, the Si model in 1988-1991 had multi-point injection, so a lot of us "ricer kids" with non-Si models converted to MPFI either by replacing the ol' 92HP DX motor with a different motor & ECU that had it (and re-wire the car, which is what I did) or you could just get a MPFI manifold, and make some wiring modifications to the car..might have had to change out the ECU also...I can't remember right now...it is a little fuzzy. - by the time I was all done, I had ~135 HP in a 2265lbs. sleeper car.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:03 PM
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Facinating that you also drive a Civic. I've owned an '85 (last of the carburetors), a '93, and currently a 2000.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:38 PM
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The non tinned wire on my boat all dissolved into black dust
I have many thousands of open ocean miles on her, so perhaps my use is not typical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by High Hopes View Post
As someone with electrical engineering training and considerable experience, it is my humble opinion that the ABYC standards for wire gauge is over specified. Specifically, the 3% voltage drop recommendation is not a sound trade off between cost and benefit. If one wires a boat to a 5% voltage drop, it turns out that for almost all circuits, 14 gauge wire can be used.

Also, very fine stranded wire is not needed. Automobile wire is less finely stranded and takes more abuse that wiring on a boat.

I partly rewired my 1975 Sabre 28 recently and found no loose connectors or fatiguing wires - including the lightning protection wires which are connected to the keel bolts sitting in the bilge water. These are un-tinned wires and they are still in service today. 2011 - 1975 = 35 years.
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  #42   IP: 209.124.198.180
Old 05-25-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
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Facinating that you also drive a Civic. I've owned an '85 (last of the carburetors), a '93, and currently a 2000.
We have owned 2 Hondas, my wife got the first year Insight (2000) and we had it for quite a few miles. We were able to get an average of 50+ MPG and there were times we could go a lot higher, especially on road trips where we tailed a couple of 18 wheelers, (no, not that close!!! ) and were getting 70+MPG. We sold it after we had a few accidents, (kids, not us... ) and got the 2006 Civic Hybrid and we love it, 4+ years later and 180K miles and going strong. Averaging 40 MPG which is pretty terrific, now if only I can get my '94 F350 Powerstroke diesel to do something like that.
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:33 PM
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I know I have a few nonconforming electrical connections on the MC and plan to correct them this coming weekend. Has anyone used a "liquid tape" product to cover/seal a crimp connection? Dan S/V Marian Claire
Another Honda Civic here.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardc View Post
Facinating that you also drive a Civic. I've owned an '85 (last of the carburetors), a '93, and currently a 2000.
Ed...it gets weirder...my Civics = '78, '85, '91 and an '07 Si sedan (finally one I like without mods.) I still have the '91 too...it just needs a transmission!

There is a '98 Accord hiding in there also that the ex-wife kept, and now I have to help my daughter work on it every time she's home from college now that she's driving it & the ex-wife didn't maintain it.

I got 40 MPG out of my '91 Civic in stock configuration on a road trip when it was new to me with 65K on it. It is now over 240k. (only 10K on the the motor I rebuilt, but even that one gets 31 MPG!!!), better than my '07 Si which is averaging 23 MPG around town, and 30 on a road trip...I love my Si, but the wife's Audi A4 is a much nicer car on long trips, so we usually drive hers!!!

[sorry for the hijack!]
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:36 AM
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I work on boats for a living, I'm not ABYC. Never looked at em... Used to work on a Coast Guard certified passenger vessel that met all CG requirements and again, never looked at ABYC. I've commissioned new boats from the factory and shook my head at the stupid stuff I saw come out of there. Also, many european vessels are not ABYC. I know Swans don't use tinned wire, and they are wonderfully engineered boats.

Insurance companies don't care about ABYC either. I've never seen any reference in denied claims about "not ABYC compliant".

Coast Guard compliant is another matter entirely...
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:31 AM
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Insurance companies don't care about ABYC either. I've never seen any reference in denied claims about "not ABYC compliant".
. . . . . until some surveyor, in an effort to sound official, peppers his survey with "non-ABYC compliant" tags and then some insurance actuary who has never set foot on a boat reads it and either denies or reduces coverage. I offered the choice in the poll as sort of a wisecrack but it was born of experience. You see, that happened to me.

I had such a surveyor. As a result my original insurance company and I had a year long dialogue over repairs, when they would be done and who was doing them before they cancelled me. The straw that finally broke the camel's back was not an ABYC issue although I had my share of those. It had to do with a recommended rigging survey that turned into a condition of coverage. I argued why spend $600 on such a survey when I'm replacing all the rigging anyway? They didn't agree. No survey, no insurance.

That's an example of how dogmatic and heavy handed the insurance company was regarding the survey recommendations.

edit:
six years and three insurance companies later I'm now insured for 4X the value of the original policy at 1/4 the cost. My current carrier did not require a survey but rather sent out their own "inspector" with a 2 page form to fill out and a digital camera in hand. Apparently they've had their own surveyor problems in the past.
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Last edited by ndutton; 06-26-2011 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:11 AM
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Guess I was a little too sweeping in my generalizations. Sorry about your survey problems.

Might be a nice thread to put up sometime if you feel like reliving the past. I don't think I've ever seen a post on insuring our old boats and it would be educational to see how different people in different regions are handling this issue.
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Old 06-27-2011, 03:06 AM
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Judging by the response here to the original question: what "significance (do) the Standards play in repairs or modifications," I would say that most of you are at least sympathetic to their intent.
But – as was mentioned in several posts – the logic of some of them, as well has the motives of the insurance companies certainly can be questioned.
This means the more knowledgeable among you can pretty much decide when and where to comply.
Whereas I am pretty much an amateur, I cannot, and – believe me – I am more than a little grateful for this site and the expertise that can be found here.
So, what I would like to see is a "Cliff's Notes" version of the standards (or at least a Top 10 list) that are most worthwhile.
(If you guys could go to work on this, you could probably publish by the end of the year, and I could be in nearly full compliance by the start of the 2012 season!)
But, in all seriousness, what topics would lead a Top 10 list?
For example, in another post, it seemed that there was some question about the use of galvanized pipes on hot exhaust sections and there seemed to be a question about whether a prohibition was necessary, so that standard might not make the top of anyone's list.
Vented loops, on the other hand, seem to be a no-brainer.
So, could the Forum come up with a rough outline of "Forum Standards?"
Or, put another way, what standards would you rather not be leaving the dock without?
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:34 AM
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Seems to me that the issues of topmost significant importance would be fuel storage and handling and electrical systems. Those are the things that could either blow up or burn down your boat and put a serious crimp on your boating day.

Of course, they're all pretty important, but, for example, how the toilet is plumbed might not have quite the same potential for imminent catastrophe as a leaking gasoline tank or an overloaded wiring harness.

I definitely would like to be able to take a look at the ABYC standards for guidance, if nothing else - too see what the purported "gold standard" in industry is. The problem is that they aren't freely or even easily available anywhere, and I don't want to spend a few hundred bucks buying them all.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:15 AM
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Sorry Gary, but myself and a few others aren't running anti-siphon valves because my drystack takes care of that instead, and its made from True Value's finest galvanized pipe! I also have a Vetus waterlift and am not "ABYC compliant" in many areas of my boat, and I sometimes drink red wine with fish instead of white.

Each boat has its own challenges and what works on one type won't work on another. Hence the variable responses on this forum.

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