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Propeller guards not required on recreational houseboats

OCT. 22 --The U.S. Coast Guard has decided that propeller guards will not be required on all recreational houseboats.

The Coast Guard posted its decision in the Oct. 18 Federal Register. It was based on the conclusion that boater education would be more effective at reducing propeller injuries.

“The Coast Guard originally proposed this rule as a first step that would eventually consider requirements for propeller guards or avoidance measures on all propeller driven boats,” said John McKnight, director of environmental and safety compliance for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The NMMA, working closely with the Small Business Administration, found that safety education and labeling provided a more effective way to reduce propeller-related accidents, according to McKnight.In the Federal Register, the Coast Guard noted characteristics of the safety measures proposed and said the original cost estimate of $300 per installation on each houseboat was not realistic.

“NMMA has worked to educate boaters on proper and safe operation of motorboats, and we continue to work alongside our industry partners to provide the best possible solutions to boat safety and efficiency,” said the NMMA’s president Thom Dammrich, in a statement.