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Discussion Starter #1
This is from the USCG on FAQ about the new law that went into efffect on April 1 2021 . There has been some information that has been left out by some authors of some magazines,media,etc. about the law .This will clarify most of the questions many have asked. In particular, Q 3-6-9 Engine/Propulsion Cut-Off Devices
 

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I think I need an attorney....

“Cabin: An enclosed and protected area on a boat. “The boat’s cabin was wide and roomy with plenty of space for relaxing out of the weather.” It can range from a small “cuddy cabin” to large living spaces.“
 

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Why not just post the actual Bill which amended the law? I mean instead of trusting some "authors"?


You have to scroll down to Section 8316

SEC. 8316. ENGINE CUT-OFF SWITCHES; USE REQUIREMENT.
(a) In General.--Section 4312 of title 46, United States Code, is
amended--
(1) by redesignating subsections (b), (c), and (d) as
subsections (c), (d), and (e), respectively; and
(2) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
``(b) Use Requirement.--
``(1) In general.--An individual operating a covered
recreational vessel shall use an engine cut-off switch link while
operating on plane or above displacement speed.
``(2) Exceptions.--The requirement under paragraph (1) shall
not apply if--
``(A) the main helm of the covered vessel is installed
within an enclosed cabin; or
``(B) the vessel does not have an engine cut-off switch and
is not required to have one under subsection (a).''.
(b) Civil Penalty.--Section 4311 of title 46, United States Code,
is amended by--
(1) redesignating subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), and (g) as
subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h), respectively; and
(2) inserting after subsection (b) the following:
``(c) A person violating section 4312(b) of this title is liable to
the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than--
``(1) $100 for the first offense;
``(2) $250 for the second offense; and
``(3) $500 for any subsequent offense.''.
(c) Effective Date.--The amendments made in subsections (a) and (b)
shall take effect 90 days after the date of the enactment of this
section, unless the Commandant, prior to the date that is 90 days after
the date of the enactment of this section, determines that the use
requirement enacted in subsection (a) would not promote recreational
boating safety.
 

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Why not just post the actual Bill which amended the law? I mean instead of trusting some "authors"?
Because then you would not have posted the excerpt from the actual bill and we would not know that you existed until your future first post. Welcome and thanks for posting it but damn it took me more than one reading to understand it.
 

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Another reason not to post the bill language is because it is confusing, opaque and not the actual law. In fact, it leaves out important aspects of the law (see, e.g., reference to "subsection (a)," which is not included in the bill). The bill is simply what the legislature wishes to change, delete from or add to the existing law. So, you need to read the bill along with the existing law (or just wait for the amended law to come out).

Or, you can just do what Cap.t Nick did, which is post a nice, plain language summary from a trusted sources who's already done the work for us.
 

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Another reason not to post the bill language is because it is confusing, opaque and not the actual law. In fact, it leaves out important aspects of the law (see, e.g., reference to "subsection (a)," which is not included in the bill). The bill is simply what the legislature wishes to change, delete from or add to the existing law. So, you need to read the bill along with the existing law (or just wait for the amended law to come out).

Or, you can just do what Cap.t Nick did, which is post a nice, plain language summary from a trusted sources who's already done the work for us.
The bill (now that it is LAW) is simply the changes, additions and deletions of existing law (which is easily referenced)...................NOT the legislature wishes.

But by all means if you want to trust the FAQ section on a website, go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
V-Tinny What's on there that you think isn't true?
 

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V-Tinny What's on there that you think isn't true?
These 3 questions contain conflicting information and/or information not mentioned in the Bill or current text of the law.

Q9 indicates that 2020 manufactured boats must have a switch and the owner must maintain it.

Q19 indicates that if your boat was not required to have the switch, but has one and it's broken, you do NOT have to use it.

Q22 indicates that if your boat was not required to have a switch, but it does have one (no mention of working or not) you HAVE to use it.

Which is it? Maybe someone with a Law background can use the text in the Bill and reference the specified sections of the law and show use where it says that if you have a switch and broken you do NOT have to use it.


Q9. My boat doesn’t have an Engine Cut-Off Switch, do I need to install one?
A9. No, unless the boat was built on or after 1 JAN 2020. The installation requirement applies to manufacturers, distributors and dealers of “covered recreational vessels” after 1 JAN 2020. For those boats, an Engine Cut-Off Switch must be installed and the owner is required to maintain it.


Q19. My 18-foot boat (2019 model) has an Engine Cut-Off Switch but it is broken and does not function. Do I need to use it?
A19. No. However, the Coast Guard recommends that your repair the Engine Cut-Off Switch and use it when operating on plane or above displacement speed.

Q22. My new 20-foot boat that was purchased in January 2020 doesn’t have an engine cut-off switch. Is it supposed to have an ECOS and do I need to use one?
A22. If you purchased a boat in 2020, there is a good chance that boat was built before the ECOS installation requirement was in place. The ECOS installation requirement was implemented in the middle of the 2020 model year, so determining the model year is the first step in determining whether or not your boat is required to have an ECOS. This is done by checking your boats’ hull identification number (HIN), which all boats are required to have. The HIN is usually found on the starboard outboard side of the transom, but can also be found on the boat’s certificate of number (i.e., registration). Characters 9 and 10 represent the date of certification of the boat. Character 9 represents the month, A-L for January-December, respectively. The 10th character represents the year of certification, with the last digit corresponding to the last digit of a specific year (e.g., “0” = 2020). For a model year 2020 boat to be required to have an ECOS installed, it would have an “A0” – “G0” certification date for the 9th and 10th characters of the HIN, and “20” for the 11th and 12th characters of the HIN. Please note that a “0” as the 10th character of the HIN could represent 2010 or any other year ending in a “0” including 2020, which is why the model year represented by the 11th and 12th characters must be considered (e.g., “A010” would represent a boat certified in January 2010, and “E000” would represent a boat certified in May 2000.) If the boat has an ECOS installed you have to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I would agree with the answer for # 9. if you have a 2020 Hull built after Jan. 1st .with a switch installed you should be expected to maintain it . just as you would have to maintain your navigation lights.As for 19 or 22 . If you have a broken switch on a hull built before Jan1st. 2020, that is not required, you can either fix it, replace it , and wear it while on plane or remove it. Those are the choices.
 

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I would agree with the answer for # 9. if you have a 2020 Hull built after Jan. 1st .with a switch installed you should be expected to maintain it . just as you would have to maintain your navigation lights.As for 19 or 22 . If you have a broken switch on a hull built before Jan1st. 2020, that is not required, you can either fix it, replace it , and wear it while on plane or remove it. Those are the choices.
Q19 says you don't have to wear it, if not broken. But Q22 is talking about the same boat (one not required to have a switch) and it says "If the boat has an ECOS installed you have to use it.". Which would mean you have to wear it whether it works or is broken.
So which is correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
The way I'm reading it is, Q19 says the boat is a 2019- a cut off switch is not required.Q22 says the boat was purchased new in Jan 2020 and doesn't specify that it was a left over 2019, so I wouldn't know if it was the same year hull. 2020 Hulls are built and registerd between June 2019 through July 2020 . A 2020 boat with a HIN or registration with the letters A0-G0 represent the month it was made. A= jan.- G= May , etc. .If the hull was built between Jan. and May 2020, a cut off switch was not required to be installed by the manufacturer or the dealer because the law didn't go into effect until June 2020. since it was bought in Jan. 2020, it had to be built between June 2019 and Jan. 2020, making it exempt from the cut off switch law. .If there is one installed , you must use it is what it says. I'm sure they are referring to a 2020 hull in Q22. I think I have all that right?
 

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The way I'm reading it is, Q19 says the boat is a 2019- a cut off switch is not required.Q22 says the boat was purchased new in Jan 2020 and doesn't specify that it was a left over 2019, so I wouldn't know if it was the same year hull. 2020 Hulls are built and registerd between June 2019 through July 2020 . A 2020 boat with a HIN or registration with the letters A0-G0 represent the month it was made. A= jan.- G= May .If the hull was built between Jan. and May 2020, a cut off switch was not required to be installed by the manufacturer or the dealer because the law didn't go into effect until June 2020. .If there is one installed , you must use it is what it says. I'm sure they are referring to a 2020 hull in Q22.
Sure, but if it's a 2020 hull built in 12/2019 then it is NOT required.

See why I posted what I did? It's confusing and NOT law.

I'm no lawyer but I'd bet that their "answer" to Q19 is wrong. Otherwise the law will drastically reduce the usage in boats NOT required to have one. If stopped by an Officer and you are not wearing it, just say it's broken. What an they do? You can stop them from checking it, right? I mean what would be their reasoning since it is NOT required safety equipment? Can they check your trim tabs? No. Why would they be able to check the kill switch?
That's why my understanding of the law is as stated in Q22. IF the boat has one, whether required or not, it must be attached at the required times.

Please are there any lawyers who want to chime in on what I've jut posted?


Also the highlighted section of your post is something else you are misunderstanding. The 2020 "Model" boats that'= are NOT required are those built BEFORE 2020. ANY boat built in 2020 is required. Some 2020 "Model"s were built prior. Like cars, the new model comes out then prior July or so.

Just read Q9 again - and your own post above this one. YOU just gave a conflicting opinion. Also look at Q6.


Q6. What boats need to have an Engine Cut-Off Switch installed?
A6. Boats less than 26 feet in length that generate more than 115lbs of static thrust (~ 2-3hp) and were built beginning in January 2020. If the boats’ primary helm is inside an enclosed cabin it is not required to have an Engine Cut-Off Switch.

It's not May (like you just stated above) it's January. You agree?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I didn't author the article.I think your best bet would be to contact the Coast Guard and tell them why it doesn't make sense to you. When I took my Coast Guard OUPV test, I was told that there were 3 possible Coast Guard answers. The right answer, the wrong answer , and the answer the Coast Guard wants .
 

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I didn't author the article.I think your best bet would be to contact the Coast Guard and tell them why it doesn't make sense to you. When I took my Coast Guard OUPV test, I was told that there were 3 possible Coast Guard answers. The right answer, the wrong answer , and the answer the Coast Guard wants .
You may not have written it, but you did post it........for reference. and NOW you're saying that the USCG gives 3 different answers? I'd like to see what @goose70 has to say about it, he said they are a "Trusted" source.
How about your conflicting answers, based on it? Is it June 2020? Or is it January 2020? You've said both.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Contact the Coast Guard and ask them if the material I posted is wrong. If it is, I'm guilty for posting the wrong article. I posted it after reading many other articles that I thought were less comprehensive . If it's wrong , I didn't do it purposely . Go with your own instincts on the matter .
 

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Contact the Coast Guard and ask them if the material I posted is wrong. If it is, I'm guilty for posting the wrong article. I posted it after reading many other articles that I thought were less comprehensive . If it's wrong , I didn't do it purposely . Go with your own instincts on the matter .
Wow, you guys here are funny. I'm supposed to fact check YOUR info. Geez, sorry I started posting here
 

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V-Tinny, I think you might want to read back through this discussion. Capt. Nick posted what he thought would be helpful information for all of us -- information he copied from the Q&A section prepared by the very agency that enforces and helps write these regulations. Your inaugural posting on this site was to criticize his effort. Not a great way to introduce yourself.

Regarding the bill language that you posted, I decided to point out to the folks who (understandably) found it confusing that bills, such as this one, often only contain a part of the existing law that they propose to modify; one needs to read the bill side-by-side with the full, existing law to make sense of it. (And once the bill passes, just read the new law.) Even then, it can be confusing. I say this as an attorney who prepares clients to testify before congress and who has been involved in the legislative drafting process.

That is why Capt. Nick's post is helpful. I have not read the full law because I currently have no interest in doing so, and because my paying clients barely leave me with enough time to type out this post. Upon a quick reading of the Q&A, however, I don't see the discrepancies that you see. The Q&A seems to concern both what this newly amended law requires and also what is considered best practice as a matter of common law (e.g. -- everyone's duty not to act negligently). You are correct that enforcement agencies can sometimes be wrong in their descriptions of what certain laws/regs require, as can lawyers, for that matter. Where laws aren't as clear as they should be, the only way to gain complete clarity is to wind up in a case and have a judge rule on it. But Nick's post is a pretty good start.

If I find time to read this more closely soon, then I'm happy to share any additional thoughts I have on the Q&A questions.
 
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