New York Law Sets PWC Age Limit
Governor George Pataki signed into law a bill that raises the minimum age for operating PWC in New York from 10 to 14 years old.
New York is one of only three states that allowed 10-year-olds to operate personal watercraft alone. The new minimum age rule, signed July 28, is effective beginning Jan. 1, 2006.
While the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA), the trade association representing PWC manufacturers in the U.S., advocates a minimum age of 16 to operate PWC, the group supported the measure passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
Pataki, speaking at the signing at Heckscher State Park in East Islip, N.Y., characterized the bill as a compromise and said he wished the minimum age had been changed to 16. All riders age 14 to 18 will still have to complete eight hours of safety training to receive a boating safety certificate required to operate the units.
“We applaud the New York Legislature and the Governor for approving this proposal,” said Maureen Healey, executive director of the PWIA. “By signing this legislation into law, Governor Pataki has taken a bold step to help ensure capable and mature boaters are at the helm on New York waterways. Personal watercraft are a lot of fun to operate but they should be approached with the same respect and level of knowledge as other boats. The personal watercraft industry thanks Senator Skelos and Assemblywoman Eddington for putting boating safety first and introducing this proposal to require that PWC operators have reached a certain level of maturity.”
The PWIA advocates for states to adopt its model legislation for regulating PWC use. The organziation's model legislation is viewable at www.pwia.org.
Tadd Tapped as NMMA Grow Boating Director
National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has promoted Steve Tadd to the newly created position of director of Grow Boating, a new initiative designed to bring segments of the industry together to attract more participants to the pastime.
Previously the Discover Boating program director at NMMA, Tadd was tapped to enhance communications within all areas of the Grow Boating initiative, ensuring all parties are knowledgeable on the latest efforts and developments.
He serves as the primary liaison for NMMA staff members and the six committees of the Grow Boating initiative as well as the industry as a whole. In addition, he will work with the various industry segments to develop new funding models, develop a governance model and create a long-term strategy for Grow Boating.
For more information on the Grow Boating campaign, visit www.GrowBoating.org.
Seven Awarded at MAATS
Boating Writers International and National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) presented seven companies with Innovation Awards during the Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS), held in late July at the Las Vegas Hilton and Convention Center.
Award winners were: Clean Water Solution's Oil Eradicator; Navionic's Charting System; Humminbird 987c SI Combo; Garelick Hydraulic Lift Outboard Motor Bracket; Volvo Penta of Americas Q-L Boat Trim System; Mari-Tech Industries Wireless Lanyard; and Air-Tight LLC E-Axle
Clean Water Solution's Oil Eradicators, which also was honored with the first-ever Environmental Innovation Award, is made with a foam carrier packed with oil-eating microbes to create a bio-reaction that removes oil from any water's surface.
Navionic's Charting System dissolves charts into a satellite photo of the local area, enabling navigators to see features that may not be visible on an ordinary chart.
The Humminbird 987c SI Combo features a high-definition, side-imaging sonar. The product includes GPS, chart plotting and also helps boaters by memorizing the latitude and longitude of angling hot spots.
The Outboard Motor Bracket from Garelick helps to resolve the issue of raising heavy four-stroke outboard motors.
The Q-L Trim System from Volvo Penta of the Americas, a form of trim tab, pushes a plate vertically downward up to about two inches, rather than extending a plate aft of the hull. Volvo says boats that use this system are quicker to plane, have less drag and have much higher reliability.
Mari-Tech Industries Wireless Lanyard is an electronic outboard kill switch.
Finally, the E-Axle from Air-Tight, LLC, doubles as a spare tire mount and a universal replacement spindle for a trailer. In the unfortunate event of a bearing failure, the E-Axle will have a trailer up and running again in as little as 15 minutes.
Honda Gives S.C. Agency Eight PWC
American Honda Motor donated eight AquaTrax to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The agency plans to use the units to patrol the waters of coastal parks.
Honda makes the AquaTrax and a variety of ATVs at a plant in Timmonsville, S.C.
The PWC, valued at $10,000 each, mark the second major donation from American Honda. Several years ago, the company gave the agency 15 all-terrain vehicles, which are used to patrol the parks.