Coast Guard Now Requires Emergency Shutoff Switches

With the passage of The Frank Lobiondo Coast Guard Authorization of Act of 2018, the federal organization is now requiring emergency cutoff switches on all new boats less than 26 feet long and capable of developing 115 pounds or more of static thrust.

The engine cutoff switch provision “includes, but is not limited to, inboard engines, outboard motors and sterndrive engines.” Switches also need to meet American Boat and Yacht Council Standards.

Additionally, for those who boatowners who document their vessel with the U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center, the length of time the certificate will be valid increases from one to five years, easing a boater’s paperwork burden.

The recreational boating advocacy group BoatUS applauded the passage of the requirements and thanked the leadership of Sen. John Thune, Sen. Bill Nelson, Rep. Bill Shuster and Rep. Peter DeFazio for their efforts in securing the reauthorization.