Boat Manufacturers from across Australia met this week at the Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast, as part of a program of awareness and education concerning the Australian Builders Plate (ABP) standard. The meeting, organised by the Boating Industry Association Ltd, followed almost 12 months of engagement with various state authorities relating to issues pertaining to Builders Plates on vessels manufactured locally and imported.
Meeting Chairman Nathan Nichols, Director of CruiseCraft Boats, opened the forum and welcomed 45 delegates, representing most leading brands of boat manufactured in Australia. The forum covered the background and detail of the ABP standard, management of compliance, the outcomes of recent state agency audit and inspection programs, and an early update on the expected changes to the ABP standard.
The forum was an opportunity for boat manufacturers, importers and dealers to engage with the facilitators regarding ABP requirements and supporting standards. The guidance included detail on technical specifications, the interpretation of legislation and how to manage compliance.
The gathering occurred as a result of concerns surrounding the interpretation of the Australian Builders Plate standard, which defines key criteria for the safety performance of recreational boats. The current standard has been in place since late 2006. Since its launch over 12 years ago, several interpretation queries, anomalies and areas where there is scope for improvement have been identified.
Industry members were joined by representatives of state agencies from Qld, Victoria and NSW, with all delegates sharing information and experience in an open and constructive environment.
It was agreed by all that there is a need for continued education concerning both the ABP standard itself and the technical standards of AS1799, ABYC and ISO. The Boating Industry Association’s Boat Manufacturers Division will be developing a program to support this, with an objective of meeting twice a year.