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Old 27-01-2015, 10:51   #16
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
shouldn't access to the correct information be free and easier?

Mark
"free " ..... Again, who do you think should pay for the costs of creating these standards ?

"easier"..... it's online, doesn't get much easier.
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:53   #17
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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I don't understand - is it now $35/yr? What does a service provider have to do with this?


So you didn't actually read my first post, then?
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:53   #18
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

Why yes would spend the $35 for the standards. Since people buy boating books all the time why would it be questionable they would do so.

I definitely would ask anyone I'm paying to do work to prove to me they know what they are doing.
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:56   #19
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Why yes would spend the $35 for the standards. Since people buy boating books all the time why would it be questionable they would do so.

I definitely would ask anyone I'm paying to do work to prove to me they know what they are doing.
That's real easy. Go to abycinc.org and look them up.
I've had two cases recently with so called "marine electricians" claiming to be ABYC Certified but they are not listed on the ABYC site.
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:56   #20
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

I was ABYC certified as an electrical tech for 10 years and then gave it up after I knew I wasn't going to be working full time professionally again. The standards set a high mark in some regards but a low mark in others. As noted they were originally organized by boat builders for boat building.

One of the problems at the time was that new boats were rapidly developing bad reputations for quality and safety. Potential customers were reading or hearing about problems. The boat builders looked around and found out they were the culprits, or at least some were, and they were poisoning the well. Bayliner was one of the biggies that got it started. Bayliners, true or not, were getting a bad rap.

The standards were, and are still today, only recommendations that even boat builders do not have to follow to the strict letter of the sections. As noted, it seems that the courts and insurance companies are viewing them more and more as standards and not recommendations. The insurance companies want to be able to underwrite boats profitably and having anything goes makes that incredibly difficult. Of course they want to fight claims and use the standards against litigants. But they also want to have some additional assurance that boats are safe and seaworthy. This enables them to offer insurance at a lower cost as the boat builders and owners have to help protect their investment.

Having said that, I have not always followed the ABYC standards 100%, but I did (and do on my boats) to the degree that I could. Some of them are so esoteric that I really didn't have the knowledge or wherewithal to make the boat conform.

But in most cases, it is readily apparent what safety issue is being addressed and why it is a good standard, especially regarding electrical and other fire hazards, e.g. propane systems. For those of who are not boat builders, many of the standards address items that we cannot address without building our own boat. To implement some of them on an old boat would just mean scrapping the boat. But buying new boats is no guarantee that every recommendation has been followed.

I proudly displayed my certification, as did the owner of our boatyard. It certainly gave additional information to prospective customers as to the quality of our work. I would often go on to a boat with a customer and point out the differences of following one recommendation or the other, or not. I would never continue working on a boat where the customer insisted that I cut a corner on a significant safety hazard, e.g. using undersized battery cables or unsafe wiring circuit design. Other times it was not so clear cut.

For example, fusing was an area where the standards are not, even to this date, not always followed. The standards say you must have a fuse both at the alternator and at the end of the alternator wire were it joins the battery system. This is because you are protecting the wire from overheating. When the alternator is charging it is creating electricity. If the fuse at the battery side blows, the wire is still hot the whole length of the wire to the fuse at the end. On the flip side, if a fuse is only at the alternator side of the wire, then the wire can carry full battery current until it burns up if it shorts out at the engine at the end.

I would say that most boats do not have fuses at both ends of alternator wires. Note: small runs may not require two fuses per the standard. My current boat does not but I did put it on on my first boat. But it can be very difficult to find a suitable place to put a fuse at the alternator. Putting one in the middle may not add that much more protection so I have left that situation without two fuses at times.

But in cases where I installed new propane lockers I would only install them to the letter of the standard. The hazards are known. They have resulted in loss of boats and lives. Putting a locker on the flybridge sometimes is more expensive if you have to run a long vent line so propane cannot spill into any boat compartments below. Not a place to go cheap. Or on wire types or wire sizing. Or AC systems. Or inverter installations. Etc etc etc.

As far as ABYC being overly powerful, I think that is a poor description of the intent and usefulness of the standards. The over powerful part is from the courts and the insurance companies. And I guess in a sense, to people like me who insist, in many cases, that the standards be followed on boats that I work on. I had to worry about insurance too.

But my conscience was totally clear as the standards are clearly beneficial even if that is not totally clear to a typical boat owner. I never used an ABYC standard to bump up the work on a boat just to make more money, although I have seen that happen. Knowledgeable boat owners should take the time to get a good explanation from the builder and/or the boatyard and/or tech as to why a particular standard is for.
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Old 27-01-2015, 10:58   #21
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
"free " ..... Again, who do you think should pay for the costs of creating these standards ?
The problem is that it is unreasonable for a boat owner to pay $300/yr just because he wants to install a 4' length of wire. Then continue doing so in the expectation that next year he may install a piece of hose.

It seems like the standards body is composed of people from companies manufacturing boating equipment? Maybe this is the answer?

Or maybe the answer is that people are just a bit over-wound and over-the-top on screaming on about ABYC standards every time Joe Boater installs a stereo speaker and doesn't use the correct wire color, or doesn't use a certified and recently calibrated crimper, etc.

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Old 27-01-2015, 11:00   #22
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post


So you didn't actually read my first post, then?
Calder's book is not the same as ABYC references. I bet there are many instances where one could follow Calder completely, yet still fall outside some esoteric or pedantic piece of ABYC that an insurance company will pick at.

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Old 27-01-2015, 11:01   #23
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The problem is that it is unreasonable for a boat owner to pay $300/yr just because he wants to install a 4' length of wire. Then continue doing so in the expectation that next year he may install a piece of hose.

It seems like the standards body is composed of people from companies manufacturing boating equipment? Maybe this is the answer?

Or maybe the answer is that people are just a bit over-wound and over-the-top on screaming on about ABYC standards every time Joe Boater installs a stereo speaker and doesn't use the correct wire color, or doesn't use a certified and recently calibrated crimper, etc.

Mark
A $300 dollar expense to do things right is a lot less expensive than doing many of them wrong. $300 in my annual boat budget is but a pimple.
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Old 27-01-2015, 11:02   #24
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Originally Posted by Andina Marie
I fear they are frequently biased by fear of legal action should someone following their specifications have an accident.
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Don't know what could give you that impression. example ?
Example of ABYC paranoia.

ABYC required remote monitoring for Galvanic Isolators as well as fail safe design. We have sold about 15,000 Galvanic Isolators over the last 20 years without remote monitoring. (It was not required when we started manufacturing.) They all carry UNLIMITED warranty and to date we have not had a single return. We don't just type test them, EVERY one we make goes through all the ABYC tests (except remote monitoring) before shipping.

In this example, the cost of adding remote monitoring would double the cost and reduce reliability which must be weighed against the possibility of a failure causing electrocution to a swimmer in the water.

The risk of electrocution is miniscule, the consequences are enormous, how do you evaluate the cost/risk ratio involved?

If you are going to spend $100 on monitoring equipment to improve safety, do you spend it on monitoring a galvanic isolator, one of the most reliable items on the boat, or would it be better spent on monitoring engine cooling temperature, or a bilge alarm, or fire suppression, or navigation, or a storm anchor, or . . . .? Failure of these items probably kill 100 times as many as those electrocuted due to a faulty Galvanic Isolator.

I feel that the ABYC required the monitoring equipment not so much to save lives or for practical allocation of funds devoted to safety, but from fear that if they did not require it and someone was killed, they could be subject to legal consequences for not having specified it.
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Old 27-01-2015, 11:02   #25
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

The comical thing () is that most standards are this way; electrical code, building code, ASTM and SAE standards. In many cases they become the basis of law, but in order to read and understand the law you need to buy the code book--often standards are incorporated only by reference but not restated. It feels like a failure in government... and I'm a member of ASTM and NFPA!

Yes, it costs money to develop standards. Even though most the work is done by volunteers, there is considerable overhead. But I could say the same about the development of all regulations and law. This is one of those areas where the public good for putting all of this on the net would far outweigh the cost, and the government needs to step up and pay the ticket. I see a lot of enforcement actions in industry aimed at folks that fail in part because of poor access to information.

I'm not a fan of big government, but this is one of those places where it can help.
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Old 27-01-2015, 11:05   #26
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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Originally Posted by Andina Marie View Post
Example of ABYC paranoia.

ABYC required remote monitoring for Galvanic Isolators as well as fail safe design. We have sold about 15,000 Galvanic Isolators over the last 20 years without remote monitoring. (It was not required when we started manufacturing.) They all carry UNLIMITED warranty and to date we have not had a single return. We don't just type test them, EVERY one we make goes through all the ABYC tests (except remote monitoring) before shipping.

In this example, the cost of adding remote monitoring would double the cost and reduce reliability which must be weighed against the possibility of a failure causing electrocution to a swimmer in the water.

The risk of electrocution is miniscule, the consequences are enormous, how do you evaluate the cost/risk ratio involved?

If you are going to spend $100 on monitoring equipment to improve safety, do you spend it on monitoring a galvanic isolator, one of the most reliable items on the boat, or would it be better spent on monitoring engine cooling temperature, or a bilge alarm, or fire suppression, or navigation, or a storm anchor, or . . . .? Failure of these items probably kill 100 times as many as those electrocuted due to a faulty Galvanic Isolator.

I feel that the ABYC required the monitoring equipment not so much to save lives or for practical allocation of funds devoted to safety, but from fear that if they did not require it and someone was killed, they could be subject to legal consequences for not having specified it.
You probably never had one returned because there was no way of monitoring them and the owners didn't know they had failed. There were also many badly produced pieces of unsafe junk on the market that consisted of a couple of diodes. I think having no ground in your shorepower system is a pretty significant risk.
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Old 27-01-2015, 11:07   #27
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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That's real easy. Go to abycinc.org and look them up.
Gave it a try. Couldn't find the $35 download, just the $475 one or the $50/ea ones. No way to "look them up" or just read them to be able to know what a standard was on something. If there is a way they definitely are not making it easy. So if you know how why you just tell us?

So I don't really understand what your point is. The pricing pretty makes it so that the vast majority of boat owners will never have a copy of the standards.
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Old 27-01-2015, 11:09   #28
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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This is one of those areas where the public good for putting all of this on the net would far outweigh the cost, and the government needs to step up and pay the ticket.
I'm not a fan of big government, but this is one of those places where it can help.
You are the government ( or at least your wallet is). Why should a retailer in Wyoming subsidize ABYC standards for boaters ?
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Old 27-01-2015, 11:11   #29
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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A $300 dollar expense to do things right is a lot less expensive than doing many of them wrong. $300 in my annual boat budget is but a pimple.
This reasoning is completely faulty, yet is the logic many people are applying in threads were ABYC comes up.

One can have complete access to ABYC info and still do things wrong.

One can not ever look at ABYC info and still do things right.

One can purposefully do things differently than recommended by ABYC and be right about it (consider DC/AC bonding, for example).

It isn't about doing things right or wrong - and the ABYC standards are not about doing things right or wrong.

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Old 27-01-2015, 11:12   #30
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Re: Who is the ABYC, Why are they so Powerful?

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You probably never had one returned because there was no way of monitoring them and the owners didn't know they had failed. There were also many badly produced pieces of unsafe junk on the market that consisted of a couple of diodes. I think having no ground in your shorepower system is a pretty significant risk.
This is likely because the vast majority of boat owners have no clue how to test them.. I have found plenty of failed GI's, especially after lightning strikes in marinas. I bet that hardly any of them are returned because most simply don't know they are not working......
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