Sailaway, I wouldn't be surprised to see that label. In Connecticut you must (it's state law) take a short course to operate a PWC. I suppose if and when we get enough people on the water that will get extended to other types of boats. About half the states now require some sort of boating education. It's grandfathered in many states for us old folks but I went and got the card anyway.
The ABYC requirement on connectors is misunderstood. They do not require you to solder or not solder. The standard says:
188.8.131.52. Solder shall not be the sole means of
mechanical connection in any circuit. If soldered, the
connection shall be so located or supported as to
minimize flexing of the conductor where the solder
changes the flexible conductor into a solid conductor
I have found that interpreting the standards as some times the hardest part. When people would call us and ask if a regulation meant thus and so we use to say, "you're hired.Anyone who can read the regs and interpret them correctly should be working for the government!"
It's often the same way with all standards. At least in the US they are all written by committees. I'm sure you have all heard the old joke about an elephant being a mouse designed by a committee. Too much time is spent word smithing these things so the lawyers won't have field day with them.
Any way, you don't have to solder, or you can solder. If you solder then there must be some other means of supporting the wire in addition to the solder. This is so the hard spot where the solder is doesn't have all the stress concentrated on it.
Yes I agree the standards ain't cheap. My yearly membership and fee for online access takes a big chunk out of my retired pay. But online access is better than having them send a book or a CD because they online stuff is always up to date. But it isn't just ABYC, all the standards orgs charge. SAE, NFPA, ISO, NMEA, UL, (what an alphabet soup) the RCD and so on. But that's because they are non-profits, and the only income they have is membership fees, donations, and selling publications. Pluss the get grants from the government to do projects for the public. Only the government gives it away because if it's the law you have to publish it because the public has a right to know.
If you have a beef with a standard, then by all means write to them. American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) - Welcome
I have seen the committees spend many hours considering input from people who are not members. When they say public comment they mean just that. There are a number of what are called "public members"; like myself who don't have some company or job to pay for travel and lodging to go to meetings. But ABYC is given a grant from the USCG every year to cover public member travel. The only catch, you have to be a member.
Your comment about one "right way" is certainly apt. That's why we (USCG) always tried to write performance standards, as opposed to technical standards. A technical standard tells you it must be done this way. A performance standard says, do it however, but it must perform a certain way. For instance in O/B monohul boats under 20 feet they must float level when swamped. No where in the regs does it say how to achieve this.
It's the same way with most standards. But there are some things you just have to say do it this way. A lot of this stuff has been around for years. Much of it started back in the 50's when people were dieing in boats at a rate of about 1300 a year, and there were a lot less boats then. It's down to about 600 a year now. I have a couple of news Alerts sent to my email every day on boating accidents. About 2 fatalities a day on average. Hardly any of those in sailboats though. Which is good news for those at sailnet. Here's my Blog where I post some of them. New Boat Builders Home Page - Boating Safety Blog
And that's just in the US. A lot of these are senseless. CO Poisonings, boats colliding, fires. Actually fatalities from fires have dropped dramatically over the last 20 years. About 10-12 a year compared to 100 20 years ago. Now people just kill them selves by running their boats into things.
Anyway. That's depressing. I should never have sold my Thistle! I could be out sailing.