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I dont think its for real.... I mean it looks like its written by a comedian as satire on how governments 'run'. Is it Steven Colbert???


IMO uses the term ‘‘Part’’ to describe a section but because of CFR formatting, those references would have to become ‘‘Subpart.’’ Additionally, where the IMO referenced a ‘‘Section’’ we were unable to use that term because of the contextual meaning the term ‘‘Section’’ has within the CFR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read through quite a bit of it and was pleased to see how much effort was put into making it as good as possible.

As far as the Part and subpart thing goes these rules are official "laws". That means every term has to be as clearly as possible defined since lawyers will be using the language as written and there will be in many cases a lot of money involved. The more clear the law is the less the litigation costs.

Some of the items that were discussed included:

All commercial vehicles and all vessels over 12 meters have to have on board a copy of the rules. (That didn't change, it has been like that)

They removed the requirement for a bell on vessels over 12 meters and less than 20 meters. This conforms with COLREGS.

Sailing vessels and boats with oars of less than 7 meters can use an optional all around white light.

The first few pages explain all the suggestions various entities made during the public review process and the reasoning the CG used to make their decisions.

It appeared to me to be very well done. They obviously take their responsibility very seriously and are attempting to make the US law as close to COLREGS as possible to make education of the public easier.

It is a very hard read but it is educational as to how they think.
 

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Looks like a pretty standard FR (federal regulation) update.

The only substantial changes for recreational boaters that I saw on a brief review is to remove the stupid bell requirement for boats less than 20 meters, and adds to option of using an all round white light for boats less than 7 meters.
 

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Typical government "gobbledegook". No wonder no one can interpret the IRS tax code.
Based on this part of the law, it costs nothing to ring a bell if you already own the bell:

§ 83.33(a), Part 86, Subpart B ........ Removes the need for a bell ..... New vessels 12 meters or more
in length, but less than 20
meters in length.
Cost Savings: $299 per vessel,
$2.72 million over 10 years.
Benefits: More lenient requirement.
Conforms with
COLREGS.
§ 83.35(i) ......................................... If the vessel is equipped with a
bell and the bell is used, the
sound must be made at 2-
minute intervals, which is the
same as the existing sounding
requirements.
New vessels 12 meters or more
in length, but less than 20
meters in length.
Cost: $0. Applies to the use of
existing bells. The use of bells
is optional.
Benefits: Reduces risk of collision
if proper sound signal is
used during reduced visibility.
 

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Typical government "gobbledegook". No wonder no one can interpret the IRS tax code.
Based on this part of the law, it costs nothing to ring a bell if you already own the bell...
I suppose it's fashionable to criticize anything the government does, but it seems to me that they are considering each proposed change and identifying the cost and benefit of that change. Is this unreasonable? Should they not put it in writing if the cost is found to be zero?
 

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Is this unreasonable? Should they not put it in writing if the cost is found to be zero?
If there are no functional changes as to how one actually operates in the Inland waterway ... and the cost to 'rewrite the rules' is greater than zero, exactly what is the benefit?
Such appears to be just another 'make work government project' that results in no benefit while consuming great cost. Is this just a typical welfare program to benefit government rule writers and lawyers?
The money expended for these 'vitally important rule changes' could have been applied to dredge out those areas of the waterway which are constantly filling in and making the waterway virtually inoperative to both commercial and recreational traffic in many places, especially in SC and GA.

Typical government (non)efficiency and waste in action. The AICW is virtually useless in areas of South Carolina and Georgia due to the lack of funding for maintenance/dredging, so lets 'rewrite the rules' - is nothing more than a boondoggle, some would beg the question and say corruption, malfeasance and misfeasance!
 

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It's certainly a comfort to me to know that my tax dollars are going to someone who determines how much I can save by not having a bell on board.

You either need a piece of equipment on board, or you don't. What difference does it matter how much it costs?
 

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It's certainly a comfort to me to know that my tax dollars are going to someone who determines how much I can save by not having a bell on board.

You either need a piece of equipment on board, or you don't. What difference does it matter how much it costs?
The purpose is not to determine "how much I can save," it's to determine the impact of the rules on the people who have to obey them. That way, the cost can be balanced against the benefit. I for one appreciate this approach, because without it we would almost certainly be required to carry a bunch of expensive gear like EPIRB, sat phones, and life rafts because they have a theoretical benefit (I say "theoretical" because they can save lives in some situations, but they are of very little benefit in other situations.)
 

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The purpose is not to determine "how much I can save," it's to determine the impact of the rules on the people who have to obey them. That way, the cost can be balanced against the benefit. I for one appreciate this approach, because without it we would almost certainly be required to carry a bunch of expensive gear like EPIRB, sat phones, and life rafts because they have a theoretical benefit (I say "theoretical" because they can save lives in some situations, but they are of very little benefit in other situations.)
.... such is result of ignoring and/or knowingly avoiding the 'cost of diminishing returns' as imposed by a fiscally out of control government.
 

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If there are no functional changes as to how one actually operates in the Inland waterway ... and the cost to 'rewrite the rules' is greater than zero, exactly what is the benefit?
Did you read the document? It makes several changes to required equipment, in some cases offering more options to boaters subject to the rules. How is that a bad thing? I for one would prefer that rules that apply to me be periodically updated, and when updated both the cost and benefit should be considered. My opinion only and I suppose others may view things differently.
 

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I'd prefer to see a one page, simple, common sense document instead of one devised by and for the benefit of quibbling busybody lawyers. The tax code is not understood by ANYONE now, perhaps that's the aim here as well so that there is no right or wrong, only vague interpretation:)
 

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I'd prefer to see a one page, simple, common sense document instead of one devised by and for the benefit of quibbling busybody lawyers. The tax code is not understood by ANYONE now, perhaps that's the aim here as well so that there is no right or wrong, only vague interpretation:)
So you want to sum up the entire COLREGS treaty, and the differences in how they apply and inland rules work, and the impact of SOLAS on one page? Including all lighting requirements, navigation rules, rules of the road, demarcation lines, traffic seperation schemes, ect... And how light schemes change when moving between inland and COLREG rules...

While it might make getting a captains license easier, it would also result in a lot more accidents on the water.
 

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So exactly where in the ~78,000(?) pages of just the index of the federal register of laws should the diligent common man start to look for these changes in the COLREGs, etc.? ;-)

The country is 'strangled' with laws and regulations. Maybe the government should forcibly increase the ratio of lawyers to citizens from the current ~1:240 to maybe 1:10 so that we can all without legal trepidation safely buy a simple loaf of bread, etc. to be sure that the ordinary person doesnt buy an 'illegal' loaf or break some inane law ... of course, all at the cost of upwards of $400/hr. consult fee. :)

too many laws, too many lawyers, not enough 'recipes'.
 

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That way, the cost can be balanced against the benefit.
While cost/benefit analysis certainly has a purpose in deciding the impact of regulation, safety equipment should either be necessary for responsible boat operation, or useful, but not necessary. If it's deemed necessary, than the benefit outweighs any cost.

To stick with the example, I either need a bell on my boat, or I don't. If I do need it, then cost is immaterial. If I don't need it, than what difference do the "savings" make?

The whole idea of some bureaucrat, CG or otherwise, who may or may not have experience with the safe operation of a boat in real life conditions, making decisions on what is and isn't necessary for safe operation is actually kind of mind-numbing.
 

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While cost/benefit analysis certainly has a purpose in deciding the impact of regulation, safety equipment should either be necessary for responsible boat operation, or useful, but not necessary. If it's deemed necessary, than the benefit outweighs any cost.

To stick with the example, I either need a bell on my boat, or I don't. If I do need it, then cost is immaterial. If I don't need it, than what difference do the "savings" make?

The whole idea of some bureaucrat, CG or otherwise, who may or may not have experience with the safe operation of a boat in real life conditions, making decisions on what is and isn't necessary for safe operation is actually kind of mind-numbing.

All safety regulations everywhere look at the cost/benefit of them. Just like any other analysis. There is no absolute safety, so the USCG is tasked with determining wether a particular practice is worth the cost.

I don't think there would be any doubt that requiring every boat that leaves the harbor, commercial or recreational would be safer if they were all mandated to have installed radar, and AIS systems. As well as two full time crew responsible for managing those systems. And then since redundancy is good, let's require every boat to have at least a completely seperate backup of every system. And in case someone gets sick one person capable of operating each of those systems on board.

Sure it would improve safety but the cost would be unacceptable. So government agencies are tasked with balancing the cost of a safety system against the gain. Here it's a pretty easy calculation... Modern boats don't really use bells, they cost a lot, and with modern collision avoidance (ais) they have become redundant. So let's get rid of them and let people save some money.

And frankly there aren't very many groups in the world who have more experience with how to operate a boat safely than the USCG. It's pretty much one of their only reasons for existing.
 

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So exactly where in the ~78,000(?) pages of just the index of the federal register of laws should the diligent common man start to look for these changes in the COLREGs, etc.? ;-)

The country is 'strangled' with laws and regulations. Maybe the government should forcibly increase the ratio of lawyers to citizens from the current ~1:240 to maybe 1:10 so that we can all without legal trepidation safely buy a simple loaf of bread, etc. to be sure that the ordinary person doesnt buy an 'illegal' loaf or break some inane law ... of course, all at the cost of upwards of $400/hr. consult fee. :)

too many laws, too many lawyers, not enough 'recipes'.
Um, all the changes that are being made were in the 20 odd page document in the first post. Of which about three pages summ it up nicely in a little chart. Before that was the discussion on why they are changing them, and answers to some questions that had been posed to the CG during the review process.

Otherwise I would recommend http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/workflow_staging/Publications/420.PDF which is a 40 page summary (including a lot of nice pictures and diagrams) of the rules as they apply to the recreational boater. Most of which may not apply to you, but cover probably 95% of the questions non-racers have.

For questions about racing, I would suggest calling the organizing body of the specific racing event you are interested in participating in.




Finally I find it amazing that you are pissed that the USCG regulates boating. Who do you think should do it? And why all the acrimony because they loosed restrictions. Nothi here places a new burden on you. In these rules you actually have more options not less.

To me this whole discussion sounds like a five year old mad because someone took his binky. Regulations must be bad, so any change to regulations must be bad, so WAAAA. GROW UP. The maritime industry is a complicated endevor and the Coast Guard does a pretty good job managing it.

Instead of arguing in general about how there are too many regulations, why don't you find a few specific ones you disagree with and mention them to the USCG when they do the next regulatory review in 2015. You of course mentioned them for this cycle (didn't you?) but perhaps they just didn't get around to them.
 

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All safety regulations everywhere look at the cost/benefit of them.
Cost to whom?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The whole idea of some bureaucrat, CG or otherwise, who may or may not have experience with the safe operation of a boat in real life conditions, making decisions on what is and isn't necessary for safe operation is actually kind of mind-numbing.
According to the above PDF the coast-guard solicited the opinion of the public in reference to the proposed regulation changes. The people who submitted recommendations and criticisms of the proposed changes to the CG are members and leaders of professional mariner organizations that represented the the highest level of experience possible. In a complicated civilized society laws are necessary and by definition they are going to be proposed by bureaucrats.

In this case those bureaucrats took the step of soliciting advice from the experienced professional community. I applaud them for their thoroughness.

We have all seen numerous examples of poorly thought out laws made by people with insufficient experience. It is nice to see that the CG knows how to do it right.

The changes they made to the law regarding the bells and lights were in direct response to changes in technology. Current sound making technology and light technology made the old law obsolete.

If you have an old boat with a bell and you want to keep it you may.
If you are building a new boat you don't have to spend a few hundred on a bell when your computerized horn can do the the job better.
The law has just caught up with the best current tools for the job.

It is a good thing and well thought out.

It is great sport to make fun of the government when they mess up which they do regularly.
In this case however they did it right which is very annoying as it spoils the fun. We now have to look for something else to complain about.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Cost to whom?
One of the recommendations submitted to the CG was a carriage requirement that would require all boats with more than three crew to carry a copy of the rules.

They worked out that it would cost the industry 150 million to comply with this rule. That would mean that on your 22' O'day you would have to purchase a $23 book to be in compliance.

The CG considered this proposal and rejected it because of the cost combined with lack of evidence that merely possessing the book would reduce accidents.
They also thought that enforcing the rule would be problematic as the number of crew varies trip to trip on a small boat and many open boats do not have a place to keep a book.

So the CG did a great job in not recommending rules that others recommend that would ultimately not work not help and be expensive to us.
 
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