Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Recreational Boat Manufacturer Factory Visit Program Brings Substance to Style

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Luke Woodling, Digital Content Manager, Water Sports, Bonnier Corporation.

Visit Program. The Coast Guard’s Recreational Boat Manufacturer Factory Visit program affords water ski and wakeboard boat manufacturers the peace of mind that boats coming off their assembly lines are as safe as possible, which is particularly reassuring in a market that is so family-focused.

What do the Manufacturers Think About the Program? Dan Gasper, the director of research and development at Malibu Boats, said “It’s comforting to know that you’re building by those specifications, because you know the boat will be safe. Safety is what they’re all about.”

“It’s not as if they print these regulations and run,” added Bill Snook, chief engineer at Nautique Boats. “They come in and look over our shoulder and see what we’re building. There is peace of mind in that.”

Results. The Coast Guard’s regulations and factory visit program do more than just instill confidence—they also enable water ski and wakeboard boat manufacturers to focus on innovation.

Resources that would have to be dedicated to developing and carrying out safety protocols are instead freed up to design everything from state-of-the-art dashboards to more functional towers and ballast systems.

“Without the Coast Guard’s support, we’d have to put more of our resources into solving problems and making sure that we’re building a safe product,” Snook said. “Now all we have to do is follow the specifications—buy this part and assemble it in this way. We don’t have to invent any of that. All we have to do is follow what they specify, and we know we have a much better and safer product.”

Full article is available at

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