The National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) reminds marine safety stakeholders that two important Issues Papers – in the areas of design and construction, and special vessels, respectively – are soon to close for public comment.
Feedback on the first paper will lead to the development of a new National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) Part C, Section 2 – Watertight and Weathertight Integrity.
• questions the requirement for vessels to adhere to the International Load Lines Convention's ways of protecting boats from heavy weather.
• explores options for protecting vessels from the ingress of water in heavy weather by their watertight arrangements.
• considers whether the International High Speed Craft Code should be used as a basis for the new standard, whether classification society rules might be used or if the standard should start anew.
The second paper initiates the development of the National Standard for NSCV Part F, Section 2 to replace and update the existing USL Code’s (Section 18) ‘Hire and Drive’ requirements.
• recognises the need to take into account the widening range of hire boating activities (e.g. boats on trailers, jet ski hire) currently on the market and emerging around Australia.
• identifies many existing standards for the design and construction of boats used in this sector – such as those applied in North America and Europe – which might be referenced rather than creating a uniquely Australian set of requirements.
• seeks suggestions for a new name for the standard as some people have indicated that ’hire and drive’ doesn’t adequately describe the full range of activities in this sector today.
Have Your Say now!
Copies of both Issues Papers and feedback forms can be downloaded from the NMSC website www.nmsc.gov.au (click on ‘Have your say’) or obtained by phoning  9247 2124. Public comment on NSCV C2 – Watertight and Weathertight Integrity closes on 15 September 2008 while comment on NSCV F2 – ‘Hire and Drive’ closes on 22 September 2008.