Many people don’t realize that in the U.S. there are a few laws within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) with regard to the construction of recreational boats. There are a few requirements for fire extinguishers, life jackets, navigation lights and visual distress signals but for the most part the government in the U.S. has left it up to private industry to create a body of guidance for building safe recreational boats. The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has filled that role since its formation in 1954 as a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation.

ABYC develops the voluntary safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of recreational boats. The standards and technical information reports cover all the major boat systems and the development and annual review of these standards correlates directly to the significant reduction in the number of boating accidents over the past six decades.

ABYC partners with a every other major marine organization to further its mission of making boating safer. Over 400 volunteers gather to update and create the ABYC engineering standards that make sure your experience will remain safe, reliable and enjoyable. Today, 90% of boats on the water are built to ABYC Standards and over 3,000 technicians are trained and certified by us so that your boat is maintained with highest level of technical expertise.

Why Standards Matter