Jan 16, 2024
Last week I was in Annapolis, Maryland at the offices of the American Boat and Yacht Council, (ABYC) to attend the ABYC Standards Week for the second time. I’m thrilled to have been there, especially because I was able to attend their 70th Anniversary celebrations. (More detail on the 70th Anniversary and the awards night appear below in this week’s edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest).
Two things really changed for me at Standards Week this year. Last year, I was there to receive the ABYC Horizon Award in recognition of the support Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest has given to the ABYC education courses and other ABYC news. Honestly, I felt a bit sheepish last year because I thought our readers got more from ABYC, than ABYC got from our coverage, but they were genuinely appreciative. I was very flattered.
So, the first thing that changed for me was that many people remembered my name, welcomed me back and seemed genuinely pleased that I had returned. Last year, I was the new guy who was not too sure I belonged in a high-powered group like that. And no, I’m not a big contributor to the Standards discussions (!), but I was welcomed in again.
The second big change was that I now understand the Standards Week process more clearly and I was surprised that I could follow the discussions better. I also had a brief opportunity to start an interview with Craig Scholten, ABYC’s Technical VP. His career is very wide-ranging and includes working with Transport Canada embracing the ABYC Standards rather than maintaining our own (slightly different) TP 1332 Construction Standards. I look forward to reporting more from Craig Scholten in the future.
As Canada, and most of the boat-building industry world-wide, moves to harmonize their standards with those of the ABYC as well as the ISO standards and others, we wind up with what I think is certainly the best set of standards. Plus, these are standards that will be recognized not just in Canada and the U.S.A., but globally. This opens the door to Canadian marine companies to access global markets on the most advantageous cost basis.
In addition to all that, I was invited to attend the MTAP meeting. MTAP is “Marine Trades Accreditation Program” and some of the schools are part of the ABYC Marine League of Schools. The MTAP Committee is chaired by Aaron Porter, Editor of Professional Boat Builder magazine and the group I met in the meeting represented some key people in marine education in the U.S.A.
One person I had not met before was Nikki Storey who is President of the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Michigan. I was interested to learn that the marine industry there, faces similar challenges to our situation across Canada. She followed up by email with an introduction to their Director of Development, Tom Coates. It turns out that Tom is a Canadian. Also, the Great Lakes Boat Building School is unique in the Great Lakes region and I would like to learn more about it. They would probably like some Canadian students, and they may have a few graduates that we would like to meet. Sounds like a win-win to me!
I look forward to learning more about their school and how we may be able to find mutual benefit. I feel that our connection to the ABYC is more than just interesting to me, it opens the doors to a wider world for our readers.
Andy Adams – Editor