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Safety Summit

Old 02-27-2006, 03:01 PM
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My company is a member of (or sits on):
NMMA, Boating Safety Advisory Council & USCG Propeller Injury Avoidance Steering Committee, Boating Industry Risk Management Council, Accessory Standards Committee, N.A.S.B.L.A. Boats & Associated Equipment Committee -just to name a few... Due to a scheduling conflict I was unable to attend Miami. My co-worker that did attend was involved in industry meetings.
Did the issues of lanyards or kill switches ever come up in either meeting?
Can someone please advise?
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:50 PM
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:06 PM
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cig you and me both had hungovers but had to be there to give inpute and absorb all that was said
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lanyard Safety
Did the issues of lanyards or kill switches ever come up in either meeting?
Can someone please advise?
I was not there, but the President of NJPPC was at the APRA meeting. He has been appointed to the Safety Panel representing the clubs.

Here is a list of the NJPPC's guidelines for their runs. The club has offered any club to adopt these simple rules for their events.

Item number 3 should cover what you are looking for:
Click here for 10 Commandments

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Last edited by SHARKEY-IMAGES; 02-27-2006 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:18 AM
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No passing the pace boat?????when...the whole time i would presume
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:36 PM
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When the pace boat drops the flag, it is no longer considered to be the pace boat. An important point where applicable.

LanyardSafety - Lanyard usage is included in the APRA rules as well as the 10 Commandments. The two sets of rules overlap about 90%. If we had done a little more research at the time, we might have simply adopted APRA/PRA's rules as the "14 Commandments".
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:17 AM
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APRA Safety Summit

I'm sorry that I have not been able to write this letter sooner. I have been traveling a lot and right now the marine finance business is keeping me very busy!

The purpose of this letter is to merely share my opinion on the meeting. A lot of people have called me to ask what took place? I want everyone to know that I am not speaking on behalf of anyone except myself.

The meeting took place Friday during the Miami show at 8:30am at the Miami Convention Center right on time as planned. Amazingly by the time the meeting started, the room was filled with key players from most performance boat manufacturers, engine builders, after market suppliers, boat dealers and insurance companies.

Going into the meeting there was definitely some apprehension in regard to how the meeting would flow since there were some conversations prior to the meeting where some strong opinions were shared.

The meeting opened up with s brief statement from Bill Taylor expressing concern for the safety of the sport and how essential it is for all poker run organizers, participants, boat manufacturers and dealers to be proactive regarding the safety of our sport. Bill also outlined examples of other sports such as snowmobiles, atv's and as of late personal watercraft that have become excessively regulated and adversely affected those sports.

Richard Crowder of APRA took the reigns of the meeting and explained to everyone that he was only a moderator to ensure that the meeting stayed on topic and time lines due to the limited amount of time we had due to the show opening at 10am.

Richard introduced the panel that consisted of the following people:

Brian Ross - Ross's Offshore Performance Center

Representing Safety Committees

Bob Christie of Typhoon Performance Marine

Representing Hi Performance Boat Dealers

Dave Patnaude of NJ Performance Powerboat Club

Representing Poker Run Organizers

Graham Neale of Insurance Consultant

Representing the Insurance Industry

Sonny Hawkins of Tiger Performance

Representing Safety & Communications

Larry Boyd of Poker Runs America

Representing Poker Runs America

Pierre Savoie ; Executive Director APRA

Representing APRA

The agenda was pretty straight forward and included the following:

Background of the APRA
Recapping current APRA rules
Current Issues to review:
Noise / Mufflers
Controls on speed
Canopied Boats
Open Discussion

Some great ideas came from the audience during the meeting. Some of the main people that I can recall who shared ideas were Billy Frenz of NPBA, Chris Cestaro of Ocean Perfomance, Bob Teague of Teague Custom Marine, Mark Blondin of Smoke on the Water Poker Run, Tony Esposito of CMI, Randy Sciscm of MTI, Chuck Sprague of Penske / CBPBA, Brad Schoenwald of Tres Martin Boating School and many more. I am sorry I cannot remember them all.

The feedback from the panel and especially the audience was phenomenal. I myself being a poker run organizer for 8 years came away with some new interesting ideas as a result of the discussion.

The meeting primarily addressed new ideas and thoughts that were to be in addition to the already established safety guidelines established by the APRA.


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Old 03-02-2006, 04:18 AM
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APRA Safety Summit Page 2

Agenda topics that were discussed:

PFDs - The group addressed the basic ideology of whether or not life jackets should be mandatory? The minority in the room expressed that they should not while the majority believed strongly that they should. We also discussed what kind of jackets should be acceptable and which ones should not? We also had the opportunity to hear from an attorney in the room who also presented the "legal" ramifications of what to do or not to do. Overall a lot of good ideas were shared.

Communications; The obvious ideas shared focused on VHF, 2 Way Radios, cell phones, etc. The interesting ideas shared encompassed providing important phone numbers as well as communicating with the local authorities. This was very insightful to everyone. We listened to what different groups around the country do to get their local law enforcement and politicians involved in poker run events. The communication topic also touched on the industry as whole needing to send a positive message in advertising and media coverage. Examples mentioned were that more ads need to feature people wearing life jackets. Powerboat Magazine stated that they will not publish any photos from any poker runs where the participants are not wearing life jackets. This was a very interesting topic. A lot of new ideas came about for a lot of producers in the room.

Alcohol; I think we pretty much all agreed that alcohol should be banned totally until events are over. This includes all participants of poker runs including riding crew. No one shared a dissenting opinion.

Noise / Mufflers; This topic also brought a lot of different ideas to the table regarding local area law enforcement and permits.

Controls on speed; Should there be speed limits at poker runs? The answer is that for the most part there are already speed restrictions in place by utilizing pace boats at events. The only outstanding question that was not definitively resolved was speed limits on the "open water" once the boats are no longer under pace boat control.

Canopied Boats; This was a very interesting topic and Randy Scism and Bob Teague gave excellent insight to this topic. These 2 gentlemen without a doubt had the most experience in the room regarding these boats. The greatest concern that was voiced is that some manufacturers are producing what could be potentially "unsafe" canopied boats.

It was pretty much agreed that there is no safer boat on the water when a professionally trained team is in a canopied boat and that canopied boat is equipped with the proper safety equipment and escape hatches.

It was also pretty much agreed that at poker runs there really is not proper safety support to ensure a canopied boat occupant's safety. We also talked about the idea that there should be a separate waiver for those participants who run canopied boats. There was also discussion on just having canopied boats on display as show pieces but not to allow them to enter poker runs.

All of this information was a lot to squeeze into only a few hours but the ideas and opinions shared were priceless. A lot of people that attended the meeting had a lot of positive things to say afterward.

A few poker run producers made comments after the meeting that the meeting was "self serving" to APRA and Poker Runs America. I really have to disagree with those comments. At no time during the meeting was any membership to APRA or the promotion of participating in any Poker Runs America events ever mentioned or encouraged. I find it a shame that such comments were made when so much good came out of the meeting.

Many people after they attended both safety meetings that day stated that there needs to be unity in the poker run community and that there is no room for politics. I believe that the poker run community has enjoyed unity and has been politics free since it's inception as a sport. This has been demonstrated by the cross attendance of participants and organizers from around the country at different events. That is what has made poker runs so much fun and enjoyable. The camaraderie among participants and organizers is incredible.

It is easy to say that unity is important when there were 2 safety meetings that day and not one. I believe that there is something that comes first before unity. COMMITMENT I believe is the most important step to having safe events. This was also reiterated by several people in the room. It is easy to have a list of rules but organizers need to have the commitment to enforce them. If poker run organizers all over North America are committed to producing safe events, poker runs will be safer in the months and years to come.

Organizers don't need to subscribe to one groups of rules or the other. Organizers need to subscribe to common sense. Is the use of life jackets mandatory on a poker run common sense? Yes. Is the 100% banning of alcohol until the events are over common sense? Yes. There are a lot more common sense topics listed within the APRA safety guidelines.

The very unfortunate part is that there are a few poker run organizers in the minority that will not or do not want to establish strict safety guidelines for their events. Why? You would have to ask them. I am not going to speak on their behalf. What I will say and repeat is what I mentioned during the APRA meeting. I have had a few organizers in the past tell me that they would be concerned that no one would attend their events if such rules were in place. I have had a few people not attend or back out of NJ Performance Powerboat club events because of our strict rules. We still have sold out our events regularly and we have even seen some of those who walked away in the past return. We have always greeted them with open arms. For those few who have not returned because of not wanting to wear life jackets or conform to any of the other safety rules, I believe that we are better off without them at our events.

I thought that my time spent at the meeting and being part of the panel was extremely beneficial to NJPPC and I hope it was beneficial to everyone else who attended. I would like to thank APRA and Poker Runs America for inviting me to be on their panel.

If anyone would like to share their point of view with me regarding the meeting, please email me at [email protected] I would like to hear your perspective on the meeting.

Best regards,

Dave Patnaude


NJ Performance Powerboat Club

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