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New Boating Regulation for 2021

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ATTENTION! Owners of boats less than 26′ in length and those of you planning to rent a boat this summer need to be aware of a new U.S. Coast Guard regulation that may affect you! We want to make you aware of the new regulation prior to the start of boating season so that you can take the necessary steps to be prepared and have your boat ready for the water.

Close up of a boats engine cutoff switch lanyard

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Did You Know?
Beginning April 1st, 2021, all operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length will be required to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL). This has been implemented by the U.S. Coast Guard and the law was passed by Congress.

How this affects boat rentals: Not much is going to change for the Odyssea Watersports pontoon boat rentals in Ocean City, Md. The reason being, each of our pontoon boats comes with the engine cutoff safety switch already in place. The only difference will be having the operator of the boat, wear a wrist band that is attached to the safety switch.

The boat instructors of Odyssea Watersports will instruct and show you where this is located (by the steering wheel pictured) and how to attach it to your wrist as well as the switch on the boat. You will not have to do anything extra or bring anything extra with you. All necessary safety equipment is included with our pontoon boat rentals in Ocean City, Md.

a close up of a device

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You will, however, want to make sure you are familiar with this regulation prior to leaving the dock. It is our guess that U.S. Coast Guard will be making sure each boat operator is not only aware of the new regulation but also abiding by it. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to the boat rental prior to your arrival or give us a call/email even if you are not able to rent a boat from us.

How this affects personally owned boat owners: Again, not much will change as most boats especially newer ones, come with the safety kill switches and the safety kill switch lanyard. But with saying that, if your boat does not have the safety kill switch then you will have to either install one yourself or have a service shop install one for you.

boat engine cutoff switch shownWireless Option: From the article linked below, the United States Coast Guard says, “Wireless ECOS have recently been developed and are also approved for use. These devices use an electronic “fob” that is carried by the operator and senses when it is submerged in water, activating the ECOS and turning the engine off. Wireless devices are available on the aftermarket and are beginning to become available as manufacturer-installed options.” This is a good option for personally owned boats and Odyssea Watersports in Ocean City, MD can install these if interested.

To read the full article, please click the link below.

If you are a boat owner and would like Odyssea Watersports Service shop to install an ECOS or wireless ECOS please call 410-723-4227 to set up an appointment and pricing.

Be Smart Be Safe Have Fun!

Coast Guard Announces New Law Requiring Use of Engine Cut-off Switches