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Dale R. Hamilton
08-18-2006, 01:24 PM
Most of you know that if you hold a MIC number, you at subject to the CG's shop inspection program. This is entirely voluntary and designed to help manufacturers spot problems with their boats before they get sold to John Q Public. The guy who came to inspect me had just left the Searay plant- which was not air conditioned, and he commented that Boomslang Boats Inc was pleasently ACed. That started us on the right foot. I have Ray Sargeants Sport Runabout nearly complete and ready for the engine install. Perfect time to inspect. I was really worried about this Subaru engine- which I had marinized myself. Starter, dist, fuel pump, alt. The only thing he found was that I needed to use marine spark plug wires- and there was some question as to if I needed to use a flame arrestor over the throttle body- I say no, because its open topside- not in the engine compartment. Anyway- he took pix and will return a opinion- and I will comply. Whew- I sweated these other components, but guess they are ok. The other thing that will cause me some thought was my fuel intake. This is a barrelback runabout, and in common with all of her sisters, the fuel fill is centered in the aft deck. If you overfill the tank, fuel could conceiveably overflow onto the deck and thence into the engine compartment. I've never seen a runabout with any other placement. Anybody got any ideas here?

All in all, a helpful experience. I'd encourage you guys to participate.

gary porter
08-18-2006, 01:38 PM
Dale, I had an inspection a couple of years back and had the same type experience. Very pleased with the program.. For many years I delt with the FAA and that was not so. This program seems to actually be structured to try and help builders so I too would encourage anyone building to sell to sign on.
Gary

Todd Bradshaw
08-18-2006, 01:41 PM
Interesting. I'm actually a little bit surprised at how competent the inspector is. Back when I worked for a balloon inspection/repair station, the FAA suits that used to come in to inspect us were absolutely clueless. We were always finding balloons where these guys had done return-to-service authorizations for modifications or off-beat repairs and form 337 issues which were either just plain wrong or in a few cases extremely dangerous. Nice to know that the Coast Guard inspectors are more on the ball (unless of course you're about to get on a plane...)

gary porter
08-18-2006, 01:52 PM
Todd, I think its hard to find FAA inspectors who actually know anyting much about Hot Air Balloons. They have to do the job but more often than not will either rely on you to fill them in or be butt heads and show their ignorance...too bad. I used to fly balloons commercially here and ran into those problems as well. We had one inspector here who was designated to give check rides,,, he did ok but didn't really know what he was doing nor had the rating. Years ago they gave pilots lighter than air ratings for the asking. I have many years dealing with the FAA both in the realm of flying and from running an FAA certified repair station, avionics and mechanics. Trust me, the Coast guard program for MIC flolks is a world apart. Its actually the way the FAA should be.
Gary

Tom Hunter
08-18-2006, 01:58 PM
You mean if you poor fuel onto the after part of the boat it might go inside the boat?

On the two runabouts I used to fuel regularly, a 1928 Chris Craft Cadet, and a 1930 triple cockpit Hutchinson there were two different solutions. Both boats has the fuel inlet centered in the stern. If memory serves (we sold the boat 20 years ago) the Chris Craft had some combing behind the aftermost seat, so the fuel would have to climb up the combing and then back down into the bilge.

The Hutchinson had a gentle curve to the deck and I believe the fuel intake was located downhill from the after cockpit so again the gas would have to flow uphill into the boat.

Ken Hutchins
08-18-2006, 04:05 PM
The CG inspectors are career folks who are in the CG because they are boat minded people who have been out on the deep blue in storms so have a healthy respect for what it takes to make a safe boat.:)
By contrast the FAA has a bunch of paper pushing bookworms many of whom are probably political appointees because of carrying signs during election compaigns, these people are only interested in making sure all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted because that is all they know.:rolleyes:

garland reese
08-18-2006, 04:49 PM
Hey guys, this is an interesting thread. What exactly is required to hold a MIC number? I've built a couple of small canoes here in Oklahoma. Getting the thing registered was brutal. I had to get the DOT to give me a serial number. They required me to place this huge silver sticker with this number on the stern of my boat!! Since it is effectively the serial number of the hull, it seems completely silly to place it there. Wouldn't it be much better to have that type of ID out of the plain view? ......... Anyway, I've been figuring that if I have a registration as a builder or some such, I could put my own hull ID numbers on (I think there is a certain form that those Numbers follow, isn't there??), and place the plackards somewher of my own choosing. It is doubtful I'd ever get any business to build for others, but at least I could have some control over boats that I build for myself. I have a canoe....a CANOE, for cryin' outloud, that has some type of ID sticker on each side of each end.........

Is it difficult and burdensome to hold a number?

gary porter
08-18-2006, 05:06 PM
The MIC will give you the ability to assign the HIN number which identifies it as being built by you and the date and model etc.
You still have to post it as per the regulations which are Coast Guard.
The hin number goes normally on the transom and one other hidden place known only by you. Many states don't require such on a canoe.
Here only if power is used. There is also a size limit something like only over 12' etc. If you already have a number assigned and your not going to build more then its probably not worth the effort to get the MIC. Getting it is just paper work and not too much of that which goes off to the Coast Guard. Personally I wouldn't want to put a big silver plate on the side of a nice homebuilt canoe. On one of my dinghys I would hang the state registration number from the mast.
Gary

garland reese
08-18-2006, 05:36 PM
Thanks Gary,
I do have a desire to build a few more boats. Yes, my canoe already has all the identifying markings, and that big HIN sticker is right there on the stern, overlaying the nice little accent strip that I made in the design. I thought that if I could do my own, they would not have to be that big ole sticker thing but something much smaller......
Anyway, thanks for the information. Where do you find the requirements for getting the MIC? Coast Guard?

Charles Burgess
08-18-2006, 06:04 PM
Brass HIN plates are a nice touch ;)

gary porter
08-18-2006, 06:43 PM
garland, try this.. they will send you everything you need.
Gary

There are a number of regulations that apply. You can obtain a package of information for new manufacturers through the mail. The information packet covers regulations and other requirements, such as how to get a manufacturers identification code (MIC). To obtain the package you can write to:

Commandant (G-OPB-3)

U.S. Coast Guard
Room 3100
Washington, DC 20593-0001
Or call: (202) 267-0984

George Roberts
08-18-2006, 07:02 PM
garland reese ---

The Coast Guard has a website. And a searchable MIC database.

I suppose that doing a search on "MIC database" will get you close enough to find the proper paperwork on line.

donald branscom
08-18-2006, 07:15 PM
Most of you know that if you hold a MIC number, you at subject to the CG's shop inspection program. This is entirely voluntary and designed to help manufacturers spot problems with their boats before they get sold to John Q Public. The guy who came to inspect me had just left the Searay plant- which was not air conditioned, and he commented that Boomslang Boats Inc was pleasently ACed. That started us on the right foot. I have Ray Sargeants Sport Runabout nearly complete and ready for the engine install. Perfect time to inspect. I was really worried about this Subaru engine- which I had marinized myself. Starter, dist, fuel pump, alt. The only thing he found was that I needed to use marine spark plug wires- and there was some question as to if I needed to use a flame arrestor over the throttle body- I say no, because its open topside- not in the engine compartment. Anyway- he took pix and will return a opinion- and I will comply. Whew- I sweated these other components, but guess they are ok. The other thing that will cause me some thought was my fuel intake. This is a barrelback runabout, and in common with all of her sisters, the fuel fill is centered in the aft deck. If you overfill the tank, fuel could conceiveably overflow onto the deck and thence into the engine compartment. I've never seen a runabout with any other placement. Anybody got any ideas here?

All in all, a helpful experience. I'd encourage you guys to participate.

Just make a moat that slips over the fuel fill and is removable when done fueling. It would look like an angel food cake pan.

Simmons18
08-18-2006, 08:14 PM
I too had "the visit" about a year ago. It was very educational. Thankfully I only had 4 boats to retro. (recall) to install flotation. Part of the USCG requirement is capacity and flotation calculations and then displaying the results in the form of a "plate". One good source for small quantities is www.custommarinelabels.com That's where I get mine. The owner happens to also be my son.
Simmons18

George Roberts
08-19-2006, 12:20 AM
This appears to be a reasonable source of info for getting a manufacturer's HIN sequence (http://www.uscgboating.org/recalls/pdfs/BSC70.pdf#search=%22manufacturer%20HIN%20%22)

First page, top of second column.

Dale R. Hamilton
08-21-2006, 09:32 AM
Simmons18- hey thanks buddy- I needed some of those stickers and didn't want to buy 10,000. Thanks to your Son- contacting now.

Dale

Peter Eikenberry
08-21-2006, 05:17 PM
Well, it is really nice to see that all of our hard work at making the Factory Visits program (we preferred not to call it inspections) a success. The program is actually carried out by a contractor, but almost all of the people working on this contract are one of the following or a combo of, former Coast Guard, marine surveyors, marine mechanics or engineers (yeah there a couple of those in the mix). I know all of them and they are a knowledgeable, dedicated, friendly bunch who take great pride in "doing it right" The number one emphasis is on education, then enforcement. It has been my experience over the last 25 years that most boat builders want to do it right. They don't want to be hassled and they certain don't want to have to do a recall. But I've only seen a hand full of builders who were real scoflaws. (No names). Most builders simply want to build the best boats they can and give their customers satisfaction with their boat. Thanks for the kudos, I'll pass it on.

Oh yeah, Thanks Gary, for giving them the right address. Here's a slight correction, although the address you gave will get it there eventually.

Commandant (G-PCB-3
US Coast Guard
2100 Second St SW Room 3100
Washington DC 20593

202-267-0984
Or e-mail David.R.Gipe@comdt.uscg

They will send a one page form to fill out and return. no fee. It must be mailed. They cannot do it over the phone or by fax or e-mail. (the law says specifically that it has to be "in writing" which means they have to have the signed original document. However, if you are in a hurry they can fax or e-mail you the form. You then print it, fill it out, sign it and express mail it back. Assigning the MIC only takes a day or two.

RonW
08-21-2006, 05:43 PM
Question, Simmons 18 in his post above says- he had to recall 4 boats to install floatation in.....

I am guessing that he is building the simmons 18 footers and out of wood. If this is correct, then what is the floatation about.
I was under the understanding the floatation applied to boats under 20 feet, but that wooden boats are exempt from the floatation rule, due to the fact they have floatation, namley the wood it self.

Peter Eikenberry
08-21-2006, 08:23 PM
No, wooden boats are not exempt. However, many wooden boats can comply with the flotation standard without additional flotation material. It depends on the boat.

Boats rated for two horsepower or less or manually propelled have to meet a lesser standard than boats with more than 2 horsepower. I ran the testing program for many years. We tested a lot of wooden boats. Almost always the wooden rowboats passed as is. But if you hang a hunk of iron on the stern then generally they need a little flotation to support the engine. This does not have to be foam. It can be anything that provides positive buoyancy. On boats under 2 horse or manually propelled it can be air chambers without any penalty. FOr a 2 hp engine this can be as small as 1/2 a cubic foot of flotation.

On boats over 2 horspower they have a slightly stricter standard. One of the requirements is if you use air chambers it must pass with the 2 largest air chambers punctured. Again, what causes most of these boats to fail is the outboard. You hang a large hunk of metal on the back of the boat and you need to provide flotation back there to get it to float upright and level. Additionally a lot of things get added to these bigger boats, steering systems, electrical system, big batteries, Depth sounders, GPS, the list goes on. Each of these adss weight to the boat and may need adde flotation to support the boat. The best thing is to run the numbers and have it tested. here's a link to the Coast Guard's boatbuilders handbook http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/boatbuilder/flotation_landing.htm or you can go to my web site and click on flotation. http://members.aol.com/spinners/

However, to make your life easier, if you call the Coast Guard at 202-267-0984 (HQ ask for PO Chang) they will test your boat free. You will have to pay the shipping but will be reimbursed. So if you are coming on line with a new boat it pays to have them test it for you before you start selling them. They will tell you if any corrections need to be made, and give you ways to correct it.