Battery Requirements for Outboards

Question: The question has come up several times regarding marine battery requirements as it applies to vessels equipped with outboard motors. How do the requirements of 33CFR183.420 (Batteries) apply?

Answer: Title 33 - Navigation and Navigable Waters [33 CFR], Part 183 - Boats and Associated Equipment [33 CFR 183], Subpart 1 - Electrical Systems, § 183.401 — Purpose, Applicability, and Effective Dates indicates that "this subpart applies to all boats that have gasoline engines, except outboard engines, for electrical generation, mechanical power, or propulsion". Thus, § 33CFR183.420 (Batteries) does not apply to boats equipped with outboard engines. However, it is important to note that VEs should recognize the safety issues relative to having batteries that are not secured or have inadequate protection to prevent shorting of terminals. Therefore, VEs should not award a decal if unsafe conditions exist, even on vessels powered by outboard engines.

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