Typically, when the State mandates new air quality or fuel standards, the regulations apply to future production and often, many years into the future. However, in the case of harbor crafts, the Newsom Administration has proposed regulations that would require sportfishing boats that also provide whale watching and school science trips to replace or significantly modify existing engines by January 2023, long before their lifespan has expired.
Since Tier 4 engines that meet the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) air quality standards do not exist and a Cal Maritime report concluded modifications to existing engines would “significantly” impact vessel stability, CARB proposes that boat hulls undergo massive reconstruction. To ensure the boat’s stability, boat owners would have to reduce passengers to account for heavier engines.
Simply, higher operational costs and fewer passengers will put many boat owners out of business within 3-6 years.