Information for builders
Responsibility of boat owner-builders
If an owner-builders works off designs they have purchased, they should check that it has all the required information for the Australian Builders Plate (ABP), such as carrying capacity, maximum outboard power or maximum outboard weight.
Any modifications made to the original design should also be accounted for and reflected in the ABP.
If the owner-builder is designing the vessel, then he or she should calculate the required information and test the vessel before installing the ABP.
The Department of Transport recommends that owner-builders engage someone familiar with boat design and construction standards to assess the vessel and verify the information on the ABP.
Responsibility of mass production boat builders
Builders who sell mass produced vessels to dealers or agents must fit the vessel with an Australian Builders Plate (ABP) at the time they are sold.
The Department of Transport encourages manufacturers to assist dealers in determining whether modifications to their vessels will affect the ABP information, and to provide the new information.
For example, the manufacturer could test its vessels to determine the biggest side screen that can be fitted to the standard model without altering the carrying capacity of the vessel.
Manufacturer could also help dealers and agents by provide each vessel with a list of standard modifications and resultant ABP specifications for the end customer to select.
Responsibility of boat dealers
Dealers, agents, distributors or brokers who modify a vessel before on-selling it to a customer, must ensure that the changes do not make the information on the Australian Builders Plate (ABP) invalid.
For example, the fitting of side screens to a centre-console or a kill tank on the deck may affect the carrying capacity of the vessel.
The dealer should have the vessel assessed in cooperation with the manufacturer, or by hiring an independent assessor.
Once the modified information has been calculated, a new ABP must be fitted with the corrected information. This can be done by removing the existing plate and replacing it, or by clearly and legibly modifying the information on the existing plate.
Who can confirm the ABP information?
The Department of Transport does not provide assessment services for Australian Builders Plates (ABP) information, or accredit any person to do so.
Generally, the vessel's builder or importer is considered competent to approve the ABP. However, if the builder, importer or dealer modifying the vessel is unfamiliar with the standards quoted on the ABP, they may engage another competent person or entity to assess the vessel.
This person or entity must have the training, qualifications and experience to competently determine and approve the information on an ABP, and must be based in Australia. This would include:
- Vessel designers, builders, repairers, or persons involved in modification of vessels.
- Importers of vessels.
- Naval architects.
- Marine surveyors or marine consultants.
This person will be held accountable for any problems with the data on it.
If an individual is appointed to the role, his or her title should be included on the ABP.
Examples of acceptable designations include:
- Built by ABC Boats.
- Imported by FIRB Importers.
- Information approved by Bill Smith, Marine Surveyor.
How do I get a blank ABP?
Blank Australian Builders Plates (ABPs) are available from the Boating Industries Alliance Australia.
Builders, dealers and importers may also engage a sign maker to produce blank ABPs.
Please ensure that they follow the ABP Standard (4th Edition) that has been created by the National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC).
Samples of acceptable Australian Builders Plate (ABP) designs for various vessel types and sizes are also available for download below.
|Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA): National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety|
|Boating Industries Alliance Australia|
|Sample Australian Builders Plates (ABPs)||Kb|
ABP Standard consultation
Marine Safety agencies around Australia have reviewed the accuracy and consistency of the ABP Standard as it is applied throughout Australia.
The Australian Recreational Boating Safety Committee (ARBSC) formed an ABP Working Group in 2018 and subsequently drafted a proposed update of the ABP Standard. It is anticipated that this draft will be open for public consultation later this year. Review of the draft will actively involve industry.
Maritime Safety Queensland is facilitating the consultation process on behalf of Marine Safety agencies around Australia. Find out more about the Standard and when the consultation will be open for public comment.