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Utility Navigation

NOAA Small Boat Safety Board teleconference minutes from 8-November-2017

Nov 08

Submitted by D. Donahue

Attending: Donahue, Donaldson, Guberski, Hoggard, VerPlanck, McCormick, Loy, Humphrey, Ivey

Absent: Duran, Yoshinaga

1. Minutes from the 10/11 meeting were accepted as written.

2. Standing Brief – Incidents / accidents and Inspections– VerPlanck

One accident was reviewed.  It was determined to be a personal injury accident not a small boat accident.

Investigation and follow-up to an incident/accident in Seldovia, AK was discussed.  The Board considers actions taken are sufficient and has no further action or input.

3. Metrics - Guberski provide a status of the data call effort.  Raw numbers were reviewed for vessel days underway and persons underway in FY17.  Guberski had worked with OMAO to translate their data to fit SBP metrics.  It was agreed to have LOSBOS contact non-reporting units to improve response rates.  An effort will be needed to summarize FY17 metrics for distribution.

  • Action item – Loy will contact NOS units that have not reported.  Hoggard and VerPlanck will work on summary format of FY17 metrics.

4. SECO newsletter – Donahue, Duran and VerPlanck submitted an overview of the SB Program to SECO for potential inclusion in a future newsletter.

5. VOC Summit follow up and action items. VerPlanck presented an updated action tracking sheet that reflects input from the Summit as well as open items from prior Board meetings.   Refer to this document on the Google Drive folder.

  • Action item- Board members are asked to populate the tracking sheet with their commitments as action item leads or team members.  This tracking sheet will be the basis for the next in-person meeting.

6. VOC Performance Plan Element. Implementation of the “boiler plate” VOC Performance Plan

  • Action Item – VerPlanck will re-engage with OMAO staff to determine leadership’s preference on moving this forward.

7. Proposal for IT support of VIM and VOP data bases. Hoggard presented a summary plan to assure technical support and enhancements of these data base tools.  The Board expressed support of these tools, particularly in validating metrics data, and will work to get leadership support.    Several options for funding this initiative were discussed. 

  • Action item – Board will solicit advice from OMAO and SECO leadership on how to best move forward.  This is tentatively scheduled for the next meeting in Silver Springs.

8. Review of VOC Handbook – The draft handbook as provided by Guberski was approved for distribution.

9. Electronic Navigation – Group discussion on objectives and impacts of establishing a NOAA SB standard for electronic navigation.  Two types of electronic navigation are in use – PC based and chart plotter based.  Any new standard or guidance should address both applications.

Vessels using PC based charting programs could potentially offset the requirement to maintain / update paper charts if electronic charts meet a standard for automatic updates and there is redundant hardware. 

Vessels using chart plotters and SD cards are limited by vendor updates and may not meet update frequency requirements to forego paper chart requirement.

It was recognized that electronic charting is now the primary means of navigation and that any new Program requirements should support that reality.

  • Action item– McCormick, Loy and Donahue will work on a proposed standard for e-navigation hardware, software and chart formats.

10. Requests for Stability and Design review under Section 9.07. Two requests for an evaluation have been submitted since the issuance of these new Manual requirements.

  • Action Item – VerPlanck will take steps to assemble the Working Group as described in the Manual.

11. Documenting Operator qualifications and authorizations.  Hoggard presented a request to allow for documentation of Operator authorization by means of a spreadsheet in addition to NOAA form 57-19-04. It was recognized that a number of VOC’s use a spread sheet data base to track qualifications.  Follow on discussions included if such a spread sheet could capture all the elements of the standard form or if it could generate a singular authorization form with signatures.

  • Action Item – Hoggard will develop an operator qualification / authorization spreadsheet for group review.

12. Request Waiver – Class III vessels limited to restricted waters.

A waiver request was submitted to the Board from NMFS.  The Class III vessels under consideration have been extensively modified with deck equipment to support mission requirements on the Columbia River.  These modifications warranted restrictions to protected waters and exclude the vessels from operating in exposed waters.  The waiver request asks that the vessels be held to the carriage requirements of vessels operating in protected water, specifically as related to flares and life raft.

The new manual, Section 10, listed Class III carriage requirements based upon the assumption that boats of that size had the capability to operate in exposed waters.  It does not address Class III boats that are restricted based upon mission of configuration.

Following full discussion, the Board voted unanimously to support the waiver request.  The was discussion of amending that Section, to allow for Class III carriage requirements based upon restricted operating area, or to address specific situations with waivers.   It was agreed to process this request and Board position as a waiver.  Manual change on this topic will be deferred. 

  • Action Item – Donahue will draft a Board position statement on this request for waiver.  VerPlanck will engage the Director, OMAO on process for requesting and approving waivers.

12. Next In-person Board Meeting.  Based upon changes in leadership and the need to connect with HQ on a number of initiatives, a meeting will be scheduled in Silver Springs January 30th through February 1st. 

  • Action Item – Humphrey will explore meeting room availability and interest from OMAO leadership to attend.

13. Next Board Telecon – 12/13.


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