ABBRA – American Boat Builders & Repairers Association

Boatyards Get Boost in Workers’ Comp Bill

From the Sun-Sentinel – By William E. Gibson, Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Smaller boatyards would save tens of thousands of dollars a year on workers’ compensation insurance under a bill passed by the U.S. House on Tuesday — a long-awaited boost for a big industry in Florida.

Florida lawmakers led by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz pushed the bill through the House to clarify the definition of “recreational vessel” so that smaller boat builders and repair shops are exempt from federal coverage required for longshoremen.

If approved by the Senate as expected, boatyards that service yachts and other recreational vessels can rely instead on much cheaper state coverage.

Boatyard owners in Florida who have lobbied for the legislation since 2008 say the change will save money that can be used to expand their businesses and hire more workers. Continue Reading.