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motors while competing in any race previously arranged and announced, or if such boats be designed and intended solely for racing, while engaged in such navigation as is incidental to the tuning up of the boats and engines for #. race.” Then section 2 provides that “motorboats as defined by section 1 of the Act of June 9, 1910 * * * shall not be required to carry on board copies of the pilot rules.” Have you people any objection to that bill, Captain Sweet? Captain Sweet. Mr. Chairman, that bill is almost the same as to the two sections of H. R. 6039; almost identical. The CHAIRMAN. I tried to work on that last night, and I found this bill will go into effect immediately. Captain Sweet. That is correct. The CHAIRMAN. As applicable to the present motorboat act. Captain Sweet. That is correct. The CHAIRMAN. H. R. 6039 takes a year to go into effect and I think we need to go through that very carefully and many of the provisions should go into effect at once. Captain Sweet. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. And since this other bill goes into effect right away, the only suggestion I had to make was that we would amend the title so as to read, “A bill to exempt certain motorboats from the operation of sections 4 and 6 of the Motorboat Act of June 9, 1910, and from certain other acts of Congress, and to provide that certain motorboats shall not be required to carry on board copies of the pilot rules,” then we will take into consideration some other amendment, and you can file your statement, Mr. Rappleyea, or if you have any other suggestions to make in connection there with, make them very briefly. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. The only statement we have on H. R. 6039 is that we have no objections to that, because it is a perfect statute. We have objected to bills of that type before, but the portions we have objected to have been removed and we are in favor of a gerat many things in connection with H. R. 6039; for example, the requirement of vents for gas tanks, for bilge ventilators, and for flame arrestors. The CHAIRMAN. This imposes many additional burdens on motorboats, and I will tell you right now I am for the relief of some of these burdens and the imposition of no more of them. In fact. I think we need to revise our whole navigation laws and get rid of a whole lot of what we have. APPLEYEA. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman. I think, in this ! . instance, this bill that has come forward is a rather sensible and they are not making any changes unless the boats are redecked or rebuilt, and in new boats built hereafter. The best argument I can make for that is this—that the insurance companies do not require a boat to carry life preservers, but they do require them to have the very provisions which are in this act. The CHAIRMAN. There is one thing in section 6 in the present act which is left out and, so far as I am concerned, which is going to go back in; that is, buoyant cushions. I have a very strong letter from Cluff Fabric Products, Inc., on the omission of the words “buoyant cushions.” They think the omission of these words will greatly retard the advancement of the motorboating industry and will also
unjustly penalize the small wage earner who uses boating as a pleasure and diversion, and if these words are left out the customer will throw the whole idea into the discard.
My understanding is there have been no accidents and that sort of thing, and it seems to me it has been in the existing law for years, and it is going back in existing law if I have my way. Have you anything to say about it!
Mr. RAPPLEYEA. If I understand you correctly, Mr. Chairman, it means that cushions have been left out and they must go back in?
The CHAIRMAN. Cushions have been left out of this bill.
Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Heretofore, it was possible to have a cushion instead of a life preserver.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. RAPPLEYEA. And frankly, as a boatman, I will be very frank and candid and say that a good many of those cushions are a menace, because they are old; they are waterlogged; some of them would actually sink, and if they were new and were tested and would support a person, it would be used in lieu of a life preserver; but a good many of them I have seen are almost like pieces of concrete.
This act here provides for a life preserver for every person on board. Heretofore you could get by with one of these cushions, which cushion would give 95 percent of the buoyancy of a life preserver, which was supposed to have two straps on it and, if new, was all right and would probably support a person for a couple of hours; but if old, would not.
The CHAIRMAN. A letter came in this morning from the Cluff Fabric Products, Inc., which says:
We thank you for your letter of June 3, and with further reference to the amendment to H. R. 6039, we are enclosing herewith a clipping from a newspaper of Sunday, June 4, which more or less bears out our contention that emergency life-preserver cushions are of value.
The newspaper article reads:
DETROIT, June 3.--Three Naval Reserve airmen who clung to floating cushions more than 2 hours after their amphibian sank in Lake Erie were brought to marine hospital here early today.
The three, Aviation Cadet Gordon Cady, of Port Huron, Mich. ; Lt. D. 0. Coffman, a physician, of Wichita, Kans.; and Ensign H. B. Richards, of Detroit, suffered only from exposure.
The fliers, who left the base at 2 p. m. for a radio-check flight over Lake Erie, pulled out seat cushions as their craft sank and clung to them until picked up by the tug Barkhamstead, of Cleveland.
Now, can you put a limit on the life of that cushion?
Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Well, no sir. If the cushion is preserged in a store, it might be good for 5 years from now; but exposed to the weather and allowed to absorb a lot of water, it becomes hardened and becomes almost like concrete, sir. My association represents 220,000 members, and I certainly would not want to jeopardize any of their lives. Let them have as many cushions as they want, but let us have one life preserver for each one. Of course, for the cushion manufacturer this is going to hurt his business; there is no question about that.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not care about that; what I am concerned with, of course, is-I am more concerned about getting the facts there; and, from the statements, I understand there has been no loss
of life by reason of cushions. Of course, I do not want to wait until there is a loss of life. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. I doubt very much that there has been, because cushions are always extras. Usually the average boat will carry six persons, and they may have two cushions like that and four life preservers. The CHAIRMAN. What does a life preserver cost? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. A life preserver costs about $2 to $2.25; a good jacket costs from $2 to $2.25. The CHAIRMAN. How long will it last? Mr. RAPPLEYEA.. Oh, it will last perhaps for 10 years or even longer, if properly cared for. A cushion is outside and exposed to the atmosphere and degenerates very quickly. The CHAIRMAN. I am very glad to have that information. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Yes, sir. I want to keep down everything and not hold up the boatmen; at the same time, I do not want foolishly to jeopardize life. The CHAIRMAN. I think you are right about that; that is what I want. Is there anything else you have to say? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. The other provisions in regard to the bilge ventilation, in regard to vents for gas tanks and in regard to flame arrestors, we i. are very, very important. It has been my dut for the past 10 years to make at least one trip a year from New Yor to Baltimore with boats that were built by what we call stock boats of standard builders who have a reputation, and they have put those things on, even though not required by law. My usual trip is to leave New York at 9 o'clock at night with a strange boat and to arrive at Cape May or Atlantic City or Baltimore the next night, and in Washington the following day, if I am coming here; in the 10 years I have never had an accident, never had a fire. But going back on some boats that have been built by amateurs and did not have those safety devices, I have had some pretty good scares; my heart has beat several times more quickly than it should, and I would not take the chance, perhaps, on the boat I came down on that had these things in it. And, as I say, the insurance companies, who do not like to take risks with a boat, they do not care anything about life preservers or pilot rules on boats, but they all do insist—in fact, no insurance company will insure boat owners without they have some of the things that are in this bill. I have tried to find the joker in there, but I cannot. The CHAIRMAN. That is all right, but you are taking into consideration boats that are coming down from New York and going up the Chesapeake Bay and going a long distance. I want to draw the line somewhere, so that we are not imposing unreasonable burdens on the little boat that is just running out in Hampton Roads and around the shore, that is not taking long voyages. Here is an illustration—such a fool thing as this: Some Member of Congress—I do not call it to your attention because he is a Member of Congress; the same thing would apply to anybody else—but his boy had a fine put on him just because they did not have some identification card on that boat, but it was at home; and if they had it on the boat; it §. have been washed off and destroyed—a perfectly foolish Ing. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. I agree with you.
The CHAIRMAN. And what I want to do is to get rid of those darn fool things that make it unbearable for people owning small boats. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. I agree with you. We have a lot of that thing. The CHAIRMAN. And that affect fishermen and men like that. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. A lot of small boats almost have to have an inventory of things that are never used. He has to have a whistle on the boat, and also has to have a fo horn; yet the only time they ever use a foghorn is when they are being towed by another boat and perhaps never in a lifetime would they ever use it, and 9 out of 10 do not know what it is good for if they have got it on there; yet they are fined heavily if it is not on board; yet it is absolutely necessary to be observed. The CHAIRMAN. I think if we would fire a lot of those inspectors it would be a good job. Probably it may not be their fault, and that criticism may go too far. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Some of the provisions anyway do not work a hardship at least. For instance, the flame arrester is practically on every marine engine that is manufactured today. The CHAIRMAN. Are they expensive? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. No, sir; they are not expensive; they are wire auze. And the bilge ventilation is absolutely to keep from bei #. up, and all in the world it costs is $1.50 for a clamshell ventilator on the side of the boat with a wooden duct leading down to the bottom. Now that we have the Coast Guard Reserve, and the Coast Guard officers are going to come around to the clubhouses and cooperate and show how to put these things in The CHAIRMAN. Then you have no amendment to H. R. 6039? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. No, sir; I have not; I have tried to find them, but I could not find them. Mr. OllyFR. Mr. Chairman, in view of the fact Judge Culkin is not here this morning, I would like to ask the gentleman whether or not he would approve and support an amendment which would require mufflers for outboard motors. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Not during racing, but at all other times, I would. Mr. OlivK.R. You would? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Yes, sir; I would. Mr. OLIVER, I am glad to get your opinion. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Another thing, in many cases of these smaller boats, why not leave it to the States to determine what they would require? If mufflers are needed on the smaller boats, let the State of Virginia, or the State of Maine, require them. Justice Hughes, in an opinion rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States, held that where we do not cover any particular point, the States can legislate, and where the boats are peculiarly local, is it not the function of the State, then, to take care of that? Mr. RAPPLEYEA, I would hate to see that happen, Mr. Chairman, because the intelligence of the average State assembly is not on a par with that of Congress. The CHAIRMAN. It is a blame sight more than that of Congress in many instances. [Laughter.] You have not them as concentrated and you cannot do as much with them, but they have just as much intelligence there as they have in Congress.
Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Let me offer as a suggestion there a trip from New York to Florida; we would have so many different rules, it would be almost impossible. And, as it is now, we have only got this committee and the Bureau of Navigation to watch, and we would have to have a thousand eyes for that situation. The CHAIRMAN. The Lord knows that is enough. Mr. QLiver. I want to say in that connection, as quite a coincidence, that in the last 2 days I have had a communication from some individual in New York, who is the head of the “Dockside Noise” organization, or something of that sort, who takes issue with the opinion that you have expressed that States can legislate along this line and that one experience he had, I think in Connecticut, indicated it was impossible to get local legislation or State legislation which would take care of the problem. The CHAIRMAN. You may be right. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. I can answer that as to some of the States—the States of New Jersey, New Hampshire, and some of the States have some very sensible laws and some have good regulations that turn out to be very effective. The CHAIRMAN. Do not you think it would be a great deal better, instead of writing so many affirmative laws into legislation, that there might be more left to regulation? I am generally opposed to that thing, but it might be left to the Department and centralized in the Department, rather than being o around among so many steamboat inspectors? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. That is true, sir. The CHAIRMAN. I notice a very severe criticism by Dr. Steward, of Yale, on that very thing. Mr. RAPPLEYEA. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Have you anything else to say about that? Mr. RAPPLEYEA. That is all, sir.
STATEMENT OF RUSSELL D. GUDGEON, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ENGINE AND BOAT MANUFACTURERS
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Gudgeon, we do not want long statements this morning. Have you considered these two bills? Mr. GUDGEoN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Have you anything to say against them : Mr. GUDGEON. Nothing against them. I have one or two points to discuss on H. R. 6039. The CHAIRMAN. All right; have you any amendments to offer? Mr. GUDGEoN. I have an amendment to section 6 of H. R. 6039. The CHAIRMAN. All right; now, let us get down to the milk in the coconut. Mr. GudgeoN. On page 4, line 20, we suggest that the words “or buoyant cushion” be inserted in line 20. The CHAIRMAN. You heard what Mr. Rappleyea said about that buoyant cushion: what have you to say about it? Mr. GUDGEoN. I know the subject of the buoyant cushion has given the Department much concern, but we would still like to see those words in there because of this fact—that a small compact safety device, you might call it a utility device of that sort, that can be used