By Captain Jim Fenner
It is with a certain amount of sadness that I am writing this column for the Cannonball. Since I joined the Association in 1985, I have looked forward to every issue. I didn’t know then that I might one day be an officer in the Association and have the privilege of writing articles for it. Now my time is nearly over. Since 1997 I have had the privilege of being on the MCBA board. First as the Director for the newly created position of Director for Central Lake Michigan, and finally, since 2008, as the Secretary of the MCBA. During those years.
I have made many great friends, and worked with many terrific officers on the board. I have been retired from actively chartering for two years now, and it is time for the Association to find an active captain to be the Association Secretary, so I will be leaving the board in October. I will remain a loyal member in retirement, I hope, for a long time into the future.
I can never thank the Association enough for all it’s done for me over the years. It’s truly been my pleasure to belong. Thanks to all.
On to the business of the Association:
We are returning to Lansing for the Annual Fall Conference this year. Lansing is a central location for Captains from all over the state. The conference will be held at the Lansing Lexington Hotel on October 19, 20 & 21, with, of course, the main program on Saturday, October 20. The Lansing Lexington Hotel is at 925 Creyts Rd. Lansing, MI 48917. Please call (877) 322-5544 to make a room reservation. Be sure to identify yourself as an MCBA member to get our special room rate. The Lexington is a very nice hotel, on the western edge of Lansing, just off I-96, and not far from I-69. It’s close to good shopping too, so bring your significant other, and enjoy the weekend. Friday night is social hour, Saturday the daytime program and the evening dinner program and charity raffle, followed by more time in the hospitality suite, and finally the complimentary breakfast preceding the business meeting Sunday morning. Come early, stay long, and enjoy the whole weekend. The business meeting usually adjourns by about 10:30 AM Sunday, leaving the rest of the day to get home and on to your other activities. Hope to see you there.
Recently it came to my attention that there has been a substantial change to the law regarding trailering charter boats. Public Act 231 was passed, signed into law in the spring and went into effect on June 29th. It’s seems like it will make moving your charter boat around Michigan a little less complicated. Here’s what I’ve been able to learn from speaking with Ofc. Austin of the State Police and Ron Edward, a spokesperson for the Michigan Center for Truck Safety.
The new law applies to persons who do not travel outside of Michigan, and who are not required to have a CDL. If this is you, you are no longer required to have an annual inspection and carry a certificate of inspection. You are no longer required to carry a logbook and keep track of your hours.
You do not need to have or display a DOT number; however, if you do not display a DOT number, you must display your name, city and state.
As I understand the new rules, you are still required to have a DOT physical card. Obviously, you need to be operating a safe vehicle; you and it will continue to be subject to examination for safety by the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Michigan State Police.
For additional information as it may apply to you, please look at the Michigan Center for Truck Safety website: www.truckingsafety.org.
You may call Ron Edward at the Center 1-800-682-4682, or Ofc. Joseph Austin in the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Michigan State Police: (517) 241-0542. He helped guide the construction of the new law.
Another area of Federal law that has changed is the TWIC card requirement. A new policy now in force states that license holders no longer have to have a TWIC card unless operating a vessel that is required to file a “Vessel Security Plan”. That is not us. So you are not required to renew your TWIC card.
There are a couple of things to be aware of: first, anyone applying for his/her first license must still go through the TWIC card application process. In effect, the TWIC card application becomes the security check for the USCG. Second, if your TWIC card is expired when you apply for a license renewal, you are now required to sign and submit a new form acknowledging that the USCG will do a “name security check”. The NMC suggests that it may delay the renewal, but early anecdotal evidence is that it does not materially lengthen the process. This form is not currently in the standard renewal form packet issued by the USCG, and is in the re-design process so you will need to dig for it on the NMC website: http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/
For information about renewal, you may also want to contact Chuck Kakuska, Sea K Licensing Service (734) 847-1723. He knows all the rules, and has the form. For a modest fee, Chuck will guide you through the renewal process.
I sincerely hope providing this information will be a help to you. Thanks for reading my columns over the years. See you at the fall conference.