Yachting Australia has issued Amendment 9 for the Special Regulations Part 1 for yachts, and Part 2 for off the beach boats, for personal flotation devices.
Australian Standard 4758 for PFDs is now referenced in the Special Regulations Part 1 for yachts and Part 2 for off the beach boats. This removes ambiguity and does not require sailors to have to determine what previous Australian Standards these are the equivalent to.
Amendment 9 also removes the requirement for retroreflective material and whistles on Type 2 PFDs for yachts racing categories 5, 6 and 7. Research indicated that the Australian Standards for these PFDs did not prescribe that these be fitted, and as a result there was minimum availability of Special Regs compliant PFDs on the market, and sailors may have been forced to individually modify their PFDs.
The change affecting dinghy, sailboard and catamaran sailors is the lifting of the ban on Type 3 PFDs. Yachting Australia investigated this and found that the position was in conflict with global practices and the requirements of the Australian Standards.
In practice Amendment 9 allows sailors in Australia continue their current practices and not be faced with increased costs or inconvenience.
Amendment 9 can be found on the Yachting Australia website at here