Boatracs Inc., provider of integrated satellite communications and software solutions to the maritime industry, has formed an exclusive strategic partnership with maritime compliance consulting firm, Maritime Compliance International LLC. The two companies are collaborating to develop a new electronic forms software product designed specifically for compliance management of the upcoming Coast Guard 46 CFR Subchapter “M” regulation.
The new product is based on Boatracs’ electronic forms platform, Boatracs BTForms. Boatracs says BTForms is currently used on almost 200 vessels to simplify the process of collecting accurate vessel data for dispatch, Health, Safety and the Environment (HSE), maintenance and management.
Boatracs says it is working with Kevin Gilheany, owner of Maritime Compliance International and an industry expert in maritime regulatory compliance, to develop a Subchapter M compliance product that is easy to use and affordable.
“Subchapter M, with all of its grandfathering, exceptions and other applicability specifications, is the most complex regulation ever produced by the U.S. Coast Guard,” says Gilheany, a Coast Guard retiree himself, in a Boatracs press release. “The biggest challenge is to determine exactly what is required for each individual vessel in a fleet. I have greatly simplified this process for vessel owners and operators by using a list of questions to determine the optimum level of compliance. Whether an operator chooses inspection by Coast Guard or a third party auditor, this product is designed to make complying with Subchapter M manageable for any size fleet.”
Boatracs is utilizing the expertise of Maritime Compliance International and building a forms-based software product that is installed on an on-board PC. Based on certain input information, the product will automatically generate a vessel survey checklist and all of the corresponding forms required to meet the regulations for that particular vessel. The product will also include alerts for required dates to provide reminders of upcoming requirements. Completed forms can be stored on the on-board PC, printed, and the data transmitted to shore where an identical form will be accessible from any PC, tablet or smart phone through a web-based user interface.
“Our customers are deeply concerned about the complexity of the Subchapter M regulation,” said Irwin Rodrigues, Boatracs president and CEO. “We believe our approach of providing simple and affordable solutions is well-suited to help workboat companies meet the challenges of this regulation. We are excited to be working with Kevin Gilheany as both of our companies recognize the significant impact Subchapter M will have on the industry, and the critical need to provide a solution that is specific to each vessel, user friendly for Captains, and provides fleet-wide compliance. Together we are bringing a compliance alternative to workboat companies that makes Subchapter M very manageable and cost effective, so that every owner can have the peace of mind of knowing they are ready.”
Boatracs will be giving live demonstrations of a software prototype in Booth 1226 at the International Workboat Show 2012 in New Orleans from Dec. 5–7. The commercial product will be launched at the end of the first quarter of 2013.
“The enforcement date for Subchapter M is not final yet and could be announced at any time,” says Gilheany. “We want to help companies get ahead of the regulation to improve their business by minimizing the burdens and pitfalls associated with complex rules and regulations, which I have seen lead to financial penalties. The maritime operators that incorporate Subchapter M into their day to day routine now are going to have a distinct advantage over the rest of the market.”