NEW JERSEY — A New Jersey lawmaker has introduced legislation to require foam boat decks to be impervious to saltwater and stormwater runoff.
The bill, filed late Friday by State Rep. Mike DiCicco, D-Union, would require all new foam boat boats manufactured before Jan. 1, 2021, to have impervious flooring and be waterproof.
The new law would apply to all new boats manufactured after that date, and would also apply to boats with a deck of plywood, wood or metal that has been painted or lacquered with a waterproof coating.
The legislation would also require foam boats to have at least a 1,000-square-foot waterproof window in the cabin or above the deck.
DiCiccos bill was introduced by Assemblyman Paul Sousa, D, Union, after several lawsuits were filed against foam boat manufacturers by the state’s coastal communities.
The foam boat industry says its products are a popular way to reduce the risk of coastal flooding, especially for older boats.
The foam industry has also argued that they are more cost effective than a traditional hull, which could lead to more expensive repairs or replacement.