Hawaii Boating News & Updates

DLNR DOBOR Administration as of JUNE 30, 2020:

 

The DOBOR Covid-19 Response Page Q&A has been updated as of June 30, 2020

 

Q4 and Q8 - Recreational and commercial vessels can now carry up to 50% of their capacity.  Social distancing and sanitation requirements for commercial vessels still apply.   Read the press release issued by DLNR.

 

See the full text of these questions and answers at:

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/covid-19-dobor-response/

 

 

 

 

UPDATES FOR CHARTER OPERATORS  - JUNE 30, 2020

 

Aloha Ocean Charter Operators,

 

Another announcement from DLNR-DOBOR today, see attached below.

 

According to the first release, effective immediately all commercial tour operators can "exceed" their USCG-COI by 50%. Obviously this would cause major issues with the USCG if you "exceed" your COI. This was a mistake by DLNR and the release was later corrected to say "not to exceed" 50% of your vessels COI for vessels over ten passengers.

 

This language would suggest a ten passenger vessel can operate at full capacity and a twelve passenger vessel can only operate with six passengers. I had a phone conversation this morning with Ed Underwood, head of DOBOR, and ask for clarification on this release. Mr. Underwood stated that no vessel should operate at greater than 50% of the vessels USCG-COI while maintaining social distancing and any vessel can carry up to ten passengers plus crew as long the vessel is not exceeding its normal passenger rating while maintaining social distancing.

 

Example, a six-pack can carry six passengers plus crew, a sixteen passenger vessel can carry ten passengers plus crew, and a twenty two passenger vessel can carry eleven passengers plus crew. Additionally all vessels must maintain proper social distancing with all passengers and crew.

 

Thanks to all the individuals that have put in time and work to help protect the boating industry. Let's keep going forward. For all commercial operators on Hawai'i Island we are having a meeting to discuss DOBOR,COVID and the commercial boating industry tomorrow evening at 5pm at Jack's Diving Locker fuel dock pavilion in Honokohau. All are welcome to attend.

 

 

I hope everyone has stayed healthy and secure.

 

Thank You

 

Justin P. Smith

Owner

Pacific Boats & Yachts

Pacificboatsales.com

808-319-8925

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF LAND AND NATURAL RESOURCES

 

DAVID Y. IGE

GOVERNOR

 

SUZANNE D. CASE

CHAIRPERSON

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 29, 2020

 

COVID-19 RULES FOR COMMERCIAL & RECREATIONAL BOATS RELAXED

 

(Honolulu) – The State of Hawai῾i, through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), with the concurrence of the Counties of Hawai‘i, Maui, Kauai, and of the City and County of Honolulu, is lifting certain COVID-19 emergency restrictions imposed on larger commercial and recreational boating, and on ocean recreation.

 

DOBOR Administrator Ed Underwood said, “This change in rules is effective immediately and allows commercial and recreational boats, with a rated U.S. Coast Guard capacity of more than ten, to exceed their rated capacity by no more than 50 percent, provided they operating under the Boating and Ocean Recreation COVID-19 guidelines, linked below.

 

These “Act With Care” phase guidelines are based on Dept. of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, as well as input from boaters in Hawai‘i and in coordination with the counties. The protocols cover physical distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing, and cleaning and disinfecting.

 

All crews and passengers are covered by these rules and they apply to all commercial and recreational boats in all four counties.

# # #

 

Guidelines Attached

Web Link: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/covid-19-dobor-response/

 

 

Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Senior Communications Manager

(808) 587-0396

Dlnr.comms@hawaii.gov

DLNR DOBOR Administration as of JUNE 19, 2020:

 

The DOBOR Covid-19 Response Page Q&A has been updated.

Q1. What is the current status of Marine Event Permits?  Is DOBOR accepting applications now that things are opening up again?

 

DOBOR will resume issuing Marine Event Permits. Applications can be found on the DOBOR form page.  As a condition of these permits, event organizers must adhere to all existing State and County requirements for boating and gatherings on land.

 

See the full text of these questions and answers at:

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/covid-19-dobor-response/

 

 

JUNE 4, 2020

Q1. All DOBOR facilities are open to the public.  Visitors must wear a mask.  Only one visitor may enter a lobby at a time.  Social distancing is required.  PLEASE READ ALL POSTS AT DOBOR FACILITIES BEFORE ENTERING. THESE SAFEGUARDS ARE IN PLACE FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND FOR THE PROTECTION OF DOBOR STAFF.

Q2.  Emergency rule restricting number of passengers on a single boat has been revised.

 

Q7. Commercial Vessel and Commercial Watersports permittees may resume operation, provided that all requirements are met.

 

See the full text of these questions and answers at:

 

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/covid-19-dobor-response/

 

 

DLNR DOBOR Administration as of JUNE 4, 2020:

 

Effectively immediately, commercial vessel operations can resume with up to 10 people on a vessel at one time and following the COVID-19 “Act With Care” guidelines.  The ten people restriction includes passengers and crew.  The ten-person limit can be exceeded if everyone is from the same household.

 

All commercial watersports operators such as surf schools and kayak tours can also resume operations with the same restrictions of a limit of 10 people including clients and staff.

 

 

 

 

 

Aloha Ocean Charter Operators,

 

This week brought big news for everyone; commercial use permits have been re-instated! Many commercial charter companies have been contacting DLNR as well as other departments of government, asking for their permits to be reinstated. It likely would have taken longer to get to this point without that effort. So, thank you for this effort! I’m sure there are mixed feelings for many reasons, but when tourists return you will be ready and in operation. Hopefully many of our kama‘aina and neighbors are willing to support our small businesses and book charters to go fishing, diving, snorkeling, sailing or an evening watching the sunset.

 

Other big news in Hawai‘i was released yesterday. On O‘ahu, bars, movie theaters, and gyms will be able to open and operate on June 19th. Governor Ige has also signed off on allowing gatherings of 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors.

 

The Hawai‘i commercial charter operations are built to be outdoor spaces. Charter companies should be able to operate their vessels at a reasonable passenger count, not exceeding the USCG’s passenger limit, while maintaining social distancing. Charter vessels are all different sizes and layouts. Making a blanket rule of a maximum of ten passengers, including crew, for all commercial vessels makes no sense. A six passenger vessels would be completely unaffected by this regulation, while a 49 passenger vessel has their operational capacity reduced by 80%. Many of the larger vessels cannot financially operate at these numbers. Restaurants and now bars can adjust their operations according to their situation, charter operators should be given the same opportunity to make accommodations and operate safely.

 

 

I encourage everyone to contact the heads of DLNR-DOBOR, the Governor, and Mayors to point out this discrepancy and encourage them to stand up for Hawai‘i’s commercial boating community. I’m sure this shut-down has taken a great financial toll on everyone, we don’t need unnecessary rules that will continue to bring charter companies to the edge of failure. Especially when other local businesses are allowed to operate at greater capacities. Let’s remind them that ocean charters are one of the largest industries in the state and employ thousands of people and bring in huge amounts of revenue to the state. DLNR-DOBOR is funded through harbor fees, they work for you. They need to hear from you that the current allowances for passengers are bias and unreasonable.

 

https://governor.hawaii.gov/contact-us/contact-the-governor/

 

http://www.honolulu.gov/mayor/contactthemayor.html#gsc.tab=0

 

https://www.mauicounty.gov/1894/Office-of-the-Mayor

 

https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/our-county/mayor

 

https://www.kauai.gov/Mayor

 

suzanne.case@hawaii.gov – Head of DLNR

 

robert.k.masuda@hawaii.gov - First deputy DLNR

 

meghan.l.statts@hawaii.gov - Assistant Administrator of DLNR-DOBOR

 

Ed.R.Underwood@hawaii.gov – Administrator of DLNR-DOBOR

 

I hope everyone has stayed healthy and secure.

 

Thank You

 

Justin P. Smith

Owner

Pacific Boats & Yachts

Pacificboatsales.com

(808) 319-8925

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