A flex suspension doesn’t only save your back… we have found that it also allows boats to travel a few knots faster than without a suspension seat as it greatly reduces the limitations of your body in terms of taking impacts.
“we now travel a few knots faster than previous In bigger seas without being pushed and are able to maintain more economical speeds.”(Linda, John Forrest)
But this raises a dilemma for shark. Especially when it comes to tour and passenger boats.
The issue with tour boat set ups
Tour boats which seat passengers at the bow of the vessel have been seen using suspension seating for the skippers at the rear while the passengers are left with no suspension seating at the front.
This can be dangerous as operators are often located at the rear while the passengers sit at the bow.
All boats must go up and down to get over waves which inherently involves taking impacts. If you were to sit at the rear of a boat, you would feel less intense impacts as that area of the boat isn’t travelling up and down as much. The bow however travels the most and people sitting there will experience more severe impacts.
This is even more dangerous if we factor in that skippers will be experiencing far lesser impacts being at the rear on a suspension seat. If the skippers aren’t able to feel what the passengers do they may be more inclined to go faster creating larger forces at the front where people don’t have a means to protect their backs. This simply amplifies the effects felt which can increase the chance of injury for the passengers.
Another thing to take into account is that some passengers may have underlying back related health issues and are unaware of the impacts they may experience on a boat which could (and has) lead to spinal damage.
The image below shows how a passenger vessel should be set up with suspension seating:
Insurance and AMSA
As a result of multiple accidents that have occurred on the water, insurance companies are now enforcing stricter guidelines this means companies that use passenger boats will have to re-evaluate the condition of their vessels to meet safer guidelines. if your boat isn’t up to code you won’t be able to insure it.
Organisations like AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) have been reported doing inspections on passenger vessels to ensure less accidents happen on the water. These inspections will mean you may have to change some things on your vessel(s) to meet their standards.
Having a suspension seats in your boat will put a major tick in the box in the eyes of insurance companies and AMSA. As they are now taking more into account when it comes to accidents.
How does this effects business?
From a business standpoint there is enormous risk in being sued over injury (as we have seen in the past). From a personal stand point, you don’t want to be responsible for causing harm to the passengers on your boat.
We have seen how things have gone wrong in the past and this has inspired shark’s goal… to save you back. This is why we can’t stress enough the importance of fitting your whole boat with suspension seating if you are taking passengers. So much so that we will decline a sale if we find a boat arrangement that will not make the ride safe for everyone.
So with FLEX under ALL the seats on your boat, you can drive stress free knowing that you and your passengers backs are safe.