by Mara Klecker, Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Zebra mussels and other aquatic pests may soon have fewer chances to hitchhike via boat, thanks to new boat-design guidelines expected to roll out this month from the American Boat and Yacht Council.

The recommendations, which will go out to the council’s 3,000-plus members internationally, are aimed at sealing more boat components, creating more-efficient draining systems and designing parts so inspectors can more easily spot aquatic invasive species.

They include:

  • Raising the hull, making the boat self-draining even while in the water;
  • Placing the jet intake on the boat’s exterior, providing for more effective flushing;
  • Creating a “closed” engine cooling system.