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Old 29 December 2013, 17:52   #1
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Boat safety certificate

I have a 15.5 foot sports boat now and live near the Severn in Gloucestershire and am hoping to use boat in Torbay and local rivers and not sure of the requirements for boat safety certificate and what is checked on an open boat with simple electrics for navigation lights, engine, battery and depth finder.
The boat has 2 removable plastic 5 gallon fuel tanks under the back bench seat where the battery is also kept in battery box and an isolator is fitted here as well.
Have searched the forums for this information but have not found much info and started to read the literature on the boat safety download which seemed more relevant to larger boats with inboards with built in fuel tanks and hard going reading.
Any help much appreciated
Andy
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Old 29 December 2013, 18:15   #2
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Boat safety certificate from what i remember is for canal /river boats / narrow boats on inland waters that had living accommodation /cooking / heating facility's on board as well as certain types of engine installations , in general it is more to do with how pipe work /gas /fuel /water , exhaust pipes , flues/ chimneys are fitted , Open day boats / outboards were partially exempt if the cooking equipment was portable or the outboard had the original fuel fittings such as crimped hoses ends ,, jubilee clips couldn't be used ect .
I mate of mine had a hard boat in a dock that was privately owned so dident need one ? but because he had to cross 10 metres of canal owned by British waterways between him and the sea lock he had to get the certificate .
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Old 29 December 2013, 18:18   #3
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Have a look on the BW site. Off the top of my head, I think the BS Certificate is only needed on an open boat with no gas on board if you plan to keep the boat on the canal for prolonged periods - i.e. can use on a day basis without cert. There may be an expectation that the boat complies without certification?

The rules are here: Private Boats | Boat Safety Scheme | Go Boating - Stay Safe
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Old 29 December 2013, 18:32   #4
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To my knowledge, you'll need a BSSC if you intend to use the boat on any waterway licensed by the Canal and River Trust or Environment Agency so the non-tidal Severn will probably fall under one or the other's jurisdiction. For instance, I own a narrowboat which is subject to this scheme and has to be re-certificated every 4 years but my RIB is only used on tidal, non licensed water, so doesn't require a BSSC.

Admitedly without seeing your set-up I believe you'll find it next to impossible to satisfy any BSS examiner that you meet the requirements of Section 5 of the scheme (storage of petrol), particularly with regard to ventilation, spillage and the proximity of the stored fuel to the battery and isolation switch.

You may also find the existing battery storage arrangement on your boat will present you with a challenge in terms of overboard ventilation of any fumes? The BSSC is very specific about what is required and it's simply not achievable on many small boats

Regardless of whether you intend to subject yourself to a BSS examination it's worth double-checking that your existing isolation switch is the 'spark proof' type and that it would be impossible to drop (say) a spanner across the terminals in such close proximity to the petrol tanks.
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Old 29 December 2013, 18:32   #5
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Thanks Poly, just had a read of that on the introduction part and still not sure as it mentions lighting and the boat is fitted with nav lights.
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Old 29 December 2013, 18:52   #6
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Thanks Barrowboy, this is a minefield, I can understand the thought behind what is required by the BSC but as you say trying to achieve this in a small boat with insufficient space and scope is either hard or impossible, will keep digging to find out as much as I can and make up mind too weather its worth it, thanks
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Old 29 December 2013, 19:27   #7
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Hi we have used 3 different boats on bw waters & several canals in england & have transited all of the Scottish canals in the last ten years & we have never had a boat safety certificate for any of the boats as we were only classed as visitors

I think you can be asked if a bw employee can check your engine installation etc at point of entry into the waterways however we have never been inspected

I think you can stay up to 14 days without a Bsc but im not sure if this is per visit or not but I dont think its well policed anyway

We were in boats with heating & living accomodation (although diesel powered) & never had any problems so id guess your sports boat will be fine we always found the bw staff pretty helpfull when buying our licences so I'd just pop in to one of the offices & ask before you start doing anything to the boat

We actually sold one boat to someone who wanted to use it permanently inland & had to get a bsc as part of the sale & it was fairly simple we just got a local surveryor to survey the boat he gave us a list of items requireing attention which took me an afternoon to complete we emailed him pictures of the work & he issued the cert & im sure it was about 60 total which seemed a bit of a bargain
So although the regs look daunting on a decent well maintained boat they are realy only comon sense & good maintenance & housekeeping
Certainly not worth worrying over
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Old 29 December 2013, 19:33   #8
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Hi dude, I restored a 21' cabin cruiser many years ago, I removed all the cooking appliances as it caused a problem with LPG storage and drop out points. In fact I gutted the whole thing on the water and rebuilt it by hand.

When it was about 90% complete I had the safety check done by a surveyor on the website list with the understanding that I could have a free recheck if anything was wrong.

I had an advisory on ventilation into the cabin and a fail on the battery isolation switch and battery box but to be honest I already knew that as I wanted them to advise me rather than do the job twice.

When complete and although it was perfect, I ended up hating it

Mooring costs and constant trips to make sure it was ok after a storm, I even built mooring posts that would rise and fall with the water level...

And the only way you can go is either up or down river seeing the same things over and over again

But having said all this, it was in a nice spot and nice in the summer just to go and sit and have a mug of tea

Also you need anti fouling if you leave it on the water.

So my best advice to you would be... Unless you live close by and use it a lot or just to go there to chill out and read a book, then keep it at home and trailer it for now. If you really want it on the water get a survey and see what happens
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Old 30 December 2013, 03:16   #9
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Stubber,

Here is some more info: https://www.waterways.org.uk/pdf/bss_guide

As noted by myself and others above there are various exemptions. See section 1.13; in particular these parts:

  • A BSS examination is not required in respect of any privately- owned, open vessel (i.e. a vessel in which all the accommodation is completely open to the elements) if it has no domestic cooking, heating, refrigerating or lighting appliances installed and it is propelled solely by an outboard engine. Please note, such boats remain subject to all appropriate navigation authorities' legal requirements.
  • Some navigation authorities may allow vessels a short-term or visitor status licence or registration without the need to undergo a BSS examination on the basis that the owner makes a declaration that his or her vessel meets the navigation authorities' legal requirements outlined in this Guide and is willing to allow spot checks by navigation authority officers or authorised agents for the authority. Such boats remain subject to all appropriate navigation authorities' legal requirements.


And here is the exemption form on the BW website:
http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/733.pdf

As you say though "any" electrical installation will not qualify.

But if it is for short term use then all you need to do is complete this:

http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/library/1196.pdf

Quote:
Originally Posted by canalrivertrust.org.uk/boating/licensing/choosing-and-buying-your-licence/short-term-visitor-licence

Boat Safety

Your boat should comply with our safety requirements at all times unless it is a very simple vessel.

Check to see whether it is exempt by tracing through the questions on this chart.

We have the right to refuse access onto our waterways for any boat that we think may present a safety risk to other waterway users. In purchasing a short term visitor licence you agree to allow our employees or an appointed surveyor to carry out a safety check at any reasonable time. If we believe your boat is dangerous, you will have to remove it from the waterway.

To qualify for a licence your boat must have one of the following:
  • a current certificate to show compliance with our Boat Safety Scheme requirements
  • a current Declaration of Conformity with the EU's Recreational Craft Directive

We will issue a short term visitor licence without either of the above if you are able to satisfy the conditions contained within the Boat Condition Declaration - please complete the separate Application Form. Licence fees can be found on the Useful Downloads page.
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Old 30 December 2013, 04:34   #10
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Stubber - very interested in this and the outcome as I live in Cheltenham and have a rib that I would like to use on the Severn/Avon - I will be contacting a boat examiner in New Year but feel free to Pm me.
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