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Old 21 September 2015, 08:18   #1
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Changes to the RCD - Category B

Interesting to see that come the 18th January 2016 the new directive that covers categorisation of RIBs is coming in. From the discussions I have had with HPi verification services who issue the certificates I am being told that no rib under 6.5meters will be able to hold a category B certificate, this is primarily due to the perceived weight of a RIB being under the level required. So any existing RIBs or Inflatables under 6.5 meters currently classed as CAT B will become CAT C...

I know there is a lot of stock placed in categorisation and it is often used as a part of a sales pitch, however listening to how the rules have been bent by various manufacturers over the years it really has very little meaning, with some less scrupulous boat manufacturers even categorising inflatables under 3 meters as CAT B...

In future I think coding is far more relevant and frankly a hell of a lot cheaper than putting every rib with a different layout through the RCD process !!
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Old 21 September 2015, 08:54   #2
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Interesting to see that come the 18th January 2016 the new directive that covers categorisation of RIBs is coming in. From the discussions I have had with HPi verification services who issue the certificates I am being told that no rib under 6.5meters will be able to hold a category B certificate, this is primarily due to the perceived weight of a RIB being under the level required. So any existing RIBs or Inflatables under 6.5 meters currently classed as CAT B will become CAT C...

I know there is a lot of stock placed in categorisation and it is often used as a part of a sales pitch, however listening to how the rules have been bent by various manufacturers over the years it really has very little meaning, with some less scrupulous boat manufacturers even categorising inflatables under 3 meters as CAT B...

In future I think coding is far more relevant and frankly a hell of a lot cheaper than putting every rib with a different layout through the RCD process !!
Is it retrospective Chris, i.e. will current Cat B boats that do not meet the new spec need replating? Nightmare!!
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Old 21 September 2015, 12:19   #3
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Is it retrospective Chris, i.e. will current Cat B boats that do not meet the new spec need replating? Nightmare!!
Yes.

Ultimately its not as though most RIBs that are called "CAT B" would actually have been tested. The issue being that you build a RIB that has 4 x jockey seats a side by side console and a single engine. You then have the stability tests done and all necessary calculations to confirm the RIB meets the necessary stability standards to be classified as CAT B. Then if the next RIB of the same design and size has 6 seats, or a twin engine rig, or even if you added trim tabs, then to actually be able to state that the RIB is CAT B it should be tested again and a new certificate issued. So as you can imagine for a RIB builder that has 10 Different RIBs and then has 5 or six variations of each they would need to carry out 50 certification exercises. Even worse if each boat is custom built to meet the customers requirements.

Its just not realistic, and has been like this for years. So most RIB builders that have bothered, choose a specific model, get a certificate and then state that any variant is still CAT B when strictly speaking they are not. The risk being that if an accident occurred then potentially Trading Standards could go after you if they chose.

Having taken advice with regards to Osprey, my view is that we will stick with CAT C and then if anyone needs it we can code a RIB for far less money than RCD certification.
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Old 21 September 2015, 12:21   #4
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You can see a more detailed explanation here...

Frequently Asked Questions - HPi Verification Services Ltd.

Interesting quote at the end.

"In the meantime, it would be very wrong indeed for a buyer to assume a category B RIB from manufacturer X is more seaworthy than a category C RIB of similar size from manufacturer Y. It may be quite the reverse. It all depends when the boat was certified and which edition of the standard was used. As the newer standards offer a more rigorous test, the age of the certificate is a more reliable guide of seaworthiness: the younger the better."
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Old 21 September 2015, 14:04   #5
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From the FAQs from "Hpi Verification Services Ltd" My take would be that it's not retrospetive.......

"HPiVS did adopt the new approach when part 4 was published….but only for new assessments. A certifier does not have the right to withdraw category B certificates from those using the old approach because the legislation has not changed. In other words, if a boat was certified as meeting the law, correctly, on day A, then the same boat cannot be found to be non-compliant with the same law on day B. The law sits above the standards. When certified, a boat is declared as compliant with the law on the basis of compliance with particular standards but there is no legal obligation for a manufacturer to adopt updates to standards, particularly for previously certified products."

I could be wrong but my take on this is, if it was certified Cat B then it remains Cat B.
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Old 21 September 2015, 14:54   #6
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From the FAQs from "Hpi Verification Services Ltd" My take would be that it's not retrospetive.......

"HPiVS did adopt the new approach when part 4 was published….but only for new assessments. A certifier does not have the right to withdraw category B certificates from those using the old approach because the legislation has not changed. In other words, if a boat was certified as meeting the law, correctly, on day A, then the same boat cannot be found to be non-compliant with the same law on day B. The law sits above the standards. When certified, a boat is declared as compliant with the law on the basis of compliance with particular standards but there is no legal obligation for a manufacturer to adopt updates to standards, particularly for previously certified products."

I could be wrong but my take on this is, if it was certified Cat B then it remains Cat B.
That would make sense...but there again...when was THAT ever relative!!?
On RIB's already categorised....One thing IS for sure...the Boat being labeled this or that won't increase OR...decrease its present ability when it cuts up ONE BIT!
More Bureaucracy=more control=more revenue=less Freedom!
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Old 21 September 2015, 16:14   #7
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Is it retrospective Chris, i.e. will current Cat B boats that do not meet the new spec need replating? Nightmare!!
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Originally Posted by Last Tango View Post
From the FAQs from "Hpi Verification Services Ltd" My take would be that it's not retrospetive.......
I could be wrong but my take on this is, if it was certified Cat B then it remains Cat B.

Sorry Dave I thought you meant current cat B as in current models in production that are supposedly CAT B, not boats that have already been built...

Its not like they can force you to fix a new plate on the transom is it !

The whole thing seems pretty pointless to me. Maybe the new version will get it right.
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Old 21 September 2015, 16:43   #8
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Sorry Dave I thought you meant current cat B as in current models in production that are supposedly CAT B, not boats that have already been built...

Its not like they can force you to fix a new plate on the transom is it !

The whole thing seems pretty pointless to me. Maybe the new version will get it right.
Personally I also think the whole RCD system is pointless & irrelevant.

a, it doesn't take into account the biggest variable of all:- the helmsman
b, it doesn't actually limit what I can do with my boat, i.e. just because my boat is a Cat B, doesn't stop me from taking it out in a hurricane & trying to round Cape Horn, or cross the Channel in a force 8
c, I'm guessing that most buyers neither understand nor care what the different categories mean.
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Old 21 September 2015, 17:04   #9
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Dave, the point of the directive is not *really* meant to make it safer for consumers, it is intended to make it easier for UK boat builders to sell boats across the EU and vice versa.
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Old 21 September 2015, 17:21   #10
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Dave, the point of the directive is not *really* meant to make it safer for consumers, it is intended to make it easier for UK boat builders to sell boats across the EU and vice versa.
I don't doubt it for one minute, but as already said, there are so many variables to make the categories largely meaningless. Ultimately it could reduce customer choice (IMHO). Builders will be reluctant to tailor boats (i.e. custom build) to customer spec, as this will have implications for the RCD rating. We will end up with a fixed set of choices with only minor changes allowed, pink tubes anyone
All imho of course.
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