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Old 27 September 2008, 05:36   #31
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Originally Posted by Erin View Post
Just a thought, but my simplistic understanding of the rules is that any new boat sold in the EU since 1998 (or is it 1996?) must be RCD compliant. Presumably it is the duty of trading standards to ensure compliance?

Prosport was a Guernsey company who would not normally be subject to the regs. Guernsey is not part of the EU (or UK) and UK trading standards officers would have no jurisdiction over there. If some wronged party tried to make a claim against the manufacturer, I guess they would have a hard time identifying which official body would take up the case. I can't see anything to stop Prosport putting an RCD CE plate on their boats whether they were compliant or not. And I suppose the question would also arise as to who imported the boat into the EU, Prosport or the customer.

This is obviously a totally separate issue from negligent surveyors.
My involvement with CE marking has been through machinery, low voltage and EMC directives rather than the RCD, but I believe the principle is the same through all the CE directives.

The CE directives are (or were) policed in the UK by the DTI - their approach is a 'complaints driven' one - ie they don't routinely test CE marked equipment entering the UK, they react to complaints of non compliance from end users / regulatory bodies etc.

CE compliance is the responsibility of the person or orgainsation 'putting the product on the market' within the EU. Normally this is the manufacturer or importer, however 'putting the product on the market' does not specifically mean the physical act of importing the product - it is a more generic term which would include such activities as advertising the product for sale in the EU.

If for example a customer sees an advert for a boat in a UK magazine and orders it from a non EU manufacturer, the fact that the customer collects the boat himself from outside the EU does not discharge the manufacturer's liabilities with regard to CE compliance, unless the boat is marketed as 'not for use in the EU'. If the manufacturer has attached a CE plate he is accepting responsibility for compliance. I assume it will depend on whatever trade agreements are in place with the relevant non EU country as to what actions can be taken against the manufacturer - the EU tends to take a very dim view on misuse of CE marking.

I think it comes down to knowing the right questions to ask before purchase. I suspect most / many manufacturers would be reluctant to show their TCF on the grounds of commercial confidentiality, but it doesn't hurt to ask. You can also ask what quality procedures (design and manufacture) they have in place - if they are not prepared to be open, walk away.

Scanning through the RCD, the CE category appears to be pivotal - cat C and below the manufacturer can self certify, Cat B and above they can't. If I was buying a 5m+ rib I would expect it to be cat B, and I would want to know who the manufacturer used as notified body etc before parting with any cash.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 27 September 2008, 07:56   #32
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I would think alot of us have Cat C boats (even though they may be up to Cat B standards) as the certification process is very costly and small manufacturers cannot justify the time, cost and process involved. Especially as I understand the Cat B process involves destructuve testing.
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Old 12 October 2008, 11:35   #33
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I am quite new to ribbing and was about to buy a bigger but still trailerable rib to explore different bits of the coast at weekends.

Reading this forum and particularly this thread is worrying. Anyone thinking of buying a boat should read right through the judgement in this case that someone supplied on http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/TCC/2008/1518.html I don’t want to fall in the same hole as this Classyboats could not afford to fight a battle through the courts if it all went wrong. Worry is these people seem to have done it all correctly and it still went terrible wrong.

Do people in the industry read this forum. Why has no one commentd, everyone is very quiet. The negligent firm Saunders Morgan Harris I noticed even advertise on this forum. Why have they and others in the industry especially the boat builders who must be the on here put everyones minds at rest if Classyboats is wrong or explained what they are doing if as it seems there are some big problems.

Silence seems to confirm that classyboats is right.

I have seen second hand Pro Sports advertised around are these legal
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Old 12 October 2008, 17:11   #34
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I think (however unfair it might be) the key phrase is 'caveat emptor'.

If you wish to reduce your exposure to risk, buy a standard design boat from a major manufacturer - it doesn't guarantee build quality directly, but does mean if there are issues they will be better known. Look in particular at the brands that are used commercially and by rescue organisations.

If you buy a new / custom design from a small manufacturer the risks are increased. Effectively you can end up as a 'beta tester' for the design in a similar manner to any other technology early adopter, though with somewhat potentially more hazardous end results.

The paragraph that struck me was:

Quote:
It is understood and agreed that the surveyor's report will be a factual examination carried out within the stated limitations and with opinions given in good faith as far as seen at time of inspection. It implies no guarantee against faulty design, latent defects, general safety or suitability of the vessel for any particular purpose. The survey will not include examination in respect of performance or otherwise to the Recreational Craft Directive 94/25/EU, the EMC Directive 89/336/EEC and the Machinery Directive 98/37/EC."
Pretty similar to the 'get out clause' used by building surveyors.

With regards to adverts for the surveyors in question, I haven't seen any on this site - if they are the 'google ads' then they are (afaik) automatically generated by google so the surveyors company would have no knowledge of this thread.

As for it being legal to sell Prosport ribs, then yes it is, provided (as with any other second hand item) it is honestly advertised. After all, it is perfectly legal to sell a car that is an mot failure, or is a non runner. Also, problems with one (non standard) rib from a manufacturer does not mean (necessarily) that all the ribs made by that manufacturer are sub standard or dangerous.

Anyway, now that you have found Ribnet, why not post up a bit more info about your current rib and what you are looking for in a new rib, and let the collected wisdom of Ribnet users advise you on makes and models to look out for and avoid.

Cheers

Chris
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Old 12 October 2008, 17:42   #35
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Originally Posted by chris123 View Post
I think (however unfair it might be) the key phrase is 'caveat emptor'.

If you wish to reduce your exposure to risk, buy a standard design boat from a major manufacturer - it doesn't guarantee build quality directly, but does mean if there are issues they will be better known. Look in particular at the brands that are used commercially and by rescue organisations.

If you buy a new / custom design from a small manufacturer the risks are increased. Effectively you can end up as a 'beta tester' for the design in a similar manner to any other technology early adopter, though with somewhat potentially more hazardous end results.


Chris
Indeed.. and as has been proven the regulations that serve to protect us are a nonsence. Those small companies with nothing to lose will continue to employ sharp practice to sell their products, the legal aspects are unenforceable without considerable cost, and shocking though it might seem, thats the way it stands. Whats the use of suing someone who has no money, so I agree , until this industry gets tightened up, you should only buy from the trusted brands who not only will you have some comeback against .. but they wont see you stuck in the first place as they have a reputation to protect since their brand is worth something.
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Old 13 October 2008, 04:15   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris123 View Post

Pretty similar to the 'get out clause' used by building surveyors.
A minor point, but no surveyor can can identify/predict latent defects.... that's why they're called 'latent'.

That's why you can get latent defects insurance on new houses. Perhaps there should be something similar for boats?
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Old 13 October 2008, 04:41   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIB fear View Post
I am quite new to ribbing and was about to buy a bigger but still trailerable rib to explore different bits of the coast at weekends.

Reading this forum and particularly this thread is worrying. Anyone thinking of buying a boat should read right through the judgement in this case that someone supplied on http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/TCC/2008/1518.html I don’t want to fall in the same hole as this Classyboats could not afford to fight a battle through the courts if it all went wrong. Worry is these people seem to have done it all correctly and it still went terrible wrong.

Do people in the industry read this forum. Why has no one commentd, everyone is very quiet. The negligent firm Saunders Morgan Harris I noticed even advertise on this forum. Why have they and others in the industry especially the boat builders who must be the on here put everyones minds at rest if Classyboats is wrong or explained what they are doing if as it seems there are some big problems.

Silence seems to confirm that classyboats is right.

I have seen second hand Pro Sports advertised around are these legal
As a manufacturer I try and avoid commenting on other peoples products, but I think you will find that Prosport is not an example of typical boat building skills in the UK. They built boats outside the EU (Channel Islands), and it seems from the judgement their CE procedure wasn't exactly faultless!

In theory if the CE marking on other Prosports Ribs isn't correct, then they could be confiscated and the owners even fined, although this is extremely unlikely as it seems that the powers that be only get involved if there is an accident or a court case.

It should be noted that as others have said the CE marking is not done on every individual hull, but on the first one out of the mould. The marking from country to country is also very inconsistent, and the rating should never be taken as to a suitability for certain conditions.

Incidentally the guy who was the expert witness for this case (the one the Judge listened to!) does our CE work for us!
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Old 13 October 2008, 04:55   #38
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I am quite new to ribbing and was about to buy a bigger but still trailerable rib to explore different bits of the coast at weekends.
The boating industry as a whole is in for a tough time over the next year or two. Even tougher than normal ! I can totally sympathise with your concerns as you want to be sure that whichever new boat you buy will be supported for at least the warranty period.

I would pick a design / manufactuer that has been around for a long time and is clearly capable of "weathering the storm". The likes of Humber, Ribcraft have been around for years although who can really tell whats going to happen in the next 12 months.

On the other hand there are already a lot of good 2nd hand boats coming up for sale and its certainly going to become a buyers market! I saw a 7 year old 7.5 meter fully specced Ribeye with a Yamaha 225 4stroke go for less than £12,000 on B&O the other day I bet someone is happy!

The main resource you have is this website, there are a lot of experienced people on here (i'm not one btw, unless you like Ospreys) who can give you sound advice on whatever RIB you are looking at.
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Old 13 October 2008, 15:59   #39
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Indeed.. and as has been proven the regulations that serve to protect us are a nonsence. Those small companies with nothing to lose will continue to employ sharp practice to sell their products, the legal aspects are unenforceable without considerable cost, and shocking though it might seem, thats the way it stands. Whats the use of suing someone who has no money, so I agree , until this industry gets tightened up, you should only buy from the trusted brands who not only will you have some comeback against .. but they wont see you stuck in the first place as they have a reputation to protect since their brand is worth something.

I think what you have is a no win situation:

1. Relaxed legislation - lots of choice of suppliers - higher risk of poor quality.

2. Strict legislation - small manufacturers cannot afford to prove compliance and go out of business.

If they tightened the legislation the Sun et al would be running articles on the meddling Eurocrats and the nanny state
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Old 13 October 2008, 16:07   #40
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A minor point, but no surveyor can can identify/predict latent defects.... that's why they're called 'latent'.

That's why you can get latent defects insurance on new houses. Perhaps there should be something similar for boats?
Latent defects is only one aspect listed, and to a point cannot be identified / predicted. However, an assessment of the design quality and build quality will give an indication of the likelihood of latent defects developing. If there is no proper quality control over the laminating process for example it is pretty much a case of when and where not if. I would expect a surveyor to give a judgment on faulty design, general safety or suitability of the vessel for any particular purpose, all of which are also excluded.
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