Thursday, December 13, 2012

Boat Safety Scheme changes mean boat owner must be present for the examination

The Nationwide Alliance of Boat Surveyors & Examiners (NABSE) warn that changes to the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) that come into force on January 1st, 2013 may take some boat owners by surprise.

Although boat owners who are members of NABO, RBOA, RYA, TBA and the IWA may have been informed of changes to the BSS by their representatives on the Boat Safety Scheme Advisory Committee, other boat owners may not be aware that they will now have to be present at the examination — or arrange to have a representative there.

Graham Freeman, Chairman of NABSE said: “Despite the fact that a large proportion of the changes to the Examination Checking Procedures are editorial, boat owners should be aware that new checks will require them, or a representative, be present at the time of the examination.”

New checks are:
Shore Power / Alternative Sources of Power
If shore power is connected to the craft, the boat owner (or his/her representative) will be asked by their BSS Examiner to disconnect the shore lead and/or isolate generators and/or inverters to create a safe environment for the Examiner to carry out the newly introduced 230v ac related checks. While the new checks relating to 230v ac systems are ‘Advisory’, any non-compliances noted at the time of the examination may result in the award of a Warning Notice — which could be of interest to the Craft’s Insurer.

Gas Locker/s
If the craft has a gas locker/lockers, the Examiner will require access to the whole of the locker bottom to ensure that there is no path for leaked LPG to enter the interior of the craft. If full visibility of the bottom of the gas locker/s is not possible, the boat owner or representative will be requested to disconnect and remove gas bottles to enable this check to be carried out — and refit and reconnect them after completing the check. If the Examiner is unable to complete this check (due to non-availability of the owner/representative and/or obstructed visibility of the locker floor), the BSS Examination Record will be annotated “Not Verified” and a subsequent visit will have to be booked before a BSS Certificate can be awarded.

In preparation for these changes, all BSS Examiners have attended training seminars to ensure consistent application of the new checks from 1 January 2013 and boat owners are advised to visit the BSS website:  for more information about these changes and how they may affect their preparation for their next BSS Examination.

NABSE’s submission to the consultation in August can be found at Item 12 on their newsletter page at:

We have received this response to a tweet about this story...


  1. I expect the re test will be charged then.

  2. For those examiners who choose to charge for re examination yes it will be an extra charge to the boat owner.
    I do not charge extra. 1 examination 1 revisit in the cost.
    Subject to the boat not moving far from the initial examination due to travel costs.