RCD Design Categories for RIBs

Few topics have created such a stir as how to assign the RCD design category for RIBs.  It is still possible to find RIBs of 5m in category B (offshore) while some 7m RIBs are only category C (inshore).  How can this be? This discrepancy will ultimately be cleared up by the all-new RCD which comes into force in January 2016 and is mandatory by January 2017. The majority of RIBs shorter than 7m will be forced to drop to category C.  Until then, some examples of smaller RIBs in category B may remain at large. To understand how this came about, one has to look at the evolution of the RCD and...

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Is a certificate valid after a manufacturer closes?

We are often asked what happens to the validity of certificates when a manufacturer closes, particularly when bankrupt and no transfer of ownership results.  This question was posed to the EU Commission for a legal ruling and they have returned with the following: “The EC type examination certificate for the boat placed on the market remains valid even after the manufacturer bankrupted.The EC type-examination certificate refers to a product, not to the manufacturer. In case there is a new manufacturer who wants to produce the same type of boat under the same brand, he must apply for...

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Does a re-built craft need to comply with RCD?

In the early days of the RCD, there was widespread belief that if a craft was altered to a point where it may be considered a different or new boat, then it should be put through the Directive in its new form. Most people subscribed to this interpretation but not all. Some said that the RCD is intended to harmonise trade and a substantially refitted/rebuilt boat is not in the new-build market. Thus, they said, such a boat is not intended to be in the scope of RCD, in just the same way as a home-built boat.  Who was right? Well, the 2006 amendment of RCD included a new trigger point, a...

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Should a boat be declared to the EMC Directive?

In the past, builders did not declare their boats to the EU ElectroMagenetic Compatibility Directive (EMC) on the basis that they were selling a boat not an electrical product.  Boat builders would also say that they buy and fit only CE marked electrical components, so EMC compliance is implicit. Interestingly, however, the manufacturers of PWC have always declared to EMC.  HPi’s own research into EMC, which included a visit to an anechoic chamber, shows that components can interact and that every cable is a potential EMC antenna. Thus a circuit of EMC compliant components can fail...

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Does a Home Build Boat need a CE mark?

The Directive states: The following shall be excluded from the scope of this Directive: …….. craft built for own use, provided that they are not subsequently placed on the Community market during a period of five years; The first point to note is that the boat is not exempt until 5 years have passed. During that 5 year period the boat is in a sort of limbo period with regards to its status.  During this time, the boat may not change ownership, even if given away without charge.  For some reason, divorce and home-build boats appear to go...

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Do I need to CE mark my boat if I don’t sell it?

Yes! All the CE marking Directives, including RCD, require that a product be compliant when it is first put on the market or when it is first put into service in the EEA. (EEA = The European Economic Area which consists of all the EU member states + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.)  So, unless your boat is exempt for another, genuine, reason, (see more on exemptions here) it must be CE marked when you use it or sell it. The only possible exception is if you build a boat for your own use. In such a case, the boat becomes exempt after it has been in service for 5 years.  See a separate...

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