What happens during a Boat Safety Examination?


Booking a Boat Safety examiner.


The very first thing is to choose your examiner. There are a lot of examiners across the country who are all registered with the Boat Safety Scheme, who develop and write all the checks required. Do look around in your local area and ask other boaters, marinas and tradesmen who they would recommend. There's an online directory of all the registered examiners here.


When you've chosen an examiner, it's time to get in touch with them to discuss their availability and fee. Don't be worried if the examiner asks a lot of questions at first - they have to work out what sort of boat you own, where it is and what checks they will need to apply to it. The more information an examiner gathers in advance, the smoother the Boat Safety Scheme examination will go on the day.


Prepare your boat for a Boat Safety Certificate examination.


Once you're booked in with the examiner of your choice, it's time to start preparing your boat. The examiner may have asked you to prepare certain areas of the boat, ready for his or her visit. If not, there's some great information on the Boat Safety Scheme website to help you. Click here to read this.


On the day of your Boat Safety examination.


On the day of your Boat Safety Scheme examination, the examiner will arrive and should take an initial look around your boat. They may well be grateful of a cup of tea and will probably have a few questions for you. Then, most examiners like to have some time to work through the bulk of the checks. It's a complex process that takes some concentration. If you have any questions they are best asked first thing or at the end of the examination. An examination normally takes between 1 - 3 hours.


When the examiner has finished, they will often spend a short while with you to go over any failures or advice checks. They may well have some guidance or information for you from the Boat Safety Scheme office too.


Receiving your Boat Safety Certificate.


If your boat has passed, you will be issued with a BSS certificate and you only need to put a reminder in your diary for the next test in 4 years time. If your boat has failed any of the checks, then now is the time to rectify them yourself or find a local marine tradesman who can do it for you. If you use a local BSS examiner, they can often recommend trustworthy tradesmen in your area.

You will have 3 months in which to rectify any non-compliant checks and arrange a retest. Sometimes there is a smaller fee for the retest, but check this with your examiner.