From 1st April 2013, the Boat Safety Certificate will be replaced by a Boat Safety Scheme Examination Report. (BSSER)
If the examination is carried out within the two months prior to the expiry of your current BSS Certificate/Examination Report, then the new Report will be forward dated to expire four years from the expiry date of your old certificate/report. Should your vessel not comply with the exam requirements, this allows a reasonable time to correct any defects before the Certificate/report expires. I recommend you arrange for the examination as early as possible within that period..
The examination takes the form of quite a lengthy checklist and may take up to 3 hours or more. Most checks have four responses, Pass, Fail, Not Varified and Not Relevant. A Fail or Not Varified will in most cases result in a "Not Passed" Report being issued. A few checks are purely advisory. Some serious defects may result in warning notices being posted, and worse still the vessel being declared "unsafe" and all authorities advised..
In the event of a "fail" a revisit within 3 months normally requires only the failed items to be checked which in some locations near my home location may not incurr any further charge, see my price structure.
It is advisable therefore to prepare your boat for the examination. I recommend you consult the BSS Essential Guide which can be viewed or downloaded from the boat Safety Scheme website ( click ).(2013 Guide for Private boats, 2002 Guide for non private boats (eg hire craft) Please note that for non private boats the 2002 guide must be adhered to and all the listed "Advisory Requirements have become mandatory)
To avoid the disappointment and expense of a re-examination, (and missing out on the reduced licence fee for prompt payment,) it is worthwhile spending some time following this guide check by check. (Athough nothing may have been altered since the previous examination hose materials do deteriorate and vibration can cause gas leaks and other problems over a period of time.)
If you are unfamiliar with the technicalities, these checks may take a complete day, or even longer if you encounter problems. If you have any problems with any of these checks please feel free to contact me.
To encourage adequate preparation, I will give a discount for well prepared and easy to examine vessels.
It is important to understand that that the BSS Examination covers only Basic Essentials and focuses mainly on defects causing fires and explosions. There are many areas of "Boat Safety" outside the remit of the BSS Examination. e.g. Stability, and Hull integrity. The owner is at all times responsible for the vessel being in a safe condition.If during an examination I recognise such an unsafe condition I will inform the owner and may if necessary the Navigation Authorities. This however might not prevent the issue of a certificate.