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Boat Safety Scheme Examiner

Alan Stewart, Lloyds Academy Diploma in Small Craft Surveying. (Inland Waterways)

to arrange BSS examination

Easy to examine boats qualify for a discount.  Below I have jotted just some of the things that I personally would appreciate to make the examination go smoothly.

Copies ( or originals) of the previous Certificate and Appliance record would be very helpful

A correctly finstalled LPG Bubble tester automatically qualifies for a discount (usually £10).See later remarks about Hire, Residential & Commercial Craft

I would prefer to be able to view the entire run of any LPG lines. However all LPG couplings and any flexible hoses must be exposed so that examiner can assess their type, suitability, quality of assembly, and physical security.

If the examiner has to wait around for something to be "put right" it is probably not going to be considered as a straightforward examination.

If rhere is any LPG installation, there must be sufficient supply of gas for tests.

Instant gas water heaters requre a running water supply for the exam. Make sure that there is water in the tank, the pump and it's electricity supply are working, or make other arrangements before the examiner arrives. (i.e. a freshwater hose with sufficient pressure from shore connected up to the boats fresh water system)

Fuel/LPG hoses. Ensure that the examiner can easily see any markings on the hose

Fuel filters. If they have a clear glass or perspex bowl are likely to fail unless the examiner can verify that it is sufficiently fire ISO 10088. Manufacturers documents may be the only way of proving this(ISO 10088 requires a fire resistance of at least 2 and a half minutes at a temperature of 600 deg C) Some filters or agglomerators have a drain tap at the bottom, if this is made of plastic, it is not compliant. These things can all be sorted before the exam.

The examiner will almost certainly have to clamber around the engine bay, he will be more inclined to "discount" if it were clean

When clambering around in engine bay, examiner will not be happy standing in a wet or worse still an oily bilge.

If the engine oil tray or oil bilge is full to within half an inch of the top and likely to overflow into the bilge, unless the bilge pump is fitted with an appropriate filter (5 ppm) I may consider this to be a failure point (Section 9.1.1 and 9.1.2) Even if filled with only water it can then be incapable of containing the full oil content from the engine.

Examinations where the owner or their representative are not present are unlikely to be considered as easy. Usually the examiner has to "search" for items. I always prefer the owner to be present as I consider the exam to be "instructional", but if you can not be present please leave details of locations of any hidden examinable items. ie fuse boxes, gas line couplings, ducted air vents etc.

Hire, Residential, and Commercial Craft with LPG Installations. If there is not a correctly fitted 'bubble tester' then I have to ask three questions.
1.) Is the boat hired out in the course of a business? (This may include timeshare/shared ownership where there is letting involved in some of the time slots).
2.) Is the boat used primarily by anyone for domestic or residential purposes? (in this instanance it makes no difference if it is owner-occupied or rented out)
3.) Are people invited on board in the course of a business, e.g. is it a cafe or shop?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, then GSIU Regulations require the gas tightness test to be undertaken by a Gas Safe registered (LPG & Boats) technician witnessed by myself. As this involves another person this option can be expensive, and difficult to arrange. You may be better looking for an BSS examiner who is also gas safe registered, or fit a bubble tester. The BSS recommends Bubble testers, as boat owners/users themselves can at any time test for leaks without having to open up the LPG system.

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