The Boat Safety Scheme is administered by the Canal and River Trust and is in force on rivers and canals managed by them and the Environment Agency. The certificate itself is the equivalent to a Car MOT.
Carrying out a Boat Safety Certificate
In order for your narrowboat to get a Boat Safety Certificate (BSC) your boat has to be examined by a Boat Safety Examiner. To find a Boat Safety Examiner you can either look at the latest copy of Waterways World, go to Canal Junction or go to your local marina. Most marinas will have a list of local examiners or at least some contact details.
The examiner will then come out to your boat and inspect it for any problems it may have. After the examination they will then either write out a BSC or provide you with a list of things that need to be done before they can sign it off. Usually the examiner is not able to fix your canal boat for you there and then but they will come back to re-inspect once the work has been completed.
A BSC will cost anything from £150 to £200 but this will not include the work that needs to be done. Usually this cost will cover the cost of re-inspection and also a certificate but it is always wise to check with the examiner.
The certificate is valid for four years
The boat safety certificate is valid for four years in total however if you purchase a new boat the RCD documentation will mean that you do not need to have a BSC as well (only after 4 years of the RCD documentation commencement date). See our blog on RCD.
1. Boat Safety Scheme
2. Direct Gov - Using your boat on the inland waterways
3. ABSE - The Association of Boat Safety Examiners
4. Finding a BS examiner