Specialising in Inland Waterway Craft in the UK


A comprehensive service to assist you in compliance with the Recreational Craft Regulations [formally the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)]. This includes advice during the build and a final inspection; including Post Construction Assessment if needed (for such as completing a boat from a sailaway).

All the paperwork required, including the Owner's Manual and the Declaration of Conformity, is produced for you.

The Recreational Craft Regulations (RCR)
in relation to inland waterway craft

To enable new vessel to be sold she has to conform to the Recreational Craft Regulations (RCR) [formally the Recreational Craft Directive (RCD)]. These Regulations stipulate Essential Requirements (ERs) which have to be met and conformity with the ERs allows the craft to be UKCA marked [formally CE marked]. In simple terms, under the Regulations, all boats when first used, sold or transferred, for recreational purposes, must meet the ERs and be UKCA marked – by law.

However, it should be noted that the Regulations only relates to the first use, sale or transfer, with no requirement for compliance with the Regulations after that date, unless the craft goes through a major craft conversion. Further, there is no requirement for a vessel UKCA marked when first used, sold or transferred to be maintained to the Regulations. Therefore, the UKCA (previously CE mark) marking of a second-hand craft for sale does not guarantee that it is fit for the purpose or has been maintained to any particular standard.

The ERs include those aspects involved with:

Vessel Structure
Buoyancy & Flotation
Handling Characteristics
Hull, deck & superstructure openings
Means of Escape
Fuel System
Gas System
Fire-fighting Equipment
Discharge Prevention
Protection from falling overboard & means of re-boarding
Stability & Freeboard

Anchoring, Mooring & Towing
Steering System
Visibility from main steering position
Propulsion Engines
Engine Installation
Outboard engine Starting
Electrical System
Fire Prevention
Navigation Lights
Liferaft Stowage

The vessel must also include:

Watercraft Identification Number (WIN), Builder's Plate and Owner's Manual.

The boat builder, or whoever places the vessel on the market, or transfers the craft, must show that the ERs have been addressed. This can be by reference to published standards, such as British Standards, or other means, such as documented history of satisfactory performance. The Boat Safety Scheme (detailed elsewhere) can not primarily be used as a reference.

A new UKCA marked boat must carry a Declaration of Conformity, which should include:

Manufacturer's name & address
A description of the craft
Details of the standards used to satisfy the ERs
Authorised Signatory

Part-completed craft have to be UKCA marked to show conformity to the RCR when ownership transfers from the professional builder to the first owner. The Declaration of Conformity from the builder for such craft, should list only the ERs which have been met at the point of sale and how they have been met.

There are a number of types of craft excluded from the RCR, including:

Experimental craft
Air cushion vehicles
Canoes, kayaks, gondolas & pedalos

Replicas of historic craft designed before 1950, using original materials

Sailaway completed by the first owner

A boat built for own use (no matter how old) has to go through Post Construction Assessment when first used, sold or transferred, with an exception for home-built craft where the owner has constructed the hull. Sailaways modified by the first owner have to go through Post Construction Assessment when first used, sold or transferred.

Post Construction Assessment

Post Construction Assessment for compliance with the RCR where the builder is a private individual can be undertaken: such as when completing a boat from a sailaway stage.