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It is essential that regular maintenance is undertaken to keep your boat safe and compliant with current legal obligations when a boat is on the water. To do so should ensure a first-time pass.

If it doesn't pass, you will need to know the information on this page about what the Examiner has to do next.

However, preparing your boat before its examination will pay off handsomely, and a  successful, safer boating experience should be your reward.

Apart from checking to see that installations, components and fittings comply with the BSS requirements before the Examiner arrives, there are several things you can do to make the whole process run smoother.

Firstly, ask yourself will the Examiner need to see any documentary evidence about a component's manufacturing standard, e.g. engine hoses manufactured to ISO 7840 standard. Do I have it ready to show him/her?

"An Examiner cannot issue a BSS certificate on an incomplete examination!"

Please note: The critical point is that all relevant items must be capable of being checked effectively and accurately. If not, the examination will be incomplete, and no certification made available:


However, here are a few points to keep in mind to ensure a certification examination is possible. 


-- Are there one of more fuel burning appliances aboard?


-- Is there gas/oil fuel available to run appliances?


-- If the appliances need power, are the batteries charged?


-- Is there enough water in the system to run boilers / water heaters?




-- Are all access panels/covers removed?

-- Are all gas system joints available to see and touch?

-- Is the gas locker lid/door unlocked?

-- Is there sufficient access to the gas pipe to assess its support & condition?

-- Can all gas hoses be seen and reached?

-- Can fuel hoses and their connections be seen and reached?




-- Make any documentary compliance evidence available for the examiner?

-- Can you provide the boat's last certification details to the examiner?

-- Has any relevant landowner been notified? Is there access to the mooring?

-- Are the boat keys available for the examiner if necessary?



Additional advice on boat preparation after 1 January 2013:

In addition to the advice on the page called Preparing for examination, we have the additional advice arising from the changes introduced in January 2013 for examinations on privately-owned, privately-managed boats:

LPG cylinder lockers - boat owners must ensure the BSS Examiner can carry out careful checking of the LPG cylinder locker for condition, including the removal of all loose portable items, base protection mats, removable false floors and the temporary removal of connected LPG cylinders.

Discuss your LPG cylinder locker arrangements with your examiner in advance of the examination as this may require your attendance or you to make prior arrangements involving service agents.

LPG lockers not accessible enough to allow an assessment of condition will involve the BSS Examiner having to return to carry out the check with the obstruction removed.

Where a boat uses A.C. shore-power and other A.C. power sources, the following notes on connection leads should be considered -

  • If practicable and safe to do so, boat owners should disconnect shore-power, battery charging, and other power sources in readiness for the BSS examination;

  • Boat owners should make available the shore-power, battery charging or other power source leads for examination of type and condition.

  • Information about the location of the A.C. consumer unit should be made known to the examiner in advance of the BSS examination.


Read more about the BSS Examination for privately-owned, privately-managed boats on the BSS website. 

If you have a hire or other non-private craft, the BSS Standards can be seen on this link

NOTE: At least one Carbon Monoxide alarm must be fitted on private leisure craft.

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