What is the Recreational Craft Directive?
The RCD as it is commonly known, is a European Directive which sets minimum requirements for boats manufactured, sold and used across the European Union. It has applied since June 1998 to all boats between 2.5 and 24 metres long, with few exceptions such as canoes. The RCD is enforced in the UK by Trading Standards.
What is the Purpose of the RCD?
It sets minimum standards for boat builders from electrical installations to the positioning and marking of CE hull plates.
Areas such as design, strength, handling and stability are all covered. It must be remembered that these are standards for all boats and ships of which canal craft form a relatively small percentage. There are four categories of craft covered by the RCD and canal and river craft fall into Category C and D, which means builders can self certify. Never-the-less all canal boat builder
s have to observe the regulations.
UK Management of the RCD
In the UK, the British Marine Federation (BMF) represents businesses in the marine industry and provides information, support and assistance on the RCD. The CBA (Canal Boat Builders Association) is the affiliated BMF member organisation that represents canal boat builder
s here in the UK.
Does the Recreational Craft Directive Apply to You?
If you are privately building a boat for resale within 4 years, you too are subject to ensuring the boat conforms to the RCD. After 4 years the boat becomes subject to regulation under the BSS.
The RCD is under constant review. What applies today may well not apply tomorrow.
For builders this is an issue as they have to be aware of the latest developments and changes to regulation.
Ask the Experts, there are no Guesses or Compromises...
If you are interested in finding out more about the RCD, whether for building your own craft for personal pleasure or resale please use the links below.
for The British Marine Federation
for information on the BMF Recreation Craft Directive
for the Canal Boat Builders Association