Ensuring Special Regulations compliance before buying a yacht

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Yachting Australia is encouraging prospective buyers to check that imported yachts with CE Recreational Craft Directive plates actually meet the requirements of the Directive.

A number of examples have occurred where imported boats with Directive plates affixed have not met with the Directive requirements in one or more respects.

Directive Compliance Plates are affixed by manufacturers and not every production yacht is subject to independent inspection to verify compliance.

Prospective buyers, owners and importers should be aware that there are differences between the Yachting Australia Special Regulations, which apply to boats that intend to race, and the Directive, which applies to recreational use only.

Some common areas of differences and non compliance are;
· Lifelines with moulded PVC covering and smaller wire diameter or spaces between stanchion posts exceeding 2.20 metres, neither of which are acceptable under Yachting Australia Special Regulations,
· Forward exit hatches with an overall area less than specified by the Directive, which may invalidate the Directive Compliance Plate.

An interesting web site with the essentials covered by the Directive is at www.yacht-ce-marking.com/index.php/en/ce-requiements.

Prospective buyers of imported yachts, whether new or second hand, should ensure that if they intend to race the yacht offshore, that they have made themselves aware of the requirements under Yachting Special Regulations and sought advice from the club where they will be racing.

In addition the prospective purchaser should ensure that the intention to race offshore is clearly expressed, and even consider stipulating that compliance with Yachting Australia Special Regulations are conditions of the Contract of Sale.

By following this method owners will have a measure of protection if the boat is rejected for ocean racing following a safety equipment inspection by a club.

For more information contact Glen Stanaway, glen.stanaway(at)yachting.org.au.