Boat Safety Scheme Revised
Changes to the national Boat Safety Scheme, including new regulations on portable fuel tanks for some vessels, will apply to Broads boats. The changes came into effect at the beginning of 2013.
"The changes to the BSS do apply to the Broads as we do not differentiate ourselves from the national scheme," says the Broads Authority's Head of Safety Management, Steve Birtles. "The changes are relatively subtle and are generally clearing up some of the areas where the documents relating to the examination were somewhat unclear. There will be some impact on private boats but this will not be extensive."
There is a new check for portable fuel tanks within inboard engine spaces connecting to fixed engines, as such arrangements are prohibited. Portable fuel tanks are still allowed to feed permanently installed engines, but only from a position outside the engine space.
There is also a revised check on the condition of gas lockers. The check has been changed from an assessment of the gas-tightness of LPG cylinder lockers to a check for any path for leaking gas to enter the interior of the vessel from the locker. The amended check is seen as a more realistic description of the inspection that BSS Examiners carry out to prevent escaped gas causing fire or explosion.
The proposals follow a review designed to help BSS examiners perform checks more consistently. Full details of the changes are available on the BSS web site: http://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/media/195630/summary%20of%20key%20ecp%20changes%20jan%202013%20final%201.0.pdf
There is also new advice on how to prepare a boat for examination. These stipulate easy access to gas installations and advice to disconnect from shore power prior to the test.
A full version of the new checking procedures can be found at : http://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/media/194782/2013ecp_private%20_boats_ed3_public_final.pdf
Boats examined in 2012 but requiring to be re-examined in 2013, will be examined to the revised procedures.
If you have any queries regarding specific issues relating to the Boat Safety Scheme you are advised to contact the BSS office direct on 0333 202 1000.