Visit England Quality Accredited Boatyard

Quality Accredited Boatyard (QAB)

This first part of the scheme looks at the systems and procedures that you as an operator carry out in running a hire boat or fleet of boats. It encompasses the requirements of the Hire Boat Handover Audit.  

QAB will not carry a star rating, but will be an accreditation, endorsed by VisitEngland and British Marine, that offers reassurances of safe and legal practices together with good customer services.  The QAB assessments are to be carried out every three years.

Click here to download a copy of the these Quality Accredited Boatyard Standard.

This is a compulsory requirement for all hire boat operators in British Marine membership.


Boat Grading/star rating

The optional second part of the assessment process will be the assessment of individual boats.  This will be a star rating, one to five.  A boatyard/operator will only be able to have boats star rated if a valid QAB rating is held.  However, a boatyard/operator with a QAB rating may choose not to have boats star rated, or just some of the fleet. Boats will need to be graded annually to remain within the scheme.

The star rating for boats will have minimal criteria requirements and will be based largely on the quality and condition of the individual boat and also the comfort and ease of use for the maximum number of occupants.

British Marine will be operating the QAB and Boat Grading Schemes under licence from VisitEngland. British Marine have recruited a team of industry assessors who have been trained by VisitEngland and British Marine and are now able to offer assessments for both QAB and the Boat Grading schemes.

If you were a part of VisitEngland’s Boat Grading Scheme and previously assessed by Quality in Tourism, at the end of the three year period, you will need to move to this updated scheme and be assessed by British Marine if you wish to advertise your boats as VisitEngland star-rated.

Please contact Liv Whetmore ( for further information on how to book an assessment. 

Click here to download a copy of the Boat Grading Standards.


Quality Accredited Boatyard & Boat Grading Scheme : Fees 2016




Non Member

Initial QAB (every 3 yrs)

£175 + VAT

£225 + VAT


QAB + Grading

< 10 boats

>10 boats

>50 boats



£275 +VAT

£375 +VAT

By arrangement




£350 + VAT

£475 + VAT


Annual Grading

<10 boats

>10 boats

>50 boats



£175 + VAT

£225 + VAT

By arrangement




£225 + VAT

£300 + VAT

 Price is based on number of boats in fleet.

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