Understanding The RCD

Understanding The RCD

The Recreational Craft Directive (RCD) sets minimum requirements for boat design and construction guaranteeing its suitability for sale and use within the European Union.

These requirements cover many aspects of the boat from identification marks to strength of construction, stability and handling, from gas, electric and fuel system installations to owner’s documentation.

The EU RCD was implemented in UK law as the Recreational Craft Regulations 2004 but came into force on 16 June 1998. Any boat placed on the EU market after this date, whether a new build or imported from outside the EU, must be CE-marked.

  • Look for the ‘Craft Identification Number’ (CIN) on transom, a 14 character code giving the code for the country of manufacture, manufacturers identity, vessel serial number and date of manufacture and model year.

  • A ‘Builders Plate’ with manufacturers name, maximum load, maximum number of persons, design category and CE mark.

  • The design category shown on the builders’ plate relates to the sea conditions for which the boat has been designed to accommodate and should not be taken as a geographical guide.

  • Every vessel should have an Owner’s Manual with the RCD ‘Declaration of Conformity’ attached. This declaration explains how the boat has been designed to meet the safety standards set out within the directive.

  • All craft must have a suitable mooring point.

  • All craft must allow re-boarding from the water.

  • All craft must be strong enough and have sufficient stability and buoyancy.

  • All Fuel systems including LPG must be correctly installed.

  • Electrical systems must be safe.

  • For complete list of RCD essential requirements and further information visit the Trading Standards guides for recreational craft http://www3.hants.gov.uk/tradingstandards/tradingstandards-recreational-craft.htm


If you have any questions, please email us info@onthewater.co.uk

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