When purchasing a boat new or used, make sure that it is accompanied by a buoyancy certificate. This certificate is valid for 5 years.
The buoyancy of a boat should replace the need to provide a life-raft, which can only be done when there is sufficient buoyancy to provide a stable level platform upon which the crew can be secured during an emergency such as capsized, overturned or flooded.
The buoyancy of the boat must represent a figure of 60% of the gross weight of the boat. The gross weight of the boat includes, the fuel, outboards, vessel itself, persons, safety equipment and so forth.
Buoyancy Certificates can only be issued by a SAMSA officer or authorized agency safety officer. The following criteria must be met.
- The vessel must be clearly identifiable by the photographs or serial numbers;
- The basic dimensions and build details of the vessel must be provided to allow the reader of the document aware of any alterations and so that the boat is easy identifiable;
- The Issuer of the Buoyancy certificate must be easy identifiable, for example the vessel builder, safety officer, private surveyor;
- The quantity, the type of buoyancy used and the distribution thereof must be clearly described on the document;
- The net weight of the boat must be stated on the certificate;
- Any comments, notes must be clearly presented on the document, especially when bottles are used with a specific lifespan;
- The certificate must state compliance with the requirements of regulation 6 and annex 1, specifying clearly what is being certified.
It is important to insure that the buoyancy document meets the criteria as stated above to avoid unnecessary expenditure on additional certification.
Suzuki dealers will gladly assist you through this process applying their years of boating industry knowledge to ensure an easy entrance into boating!
Read this article if you want to know which other documents are required: