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Old 22-03-2009, 07:57   #1
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CE classification, useful or useless?

I have been trying to get a feel for what an ocean-crossing capable boat costs and I am wondering if the CE classification scheme is a useful metric or not. The CE scheme is, for quick reference:


Class & Description_________________________ max wave ht__ max wind (beaufort)
A Ocean - Extended voyages, self sufficiency 4 m (13.0 ft)+ 8+
B Offshore - shorter offshore voyages _______ 4 m (13.0 ft)__ 8
C Inshore - fairly shletered___________________ 2 m (6.5 ft)__ 6
D Sheltered water - calm conditions only_____ .5 m (1.6 ft)_ 4


The rating is sometimes followed by a number, indicating the number of passengers, e.g. A/6 is six passengers on an ocean voyage.

I notice that any mid size or larger Catalina, Hunter, or Beneteau boats has an A rating. I also note in this forum and others that these same three manufacturers are not well regarded for long ocean voyages. So my question to the forum is, are the CE ratings a useful guide to whether a boat is useful for crossing an ocean or not? Or are they only useful in dismissing out of hand any boat with a B rating or below? What does the CE system actually measure?
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Old 22-03-2009, 09:10   #2
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The answer is they are not that useful and the Europeans are introducing a dynamic stability rating 'STIX'. This was because of a capsize death and the realization that catagory A boats were not true blue water boats as advertized. All boats in the Fastnet race have now to have STIX measured.

APPENDIX B - STIX &AVS / SSSN REQUIREMENTS | Advanced Notice of Entry Procedure and Requirements | Race Information 2009 | Race Information
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Old 22-03-2009, 09:20   #3
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Catalina, Hunter, et al may have given themselves their CE Ocean rating. There are few parts of the rating that would require a third party testing. Here is a list of the standards that apply:
Enterprise - New Approach - Harmonised standards for recreational craft

If you page through them you will see that they have a lot in common with Coast Guard and ABYC standards about what wire size to use, and how much emissions are allowed from a reciprocating engine, but very little about the cruise-worthiness of a design.
So, a manufacturer has a CE Ocean rating because he says he meets all the little rules. Cruisers talk about how all those little compliances come together to produce a safe and reliable way to get around the rest of the planet

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Old 22-03-2009, 15:37   #4
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I am designing a mono, power boat now
the regs are quite tedious, the paperwork nver ending BUT yes it is useful, one thing I had to change was the downflood distance, it makes sense
On sailing yachts there is a lot of stuff on drainage of cockpits and decks which many cat A would not comply with(but should) there is a lot of stuff on safety, like a strong point to attach your harness to as you come out of the companionway . Sill height above cockpit sole etc
Trouble is there are thousands of papers to buy , and they cost big time,
When you pay 160 euros for one paper, it becomes 320 au and so on
So if anybody has the eu directives on cd) please!!
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Old 23-03-2009, 03:32   #5
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The Royal Yachting Association provides CE marking services under the RCD and has quite a lot of useful information in the technical section of their web site.
RYA - Knowledge Base - Technical

Another useful resource for the Directive is the Recreational Boat Building Industry who have a web page with lots of useful information.
CE Mark Boats Europe and Recreational Craft Directive 94/25/EC and 2003/44/EC

The European Commission have a web page with links to lists of standards harmonised under the directive, and also a guidance document.
The European Commission - A to Z

CE Recreational Craft Directive:
http://www.conformance.co.uk/Resources/RCD.pdf

There are about thirty separate headings, under which safety requirements are listed. These include requirements for marking, stability, fire protection, gas equipment, engine protection and many other items.
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Old 26-03-2009, 17:47   #6
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useless. It's the kind of though process like the Euro Union ... they decided a few years ago that to comply with the EU requirements your V berth hatch had to be mounted backwards for safety!
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Old 26-03-2009, 19:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
useless. It's the kind of though process like the Euro Union ... they decided a few years ago that to comply with the EU requirements your V berth hatch had to be mounted backwards for safety!
for years cat 1 YACHTS HAVE had this requirement, all hatche s forwards of mast open hinges forwards
Reason, an undogged hatch can take a wave and rip off, many boats have foundered for this reason
So not only is it not a useless rule, it is a commonsense one
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Old 27-03-2009, 09:12   #8
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I guess if you are one of those people who worry about what might possibly happen in the worst situation. (I've never seen a documented event where what you describe happened, although with some of the cheesy hatches I could see where it could!) The usefulness of a forward hatch is to allow a breeze in the boat at anchor and while sleeping. It is better than dorades or anything else at doing this allowing the air to pass from far forward aft through the boat. If the hatch isnt up to the task of heavy weather than they should concentrate on specifying hatches that are not making the hatch not useful for it's purpose! Typical beaurocratic solution to a problem they dont understand.
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Old 27-03-2009, 09:50   #9
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I believe CE certification requires opening hatches to open with the hinge forward, which is backwards. For that reason alone I would avoid a CE Cert. if possible.
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