Boat Safety Scheme

NABO has long serving members who contribute to the management of the Boat Safety Scheme. They are not examiners, just boaters with a technical background and an eagerness in representing the user’s interest. NABO has representation at technical, advisory and management levels within the scheme and over the years has been a leading influence in securing a commitment to minimise the mandatory requirements of the Boat Safety Scheme and also in securing changes to the appeals procedure. It is an important part of NABO representative activity.


The general principles adopted by NABO representatives are:

  • Wherever possible BSS checks should be advisory and regulation only used where absolutely necessary.
  • Checks should be specific and not involve personal assessment or opinion by the examiner.
  • If a check is introduced based on incident statistics, this must be evidence based.
  • All information used by the examiner should also available to the boat owner (who has to maintain the standard for the rest of the 4 years).
  • Installations should not be outlawed on the basis that it is difficult to examine. The “I can’t see it, therefore it must be defective!” concept should be applied sparingly and only after rigorous consideration.
  • The BSS should avoid a presumption of guilty until a user proves themselves innocent. 
  • The BSS is a minimum Safety Standard and is not a Construction Standard which is the preserve of the BMF, BSI, Etc.