RCD Classification

The Recreational Craft directive sets minimum requirements for a boat which guarantee its suitability for sale and use within the European Union. They basically get CE marks. There are four categories (A, B, C & D) which are based on wind and wave conditions likely to be experienced covering Ocean, Offshore, Coastal and Sheltered Waters.

Most Seastream boats were completed before the introduction of the RCD scheme but it is important to determine which category they would fall into if assessed based on today’s yacht building standards. As such we approached the the former Yard Manager for Seastream who worked alongside Ian Anderson. Although Nigel was only with the company whilst the MKIII models were produced, the hull design and layup remained the same so his comments below should be taken as granted for all Seastream models.

RCD Training Document for Nigel whilst working at Seastream in late 1996

RCD Training Document for Nigel whilst working at Seastream in late 1996

“All the Seastreams would come under Category A Ocean and as you have found, actually way exceed the current Cat A production yachts built today. The design was before the RCD came into force but exceed every spec on the current RCD directive; in fact you would have to say that¬† Yachts built nowadays to the RCD not up to it !

All of the Seastreams were built to Lloyds standards and a few to Lloyds certification, the reason only a few were built with a Lloyds certificate was due to the cost of an Inspector attending and the paperwork etc, however Ian insisted that all the Yachts were in fact built to the same standard.”

Nigel Woodcock, former yard manager, Seastream Yachts

Design category overview:

Category A – Ocean: Designed for extended voyages where conditions may exceed wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights of 4m and above but excluding abnormal conditions, and vessels largely self-sufficient.

Offshore: Designed for offshore voyages where conditions up to, and including, wind force 8 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 4m may be experienced.

Category C – Inshore: Designed for voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers where conditions up to, and including, wind force 6 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 2m may be experienced.

Category D – Sheltered: Designed for voyages on sheltered coastal waters, small bays, small lakes, rivers and canals where conditions up to, and including, wind force 4 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 0.3m may be experienced, with occasional waves of 0.5m maximum height, for example from passing vessels.

Craft in each Category must be designed and constructed to withstand these parameters in respect of stability, buoyancy, and other relevant essential requirements listed, and to have good handling characteristics


 

Note that there is a page specifically discussing the Lloyds certification of Seastream boats.

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