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Old 01-19-2008
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CE Ocean Ratings

Does anyone put any faith in these ratings or are they just a safety guide that your boat wont break up offshore (ie Class A) I realize it doesnt discuss comfort, suitability etc.

I tried to locate a previous thread for discussion but couldnt locate one, if it has been discussed if your could link me that would be great

Thanks
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Old 01-19-2008
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The ratings will certify that the boat will survive the stated minimum conditions... as you pointed out, whether you, being aboard said boat, would be happy with the performance of said boat under same conditions will vary widely, depending on the boat. However, the ocean generally doesn't play fair, and conditions can be far worse than the relatively meager thresholds that the EU RCD ratings have set.

That said, it really depends on the boat and the manufacturer. For instance, I know of one boat that is going to be getting an EU RCD category C rating in Europe.... but is probably more of a category B boat... It would probably be a Category A boat with a few modifications.
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Old 01-19-2008
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I consider these broad, rather than definitive, guides. I was told a few years ago that a Dufour 40 was rated "Lloyd's Ocean Class A", which used to mean something. Then I saw the 24-inch lifelines, the deck gear not backed with plates and through-bolted, but with encapsulated aluminum and screwed (an inferior method, in my view), no positive cabin sole floorboard lockdown, insufficient or improperly placed hand rails, weak gasketing on cockpit lockers, and great big portlights with no means to affix storm shutters.

So my ideas of what is appropriate for the ocean and Dufour's and Lloyd's apparently differ. Would the keel stay on? Would the hull endure? Oh, probably. Would I take it across the Atlantic? The hell I would.
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Old 01-19-2008
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Thanks..is there a comprehensive list of rating off all boats on a website. The reason I ask is that I was surfing around and again was looking at Elans...for some reason Im stuck on the 434 Impression and noticed it had a class A rating. Im not convinced that I want to be stuck out in some nasty stuff with that boat....the size of the cockpit looks like it could become an olympic sized swimming pool. Everything else about the boat suits us to a t
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Old 01-19-2008
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Sab...from everything I can see this boat has excellent build quality for a production yacht and is well suited for cruising in terms of tankage and storage capability. I personally don't like wide open cockpits and spade rudders on ocean cruising boats...and the low lifelines seem more of a concession to design than safety. That said...there's no inherent reason this boat cannot be sailed confidently offshore and it certainly is an attractive platform for coastal cruising and living on the hook.
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Old 01-20-2008
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Hey Cam...

How do you think it measures up against its US competition? I would think for comparisons (high quality fin keel/spade rudder) would be the Sabre 426 and Tartan 4300..would you agree? I dont know if they are in they are in the same catagory but they all seem to have the Ocean A rating which was the reason for the original post...
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Well, I don't think he fittings/finish of the Elans is up to the Tartan/Sabre standard as there is far less "hand work" nor is the hull epoxy like the Tartan (on the other hand it is not cored below the water line!) Perhaps I'd best describe it as a more heavily built Beneteau built to a higher standard of rigidity and and designed with better tankage/storage.
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Old 01-20-2008
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It is a complicated question as to whether the CE 'A' Open Ocean standard means a boat is blue water capable. To understand the CE Directive for Pleasure Craft (The text of which can be found http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/marit...tive_94_25.htm ), you need to understand its purpose. When the EU was organizing as a essentially a trade free zone, there was a need to develop uniform standards that would replace the standards that were then in place in each of the individual member countries. In the case of standards for pleasure craft, there were huge variations between contries that had very stringent requirements to countries that voluntary standards to countries with no standards at all.

The process of developing standards started out quite scientifically. Some of the research papers that came out of the preliminary research was really ground breaking. But ultimately the developement of the standards was very political. Since each of the signatory countries had to agree with the standards, the standards had to be a compromise from the most stringent and most tollerant standards used by the member countries. France in particular was very concerned about having standards that were so stringent that it damaged its boat building industry.

In any event, the CE standards ended up being a kind of minimum standard that all of the member countries could agree to and nothing more. The standard deals with structure, and stability and many of the components that are necessary in making a seaworthy craft. The basic text is quite schematic, but there are a number of annex's and addendum and attached by reference standards that more specifically define such items as engine intsallations, electrical installations and so on.

What the standards do not address, are things like deck plan, motion comfort, sail handling gear, interior layout, and so which are all components of making a boat truely suitable for offshore use. And so while a boat may carry an Open Ocean rating, it does not mean that it is truly ideal for prolonged use offshore. And that all comes back to a topic that was on this board a few weeks ago, Risk Management. While a particular boat may have sailed around the world without drowning its crew, that does not mean that it would be a good choice for that purpose. In reality it may have made through luck and good seamanship. But the choice to use any boat offshore comes down to how lucky the sailor feels and how much risk they are willing to take. With the CE an open ocean rating is the most minimal standard that could be agreed to amoungst nations, it is not intended to tell any particular sailor that their boat is actually safe in the kind of conditions that are likely to be encountered if one spends enough time offshore or that it will stand up to the kind of steady abuse that offshore sailing imposes.
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Jeff's point about it being a MINIMUM standard of agreement is very important. It doesn't mean that it is a sufficient minimum standard... just what could be agreed upon.
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I thought that was the case..I made the assumption like vehicles yes many meet the minimum standard but in accidents I would much rather be in some vehicles over others..just wanted the clarification as it does appear in various boat promotion literature...out of curiosity is their a comprehensive list of all boats and their certification as they come out of the factory as stock boats?

Thanks again
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