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Old 05-15-2010
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CE classification

What is the CE classification of sailboats? What do the different letters mean?
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Old 05-15-2010
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it is the European system (CE stands for Conformité Européenne, which is French for "European Conformity." A product in one of the controlled product categories cannot legally be sold in the EU unless it has passed the tests to receive the CE marking. ) of measuring the boats ability to right itself in bad situations as related to wave height. Four letter grades, A-D . In most cases it is very theoretical.

i.e. W bought a Beneteau 36CC in 1999, it was "A" rated which meant "ocean going"...a lot of things would have to have been done to my boat, before I would cross the ocean in it...but it was rated A.

It is a "purchased" certification, and can be "self" certified by the builder...

I would not use it as a serious measure of a boat's safety or sea worthiness. I am sure others will respond differently.
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Old 05-15-2010
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Try here:

WikiAnswers - What are the CE classification rules for sailboats

CE may stand for "Communauté Européen"? "Canadian Empire"? So while they may be informative, they may not actually apply in the United States. The USCG probably has a much more complicated regulation.
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Old 05-15-2010
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In discussion of CE rating on forums like this, you are likely to encounter lots of people who will declare that the CE ratings are not of much value and shouldn't be used to estimate a boat's capabilities for various types of waters. I would suggest that the CE ratings are meaningful and can be used as a guide (but not by any means the only factor) in describing whether a boat might be suitable for ocean or other uses. These settings were not just invented out of immagination. There was some basis and it's probably true that the various boat manufacturers had an input in establishing the standards, after all, they are the people who have experience in building boats.

Please note that most of the nay sayers on CE are doing so to promote their own idea of what a bluewater boat is (most of the time, the boat that they like or own).

For one, I would prefer a boat rated CE A vs. one rated less or not rated at all. At least there are some standards to which the boat has been built.
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Old 05-15-2010
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A CE A boat IIRC is rated to handle 10M seas, with Force 10 winds. There also needs to be a space in the cockpit area for a liferaft at the people rating. A "B" rated boat, is 5-6M seas, and F8 winds, also more of a coastal or bay rated boat. "C" boats are protected lake style boats. B and C rated boats typically do not have life raft lockers in the cockpit.

You will also see boats with an A-8, B-10, C-12 this is how many people you can put on the boat in that kind of an environment.

It has been awhile since I have looked at the what the specs actually are and mean, so I may be off some, but from a disCUSSion standpoint on this forum, I feel I am with in the dart board if you will, and have not hit off the board on the opposite side of the room. I will admit, I have not hit a bulleye.
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Old 05-15-2010
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Quote:
The USCG probably has a much more complicated regulation
I doubt *anyone* could find a more complicated way of doing things than the EU
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Old 05-15-2010
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Besides the letters (A;B;C;D) the EC boats also have a STIX number,

The bigger, the more seaworthy will be the boat, at least in theory. No system is perfect and this has its shortcomings, but the STIX number will give you a better image of the boat, compared with the letter rating (almost all cruising boats over 33ft are class A).

Manufacturers will gladly say to you that a boat is a class A boat, but you have to ask, and sometimes to ask several times before they get you the boat STIX. Rarely comes on the catalogs or in advertisings.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 05-17-2010
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Actually the USCG regs for recreation boats, especially sailboats are very minimal. The CE rating is based on the Recreational Craft Diriective which are the rules for building recreational boats in the EU and they are very complex and inclusive of almost everything that goes on a boat. The US and ABYC were represented on the committees that drew up these rules through the ISO (international standards organization). Once the ISO finished the rules and published them, then the EU adopted them. The good part is that the rules are the same throught the EU, so whether you buy a British boat, a french Boat or a german boat they all have to meet the same standard. The builder then applies to a certifying body for the CE. The certifying bodies are independent organizations. For instance in the US the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is a certifying body for it's members who export to the EU. The certifying body exams the boat, may perform some tests and if all is well issues the certification.

The RCD rules are strikingly similar to ABYC standards (on purpose) and generally speaking if a boat meets ABYC they also meet the rules for a CE.

All boats in EU have to be certified to what seakeeping abilities they have. A is ocean going down to D which is flat calm waters of lakes and streams.

A’ OCEAN: Designed for extended voyages where conditions may exceed wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights of 4 m and above but excluding abnormal conditions, and vessels largely self-sufficient.
‘B’ OFFSHORE: Designed for offshore voyages where conditions up to, and including, wind force 8 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 4 m may be experienced.
‘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, 2 m may be experienced.
‘D’ SHELTERED WATERS: Designed for voyages on sheltered coastal waters, small bays, small lakes, rivers and canals when conditions up to, and including, wind force 4 and significant wave heights up to, and including, 0.3 m may be experienced, with occasional waves of 0.5 m maximum height, for example from passing vessels.
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