Usually I steer clear of these Flat Earth Society Circle Jerks, which this thread definitely is, but I generally agree with Stumble and think he did a pretty good job of summing things up.
The only quibble I have with his language is the bold part...
I really don't understand the dispute. CE ratings involve a minimum standard of design, stability, and construction quality. It is fundamentally a bare minimum standard not any type of certification for offshore work.
But if you are really headed off shore then you probably want to take serious the recomendations in ISAF Cat 0. Which is where the real meat and potatoes of making a vessel sutable for offshore extended cruising can be found. If island hopping the Carribean, then maybe Cat 1 or 2.
But even these are just minimum standards, they are supposed to be the very minimum to keep you safe, not a ceiling to hit and walk away.
This is incorrect. The CE RCD is
a certification (that the boat meets the "essential safety requirements" specifically listed). This is the language concerning the Cat A standard:
ESSENTIAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF RECREATIONAL CRAFT
1. BOAT DESIGN CATEGORIES
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.
These boats are certified for the above conditions (which are certainly not on
shore and cover what most any prudent cruising
sailor will ever see offshore). Pure and simple.
Now, what you guys personally do with that is your business. If you instead insist on a boat that is "certified" for F11 and 20m waves, knock yourselves out finding that boat (I'll be interested in what exactly that boat is). But this CE certification/standard is what it is, very clearly stated. And ill informed whining and BS won't change it - no matter how much you try.
Does this CE certification "guarantee" safety and zero mistakes across all brands and all boats for all time? Well only an idiot would expect so. But that's precisely why I like Stumble's comparison to the ISAF regs (of which I'm a big fan). Those are far more robust and specific requirements than the CE standard, but also provide no "guarantee" or "maximum preparedness level" of safety. It's a baseline - and you personally make decisions from there as to if and/or how far you want to exceed them.
So, for those that don't feel the strange need to continually wallow in ignorance for some reason, here are some good resources that you can check out for first-hand information from those who actually know something
(This is a US-based organization heavily involved with CE certifications for US builders/manufactuers. In other words, no room for the Euro-Political BS.)
These guys are the gatekeepers of the CE marine certification protocols and process.
Apart from that...jerk on fellas.