Boat Categories

Boats fall into four distinct categories.

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.

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.


Category B – 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.

The above should be followed at all times, even with significant experience boats should only be used within their limits. A small boat feels very small out at sea! Weather is the main factor when planning your trips, it can change extremely quickly.