Regulations for designing and building your own boat?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Guest, Dec 9, 2001.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    If you want to design and build your own boat, what regulations do you have to comply with? Is this different from state to state, or do some countries have stricter regulations than others?

    Also, who can call themselves a yacht designer? How about a naval architect or a marine engineer?
  2. Scott
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Scott Junior Member

    In the United States the regulations for building a small boat are mainly just general safety regulations of the US Coast Guard (governing such things as maximum horsepower for very small boats, loading, flotation, builder and hull identification numbers, and emergency equipment.)

    See and specifically
    I haven't really considered much other than one-off construction -- I wonder what certifications would be required for boats over a certain length or boats built in a certain quantity, for example 6 or 12 of a design?
  3. Jeff
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    Jeff Moderator

  4. Jeff
    Joined: Jun 2001
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    Location: Great Lakes

    Jeff Moderator

  5. Steve Hollister
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    Steve Hollister Junior Member

  6. Polarity
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    Polarity Senior Member

    USCG? pah ! Check out the RCD

    Lucky you lot in the USA, get a load of the RCD that we in Europe have to put up with:

    Note the definition of "Home built boats"

    Yep thanks to our wonderful Eurocrats - if you build a one off boat over 2.5m in your back yard you can't sell it for 5 years!
    Also, if you commission a yard to build it for you, or even some of it, or have a kit professionally completed and it's 12m+ that's approx 6-10,000 $ for "certification" or its illegal to use it or sell it.

    That includes bringing a boat in from the USA built after the cut off date.

    The really crazy thing is, if it's 24m+ and you don't plan to charter it... you can do what you like!! (the MCA regulate pleasure yachts 24m-500 GRT - but only if it's for charter - there is a calculator for those regs at (choose "MCA Calculator" under services on left)

    So home builders in Europe - make very certain you can prove you built it at home!

  7. curtis73
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    curtis73 Junior Member

    This thread is very interesting to me and I've followed the links. It appears as though it applies mostly to larger boats. It describes certain things like - uninspected boats travelling more than 3 miles offshore needing certain equipment. If I'm building a 17-foot pleasure boat, what needs to be done? I've seen coast guard courtesy inspection stickers, but is that necessary? How do I get a capacities plaque? I know that they are required in Ontiario where I do alot of boating.

  8. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    I have spent a lot of hours as I am planning to build a 34 foot within the next year.. I have just ordered some information from
    abyc American Boat and Yacht Council that has compliance regulations . Try them on their website.
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    JPAYNE New Member

    Question/Hull Numbers

    Who do I call about gettig hull numbers the coast guard in my area is giving me the run around.
  10. carolina skiff
    Joined: Oct 2004
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    carolina skiff scotty

    Hey - hope you made it thru Ivan down there on Mobile Bay. In NC, our Dept of Natural Resources (same place you'd get a hunting or fishing license) will issue hull numbers for homemade boats. and, tell them to get the flora~bama built back soon!
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Typically the state issues a "Z" number for home built boats, unless you want federal registration, then the USCG's web site will get you there.

  12. lprimina
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    lprimina Senior Member

    Here is the coast guards home page. They will be more than happy to help you out.
    Most of the local Coastys dont know aboat the program.
    Good luck
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