Monday, 10 January 2011

We ARE safe!

We ARE safe, at least according to the very nice BSS examiner who pronounced our boat "safe".

A little background on what the BSS is, and what it means to us;

Every 4 years, boats that are on the Inland Waterways system of the UK are required to undergo a Boat Safety Scheme Test. After the test, if you pass, you get a certificate. Without that certificate you cannot licence your boat, and your boat's insurance is invalid. As we live on our boat, we desperately needed to pass our BSS test as the risk of being "illegal" was too great - if we failed, we could potentially be homeless!

The man who did the test (who I won't name - but if you are interested, email me and I'll give you his name) was incredibly helpful.

When you have a test of this sort, you want the person performing it to be both strict in areas where your safety is at risk - and flexible where regulations say you must have a label on a door, say, or something similarly banal.

Thankfully, our examiner had that perfect balance between able to discern between what was an important element that protected our safety, and what was important but, provided we made it right on the day, he could pass us.

I can't tell you how relieved I am that we have our new BSS - which lasts 4 years. Not only does it mean we can relax a bit, but it also means that, maybe, perhaps, we actually bought a boat that is in decent shape! When we boat our boat, we knew nothing - less than nothing - about engines, electrical installation, propane installation, and the "nuts and boats" of our floating home. We sure aren't experts now but we do know a little bit more....

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