Boat Testing

SAMSA have taken over the administration of the deep sea safety portfolio and as such they have instituted some changes to which all SADSAA safety officers have to comply with. These documents are sourced from the SAMSA website.

Changes in annual seaworthy (COFs)

At a recent SADSAA Safety meeting (around July 2019) it was decided that the current calendar year duration of annual seaworthy (COF) certificates will now be replaced by a fiscal year certificate. A calendar year is always January 1 to December 31. A fiscal year, by contrast, can start and end at any point during the year, as long as it comprises a full twelve months. Thus, the vessel owner may determine when they wish to have their vessel surveyed. If successful, the COF will then remain in effect for a full 12 months from the date of inspection. The onus now rests with the vessel owner to determine when they wish to have their vessel surveyed.

Please note the following:

  • The SAMSA COF forms for CAT C/D/E/R// have been updated and are available for download from the SAMSA website:
  • Jet Skis that have had modification (tubbies attached) must have buoyancy for both Jet Ski and for Tubbies.
  • CAT B boats COF calls for a series 150 life jacket. If a CAT B already has Series 100 life jacket then it is OK for the interim. New CAT B boats must have series 150 jackets. Series 100 on old CAT B Boats must be replaced with series 150 when they are old and unsafe.

Before a vessel can be presented for its Certificate of Fitness (COF) the following needs to conformed to:

  • Download and complete the necessary checklist per vessel category direct from the SAMSA site
    • Category B (less that 40nm offshore)
    • Category C (less than 15nm offshore)
    • Category D (less than 5nm offshore)
    • Category E (Vessels operating not more than 1 nautical mile from shore and 15 miles from an approved launch site.)
    • Category R (Vessels operating solely on sheltered waters)

Definition – “Sheltered Waters” means any of the following:
(a) A tidal lagoon or tidal river as defined in section 1 of the Sea-Shore Act 21 of 1935.
(b) The waters within the breakwaters of any port in the Republic.
(c) Inland waters

  • Ensure the trailer of the vessel is roadworthy
  • Ensure that all the necessary safety equipment is still within the marked time period before expiration
  • Ensure that the fire extinguishers are serviced
  • Ensure that the vessel has the correct lifejackets
  • Ensure that the buoyancy certificate is valid and contains the following information:
    • The vessel’s name or number
    • A brief description of the vessel
    • Construction details, type and volume of buoyancy installed below deck
    • Buoyancy calculation and state of
    • Date of issue
    • Expiry date of the buoyancy certificate
    • Signature of the officer issuing the certificate
  • Ensure that all the necessary ICASA radio licences are in your possession
    • If your vessel has a 29Mhz radio, the appropriate 29Mhz licence
    • If your vessel has a VHF radio, two licences are required. One for the VHF radio as well as an VHF operators licence
    • If your vessel has both types of radios, you will be required to present both sets of licences
    • No ICASA licence, no seaworthy inspection will be done on the vessel
  • Kindly note that handheld radios are NOT acceptable – even on jet skis. It must be a base station radio.

If any of the above conditions are not fully satisfied, NO Certificate of Fitness (COF) will be issued.

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