Before we bought Elemiah we realised that in order to bring her into Europe we would have to comply with the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive. The RCD (not to be confused with a residual current device of which we also have one and which is also required to meet the standards of the RCD) sets out the standards with which a yacht must comply in order to be imported into the European Union.
Even though Elemiah’s design stems from the 1930s, she has to comply. This has led to some anomalies, for example, the US and Canadian regulations on having a gas supply in a boat requires the gas pipe to run directly from the gas bottle to the stove with the only gas tap being at the bottle. Under European regulations, there is a requirement that there must be a gas tap between the bottle and the stove. So Elemiah was legal in Canada, but now that John and the team at Covey Island have made her compliant with EU regulations, technically we are illegal until we get to Europe!
Another example is that when we bought her, Elemiah possessed a perfectly good British engine, a Perkins. There are hundreds of these engines chugging round Europe. However, the regulations have now changed so that new boats and imports must comply with the latest green technology. So we have had to put in a new engine.
We have been helped with obtaining an EU compliance certificate by Mike Vollmer, a Canadian marine surveyor who is also qualified in Belgium. Mike and the IMCI, the official Belgian body that issues compliance certificates, were a lot more helpful than the Royal Yachting Association which is the UK’s equivalent to the IMCI. He and John from Covey Island made the obtaining of the compliance certificate a smooth process – well at least for us.