Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code
For a printable version of this document, click here: Small Passenger Boat Code (PDF 406KB).
Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA)
The Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA) was set up in December 1996 with strong encouragement from Government to provide, for the first time ever, a single voice on waterway management issues. The broad purpose of AINA is to facilitate the management, maintenance and development of the inland waterways for navigation as an economic, environmental, recreational and social resource.
AINA has 30 members including the three large navigation authorities – British Waterways, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority – and also local authorities, drainage commissioners, property development companies, port and harbour authorities, original canal companies, national parks, the National Trust, and other charitable trusts.
Between them, AINA members own, operate and manage some 5,000 km of waterway representing almost a complete UK coverage. Each member has its own constitution, aims and objectives and, in many cases, Acts of Parliament regulating the operation of their waterways.
Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency is responsible throughout the UK for implementing the Government’s maritime safety policy. That includes co-ordinating search and rescue at sea by Her Majesty’s Coastguard and checking that ships meet UK and international safety rules.
The MCA is the national competent authority for ship standards, crew competency and health and safety. As such, it is responsible for national standards for inland waterway vessels and training for boatmasters. MCA has provided the secretariat to the working group on the development of the Inland waters small Passenger Boat Code.
Sound practice, safer waters
Until now, there has been no national standard for small commercial vessels (carrying up to 12 passengers) using the UK’s inland and estuarial waters.
The Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), however, have published these best practice guidelines, which could be relevant to you.
The Inland Waters Small Passenger Boat Code was developed by a team of industry experts and modified following extensive public consultation. Allowing for each operator’s experience and own interpretation of risk, the Code gives safety advice to operators, licensing authorities and regulators.
Steering Gear / Steering Position
Bilge Pumping / Drainage
Chapter 11 - Stability -
Sailing Multihull Vessels
Chapter 12 - Freeboard
Category A &B Waters - Motor Vessels
Category C&D Waters - Motor Vessels
Anchors and Cables
First Aid Kit
Prevention of Pollution
Additional Crew Members
Fatigue – Working Time Regulations
First Aid Courses
Drugs and Alcohol Policy
Annex 1 - Development of the Code
Annex 2 - Definitions
Annex 3 - Regulations and Publications
Annex 4 - Guidance on Safety Management System
Annex 5 - Beachcraft Guidelines
Annex 6 - Guidance for transiting vessels
Annex 7 - General Mutual Recognition Clause
Annex 8 - Stability
Annex 9 - Freeboard
Annex 10 - Guidance on freeboard measurement for motor vessels and Stability Assessment
Annex 11 - Listed medical conditions
Annex 12 - Safety Briefing