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Jonathan Charles Marine is a small family run business offering boat safety examinations including BSS for hire fleets.

We want you to rest easy at night, safe in the knowledge that your boat was examined by trained professionals and meets the current requirements of the Boat Safety Scheme.

We cover Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and Bedfordshire areas, but please call as we are happy to travel and might even be travelling on our own boats in your area.

We are able carry out examination on private boats, residential* boats and hire* boats.

*If they are fitted with a bubble tester.


What Is the Boat Safety Scheme?


The Boat Safety Scheme, or BSS, is a public safety initiative owned equally by the Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency. Its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution harming visitors to the inland waterways, the waterways' workforce and any other users.

The Boat Safety Certificate means more than just paperwork enabling you to obtain your boat licence. It can help guide you to a safer boat while offering you the opportunity to get to know it a little better.


During the examination we can check up to 180 separate points depending on the type of boat.

If you want to know what we're checking and looking for when we do your examination, all the Examiner Checking Procedures (ECPs) can be found on the Boat Safety Scheme website.



How far in advance can I book my examination?

An examination can be carried out up to 2 months before its certificate expires. The new certificate will be post-dated to expire 4 years from the expiry of the current certificate.

What happens if my boat doesn’t pass?

If your boat fails you have 3 months to make it compliant in which the re-test is free. After 3 months a complete examination is required at the standard cost.

Do I need to be present?

Not necessarily, it's entirely up to you. However, we do recommend it as if there are any problems finding or identifying and clarifying anything it makes it much easier if you are present.  

How far do you travel for examinations?

The first 30 miles is free from either Bedford or Rugby, whichever is the nearest, then it is 35p per mile.

How much does it cost for an examination?

£200 (plus mileage if applicable).

There is a discount for boat which have no gas systems on board.

I want to change the gas cooker on my boat, will this invalidate the certificate?

No, though please ensure a Gas Safe Engineer has carried out the work. For any advice please call - we don't charge for a chat!

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