Certificate of Fitness (COF)

No person may operate a vessel beyond the maximum distance from shore applicable to the category of vessel concerned and specified in the local general safety certificate or certificate of fitness issued in respect of the vessel.

The following categories are applicable:

  • Category A-vessels operating any distance from shore
  • Category B-vessels operating less than 40 nautical miles from shore
  • Category C-vessels operating less than 15 nautical miles from shore
  • Category D-vessels operating less than 5 nautical miles from shore
  • 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 inland waters

The following is important:

  • Certificate of Fitness is renewable every 12 months.
  • Each category has its each own specifications on safety equipment that must be aboard.
  • Only authorized agencies or persons can issue a COF. Please click here for authorized agencies/persons.

Requirements: Certificate of Fitness (Category ‘R’)

  • A SAMSA approved life jacket (whistle-lifting loop-reflective tape), for each person on the boat
  • Anchor
    • Anchor chain of 3m of 6mm galvanised chain for vessels less than 6m
    • The anchor rope must to be at least 30m
  • The boat must have buoyancy, whether it is foam or bottles. Must have copy of buoyancy certificate
  • Alternative Steering
  • First Aid kit – to include first aid manual
  • One 1.5kg dry powder fire extinguisher per motor. These have to be serviced once a year.
  • For night operation, the boat must be equipped with navigation lights and an all-round white light.
  • Suitable bailing bucket if no bilge pump
  • Two paddles or oars. (single motors only)
  • Capsize rope at least 3x length of the vessel (only for inflatables and ski-boats)
  • Inflatable’s to have air bellows and repair kit.
  • Registration number on both sides of the vessel/craft (min 75mm high)
  • All safety equipment to be on board and marked with boats number.
  • The boat trailer to be marked with boat’s number and the owner’s telephone number.
  • Petrol tanks to be suitable and UN or S.A.M.S.A approved.
  • Bow eye and stern eye
  • Tools
  • One waterproof torch (If boat night rated)
  • Spares (cable ties, fuses, insulation tape, plugs)
  • Battery and fuel tank to be in separate compartments. No electrical cables or harness to be open and uncovered in fuel tank area.
  • Red flag (for Skiing)
  • Photo of boat with all the necessary markings

Click here to download the complete COF requirements for Cat “R” vessels.