S.I. No. 274/2002 - Licensing of Passenger Boats (Exemption) Regulations, 2002

I, Frank Fahey, Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 14A(1)(a) of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1992 (No. 2 of 1992), inserted by section 4 (c) of the Merchant Shipping (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1998 (No. 20 of 1998) hereby make the following Regulations:

1.       Citation and Commencement

(i)        These Regulations may be cited as the Licensing of Passenger Boats (Exemption) Regulations, 2002;

(ii)       These Regulations shall come into force on 6th day of June 2003

2.       Interpretation

In these Regulations —

“approved” means approved by the Minister or by a body or organisation recognised by the Minister for such purpose and which is identified in a Marine Notice;

“authorised officer” means —

 (a)   any person authorised in writing by the Minister to exercise the powers conferred on an authorised officer by the Merchant Shipping Act, 1992 ,

 (b)   a person holding commissioned naval rank in the Permanent Defence Forces, while in uniform,

 (c)  a member of the Garda Síochána, while in uniform, or

 (d)  as respects the harbour of which he is the harbour master, a person appointed to be a harbour master by one of the following, that is to say:

(i)          a harbour authority within the meaning of the Harbours Act, 1946 ,

(ii)        the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,

(iii)       the Minister for the Marine,

(iv)       a local authority, and

(v)        Iarnród Éireann — Irish Rail;

“authorised person” means a surveyor or a person authorised in writing by the Minister to carry out inspections of vessels for purposes of Part III of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1992 (No. 2 of 1992);

“collision regulations” means the Collision Regulations (Ships and Water Craft on the Water) Order 1984 ( S.I. No. 29 of 1984 ) as amended;

“crew” means any person other than a passenger;

“declaration” means a declaration in the form contained in a Marine Notice and cognate words shall be construed accordingly;.

“domestic voyage” means a voyage from a place in the State to the same or another place in the State;

“efficient” in relation to a fitting, piece of equipment or material means that all reasonable and practicable measures have been taken to ensure that it is suitable for the purpose for which it is intended to be used;

“fully loaded condition” means loaded with fuel, stores and weights representing the total number of passengers and crew to be carried, based on 75 kg per person;

“intoxicant” includes alcohol or drugs or any combination of drugs or drugs and alcohol;

“length” means the overall length measured from the foreside of the foremost fixed permanent structure to the aftside of the aftermost fixed permanent structure of the passenger boat;

“Marine Notice” means a Notice described as such and issued by the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources and which may be amended or replaced from time to time;

“Minister” means the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources;

“open vessel” means a boat which is not a fully decked vessel, a well decked vessel or an open cockpit vessel;

“owner”, in relation to a vessel, means the person registered under the Mercantile Marine Act 1955 as the owner of the vessel or, if no person is so registered, the person who owns the vessel, and includes any part owner, charterer, manager or operator of the vessel;

“Principal Act” means the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894;

“smooth waters” means the any areas of water not being to sea or partially smooth waters and in particular, the areas of water specified in a Marine Notice;

“surveyor” means a person appointed under section 724 of the Principal Act to be a surveyor of ships for the purposes of that Act;

3.        The following class of vessel is hereby exempted from the requirement to be licensed under section 14 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1992 (No. 2 of 1992), as amended, that is to say,

vessels, being open vessels of no less than 4 metres in length, carrying no more than 3 passengers on board for the purpose of angling and engaged on domestic voyages in smooth waters on canals, rivers, lakes and loughs.

4.        Every vessel of the class exempted under Regulation 3 shall comply with the following safety requirements:

(1)  General Safety Provisions.

(a) Without prejudice to the Collision Regulations, the vessel shall be operated in a manner, which takes account of other persons involved in waterborne activities, or persons who might otherwise be adversely affected by the operation of the vessel.

(b) A person who has not attained the age of eighteen years shall not be in charge of the vessel.

(c) A person shall not operate or be in charge or attempt to operate or be in charge of the vessel while that person is under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to be incapable of safely operating and controlling the vessel.

(d) The vessel shall be maintained in a good structural and mechanical condition and the machinery and equipment specified in Regulation 4(2 shall be kept in good order and be available for immediate use at all times.

(e) The vessel shall be suitable for use for the purpose of angling with the declared number of persons on board within the intended area of operation and taking into account the likely weather conditions.

(2) Construction, machinery and equipment.

Every vessel shall:

(a)  be constructed of steel, aluminium, glass reinforced plastic, wood or equivalent materials;

(b)  be fitted with an efficient marine outboard engine capable of manoeuvring the vessel safely ahead and astern, and steering the vessel at its maximum speed in the fully loaded condition within the limits of the intended area of operation;

(c)  be provided with a suitable pair of oars and rowlocks;

(d)  be fitted with adequate seating or thwarts for all persons on board;

(e)  be provided with a suitable bailer;

(f)   be provided with a suitable anchor with rope of length at least equal to four times the length of the boat;

(g)  be fitted with a permanently rigged suitable painter which shall not exceed the length of the boat and which may also be used as a tow rope;

(h)  be provided with two approved hand-held distress flares or a portable horn;

(i)   be provided with a suitable boat hook;

(j)   be provided with a suitable waterproof torch;

(k)  carry fuel in no more than two approved portable fuel tanks which shall be secured in position when on board the vessel; fuel hoses shall be of an acceptable type with appropriate quick connections, be in good condition shall be routed and secured in such a manner as to be protected from mechanical damage. The transfer of fuel from a container to an approved portable fuel tank shall not be permitted on board;

(l)   have securely stored any accumulator batteries in a suitable and adequately ventilated container to protect the battery from mechanical damage, flooding and shorting of the terminals; electrical connections to such batteries shall be approved;

(m) carry an approved lifejacket or approved personal flotation device for each person the vessel is declared to carry and shall be worn at all times when on board;

(n)  be provided with a suitable means to facilitate the recovery of a person from the water.

5.         Every owner of a vessel of the class exempted under Regulation 3 shall complete and submit to the Minister for stamping by him or her a declaration that the vessel complies with the safety requirements set out in Regulation 4.

6.         Every owner of a vessel of the class exempt under Regulation 3 shall, on request, make available for inspection by an authorised person or authorised officer the stamped declaration in relation to the vessel referred to in Regulation 5.


GIVEN under my Official Seal

this 5th day of June 2002

Frank Fahey


Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources



These Regulations specify the class of vessels which are exempted from the requirement to have a passenger boat licence under section 14 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1992 and the safety requirements to be met in relation to each exempt vessel.