hull openings

The provisions of this section of Part 10 in the 2002 BSS Standards are mandatory for non-private boats where applicable.

To reduce the risk of your boat sinking if it keels over or is excessively weighed down, it's a good idea for privately owned boats to only have openings which are at a height of at least 250mm (10ins) above the waterline. Where openings are necessary below this level this risk can be reduced by ensuring that these openings are permanently and securely connected to ducts or pipes, which are watertight up to that level.

Self-draining cockpits may not be able to meet the 250mm (10ins) recommendation but, for privately owned boats, it's a good idea to stop water getting into other parts of the hull by incorporating non-return valves in the drains and/or having bulkheads or cills up to a height of 150mm (6ins).

A weed hatch, if not properly secured, can allow water into the bilges of a boat, which could ultimately cause it to sink. It's advisable for privately owned boats to have a secure and watertight weed hatch which reaches to at least 150mm (6ins) above the waterline, when the boat is loaded up as normal. [10.3]