The safety requirements for a Certificate of Fitness (COF) or a Local General Safety Certificate (LGSC) are specified in the Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations of 2007 as amended. Most of the safety requirements for pleasure vessels are detailed in Annexure 1 and 2 of these regulations.

Click here for a complete copy of these regulations in PDF format.

Note that the regulations specify minimum requirements. For example, the regulations allow you to cross an ocean without:

arrow A GPS or chartplotter or sextant to fix your position
arrow A log to allow you to maintain workable DR
arrow A depth sounder to warn you of an approaching coastline
arrow An SSB radio or sat phone for mid ocean communication in a medical or other emergency
arrow Jackstays and harnesses to allow crew to clip on when working on the foredeck at night or in bad weather

It is up to the skipper to decide what additional equipment is appropriate and affordable for any particular voyage. The World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations provide a useful reference.

Click here to download the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations 2018-2019

To get a COF your vessel has to be listed with South African Sailing (SAS) and inspected by an SAS Safety Officer or a "SAMSA approved SAS appointed Safety Surveyor" (referred to as a SAS Safety Surveyor).

To get a LGSC your vessel has to be listed with SAS, registered by SAMSA and inspected by a SAS Safety Surveyor.

To book an inspection your first step is to pay SAS for the survey. Click here to view the pricelist. The easiest way to do this is via electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the following SAS bank account:

First National Bank, Pinelands, Cape Town
Branch No: 260-209
Account No: 6274 7183 995
Account Type: Business cheque account

Please use your vessel's listing number (the SA or ZA number) as your reference so that we can identify the payment. Please print out the proof of payment to give to the safety officer.

Once payment has been made you can arrange a survey with a Safety Officer or Safety Surveyor. If that is not convenient the SAS office can appoint one for you. You will need a proof of payment and your Certificate of Listing or a certified copy thereof.

You will also need to decide what category of COF you want for your boat. Then download the safety inspection check sheet. You need to complete the safety inspection check sheet before the safety survey.

Download the safety inspection check sheet for your vessel

It is the responsibility of the owner or his representative to prepare the vessel for the safety inspection. You need to complete and sign the safety inspection check sheet before the safety survey. The safety officer will refuse to the safety inspection until the check sheets have been completed.

COFs and LGSCs are only valid for one year from the date of the safety inspection.