Acceptance of alternative construction requirements for small vessels

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1 Policy objective

1.1 This policy provides for the use of alternative construction standards for pleasure craft less than 24 metres (m) in length and vessels, other than pleasure craft, of not more than 15 gross tonnage (GT). Use of these alternative construction standards, under the conditions set out in this policy, will be deemed as meeting the Canadian construction requirements for small vessels set out in the Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332).

2 Policy statement

2.1 Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) accepts, as alternatives to the existing Canadian construction requirements for small vessels set out in the Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332), the equivalent standards published by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) with the Canadian modifications set out in this Policy.

2.2 For greater clarity, this Policy allows alternatives to the Construction Standards as defined in the Small Vessel Regulations (SVR) and set out in TP 1332, but does not replace the Part 7 Construction Requirements, Part 8 Compliance Notices and Part 9 Hull Serial Number of the SVR. These parts of the Regulations remain applicable.

2.3 Table 1 in Appendix 1 lists the ABYC standards that may be used as alternatives to the requirements of TP 1332 for pleasure craft of less than 24m and for non-pleasure craft of not more than 6 m.

2.4 Table 2 in Appendix 1 states the Canadian modifications to the ABYC standards requirements listed in Table 1 that must be applied when using the alternative ABYC standards for pleasure craft of less than 24m and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6m.

2.5 Table 3 in Appendix 2 lists the ABYC standards that may be used as alternatives to the requirements of TP 1332 for non-pleasure craft of more than 6 m.

2.6 Table 4 in Appendix 2 states the Canadian modifications to the ABYC standards requirements that must be applied when using the alternative ABYC standards for non-pleasure craft of more than 6m listed in Table 3

2.7 TCMSS will accept the ABYC standards listed in Column 3 of Table 1 Appendix 1 as an alternative to the requirements of the TP 1332 listed in Column 2, when applied in combination with the Canadian Modifications set out in Table 2

2.8 TCMSS will accept the ABYC standards listed in Column 3 of Table 3 Appendix 2 as an alternative for the requirements of the Construction Standards for Small Vessels (TP 1332) listed in Column 2, when applied in combination with the Canadian Modifications stated in Table 4.

3 Scope

3.1 This policy applies to pleasure craft not more than 24 m in length and vessels, other than pleasure craft, not more than 15 gross tonnage, manufactured, built, rebuilt or imported for use in Canada.

4 Authority

4.1 This policy falls under the administrative authority of the Director General, Marine Safety and Security, and the Marine Safety and Security Executive committee has approved this policy for general application.

5 Responsibility/further information

5.1 The Executive Director, Domestic Vessel Regulatory Oversight and Boating Safety, is responsible for the development, approval and maintenance of this policy.

5.2 The Manager, National Marine Safety Program – Small and Fishing Vessels Design and Construction and Boating Safety (AMSDS), is the OPI for this policy and responsible for its implementation.

5.3 Comments or queries related to the policy and its application should be addressed to:

Executive Director,
Domestic Vessel Regulatory Oversight and Boating Safety (AMSD)
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, (Canada) K1A 0N8
Phone: 613-949-3819
Fax: 613-991-4818

6 Background

6.1 The 2011 RCC Action Plan is the joint initiative of Canadian and US regulatory agencies to better align the regulatory environment between the two countries by enhancing technical collaboration, the mutual recognition of standards and joint work sharing.

6.2 The RCC Marine Transport Working Group: Construction/Safety Standards for Small Craft included four Action Items:

  • Align the regulations and standards for construction of pleasure craft/recreational boats;
  • Align the compliance monitoring program;
  • Develop a joint harmonized safety defects and recall program;
  • Establish an ongoing alignment mechanism for standards, compliance monitoring, and safety recall programs.

6.3 The objectives of this policy are consistent with the RCC Work Plan.

6.4 TCMSS submitted a Proposal for Alignment to the USCG that focused on harmonizing the construction requirements and the compliance monitoring programs of the two countries regulatory regimes, including the use of ABYC standards as an alternative to Canadian and US national standards.

6.5 TCMSS agrees that these standards represent best industry practice and are currently applied by the majority of the Canadian and US boat manufacturers, in addition to national regulations.

6.6 Consultations were held at the National Recreational Boating Advisory Council and the Canadian Marine Advisory Council regarding the use of ABYC standards as an alternative to Canadian construction requirements, and the industry was supportive of the proposal.

6.7 To allow industry a progressive transition, TCMSS will first adopt under this policy the optional use of ABYC standards as an alternative to the existing Canadian requirements set out in the standards TP1332.

6.8 In a second phase, proposed amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations will be developed to incorporate the ABYC standards by reference in the Regulations in replacement of the requirements set out in the standards TP1332.

7 Date of application

7.1 This policy comes into effect on October 30, 2019.

8 Date for review or expiry

8.1 This policy will be reviewed 12 months following its date of application and at intervals not exceeding 5 years thereafter.

9 RDIMS reference

9.1 The English version of this document is saved in RDIMS under reference number 14823074. The applied naming convention is “Publication – TP - 13585 - Policy – Acceptance of alternative construction requirements for small vessels”.

9.2 La version française du présent document est dans le SGDDI et porte le numéro de référence 15051201. La règle d'affectation des noms est « Publication – TP 13585 – Politique – Utilisation des normes de constructions alternatives pour les petits bâtiments ».

9.3 This is the first approved and finalized revision of the English version of this document.

10 Keywords

  • ABYC
  • Construction standards
  • Pleasure craft
  • RCC
  • Small vessels
  • TP 1332
  • Small Vessel Regulations

Appendix 1

1. Alternative ABYC Construction Standards for pleasure craft of less than 24m and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6m

The following table summarizes the list of ABYC standards that may be used as alternative to the requirements of the standards TP 1332 for pleasure craft of less than 24m and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6m.

  • Topic: The section title in the Construction Standards TP1332 (2010)
  • TP 1332 Reference: The corresponding section or paragraph number in the Construction Standards TP1332 (2010)
  • Alternative Standards: The alternative ABYC standards number and name, or:
    • Not Applicable: This section of the standard TP 1332 is not applicable for these type of vessels; or
    • No Alternative: The corresponding TP 1332 section is a Regulatory requirement that remains applicable and cannot be replaced by alternative standards.

Table 1 – Alternative ABYC Construction Standards – Pleasure Craft of less than 24 metres and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6 metres

Topic TP 1332 Reference Alternative Standards
Introduction 0 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Definition 0.1 As per the appropriate ABYC standard see below
Hull Serial Numbers 1 No alternative – US and CAN requirement similar
Compliance Notices 2 No alternative – Canadian Compliance Notice to be attached
Construction Requirements 3 See details below
Structural Strength 3.2 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Watertight Integrity 3.3 As per the appropriate ABYC standard see below
Fittings & Thru-Hull Penetrations 3.3.1 ABYC H-27 Seacocks, Thru-Hull Fittings, And Drain Plugs
Windows, Portlights, Hatches, Deadlights & Doors 3.3.2 ABYC H-3 Exterior Windows, Windshields, Hatches, Doors, Port Lights, and Glazing Materials
Windows, Portlights, Hatches, Deadlights & Doors of more than 6 m 3.3.3 Not Applicable
Drainage & Hull Penetrations 3.3.4 ABYC H-27 Seacocks, Thru-Hull Fittings, And Drain Plugs
Motor Wells 3.3.5 ABYC H-4 Cockpit Drainage Systems 4.6.3.5
Personal Watercraft 3.4 No Alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Protection from Falls 3.5 See details below
Non-Pleasure Craft of more than 6 metres 3.5.2 Not applicable
Pleasure Craft of All Sizes and Non-Pleasure Craft of 6 metres and less 3.5.3 ABYC H-41 Reboarding Means, Ladders, Handholds, Rails and Lifelines
Discharge of Sewage 3.6 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Navigation Lights 3.7 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Hull Design Requirements & Calculation of Recommended Max. Capacities for Vessels not More Than 6 m in Length 4 See details below
Scope 4.1 No Alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Definitions 4.2 As per the appropriate ABYC standards, see 4.3 to 4.6 below
Recommended Max. Safety Limits for Monohull Vessels 4.3 ABYC H-5 Boat Load Capacity
ABYC H-29 Canoes And Kayaks
ABYC H-37 Jet Boats – Light Weight
Recommended Gross Load Calculation (Intact Condition) 4.3.1 ABYC H-5 Boat Load Capacity
Recommended Max. Number of Persons Calculation 4.3.2 ABYC H-5 Boat Load Capacity
Recommended Max. Power Calculation 4.3.3 ABYC H-26 Powering of Boats
Flotation Requirements for Monohull Vessels 4.4 ABYC H-8 Buoyancy In The Event of Swamping

ABYC H-29 Canoes And Kayaks
Recommended Max. Safety Limits for Pontoon Vessels 4.5 ABYC H-35 Powering And Load Capacity of Pontoon Boats
Recommended Max. Safety Limits for Inflatable & Rigid Hull Inflatable Vessels 4.6 ABYC H-28 Inflatable Boats
Weights of Gasoline Outboard
Engines and Related Equipment
Table 4-2 ABYC S-30 Outboard Engine and Related Equipment Weights
Hull Design Requirements for Non-Pleasure Craft Exceeding 6 m 5 Not Applicable
Ventilation Systems 6.1-6.4 As appropriate:

ABYC H-2 Ventilation of Boats Using Gasoline

ABYC H-32 Ventilation of Boats Using Diesel Fuel
Battery Spaces 6.5 ABYC E-10 Storage Batteries
Fuel Systems 7.1-7.11 As appropriate for the system:

ABYC H-24 Gasoline Fuel Systems

ABYC H-33 Diesel Fuel Systems

Note: The above standards do not replace the requirements to comply with the Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations (SOR/2011-10) administered by Environment Canada.
Outboard Motor Installations 7.12 ABYC H-25 Portable Gasoline Fuel Systems – 25.8 Only

Note: The above standard does not replace the requirements to comply with the Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations (SOR/2011-10) administered by Environment Canada.
Electrical Systems 8.1-8.10 ABYC E-11 AC & DC Electrical Systems on Boats

ABYC E-10 Storage Batteries
Emergency Lighting for Non-Pleasure Craft of more than 6 m 8.11 Not Applicable
Electrical Systems of 50 Volts or More 8.12 ABYC E-11 AC and DC Electrical Systems on Boats
Machinery Systems 9  
Exhaust Systems 9.1 ABYC P-1 Installation of Exhaust Systems for Propulsion and Auxiliary Engines
Main and Auxiliary Machinery 9.2 Not Applicable
Bilge Pumping Arrangements 9.3 Not Applicable
Pressure Vessels 9.4 No Alternative
Fire Safety 10 Not Applicable - except as indicated below
Fire Detection and Alarm 10.3 A vessel other than a pleasure craft of not more than 6 metres must comply with the requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations section 418 or 516 as appropriate.
Provision for Discharging a Portable Fire Extinguisher in the Engine Space 10.4.1 A vessel other than a pleasure craft of not more than 6 metres must comply with the requirements of the Small Vessel Regulations section 415 or 513 as appropriate.

2. Canadian Modifications to ABYC Standards for pleasure craft of less than 24m and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6m

The following table states the Canadian modifications that must be applied when using the alternative ABYC standards for pleasure craft of less than 24m and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6m.

Table 2 – Canadian Modifications to ABYC Standards– Pleasure Craft of less than 24 metres and non-pleasure craft of not more than 6 metres

Subject ABYC Standards Canadian Modifications
Safety Notices All standards All Safety Notices prescribed by the Small Vessel Regulations and the alternative ABYC standards must be provided in English and French.
System of Units All standards All units marked on the vessels and accompanying documentation must use the International System of Units (SI).

Additional use of pounds-inch units is permitted.
Weight of Persons H-5 Boat Load Capacity

H-8 Buoyancy in the Event of

Flooding/Swamping

H-35 Powering and Load Capacity of Pontoon Boats
A person weight of 75 kg (165lbs) must be used in all calculations and tests.

Appendix 2

1. Alternative ABYC Construction Standards for non-pleasure craft of more than 6m

Non-pleasure craft of more than 6 metres may comply with all the alternative ABYC standards listed in Table 3 provided they also comply with the Canadian modifications stated in Table 4.

The following table summarizes the list of ABYC standards that may be used as alternative to the requirements of the standards TP 1332 for non-pleasure craft of more than 6m.

  • Topic: The section title in the Construction Standards TP1332 (2010)
  • TP 1332 Reference: The corresponding section or paragraph number in the Construction Standards TP1332 (2010)
  • Alternative Standards: The alternative ABYC standards number and name, or:
    • Not Applicable: This section of the standard TP 1332 is not applicable for these type of vessels; or
    • No Alternative: The corresponding TP 1332 section is a Regulatory requirement that remains applicable and cannot be replaced by alternative standards.

Table 3 – Alternative ABYC Construction Standards – non-pleasure craft of more than 6 metres

Topic TP 1332 Reference Alternative Standards
Introduction 0 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Definition 0.1 As per the appropriate ABYC standard see below
Hull Serial Numbers 1 No alternative – US and CAN requirement similar
Compliance Notices 2 No alternative – Canadian Compliance Notice to be attached
Construction Requirements 3 See details below
Structural Strength 3.2 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Watertight Integrity 3.3 See details below
Fittings & Thru-Hull Penetrations 3.3.1 ABYC H-27 Seacocks, Thru-Hull Fittings, And Drain Plugs
Windows, Portlights, Hatches, Deadlights & Doors 3.3.2 ABYC H-3 Exterior Windows, Windshields, Hatches, Doors, Port Lights, and Glazing Materials
Windows, Portlights, Hatches, Deadlights & Doors of more than 6 m 3.3.3 No Alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Drainage & Hull Penetrations 3.3.4 ABYC H-27 Seacocks, Thru-Hull Fittings, And Drain Plugs
Motor Wells 3.3.5 ABYC H-4 Cockpit Drainage Systems 4.6.3.5
Personal Watercraft 3.4 No Alternative
Protection from Falls 3.5 See details below
Non-Pleasure Craft of more than 6 metres 3.5.2 No Alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Pleasure Craft of All Sizes and Non-Pleasure Craft of 6 metres and less 3.5.3 Not applicable
Discharge of Sewage 3.6 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Navigation Lights 3.7 No alternative – Regulatory Requirements
Hull Design Requirements & Calculation of Recommended Max. Capacities for Vessels not More Than 6 m in Length 4 Not applicable
Hull Design Requirements for Non-Pleasure Craft Exceeding 6 m 5 No alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Ventilation Systems 6.1-6.4 As appropriate:

ABYC H-2 Ventilation of Boats Using Gasoline

ABYC H-32 Ventilation of Boats Using Diesel Fuel
Battery Spaces 6.5 ABYC E-10 Storage Batteries
Fuel Systems 7.1-7.11 As appropriate for the system:

ABYC H-24 Gasoline Fuel Systems

ABYC H-33 Diesel Fuel Systems

Note: The above standards do not replace the requirements to comply with the Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations (SOR/2011-10) administered by Environment Canada.
Outboard Motor Installations 7.12 ABYC H-25 Portable Gasoline Fuel Systems – 25.8 Only

Note: The above standard does not replace the requirements to comply with the Marine Spark-Ignition Engine, Vessel and Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Emission Regulations (SOR/2011-10) administered by Environment Canada.
Electrical Systems 8.1-8.10 ABYC E-11 AC & DC Electrical Systems on Boats

ABYC E-10 Storage Batteries
Emergency Lighting for Non-Pleasure Craft of more than 6 m 8.11 No alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Electrical Systems of 50 Volts or More 8.12 ABYC E-11 AC and DC Electrical Systems on Boats
Machinery Systems 9 See details below
Exhaust Systems 9.1 ABYC P-1 Installation of Exhaust Systems for Propulsion and Auxiliary Engines
Main and Auxiliary Machinery 9.2 No alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Bilge Pumping Arrangements 9.3 No alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Pressure Vessels 9.4 No alternative – TP 1332 to be applied
Fire Safety 10 No alternative – TP 1332 to be applied

2. Canadian Modifications to ABYC Standards for non-pleasure craft of more than 6m

The following table states the Canadian modifications that must be applied when using the alternative ABYC standards for non-pleasure craft of more than 6m.

Table 4 – Canadian Modifications to ABYC Standards– Non-pleasure craft of more than 6 metres

Subject ABYC Standards Canadian Modifications
Safety Notices All standards All Safety Notices prescribed by the Small Vessel Regulations and the alternative ABYC standards must be provided in English and French.
System of Units All standards All units marked on the vessels or accompanying documentation must use of International System of Units (SI).

Additional use of pounds-inch units is permitted.
Weight of Persons All Standards A person weight of 75 kg (165lbs) must be used in all calculations and tests.