Regulations - CEVNI

All boats more than 5 metres long should have someone one board who has an International Certificate of Competence or a Helmsman’ Certificate, together with the CEVNI endorsement. CEVNI is a certificate to prove that you understand the rules of the inland waterways. It is a multiple choice test and any person who is capable of navigating a boat in Britain will not find it difficult. It takes half an hour and you can study for it at home with material supplied by the RYA, who also supply a list of local test centres or you can take the test on line. Prices vary so ring around.

New in 2010 is the opportunity to take this test on line via the RYA's interactive website www.ryainteractive.org. On the site you can practice the CEVNI test and find a test centre who will allow you to take the test. At the moment the RYA can only issue certificates to UK residents but they are hopeful that this will change in the not too distant future.

A one day hands on course and test can be obtained in Britain and in France. A google search for Helmsman's Certificate will give a list of addresses, and we have included some of the ones that we know about in the list of Useful addresses and websites

If you speak French you can obtain a Certificate of Aptitude through a test which can be taken in France, but at the time of writing translators are not allowed.

If you are thinking of hiring a boat in France the hire organisations will arrange for you to obtain a temporary licence for the duration of your holiday. The Inland waterways Helmsman’ Certificate course includes instruction on safety equipment safe practices and pre-cruise preparation of your boat, rope handling and practical boat handling. Boat handling includes safe and controlled handling, stopping and holding a position, locking through, mooring up and leaving a mooring, man overboard drill and making the boat go sideways in a controlled manner.

Any boat exceeding 5m in length or powered by an engine of 6HP or more must have a registration number painted on its hull. In the case of British vessels this will be the certificate of registration obtained from the Ship’s Registry.

A vignette or licence to use the canals is required by all boats. See VNF - licences/chomage section

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