Buoyancy Certification and Certificates

Where SAMSA officers or Authorised Agency safety officers and inspectors are faced with alternative documentation produced by other parties, the following principles must be applied to all forms of buoyancy certificate.

It must be clear who the issuer is, for instance, the boat builder, private surveyor, safety officer, owner etc.

The vessel itself must be clearly identified by photograph, serial number or similar.

The basic dimensions and build details of the vessel must be included to aid the reader with not only identifying the vessel but also making it possible to detect any major alterations which may affect the validity of the certificate.

The quantity, type and distribution of buoyancy must be described in detail.

The net weight (lightweight) of the vessel must be noted, as this is the best method of monitoring absorbency or water retention of either foam or bottles.

The certificate must attest to compliance with the requirements of regulation 6 and Annex 1 or conversely state exactly what is, in fact, being certified.

Any limitations, conclusions or comments must be clearly noted, especially when bottles are used as they have a limited lifespan.



  • All vessels above 15hp and under 9m in length carrying a suitable “Liferaft” – No passenger vessels excluded
  • Any vessel under 15hp and 9m in length do not need to have a certificate to prove buoyancy BUT must have sufficient buoyancy to keep the vessel afloat if SWAMPED

Types of Floatation acceptable and renewal of certificates times



Buoyancy Certificate Example:

The following are example of the approved SAMSA certificates for you to download and use

Single Hull Vessels

Multihull Vessels

Semi-Rigid / Inflatable Vessels