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2.3. Protection from falling overboard and means of reboarding PDF Print E-mail

Essential requirement:
Depending on the design category, craft shall be designed to minimize the risks of falling overboard and to facilitate reboarding.

Harmonized standard:
EN ISO 15085:2003 Small craft - Man-overboard prevention and recovery

The requirements for non-sailing boats are given in the following table:


The requirements for sailing boats are given in the following table:


a) Only for daytime navigation.
b) Capsize, floating or knockdown recoverable sailing boats, see ISO 12217.

Slip resistant surface: Working deck areas shall be slip-resistant. This is also applicable for glazed area's (e.g. hatches) in the working deck with dimensions > 500 mm.

Foot-stop at outboard edges of the working deck:
Minimum height:

Design category

A and B



Sailing boats

30 mm

25 mm


Non-sailing boats

25 mm

20 mm



Hand holds:
The maximum distance between to handholds shall be less then 1,5 m.
If the handholds are fitted less than 300 mm inboard from the deck edge they shall be placed at least 350 mm above deck. All other handholds may be placed at any height.

Guard_rail Guard rails:

Low guard-rails:  height of at least 450 mm.
High guard-rails: height of at least 600 mm.

Hooking points: Hooking points shall be located no more than 3 m apart at the following locations:
- at the main access hatch/door;
- at the outside steering positions;
- at the windlass or towing strong point(s);
- at the mast of sailing boats;
- at the winch positions of sailing boats.

Hooking points need not be specifically designed for their purpose. A cleat, bollard or a pulpit foot stanchion base may be used as hooking points as well.

Attachment points for jack-lines: Shall be fitted on the port and starboard side of the deck. These lines shall be long enough to allow the movements on the working deck needed for boat operation.

Jack-lines: May be fitted in sections. At the ends of each section of the jack lines attachment points shall be fitted.

Body support:
Sitting crew:    The body support shall have a height of no less than 120 mm above the rigid bottom of the seat.
Standing crew: Body support required for the back of the torso.

Reboarding Means of reboarding: The boat shall be provided with a means of facilitate reboarding (e.g. ladders, steps, handholds, brackets).

The top surface of the lowest step of the reboarding ladder shall be at least 300 mm below waterline.

This means of reboarding shall be readily accessible (being reached quickly and without the use of tools) and usable, without the assistance of any other person.