The Recreational Craft Directive is a European Union directive which sets out minimum technical, safety and environmental standards for the trade of boats, personal watercraft, marine engines and components in Europe. It covers boats between 2.5 and 24m, personal watercraft, engines and a number of components. It ensures their suitability for sale and use in Europe.
Category A – Ocean: covers largely self-sufficient boats designed for extended voyages with winds of over Beaufort Force 8 (over 40 knots), and significant wave heights above 13 feet, but excluding abnormal conditions such as hurricanes.
Category B – Offshore: includes boats operating offshore with winds to 40 knots and significant seas to 13 feet.
Category C – Inshore: is for boats operating in coastal waters and large bays and lakes with winds to Force 6, up to 27 knots, and significant seas 7 feet high.
Category D – Inland or sheltered coastal waters: is for boats in small lakes and rivers with winds to Force 4 and significant wave heights to 18 inches.