top of page

Practical guide for the technical inspection of a yacht

Dernière mise à jour : 5 déc. 2023

Yachts, like any other vessels, are regulated to adhere to standards that serve a primary purpose : safety. It is in this context that the French International Register (RIF) and the French government have established a practical guide for the technical inspection of yachts, an essential reference for all stakeholders in this demanding industry.

This initiative is part of an approach aimed to ensure the compliance of yachts with international safety standards and preserving the safety of passengers, crew, and oceans. In this article, you will discover in detail everything you need to know about the practical guide for the technical inspection of yachts, established by the French International Register (RIF) in collaboration with the French government. We will examine the essential objectives of this guide, the key steps it proposes, and the resulting standards.

The RIF, what is it ?

The French International Register (RIF) plays a central role in the regulation and supervision of yachts. As a major entity in the maritime industry, the RIF actively commits to define and maintain rigorous safety standards for yachts. This responsibility extends not only to France but also to the entire international maritime community.

In this effort to ensure the safety and compliance of yachts, the RIF benefits from the support and collaboration of the French government. This strategic collaboration between maritime authorities and the government aims to establish strict safety standards that take into account technological advancements, environmental challenges, and navigation imperatives. Thanks to this synergy between the RIF and the French government, the yacht industry benefits from a robust regulatory framework and vigilant oversight to ensure safe and compliant sea journeys.

Objectives and steps of the technical inspection

The first and foremost priority of this procedure is to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, and the marine environment. This meticulous inspection aims to identify any element that could compromise the safety of the trip. It can be conducted as part of a commissioning visit or a periodic inspection of a yacht.

In addition to this imperative focus on safety, the technical inspection also aims to ensure compliance with international maritime regulations. Yachts subjected to this assessment are required to adhere to standards and guidelines established by bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This compliance initiative aims to maintain an operational and navigational standard in line with global benchmarks, thereby contributing to a safer and more responsible yacht industry.

For the specific steps of this technical inspection, they unfold in a meticulous process. The inspection team reviews every aspect of the yacht, from its safety, navigation, and communication systems to its hull, structure, integrity, and documents. Life-saving equipment and safety devices are also scrutinized to ensure their effectiveness in case of need. Each step is designed to accurately assess the yacht's compliance with standards and to ensure that all precautions are taken to ensure the safety of passengers, crew, and preserve the marine environment.

Preparation of the technical inspection

For yacht owners and captains, a careful preparation in advance is essential for a successful technical inspection. Here are some tips to ensure that your yacht is ready to face this rigorous examination :

  1. Regular maintenance of equipment and systems : Conducting regular checks on all safety, navigation, and communication equipment is a crucial practice. Ensure that everything is in good working order and replace any faulty components.

  2. Document collection and organization : Gather all necessary documents, such as compliance certificates, previous inspection reports, and licenses. Organize them systematically for a smooth presentation during the technical inspection.

  3. Certificates and maintenance reports : Prepare certificates and maintenance reports, demonstrating that your yacht has undergone regular maintenance in accordance with standards. This attests to your commitment to the safety and quality of your vessel.

  4. Crew training : Ensure that your crew is trained and informed about safety procedures and the technical aspects of the yacht. Well-prepared crew members contribute positively to the technical inspection.

We recommend using boat maintenance software that can help you keeping your boat in good condition and prepare for the technical inspection. This type of software allows you to track your boat's history, schedule maintenance and repairs, and store important documents. It can also assist you in generating reports that can be used to demonstrate that your boat complies with safety requirements.

By following these recommendations, you significantly increase your chances of successfully passing the technical inspection of your yacht and ensuring its compliance with the rigorous safety standards of the French International Register (RIF) and the French government. Some comparison exists between maintenance management software like The state of Marine CMMS to help you find out the best software for your needs.

The importance compliance

Ensuring the compliance of your yacht during the technical inspection is of crucial importance for several major reasons. Non-compliance can lead to serious and potentially dangerous consequences for the safety of passengers and crew, as well as for the preservation of the marine environment.

Safety at sea is paramount, and every yacht must adhere to rigorous safety standards to avoid any potentially catastrophic incidents. In case of non-compliance, safety equipment may not function properly in emergency situations, thereby endangering the lives of passengers and crew.

In addition to safety risks, non-compliance during the technical inspection can also lead to legal and financial sanctions. Maritime authorities may impose fines or even revoke the yacht's license, preventing it from navigating. Furthermore, the yacht's and owner's brand image can be seriously affected in the case of repeated or obvious non-compliance.

In summary, compliance during the technical inspection is a fundamental responsibility to ensure everyone's safety on board and to maintain the integrity of the marine environment. It represents a commitment to security, responsibility, and the sustainability of the yacht industry."

Furthermore, it should be noted that there are authorized Classification Societies (CS) responsible for establishing a ship's compliance with its own regulations. These societies are tasked with technical inspections to ensure the quality and reliability of ships. There are 5 organizations approved by the French maritime authority:

  • Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore SAS


  • RINA Services s.p.a

  • Lloyd’s Register EMEA

  • Korean Register of Shipping

These societies provide three main services: classification, certification, and the publication of registers. They verify that vessels comply with national and international regulations, such as the SOLAS regulation for the safety of human life, the MARPOL regulation for pollution prevention, ISM and ISPS certifications, and, of course, the MLC.

How to ensure the yacht's compliance ?

Première de couverture du guide pratique de la visite technique de yacht fait par le RIF

You can download the Practical Guide for the Technical Inspection of a Yacht, based on the collaboration between the French International Register (RIF) and the French government. This guide, available for free, is an essential resource for all stakeholders in the maritime industry.

This document will help you better understand the requirements and steps of a yacht's technical inspection. It provides a detailed overview of the rigorous safety standards established by the French International Register (RIF) and the French government. The goal of this guide is to ensure yachts' compliance with international safety standards and to guarantee the safety of individuals on board. It offers an in-depth perspective on inspection processes, evaluation criteria, and required safety measures. From meticulous preparation to the detailed examination of safety equipment, this guide will accompany you at each step for safe maritime navigation in accordance with standards. Take advantage of this resource to optimize your yacht's safety and ensure that your vessel meets the strictest standards set by maritime authorities.

Do you want to learn more about the use of maintenance software? Discover the BoatOn Book!

Listen to the testimony of Thierry, a sailboat owner, who explains the use and benefits of the BoatOn Book in his boat's management :


bottom of page