Visit England Quality Accredited Boatyard

Quality Accredited Boatyard (QAB)

The QAB scheme looks at the systems and procedures that operators carry out in running a hire boat or fleet of boats. It encompasses the requirements of the Hire Boat Handover Audit.  

QAB does not carry a star rating, but is an accreditation, endorsed by VisitEngland and British Marine, that looks at the safe and legal practices together with good customer service provided by operators.  The QAB assessment is carried out every three years.

Click here to download a copy of the Quality Accredited Boatyard Standard.

This is a compulsory requirement for all hire boat operators in British Marine membership.


Boat Grading/star rating

The Boat Grading Scheme provides the optional assessment of individual boats against a one to five star rating. 

A boatyard/operator will only be able to have boats star rated if the operator holds a valid QAB rating.  However, a boatyard/operator with a QAB rating may choose not to have boats star rated, or just some of the fleet. Boats need to be graded annually to remain within the scheme.

The star rating for boats has minimal criteria requirements and is based largely on the quality and condition of an individual boat and also the comfort and ease of use for the maximum number of occupants.

British Marine operate the QAB and Boat Grading Schemes under licence from VisitEngland. A team of industry assessors, recruited by British Marine and trained by VisitEngland and British Marine, undertake the QAB and Boat Grading Scheme assessments.

Please contact Liv Whetmore ( for further information on how to book an assessment. 

Click here to download a copy of the Boat Grading Standards.


Quality Accredited Boatyard & Boat Grading Scheme : Fees 2017


 Price is based on number of boats in the fleet


Non Member

Initial QAB (every 3 yrs)

£175 + VAT

£225 + VAT


QAB + Grading

< 10 boats

>10 boats

>50 boats



£275 +VAT

£375 +VAT

By arrangement




£350 + VAT

£475 + VAT


Annual Grading

<10 boats

>10 boats

>50 boats



£175 + VAT

£225 + VAT

By arrangement




£225 + VAT

£300 + VAT