Passenger Boats Association

Passenger Boats Association

Working together on behalf of the passenger boat industry

The Passenger Boat Association (PBA) was set up to represent the specific business interests of Britain’s passenger boat industry.

Active since the early 1970s, the Association works to promote the prosperity of companies engaged in the industry and the safety of passenger boats operating on all domestic waterways across the UK. Representing all sectors of the passenger boat industry, from scheduled transport services and pleasure trips to private hire or business charter, its members operate boats of every age and style on rivers, canals, lakes and coastal waters throughout the UK, from Scotland to the West Country, the Isles of Scilly to the Fens.

Why join?

The PBA is one of 14 group Associations within British Marine, the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry and all its members are British Marine members, who upon joining are enrolled in an association of their choosing that best represents their specific business interests. 

As a member of British Marine and the PBA you unlock a whole host of exclusive membership benefits including:

British Marine provides representation, on your behalf, on a number of committees including the domestic passenger ship safety group committee, the safety equipment advisory committee, the Environment Agency, Canal River Trust, Port of London Authority, Association of Inland Navigation Authorities committees inputting to and influencing regulation changes to ensure your views and interests are accounted for.

Ongoing representation includes throughout the MCA’s recent grandfathering legislation process helping to secure new legislation that is both proportional and fair whilst ensuring a progressively safe industry. Significant changes were negotiated from the MCA’s first draft including on boundary space fireproofing, vessels targeted by the damage survivability, the need for lifejackets on all category B passenger vessels to name a few.

British Marine have also been representing the industry on a local level with ongoing representation to the EA on the prevention of the closure of the Sundbury dry dock.

You will receive updates on legislation and regulations via the online newsletter, MarineTalk, direct to your inbox via email, and through the Technical Report, a quarterly update on all marine related regulatory, standardisation or technical changes. While technical consultations are provided on an individual member basis.

Our Policy team works with the various UK government departments to ensure the industry’s voice is heard at the highest levels during the creation and amendments of the regulation such as decarbonisation and sustainability as well as specific passenger vessel regulations supported by the technical team.

The ‘Voluntary Code of Practice’ provides skippers and managers with guidance on the safe operation of small commercial high-speed craft such as RIBs, sports boats and other purpose built vessels engaged in carrying passengers on fast sightseeing trips, adventure trips and charters. While the ‘Hire Boat Code’ gives guidance and best practise advice on the operation of hire boat, including the documentation and risk assessments that operators need to carry out and hand over. You will also enjoy preferential member only rates for Hire boat courses.

Whatever the issue, you are only a telephone call away from a member of the BusinessCare legal team, who can offer practical advice and support to help you deal with the issue. The telephone service covers general business advice, employment, health & safety, tax and VAT and much more.

If you need more marine specific legal advice, we have a referral scheme with several of our highly knowledgeable and industry respected legal members who will offer you between 20 and 60 min of free initial advice.

One that we hope you will never need but is good to know that help is here if something bad does happen. We have a dedicated comms team with in-depth knowledge of dealing with the press and we can help you navigate how to deal with any incident.

Probably industries largest on-going concern, the British Marine team works with various industry stakeholders such as Maritime UK to discuss how the industry can meet the governments plans for decarbonisation as well as feeding back to government essential data and barriers that need to be overcome and what is needed from the UK government to meet its targets. British Marine also work with industry specific regulators such as the MCA to ensure that regulatory compliance is not a barrier to reducing our sectors carbon footprint.

The Passenger Boat Association template agreement for operators of vessels under 12 passengers is free for PBA members.

Association events and networking opportunities allow members to meet each other to discuss the state of the industry, best practices and the challenges that they face - or simply have fun, explore new opportunities and share news at a social get-together. 

As an exclusive member benefit, you can use the British Marine logo and the PBA logo on your promotional materials - giving existing and new customers peace of mind that they are in safe hands with a business that adheres to British Marine’s Code of Practice, which puts customers first. Find out more here.

British Marine have a range of training courses such as the BMEEA (electrical), Safety Management course (covering DSM requirements), hireboat code course through to HR webinars. We also offer advice on apprenticeships and other qualifications.

The PBA Board meets at least four times a year to discuss the state of the industry and the prevalent issues relevant to the sector. Members are invited to bring forward issues for discussion, with relevant updates and information shared with all association members. There are also opportunities to join your governing committee and/or become the chair of your association with the influence to drive decisions and policies.

These are just some of the great benefits you enjoy as a member of British Marine and the PBA, click  here for more details.


Join today!

To find out more about British Marine and Passenger Boat Association membership, please contact the British Marine team


John Peacock

British Marine Membership

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