Information from SAMSA: MN 9 of 2016
Currently most CoF’s are posted to the owner via snail mail. The recent postal problems have resulted in unacceptable delays and unreliable deliveries. Clearly SAS cannot have a CoF system which collapses whenever there is a postal strike. So Leila (Cape Town) and Aruna (Durban) now have the option of instructing the computer system to send the CoF to the owner by email, cutting out a whole bunch of delays and uncertainty. The owner then prints out the CoF and takes it to his boat.
Owners who want to pick up a copy of their CoF from the SAS Office may of course continue to do so. This is quite common in Durban because the SAS office is located at the Durban Marina.
Owners who receive a CoF by email and do not have access to a printer may phone SAS and request a snail mail copy. This will unfortunately be at their risk – SAS obviously cannot guarantee the performance of the postal system.
Leila and Aruna also have to option of sending a copy of the email with the CoF attachment to the club to keep them informed.
You will remember that during the SAMSA safety officer training course, SAMSA asked safety officers to take a photograph of the vessel at each survey. The safety officer has to print the photograph and submit it with the notification of completion of survey. The idea was to help the safety officer pick up major structural modifications which might affect buoyancy or stability or other aspects of seaworthiness. SAS was not enthusiastic about this approach for several reasons. Amongst others:
- The task of taking a photograph and printing it on a colour printer is a lot of additional administration particularly for safety officers who do not have access to a colour printer.
- Unlike power vessels, sailing vessels are seldom modified structurally in a way that affects buoyancy, stability or seaworthiness.
- The photograph would not be on the boat where it is needed for the next safety inspection.
So after several constructive discussions with SAMSA, we agreed on a more efficient approach which takes better advantage of modern technology. SAS will ask the owner to submit a digital photograph of the vessel as part of the process of listing the vessel. That photograph will be uploaded onto the database and printed on the CoL and every subsequent CoF. At the safety inspection, the safety officer can then look at the photograph on the CoL and the most recent CoF – both documents should be on the boat. If there have been major structural alterations the safety officer can investigate accordingly. He will only need to take a new photograph if there have been major changes. He can submit the new photograph by email. The SAS administrator can then update the database so that the new photograph will be printed on all subsequent CoF’s.
The benefit of this approach is that the safety officer does not have to submit a photograph of every vessel he inspects every year. It will be the exception, not the rule. The difficulty of course is getting it started.
To get the process started we would like to request that safety officers try get an email photograph of the vessels they survey emailed to Leila. There are two obvious alternatives:
- The safety officers could take a photograph of the vessel when they do the survey and email that photograph to Leila.
- The safety officer could ask the owner to email a photograph of the vessel to SAS. We hope to get co-operation from many owners because the CoF and CoL look so much better with a smart colour photograph of the vessel – perhaps to the point of enhancing the value of the vessel. Conversely the new CoL and CoF layout with a big blank space where the photograph should be looks just awful.