Building your own boat

It is also possible to construct your own watercraft. Please note that the boat is not self-built if it is made by someone else, such as a boat constructor. Boats made of half-finished products, or used boats are not self-built. It is of course allowed to use professional help for the most difficult electrical and machine installation work.

Self-built watercraft must be safe

Even though self-built watercraft do not require a CE marking and though a declaration of conformity is not required in connection with the first registration, the watercraft must still meet the general watercraft requirements. The Water Traffic Act and Decree contain provisions applicable to both those engaging in water traffic and to the structure, equipment, condition and use of watercraft.

The visibility from the cabin must be good in order for you to follow the route and the other water traffic. Even sauna rafts must have appropriate fixation points which can be used to tow them where necessary.

Before departure, you should always check the seaworthiness of the watercraft and its equipment.
A watercraft equipped with an engine or a watercraft which is longer than 5 metres and is equipped with a sail must have the following operational equipment when in motion:

  • oar, paddle or an anchor and ropes
  • bailing equipment
  • an approved extinguisher (applies to all sauna rafts)
  • approved life vests for each person on the sauna raft.

Please note that a life vest will be useful in an emergency situation only if it is worn, though the regulations do not require that you wear a life vest at all times.

Watercraft fireplaces

Sufficient safety distances from combustible materials should be ensured, particularly when installing fireplaces. Instructions will be available from fireplace manufacturers or found in general construction regulations.

In practice, the requirement for extinguishers included in the Water Traffic Act applies particularly to sauna rafts. Since making fire is an essential part of the activities on sauna rafts, particular attention should be paid to general fire safety and to the sufficient capacity of extinguishers.

Sale of self-built watercraft

Self-built watercraft may be sold without a CE marking if it has been in personal use for at least five years.

However, if you wish to sell a self-built watercraft which is less than five years old, it must have:

As a purchaser of a used self-built watercraft, please ensure that the documentation is in order.

You may draft the necessary documents for your self-built boat

As the constructor of a self-built boat, you may ensure the conformity assessment personally and draft the necessary documents. In that case, according to the directive on recreational craft, you must draft a technical documentation including drawings, calculations and the results of inspections and tests.

As a constructor, you must also apply for a manufacturer’s identification issued by Traficom. You can ask more information veneilytarkastajat@traficom.fi. 

If you cannot or will not do this personally as a constructor, you may use an assistant with sufficient knowledge on the subject. The assessment may also be commissioned in full or in part from a notified body under the directive on recreational craft.

Other considerations

For instance in the case of sauna rafts, it is possible that general building supervision regulations are also applied though the raft is registered in the Watercraft Register. Cooperation with local building authorities is in order at the planning stage for the raft structure and use and for the landing place and for docking in winter.

In addition to the notification form, a supplementary data sheet and few photos of the self-build boat must always be filled in for first registration. The first registration will not be carried out at an office of a service provider. It will be carried out exclusively at Traficom.

You can file the registration notification through e-services or send a signed register notification and its annexes to Traficom.

Accountable authorities

Watercraft safety
Accountable authority – Trafi, the police, the Finnish Border Guard and the Finnish Customs

Use of water areas and waterways
Accountable authority – Finnish Transport Agency

Environment
Accountable authority – ELY Centres
Guidance – PSS Ry

Registration
Accountable authority – Traficom

Other documents
Accountable authority – Traficom

Building supervision
Local building authorities