What and where will I find the builder's plate and CE marking on a boat in Europe? The CE marking obviously does not apply outside of Europe, but has anyone seen one of these and if so, where should I start looking for one on a boat?
According to the Guide to the NEW Recreational Craft Directive 2013/53/EU page 8, a builder's plate has the following information on it,
Manufacturer’s name, registered trade name or registered trademark, contact address
Watercraft design category
Manufacturer’s maximum recommended load (fuel, water, provisions, miscellaneous equipment and people), excluding the weight of the contents of the fixed tanks when full, this should appear in kilograms.
Number of persons recommended by the manufacturer for which the watercraft was designed to carry when under way
For location is says on page 8,
The builder’s plate is usually found inside the boat, for instance in the cockpit area.
and on page 26,
On a personal watercraft, it is usually found near the driver’s position, separate from the craft identification number.
Since you mentioned wondering what the boat plate looks like, I'm providing a few examples. There's also a bit of information to supplement what Charlie Braumbaugh already presented.
Every new boat sold or first used in the EU since 16 June 1998 must have a builder’s plate. This plate has the maker’s details and technical information such as the design category, maximum loading weight and engine power. It must also have the CE mark.
If the boat was not designed and built for the EU market, for instance second-hand imported boats, the boat will have to individually undergo a post construction assessment (also known as PCA) with a notified body to establish whether it meets the EU requirements. If so, the builder’s plate will contain the words ‘Post Construction Certificate’. Where relevant, the identification number of the notified body that carried out the conformity assessment procedure will be mentioned at the bottom of the plate.
The same source shows the image below. It calls it an example of how the builder's plate can look. The appearance of the builder’s plate can vary according to manufacturers, the important thing being that the proper information is displayed on it.
Here's another example of what a boat plate can look like, with the same accompanying text: Source
This one's not easy to read, but it's interesting to look at: Source