MCA Code of Practice -The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels

MCA coding

If you have a UK flagged yacht under 24 metres Load Line Length which is being operated commercially (chartered) you are required to comply with the MCA Code of Practice - The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels. This code has been written by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on the back of a series of booklets, the new code is called MGN 280. As this has not been ratified yet it should be used in conjunction with the original booklets they can be found here (link). The latest information I have received is that MGN 280 will be ratified towards the end of 2011.

If the yacht is over 24 metres Load line Length it will require to be coded in accordance with LY2 (link) only the MCA themselves carry out coding for yachts over 24 metres Load Line Length you will need to contact them directly.

If the yacht is over 24 metres Load line Length it will require to be coded in accordance with LY2 (link) only the MCA themselves carry out coding for yachts over 24 metres Load Line Length you will need to contact them directly

  • International Institute of Marine surveying (IIMS)
  • Royal yachting Association (RYA)
  • Yacht Designers and Surveyors Association (YDSA)
  • MECAL Ltd

Either the yacht owner or managing agent contact the one of the CA’s themselves or I can do this on the agents or owners behalf. A SCV1 form is filled in by the managing agent or the owner, this has the yacht’s details and the area of operation in which the yacht will work. There are six areas of operation:

  • Area Category 6 - to sea, within 3 miles from a nominated departure point(s) named in the certificate and never more than 3 miles from land, in favourable weather and daylight;
  • Area Category 5 – to sea, within 20 miles from a nominated departure point named in the certificate in favourable weather and daylight
  • Area Category 4 - Up to 20 miles from a safe haven, in favourable weather and in daylight;
  • Area Category 3 - Up to 20 miles from a safe haven;
  • Area Category 2 - Up to 60 miles from a safe haven;
  • Area Category 1 - Up to 150 miles from a safe haven;
  • Area Category 0 – Unrestricted service

If you require help with deciding which area of operation is the most suitable for your yacht please contact me

The inspection is then carried out, this is a out of water condition inspection as well as a check of the yachts systems, and safety equipment. Any defects or missing items are reported to the yacht owner or managing agent and depending on their severity there could be a second inspection

Once completed the paperwork is forwarded to the relevant CA and the certificate issued.

If you are operating a commercial yacht it is advisable to make yourself familiar with MGN 280 please contact me if you have any questions.

Testimonials

“I am grateful to Joe for managing the entire survey process on my behalf, including lifting out and coordinating the survey with the owners. The survey and survey report were carried out in a detailed and professional manner. In short, Joe provided a thorough, professional and personal service, and I am pleased to recommend him.” John Hill