Registration and coding Overview


For a UK Citizen, registering your private yacht is not compulsory if the yacht is based in the UK. However it is a requirement if you wish to travel abroad.

There are two types of registration for UK flagged vessels. The most simple and economical way of registering your yacht, if under 24 metres is on the part III register commonly known as the Small Ships Register or SSR. This registration can be done online directly, with the MCA. Online Registration

The other type of registration is known as Part 1 registration, this is a more formal registration which enables you to prove title of your yacht and obtain financing. With this type of registration you will require the ships documents including; bill of sale and builders certificate. All the information can be found here. You will also require a tonnage survey.

Joe Rowles is authorised to carry out Tonnage Surveys for the MCA for vessels under 24 metres as required for Part 1 registration. Joe can either work through one of the MCA approved certifying authorities that you have chosen or can carry out the tonnage application on your behalf.


If you have a UK flagged yacht which is being operated commercially (chartered) you are required to comply with the MCA Code of Practice - The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels.

Joe Rowles is authorised to carry out compliance surveys on yachts under 24 metres for the MCA Code of Practice; The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels as required on all UK flagged commercial yachts. Joe is authorised to work through a number of MCA appointed certifying authorities.

Please contact us for our recommendations.


“We commissioned Mr Rowles to carry out a full condition (pre purchase) survey on a 26 year old HR352. In his response to our initial inquiry Mr Rowles was precise in what the survey would cover, what he would charge, and when the survey and if required the sea trial could be carried out. The execution of the survey was thorough, well organised, and meticulously carried out.”Christopher and Annabel Moir