Charter Coding – Preparing a Boat for UK Yacht Charter

Specialists in the coding of sailing yachts for yacht charter in the UK.

Summary of our Charter Coding Service

mcaWe have a detailed understanding of what is required in order to bring any yacht or motor vessel up to the required standard for charter.

  • We conduct an on-site inspection and provide you with a detailed list of requirements
  • We coordinate any work and the supply of any equipment
  • We liaise with the surveyors and complete all the paperwork for you
  • All work is carried out sympathetically so as not to detract from the look and feel of the yacht
  • We code vessels of any size
A little more information……
It is a legal requirement that any vessel under 24m used for commercial purposes in the UK conforms to the MCA Code of Practice for small vessels.

Summary of our Charter Coding Service

What is the definition of a commercial vessel?

Basically, if you receive a payment for the use of your vessel or by an individual sailing with you, then this is classed as a commercial charter. The only exception is if you are taking out a group of friends and you agree to share expenses after the trip.

Areas of Operation

There are various categories of operation which can be applied for which very much depend on your requirements, the nature & size of your vessel and distance you will be operating from a safe haven.

  • 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.
  • Category 5: To sea within 20 miles from a nominated departure point named in the certificate in favourable weather and daylight.
  • Category 4: Up to 20 miles from a safe haven in favourable weather and in daylight.
  • Category 3: Up to 20 miles from a safe haven.
  • Category 2: Up to 60 miles from a safe haven.
  • Category 1: Up to 150 miles from a safe haven.
  • Category 0: Unrestricted service.
How many passengers can a vessel carry?

The maximum number of passengers that you are allowed to carry is 12 (skipper and crew can be in addition to this).

Ultimately the number of people you are allowed to carry depends on the stability of the vessel. As a guide consult the ISO Design category of your vessel which can be found on your CE conformity plaque normally located in the cockpit. This will give you a category A – C and number of persons.

This rating equates as follows :-

  • A – MCA category 0 / 1
  • B – MCA Category 2 / 3
  • C – MCA category 5 / 6
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Most modern production yachts around the 35 – 50 foot size code fit happily in to Category 2, this allows you to operate within 60 miles of a safe haven.

production yachts

What is involved?

There will be a number of relatively small modifications required which are all detailed in the MCA Harmonised Code MGN 280 . This varies from vessel to vessel but on a typical production vessel there is nothing too significant or onerous.

There is also a fairly standard list of safety equipment & other items which are required to be carried on board. However you will probably find that you may well already have much of the equipment onboard or will need it anyway.

As part of our charter coding service we can advise you as to what alterations and any extra equipment that may be required.

The next step is to make an application to code a vessel is made using an SCV1 form and then set about carryout out the work and adding the required equipment.

Once the vessel is ready a surveyor will conduct his inspection completing an SCV2 form he will also need to see the vessel out of the water.

MGN 280 (Click Here)

If you have ever read MGN280 then you will see that it is quite detailed and in places confusing. The advantages of using our services to code your vessel include

We will do everything, including completing any forms and liaising with the surveyor

Not carrying out any unnecessary work

Fitting items and equipment sympathetically so as not to destroy the look and feel of your vessel

We hold accounts with all the major marine suppliers so can offer a wide choice of equipment competitively priced

UK Yacht Charter

MCA & Coding Authorities

The responsibility to administer these requirements falls to a number of certifying authorities such as the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). Each certifying authority in turn uses a number of registered coding surveyors to carry out the physical coding inspections on their behalf.

What is required to maintain your coded status?

A charter coding certificate is valid for 5 years from date of issue.

  • Any date sensitive equipment is required to be in date at all times
  • The yacht and all its equipment must be appropriately maintained and in good working order
  • At the end of the 1st, 2nd & 4th year of operation you will be required to self certify that the vessel still complies with MGN280
  • At the end of the end of the 3rd year you will be required to have an in water inspection carried out by a registered coding surveyor.
  • At the end of the 5th year a full out of water inspection is required in order to recode your vessel for a further 5 years
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Universal Yachting Ltd: Mercury Yacht Harbour, Satchell Lane,
Hamble, Southampton, Hampshire SO31 4HQ

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