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Coast Guard Releases New Large Yacht Code

23oct2012crewsnewcode23 October, 2012, United KIingdom: One of the most important reference books for superyacht crews is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency´s (MCA) Large Yacht Code. The MCA is making news however with its new Code, titled popularly LY3, publishing it directly after ratifying the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC). The ratification and the LY3 will both come into effect on 20 August, 2013.

Yachts are Class VII vassals, topping out at 3,000 gross tons. In 2006 the implementation of the MLC raised many concerns that crew sizes would have to be reduced, greatly affecting the number of crew positions available. In a statement made by Paul Coley, Assistant Director of Ship Standards of the MCA, the Agency made it clear that instead of limiting space the new code will include “…alternative requirements for crew accommodations which provide substantial equivalence to the MLC, but are more in keeping with the practicalities and the purpose of these yachts.

The LY3 was created specifically to target the increasingly larger yachts and bring them into compliance with issues such as marine pollution, new safety standards and an increasingly voluminous list of International maritime legislation. With respect to yacht crews the new code provides guidance on making exceptions for crew work hours and rest as well as MARPOL updates that make captains responsible for strategic environmental decisions and even developing a unique garbage management program suited to the particular vessel.

The new code will not affect existing vessels a great deal. Because it does not come into effect until 20 August, 2013, only newly built vessels will have to attain compliance. There are exceptions to this however in regards to personal certifications, manning and crew agreements that still fall under LY1 and LY3 compliant vessels. The document also amended current radio requirements and watches procedures as well, and may force captains to restructure their crew and develop a more professional attitude.