Yacht Insurance
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Luxury Yacht Insurance - MCA Coding

yacht insurance for luxury yachtsAs we have already seen, the first issue you need to consider if you are proposing to charter your yacht for commercial use is the issue of the yacht insurance. All chartering activities will be considered a commercial activity and therefore your existing pleasure use only insurance will be insufficient.

Should you decide to take a chance and not advise your insurance company, then there are stiff fines and penalties including imprisonment. If you are sceptical, then I suggest you take a look at the MCA prosecutions over the last few years which makes interesting reading!

Now in addition to having specialist yacht insurance, your boat will also need to be licensed by the MCA in order to comply with the law. Failure to do so will result in heavy fines or imprisonment, so you have been warned.

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Luxury Yacht Insurance -  Marine Guidance Note 280

All UK yachts in commercial use and up to 24 metres in length and which go to sea carrying no more than 12 passengers and/or cargo, need to comply with the new harmonised MCA code of practice which is covered under Marine Guidance Note 280 . I have included a link to the guide here. The guide itself can look daunting as it covers every aspect of yacht usage and safety in the 149 page guide. However, there are many specialist companies who can provide all the expertise required, and a search on the internet should reveal several.

So what's involved and how do you start the process of getting your yacht MCA coded. In my view the best place is the YBDSA ( Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association ) who are the certifying authority appointed by the MCA and who will provide access to a broad range of services including surveyors and inspectors. The essential stages in the process are as follows :

The first stage is to register with the YBDSA by completing form SCV1 which can be downloaded from their site.

You will then need to appoint a marine surveyor who will undertake a preliminary investigation of your yacht which generally takes between 1 to 2 hours. At this stage an initial list of items requiring attention, modification or purchase will be provided by the surveyor.

Following the above amendments the yacht will require a full inspection both above and below the waterline. Forms SC2VA and SC2VB (compliance documents) are completed by the owner along with a stability application form.

Once the surveyor has confirmed that the yacht meets the necessary coding standards then the SC2VA & B documents along with the stability form are signed by the surveyor and yacht owner, and then returned to the YBDSA, and a certificate of conformity is issued.

Costs for MCA coding vary according to the size of your yacht with charges increasing for yachts in excess of 15 metres, and there are essentially three areas of costs. First there is the application itself and renewal fees, secondly there are the surveyor's fees, and finally there are the costs of upgrading equipment or adding safety devices to the yacht - so just like yacht insurance it's not cheap, but if your are proposing to charter your yacht, it's the law!

As the yacht's owner you undertake to maintain the yacht in a sound and seaworthy condition and in most cases will be required to undertake self certified annual inspections, with a qualified marine surveyor required for the mid term and renewal qualification after five years.

Now let's look at some of the possible benefits of chartering your yacht, and in particular the issue of VAT.

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Marinablu International Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of  Pantaenius UK Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)  - yacht insurance