After comprehensive discussions with superyacht industry stakeholders and social partners, MCA has agreed to permit twin cabins for non-officer seafarers to be built on Large Commercial Yachts between 3000 GT and 5000 GT.
Version 3 of The Large Commercial Yacht Code (LY3) includes the significantly equivalent Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) regulations which have been put in place for large luxury charter yachts. Members of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) have established that LY3 yachts over 3000 GT would be unduly affected by the LY3 rule which currently states that all seafarers should have their own single cabin. This arrangement is extremely rare in superyachts where the comfort levels for crew are much higher than on commercial vessels.
Chris van Hooren, SYBAss technical director, explains, “It is clear from our studies that large yacht crew members would not benefit from the application of this single cabin rule in our sector of the industry. To reduce the considerable economic impact of single cabins, yacht designers would likely opt for minimum MLC-standard cabins. Onboard yachts over 3000 GT such cabins would have awkward dimensions with recessed bunks and no ensuite sanitary facilities. This would actually lead to crew having lower standards of comfort than is currently the case on superyachts.”
Based on this theory, SYBAss put forward an appeal for a significantly equal twin cabin option for seafarers onboard LY3 charter yachts over 3000 GT, dependent on minimum size requirements and the provision of en suite facilities, to the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). This application has now been accepted and these new terms will be included as part of the UK's MLC implementation package.
In addition, MCA will suggest future changes to the MLC once it has come into force to provide more suitable accommodation standards on charter yachts of all sizes, as have already been agreed as substantially equal standards with UK tripartite partners.
Van Hooren concluded, “We would like to thank the MCA, all members of the MCA MLC Tripartite Working Group and all members of the MCA MLC Sub Working Group for their constructive approach in this matter. One of the key roles of SYBAss is to facilitate regulations that reflect the unique nature of the superyacht industry. This decision by MCA helps support a level playing field for the large yacht sector.”
One of the key roles of SYBAss is to facilitate regulations that reflect the unique nature of the superyacht industry. This decision by MCA helps support a level playing field for the large yacht sector - Chris van Hooren