Since 1994 the MCA has published a succession of Codes of Practice, which set minimum standards and put legal obligations on operators of workboats and pleasure craft in commercial use. I have been involved with these codes since they were introduced and have examined many hundreds of craft for compliance with the Codes.
These have included:
Open and Cabin Ribs from 4.5m to 13m
Angling Charter Boats from 7m to 16m
Dive Support Vessels from 8m to 26m
10m and 15m Crew Transfer Catamarans
12m, 15m and 20m Wind Farm Support Boats
15m Pilot Boat
8m and 15m Logistical Support Boats
13m Mooring Service Workboat
Modern Charter Yachts from 7m to 18m
75ft Ex Baltic Trader Ketch
50ft Danish Sailing Kotter
If you are considering the purchase of a vessel that will require coding, please be aware that there are some craft that cannot be made to comply, and others where modifications or stability assessment will be expensive, and yet others where the operational area could be severely restricted due to stability, freeboard or other issues.
I am always happy to offer free guidance on the Code requirements, and whether a particular craft will comply.
Any vessel that has not yet been coded will almost certainly require two visits. The first visit will assess the soundness of the vessel and will enable a list to be provided of work required to achieve compliance. The second visit will be to establish that any work required has been correctly carried out, and that all of the required lifesaving and safety equipment is in place.
If you are about to buy a vessel that already has a Code certificate, please be aware that the Certificate will expire on change of ownership, and that the vessel will require an examination to confirm compliance, before a new certificate can be issued in your name.
The MCA has empowered several organisations to examine and issue Code certificates. I examine on behalf of the YDSA. Vessels certified by an other organisation can be examined as soon as the vessel's Code file has been transferred to the YDSA. The file transfer is straightforward, and should be a free process.