Lists tailored to your vessel


The MCA coding guidance list will provide you with the information you will need regarding safety equipment for a vessel coding. The list is tailored by vessel type and coding category to make it specific to your requirements. You can also indicate the equipment you do or do not need to purchase.

Your boat must be coded if:

  • You operate a boat for skippered or bareboat use, usually for commercial gain.
  • You take people afloat who pay more than a reasonable contribution towards the trip.
  • You operate a workboat.

If this applies to you, Suffolk Marine Safety recommends you contact an MCA certifying authority such as the RYA for the relevant information. The distance you’re allowed to operate depends on the boat’s stability. The first stage of coding is to fill out an application examination and an application for stability category allocation to be sent to the RYA. Your category will then be allocated.

Meet the rules and regulations


The MCA coding guidance categories:

  • Category 6: To sea, within 3 miles from a nominated departure point 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 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.

Once you know your category you can then decipher what equipment you will need to meet MCA standards. The equipment necessary is stated in MGN 280.

Once you meet the rules and regulations, a certifying authority surveyor will arrange to inspect the boat. If the inspection is a success, a certificate will be issued to the owner. Suffolk Marine Safety recommends that copies of this should be kept on-board. The certificates are valid for five years, with annual, intermediate and renewal surveys being required to maintain the vessel’s compliance. You will need operating procedures in place to ensure the vessel operates within your guidelines, and that safety and maintenance checks are carried out frequently. Commercial vessels also have a manning requirement, and individual certificates of competence are required to operate the boat. Certificates need to be commercially endorsed which entails a sea survival certificate, medical, and completion of the RYA PPR course. Keep up to speed with RYA’s regulations with their handy five minute briefing guide.

CTA

If you have any questions, contact our knowledgeable team on 01473 833 010