Chartering requirements and regulations
by Captain Ken Argent
Scenario 2: Owner with a yacht over 500GT
A person buys a yacht that is not in class, over 500GT, and does not wish to charter or operate the vessel for gain by using it as a promotional tool. It is strictly a private, pleasure yacht.
There are no requirements for minimum manning, vessel classification or any of the statutory certificates required for commercial vessels.
The exception would be for yachts sailing under a US flag, which requires vessels over 300 tons to be inspected. Most flag administrations, however, strongly recommend that some type of Safety Management System with operational procedures be used.
A person buys a yacht that is in class, over 500GT and does not wish to charter or operate the vessel for gain by using it as a promotional tool.
The classification society would require that appropriate inspections be made to maintain class and also that the statutory certificates be maintained.
There are no requirements for minimum manning. The exception would be for yachts sailing under a US flag, which requires vessels over 300GT to be inspected if engaged in trade.
Most flag administrations however, strongly recommend that some type of Safety Management System with operational procedures be used.
A person buys a yacht over 500GT, but now wishes to offer the vessel for charter.
The vessel is required to be in class and comply with the LY2, the ISM Code, the ISPS Code and Minimum Safe Manning.
In addition to the certificates required for charter yachts under 500GT, the following must also be maintained:
Document of Compliance,
Safety Management Certificate,
Safety Management System,
International Ship Security Certificate,
Ship Security Plan and associated records,
Continuous Synopsis Record,
Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate with a Record of Equipment (form E),
Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, and
Cargo Ship Safety Certificate with a record of equipment.
Yachts cannot be listed as passenger ships, so they must be classed as cargo ships, and ISM and ISPS compliance cannot be obtained if a vessel is not in class. Thus, the vessel cannot charter. Some yachts, due to construction or other factors are restricted to chartering within 60 miles from shore.
The MSMD will provide different manning requirements for different distances from the shore, i.e. 60 miles, up to 150 miles, and over 150 miles.
Since the 9/11 attacks, yacht owners also have a responsibility towards securing their vessels from possible use by terrorists.