Cook Island Ensign Catching on Quickly

Almost all charter yachts fly a flag of convenience, in that it it is generally beneficial to their ownership to do so.

But walking the docks at this year’s MYBA Charter Yacht show one cannot fail to notice the increasing number of yachts now flying the flag of the Cook Islands.
Among them is the 52 metre Victory.  Built in Greece during 2007 by the Lamda M shipyard she is now offered for charter by Burgess from €200,000 per week and charters only in the Mediterranean during the summer months.
But why the change of flag away from the Marshall Islands?  “Very simple,” says her Captain Andrea Aste.  “The owner did not like to the colour scheme of the Marshall Island flag nor did he like the name Jaluit on the stern so he dropped them in favour of the Cook Island ensign and the letters CIYS on the stern.
It turns out that under Cook Island registration regulations there is no need to display the ports name just so long as the boat is a member of the Cook Island Yacht Squadron.
Seashell the 34 metre yacht built by Fitipaldi in Brazil also carries the flag of the Cook Islands and in her case she carries the port of registration of Avatiu on her transom.

She has carried the flag since launching three years ago and her Captain Vincent Rose says perhaps innocently that because the flag carries the Union flag in the upper left canton that it is the same as having the flag of the Cayman Islands or the Isle of Man!
Patea is a stunning 29 metre sail boat from the Alia yard in Antalya in Turkey.  Launched in 2012 her Captain Gordon Young says it was a no brainier when it came to choosing the ensign.  “Very simply he said, “It was a matter of the safe manning document that made us choose the Cook Islands.  They were happy for us to carry a crew of four where other registries wanted us to carry five and our engineer was not legally required to carry a Y4 engineer.  He spoke highly of the registry and said they were a delight to work with. He said, they are as strict as they need be and are always available when he needed a question answered.
Will Robinson, the Captain of Koiwas just as complimentary about his flag of convenience.  His yacht has flown the flag since new first as Surprise and now under new ownership as Koi.  “The surveyors are a lot more thorough now then ever they used to be, he commented.  It looks like being a busy season for the plucky little explorer yacht freshly in European waters from the Pacific where she spent the first part of her life.  Now brokered for charter by Bluewater as central agents, she is almost fully booked for the Summer season.