Bowing to pressure from lobbying groups within the super yacht industry, the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) has agreed to allow twin cabins to be built for non-officer seafarers on Large Commercial Yachts of between 3000 and 5000 GT.
This decision is based upon a set of substantially equivalent arrangements lobbied for by The Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) an organisation that represents builders of custom and semi-custom yachts
Version 3 of The Large Commercial Yacht Code (LY3) includes the substantially equivalent Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) regulations established for large yachts. Members of SYBAss have shown that LY3 yachts over 3000 GT would, in their opinion, be disproportionately affected by the LY3 rule which states that all seafarers should have their own single cabin.
“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,” explains SYBAss technical director Chris van Hooren. “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 super yachts.”
With this in mind SYBAss submitted to the MCA an application for a substantially equivalent twin cabin option for seafarers onboard LY3 yachts over 3000 GT, conditional on minimum size and provision of en suite facilities. This has now been accepted and this substantial equivalence will be included as part of the UK’s MLC implementation package.
The MCA will also propose future amendments to the MLC once it is in force in order to provide more appropriate accommodation standards for yachts of all sizes, as have already been agreed as substantially equivalent standards with UK tripartite partners.