Commercial of Small Vessels and the MCA Codes of Practice

We can help you with navigating the complex MCA codes of practice for Small Commercial Vessels and we can help you understand the requirements before carrying out the assessment of the boat against the code. Maple Marine Ltd work on behalf of the three main certifying authorities, the RYA, IIMS and the YDSA.

Martin came highly recommended by a professional sailing colleague of mine, and his ‘press’ was fully justified! Martin is that rare combination of professionalism and approachability. He conducted the survey on our RIB in a very thorough and constructive manner, helping with solutions to the problems which he identified with our boat, rather than simply putting a ‘cross’ in the relevant box. He was both knowledgeable and intelligent in his assessment of the issues, applying good old common sense in his application of the MCA coding specifications to the boat.
I would recommend him to anyone wanting a helpful and constructive survey of their boat, whilst ensuring the the vessel complies with the relevant regulations.

Steve Le Butt – Principal – Spirit Sailing

Do I need to comply with the MCA Code of practice?

If :

  • your boat is UK flagged,
  • you are intending to use your boat commercially,
  • you are carrying cargo up to 1000kg or carrying up to 12 passengers
  • and the boat is up to 24m in length

Then you need to comply with the MCA Codes of practice.

Where can I find out the MCA Code of practice requirements?

The Harmonised MCA code of practice (Marine Guidance Note MGN-280) from the MCA website. The MGN-280 code, “Blue”, Yellow”, “Brown” and “Red” MCA code of practice referred to in the MGN can be found here along with the Workboat Code. You should be warned, they are not easy reading and MGN-280 has around 150 pages!

We can help you navigate your way through the information relevant to your boat.

How do I code my boat?

We will guide you through the process of compliance with the MCA codes of practice to make it as painless as possible. The usual steps in the process are:

  • To provide you with some initial advice over the phone. We will send you an application form for you to you to complete and send on to the certifying authority. This starts down the process of coding and they will send you further information. This will include a stability form and the survey form.
  • Then we do an initial inspection of the boat. We work through the requirements with you to put together up a list of items that will need either alteration or purchasing to enable the vessel to be coded.
  • A full out of water inspection will be carried out once the alterations and purchases have been made. We will then verify that the vessel is as stated and complies, or otherwise, with the code.