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Old 11 August 2010, 17:25   #1
Country: UK - England
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MGN and the S.C.M.S for coded ribs? Help please!

hello chaps,

I am in a charity called the Maritime Volunteer Service and we are thinking of coding our boats so we can supply saftey boating services as a charity but to be paid for fuel and expences.

As we would be receiving some money, albeit very little, we have been told that we have to have our boats and ribs coded.

Well here is the confusion, someone from the port of london authority told us that ,

1.) For our rib to be coded to catogory D waters section 4 we would have to have a liferaft fitted to our rib. Please does anybody here know anything about this?

2.) They also told us that we would have to have seats fitted for every crew member in the rib and we would not be allowed to sit on the sponsons any more,

As somthing written in an article call an MGN280 says that 1 hour riding on a sponson is equivalent to riding 8 hours in a tractor, and the vibrations would be too much for the saftey boat crew. (roll eyes.)

3.) I have also been told that it's not the M.C.A that issues the coding for ribs but a group does called the S.C.M.S, I think that stands for the society of consulting marine engineers and ship surveyors.

Please, if anyone knows any information about any of these 3 issues please could post a message on here and help explain these rules,

as i am sure they are not yet in force and seem a bit drastic for a saftey rib.

Any help explaining you be appriciated as we are a small charity trying to survive in this tough world.

Many thanks chaps.


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Old 11 August 2010, 19:01   #2
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Alex, have a trawl through the "commercial" part of the forum, there is a lot of information on Coding.

In terms of a charity offering a safety boat in return for "expenses", the rules have been debated here in the past - but you should read the relevant sections in detail, as my interpretation from memory is that you would NOT need to code the boats.

You would only need to MCA code a vessel if it is being used "at Sea" which means outside Categorised Waters. ( You may still need local authority approval (or other, e.g. PLA?) to use a boat commercially in categorised waters. Its not clear to me that local authority licensing applies unless you are carrying fare paying PASSENGERS. ie. it appears that safety boats in categorised waters may not be regulated at all, even when opperated fully commercially (there are some threads discussing that here); however within the PLA's area of opperation they may have their own rules.

You are right that the MCA do not issue the coding certificates themselves - they simply set the standard and various certifying bodies do the survey etc. This means that some interpret the rules differently from others - and so e.g. you might get away with people on tubes with one surveryor/company and not another. If it does need coded to Cat 4 then you will need a Liferaft. IIRC Cat 6 might have a way of avoiding the liferaft (but a very restriced area of opperation). If you think it needs coded, set yourself aside a day and read

EDIT: Just to be clear -
The Merchant Shipping (Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport and Pleasure) Regulations refine what is - and what is not - a 'pleasure vessel'. A pleasure vessel does not require coding. The UK's definition of a 'pleasure vessel' is as follows:
"pleasure vessel" means-
(a) any vessel which at the time it is being used is:

(i) (aa) in the case of a vessel wholly owned by an individual or individuals, used only for the sport or pleasure of the owner or the immediate family or friends of the owner; or

(bb) in the case of a vessel owned by a body corporate, used only for sport or pleasure and on which the persons on board are employees or officers of the body corporate, or their immediate family or friends; and

(ii) on a voyage or excursion which is one for which the owner does not receive money for or in connection with operating the vessel or carrying any person, other than as a contribution to the direct expenses of the operation of the vessel incurred during the voyage or excursion; or

(b) any vessel wholly owned by or on behalf of a members' club formed for the purpose of sport or pleasure which, at the time it is being used, is used only for the sport or pleasure of members of that club or their immediate family, and for the use of which any charges levied are paid into club funds and applied for the general use of the club; and

(c) in the case of any vessel referred to in paragraphs (a) or (b) above no other payments are made by or on behalf of users of the vessel, other than by the owner.
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Old 12 August 2010, 19:41   #3
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You do not need to be coded to operate commercially in London.

The Port of London Bylaws allow anybody to operate a boat commercially up to three times a year without coding.

If this is not enough times then don't go for full coding through the MCA get the boat locally coded with the PLA. It costs in the region of £70 / year and the standard of equipment required is a lot lower.

You may find issues such as insurance and commercially endorsed skippers the biggest stumbling blocks for your organisation.

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