First paragraph of the harmonised code:
Originally Posted by Section 1.1 of MGN 280
The Code has been developed for application to United Kingdom (UK) vessels of up to 24 metres Load Line length which are engaged at sea in activities on a commercial basis, which carry cargo and/or not more than 12 passengers, or provide a service in which neither cargo nor passengers are carried, or are UK pilot boats of whatever size.
The new harmonised codes say that for an organisations boats to qualify as pleasure vessels under the regulations (i.e. to get the exemption):
Originally Posted by Section 1.20 of MGN 280
The code says in Section 1.20:
.1 The vessel or vessels must be in the ownership of the club as a legal entity, or in the joint ownership of all the members evidenced by documentation that is legally binding on parties.
.2 The major and valuable items of equipment for these vessels must be similarly owned, and evidenced.
.3 The members club should be able to produce it’s own constitution, membership list and accounts to an officer of the MCA as ships documents under the provisions of section 257 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.
So according to 1 & 2, a members boat doing safety cover as a favour isn't permitted - so that boat should be coded. If it's the clubs own boat, then that's OK.
The following definitions are interesting - from The MS (Small Commercial Vessels and Pilot Boats) Regs 2004:
- “small commercial vessel” means a small vessel which is not a pleasure vessel;
- In these Regulations, “pleasure vessel” means—
(a) a vessel which—
(i) is owned by an individual, and
(ii) at the time it is being used —
(aa) is used only for the sport or pleasure of the owner or the immediate family or friends of the owner, and
(bb) is on a free voyage or excursion;
(b) a vessel which—
(i) is owned by a body corporate, and
(ii) at the time it is being used—
(aa) is used only for the sport or pleasure of the employees or officers of the body corporate, or their immediate family or friends, and
(bb) is on a free voyage or excursion;
(c) a vessel —
(i) which is owned by or on behalf of the members of a members’ club,
(ii) which, at the time it is being used, is used only for the sport or pleasure of a member of that club, his immediate family or his guest, and
(iii) for the use of which no payment is made other than a payment into the funds of the members club which funds are applied for the general use of the members club.
(2) In this regulation, “free voyage or excursion” means a voyage or excursion in respect of which—
(a) no money is paid and no goods or services are provided to any person other than the owner of the vessel engaged in the voyage or excursion; and
(b) the owner of a vessel engaged in the voyage or excursion does not receive–
(i) money for, or in connection with, the operation of the vessel or the carrying of any person in the vessel other than as a contribution to the direct expenses of the operation of the vessel incurred during the voyage or excursion, or
(ii) goods or services other than goods or services which are used or provided on the vessel during the voyage or excursion.
Hmm...so it is quite confusing...
Originally Posted by Polwart
Not all clubs are RYA affiliated, not all RYA affiliated clubs are RYA approved training centres. BUT all members clubs (meeting the MCAs fairly relaxed criteria) are excluded from the coding
But if 1c (above) is the basis of the exemption - than that means that clubs are OK to supply safety cover as pleasure vessels - so surely then the same applies for 1a or b - so that I should be able to use my own boat for club safety purposes in the same way.
However, part 2a probably means that taking a photographer out means that you are providing a service, therefore not a pleasure vessel, and so would need to be coded.
BUT - having said that, it isn't very clear, and I think that it could be argued either way. Looking at the last bit - being given stuff (food & drink) for use by the owner during the 'excursion' is also fine. And as it's all related to the owner, if the safety crew get given food, then that isn't relevant.
Hope this helps - I've now got a headache...