MCA Coding

Our surveyor, Martin Pittilo, is a surveyor nominated by the YDSA to carry out Compliance Examinations on behalf of the MCA to enable vessels to be certificated under the Code and is currently a member of the Certifying Authority Committee for the YDSA. He is a member of the YDSA Certifying Authority committee.

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 get my boat coded?

If you have UK flagged workboat, or a sailing vessel, or motor vessel in commercial use, up to 24 metres in length and which go to sea carrying no more than 12 passengers and/or cargo, then you need to comply with the relevant MCA Code of Practice.

Where can I find out the requirements?

You can obtain a pdf copy of the Harmonised code (Marine Guidance Note MGN-280) from the MCA website. The “Blue”, Yellow”, “Brown” and “Red” codes referred to in the MGN can be found here. 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 go about getting my boat coded?

Our aim is to guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible. The usual steps in the process are:

  • To provide you with some initial advice over the phone. At this stage a form will be sent to you to complete and send to the YDSA. This gets you started down the process of coding and they will send you further information. This will include a stability form and the survey form.
  • This is followed by an initial inspection of the boat. During this visit we will go through the survey form (SCV2) and draw up a list of items that require alteration or purchase to enable the vessel to be coded.
  • Once the alterations and purchases have been made, then a full out of water inspection is needed. We will then verify that the vessel is as stated and complies, or otherwise, with the code.
  • If needed we can do the out of water inspection as part of the initial inspection.

Note: For motorboats, RIBs and open boats a stability test is required by the MCA.