1. The importance of yacht crew certification
There should be no doubt that the yacht crew’s responsibility is vast, ranging from ensuring passenger safety to maintaining operational efficiency. The crew, through a blend of experienced seafarers and domestic staff, is the guarantor of comfort and safety at sea.
In this post, we will review the international standards and regulations governing maritime crew certification, focusing on specific training and competence requirements to obtain a yacht crew certification.
2. The Minimum Safe Manning Certificate (MSMC)
The MSMC is a document issued by a country’s Maritime Authority for a specific vessel, ensuring yachts are safely manned according to international regulations. It is crucial to note: this is a minimum requirement.
This certificate dictates the minimum number of crew members required on board to ensure the safe operation of the vessel, considering various factors such as the type, size, purpose, and equipment of the vessel, encompassing navigation, crew safety, and environmental protection.
For instance, a recreational yacht measuring 75 feet may be required to have a Minimum Safe Manning of three crew members, including one captain and two deckhands, to operate safely and efficiently, taking into account some of the aforementioned factors, in contrast to a 150-feet commercial yacht, which may necessitate a larger crew with specialized roles.
3. Certification and licensing requirements in yacht crew certification
Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW)
Basic Safety Training (BST)
Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB)
Certificate of Competency (CoC)
All masters and officers listed on the MSMC are required to possess a valid Certificate of Competency (CoC).
A Certificate of Competency is a form of license provided to seafarers, proving that they have met the specific requirements and qualifications needed for a particular rank or function on a ship. It verifies the holder’s skills, experience, and understanding of their duties and responsibilities, ensuring they are competent to perform their role on board safely and effectively.
Navigating the various regulations and ensuring compliance can be challenging, especially for multinational yacht operations.
4. The prevalence of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) often serves as the criterion standard in the realm of maritime employment rights.
It stipulates that yacht owners should implement proper protections for their crew.
This involves issuing proper employment contracts with clear provisions about salary, sick pay, and repatriation rights in case of accident or dismissal.
Compliance with the MLC isn’t mandatory for all vessels. It’s only ratified in certain countries and is enforceable only for commercial boats.
5. Insight into Marine Claims
Crew negligence vs Crew incompetence
Understanding the difference between negligence and incompetence is essential for proper claims management.
- Briefly: a failure to take reasonable care by the crew.
- A loss caused due to crew negligence is (mostly) covered by yachts insurance policies.
- It is a failure on the part of the owner
- It is directly related to the concept of unseaworthiness.
- The unseaworthiness of the yacht could result in a rejection of the claim.
Rental boats: A rising problem
Yacht Charter Without Captain and /or License is on the rise in tourist destinations such as The Balearic Islands:
- Accidents and injuries: Leading to injuries to passengers or third parties
- Damage to the Yacht and collisions with others
- Weather-related Issues
- Environmental concerns
6. Key Takeaways
Be curious and look out for:
- Minimum Safe Manning Certificate (MSMC).
- The training of the crew and if they hold specific certifications like STCW, BST, and SIRB for safe operations.
- Welfare and health of the crew in connection with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) or equivalents.
- The crew is the most important asset of a Vessel.