MCA’s newest Large Commercial Yacht Code, LY3, will now permit megayachts in the 3,000- to 5,000-gross-ton range to include twin cabins for non-officer crewmembers, thanks to petitioning by the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss).
To be clear, SYBAss and its members are not against the principle of comfortable living conditions for crew. Rather, in studying the requirement for single cabins aboard megayachts, which stems from the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) regulations that go into effect next month, SYBAss discovered that accommodations would actually be compromised. “To reduce the considerable economic impact of single cabins, yacht designers would likely opt for minimum MLC-standard cabins,” explains Chris van Hooren, SYBAss technical director, in a statement issued by the organization. “Onboard yachts over 3,000 gross tons, such cabins would have awkward dimensions with recessed bunks and no en suite sanitary facilities. This would actually lead to crew having lower standards of comfort than is currently the case on superyachts.”
Remember, MLC was created for all types of vessels, such as commercial ships. The general arrangement of crew’s quarters aboard those types of vessels are quite different than they are aboard megayachts. While it’s not uncommon for a commercial ship to have multiple non-officer crewmembers in one cabin, megayachts and super-size superyachts cap the number at two. Furthermore, it’s unheard of for a yacht in the above-mentioned gross-tonnage range to require crew cabins to share a head, where as it’s customary in the commercial industry.
Due to the SYBAss analysis, the MCA is accepting what’s commonly termed a substantial equivalent. In this specific case, the twin crew cabins must meet minimum dimensions and have en suite heads. Furthermore, once MLC takes hold, MCA has pledged to put forth further substantially equivalent amendments to crew cabins aboard megayachts of all sizes. These amendments have already been worked out among its partners.
This decision by MCA helps support a level playing field for the large yacht sector,” Van Hooren concludes.