British Marine has been working in conjunction with the MCA on a new code to allow builders, refit/repair yards, brokers, surveyors, delivery companies, and equipment installers who are using a vessel which is intended to be used as a pleasure vessel but is in temporary use outside of the definition of pleasure vessel, operating to sea (outside of categorised waters) to do so as easily, safely and within the definition of the law. The current definition of a pleasure vessel is:
(a) any vessel which at the time it is being used is:
(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.
This means any vessel operating outside of the above definition is legally operating commercially and should either be fully commercially coded vessel or gain a load line exemption for the vessel and voyage. The new IPV code has been written to reduce this burden for vessels of all sizes that are intended to be pleasure vessels but find themselves in temporary commercial use. With the scope of the new code stating:
“It is applicable to Intended Pleasure Vessels of any size which are United Kingdom vessels wherever they may be. It also applies to other Intended Pleasure Vessels operating from United Kingdom ports whilst in United Kingdom waters.”
An operator of pleasure vessels in temporary commercial use to sea can now use the IPV code, that for most operators will mean having a simple safety management system in place and a self audit. It is expected that this new code and pathway will be less onerous and be a lot more cost effective than the current pathway.
The above can also be applied to brokers and refit yards and all others operating pleasure vessels in temporary commercial use i.e. if a broker is demonstrating a vessel to sea then the purpose of the journey is to gain a sale and therefore it is a commercial activity and if this is the case again it falls outside of the definition of pleasure vessel and the IPV code can be used as an alternative path to gaining a loadline exemption.
For full details please follow the link to the MCA site where the draft IPV code and its associated draft MGN’s can be found – https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/intended-pleasure-vessel-ipv-code-pleasure-vessel-exemptions alternatively you can contact the British Marine technical team via firstname.lastname@example.org .