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The MLC and yachting
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2009 9:21 PM
Joined: 01/05/2008
Posts: 65

After attending the Superyacht Symposium in Miami and listening to a lot of information on the ILO's coming Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), it's obvious that the coming labor regs are going to have a substantial effect on the yachting industry. The objective of the MLC is to address the issues of health, safety and welfare of seafarers -- essentially, a Bill of Rights for seafarers that will include provisions on accommodation, medical care, conditions of employment, etc. Check out Dockwalk's feature in the April issue on the MLC and tell us what you think.

Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:50 AM
Joined: 21/01/2009
Posts: 36

Its about time the Marine Labour Commission investigate the abusive conditions  us yachties are subject to on the Megayachts.   Year after year I see crew  limp off the yachts at the end of a hard South of France season, with their teeth literally falling out from poor scurvy prone diets .  How many times have we heard about the primitive push button toilets that these underfed toothless yachties are forced to use. How many times must we be forced to sleep in ironed sheets. How many hours must us poor yachties be forced to stand out in the UV bombarding sun. The situation is out of control.
   We can only hope that these new MLC rules drive up the cost of yachting so high that the owners park their  silly  yachts and put us ashore in nice well paid office jobs , driving company cars..
Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 2:21 PM

Ha ha monback, but the whole point or problem isn't that yachties' living conditions need improving by this MLC, the point is the convention is written for yachts whether we need it or not. So everyone is forced to comply.


What I've seen is mostly confusion by the so-called "experts" - those who write the flag state rules. They're arguing amongst themselves about what applies and doesn't aply to what size yachts. The Caymans have hinted that they will exempt all yachts, but what is that yacht captain to do when he/she arrives at a port state that doesn't exempt yachts...will their paperwork from the Caymans make any difference? I don't want to be in that situation.


These are interesting times.

Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 6:03 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 40

Interesting times, indeed. I think about commercial fishing boats and what they are supposed to do once these broad-stoke rules are put in place. I wonder what the qualifications were for those who actually set forth these rules. It is my impression that the yachting industry was not represented at all, that it was commercial shipping interests.
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 7:04 PM
Joined: 21/01/2009
Posts: 36

Lets just hope that the authorities can see the difference between a yacht and a ship.  Not sure what the general consensus is,  but in my eye anything above 50 meters is a ship.  Or more clearly,  anything that can not berth in a normal marina.  
   I have great sympathy for crew on these 50+ meter boats that can never fit into the typical small port we visit and must permanently live on anchor.  These crew should have adequate living space and decent off watch, off ship time..
  On a small yacht, my gang  may live a bit close but they are stretching their legs and finding personal space every couple days when we hit port.   
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 7:34 PM

The yachting industry is making a big stink about nothing.  The MLC is very clear in that it only applies to internationally-trading commercial vessels above 500 GT.  It does not apply to commercial yachts below 500 GT.  It is has absolutely no effect on private / pleasure yachts of any size.  A deckhand will be hardpressed to justify a complaint on wages when the ITF worldscale for an ordinary seaman (merchant ship equivalent to a deckhand with STCW basic safety) is $978.

Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:58 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 40

Anonymous poster, unfortunately you are mistaken. The MLC applies to all commercially registered vessels, including pleasure yachts with commercial registries (ie: any yacht with a registry which allows it to charter in the Med). If the MLC goes into effext as it is currently written, it will be a very big deal.
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 9:12 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

If you do a google search on MET's  MLC you should be able to find the paper.  I remember all the guys talking about it last year.  These guys were new construction managers.  Dont really know what it means...for instance is the rule grandfathered  for older yachts. 
Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:40 PM
Joined: 02/05/2008
Posts: 40

It is my understanding that existing yachts will be grandfathered-in in terms of the construction standards. I'm sure new construction managers have to be very concerned about the wording of the IMO / ILO MLC. I was told that the MCA, PYA and MYBA are actively trying to have the MLC ammended for yachts before it goes in to effect in 2011. It will be worth keeping an eye on their progress.
Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:16 AM
Joined: 29/08/2008
Posts: 1

According to Franc Jensen who heads the Yacht Management Department at YPI in the UK:

"The  convention is applicable to all commercial vessels. No lower limit applies. However, only Yachts over 500gt need to be certified. Smaller yachts don't need a certificate but still have to comply and are subject to port state inspection."

Kate Lardy
Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2009 3:51 PM
Joined: 24/07/2008
Posts: 22

Regarding the question about grandfathering in older boats, I hear that for new construction, it's boats whose keel is laid in 2011 and beyond.

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 1:03 AM
A pleasure yacht is no longer pleasure if it possesses a commercial registry.  It is then a commercial vessel.  By regulations, yachts that carry less than 12 passengers are considered cargo ships.  Existing yachts do not need to comply with the construction aspects of the Convention.  The date you have chosen of 2011 is arbitrary.  That is estimated.  No one knows when the Convention will take effect.  There are not enough countries signed on to it yet.  And, just like the industry complained about STCW, ISM, and ISPS, it will be no big deal.  There will be a big run up to the deadline, then miraculously, everyone will be in compliance.  Yachts have a harder time deciding on which upholstery to install versus complying with the law.

Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 2:25 AM
Reread that last posting and you'll not wonder why there is such confusion about these sorts of regulations.
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