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The 13th passenger
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 12:39 PM
Joined: 04/09/2008
Posts: 6

Over the years as crew on different private yachts I have seen occassions where more than 12 guests embark for day or evening cruises. It is usually within the confines of a relatively safe waterway such as Sysney harbor Now, as Captain I have been faced with this very demand on multiple occasions by owners,and although the situations vary, the bottom line as I see it is that no yacht 24m+ and MCA registered whether private or commercial is permitted to leave the dock at anytime with more than 12 passengers Does one allow this in what could be considered safe and reasonable circumstances or simply risk ones job by saying no. I for one stress at the thought of gambling with my career and certification for the short term, and quickly forgotten satisfaction of the owner. If there is a line to be drawn in the sand, where is it?
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 1:06 PM
Career vs. Job. If you leave the dock with more passengers than you or the yacht are licensed to carry you are committing an illegal act. If you have an accident your insurance is no longer valid as one cannot insure an illegal act. Vicarious liability laws no longer apply in civil tort cases and you are also liable for criminal charges. Since it is an illegal act your employment contract will be severed and you will be paying your own legal bills. So you're not just out of a job, you're f****d. Proper f****d. Your call dude.
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 2:53 AM
The 12 passenger limit only applies if the boat is being chartered (unless it is SOLAS inspected). The caveat which says private or commercial only applies to the registry, not the usage. The owner of a yacht can have as many guests aboard as he has life jackets for. If it is the owner and not a charter guest asking you to take more than 12 guests out, then you don't need to worry about losing your license. If it is a charter guest asking you to take extra guests, then you are required to stay at the dock. You can contact your boat's insurance company to confirm this information.
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 2:19 PM
Do you also believe you live in a democracy?
Nick Senior
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 6:54 PM
Joined: 20/06/2008
Posts: 2

My understanding is that you may be allowed to take more than twelve passengers off the dock providing you have written permission from both the flag state and the insurance company for each and every occasion you want to sail, giving full details of the location, duration etc. Of course you will need to have life saving equipment for all on board.
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 8:18 PM
Joined: 09/09/2008
Posts: 78

I would say you have it wrong, I am not of that flag, but I have yet been to a country that did not have vessels under 24 m that legally carried that many. Commercial or not, it all depends on certification and what it is set up to carry.
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 8:22 PM
A:B:C: etc. i think somebody needs to read the rules and law. Obvuesly SOLAS is one thing and Flag another and EEC, another i have been a charter manager for some seasons; Miles ofshore, size etc.
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 12:59 AM
Joined: 22/10/2010
Posts: 1

For those of us operating US flagged vessels, the rules are pretty clear. For the owner's party where no guest has given any financial consideration for the trip, you may have as many guests aboard (a USCG approved PFD for each) as is safe without overloading the vessel. When acting as an uninspected passenger vessel the limit is 12 on vessels over 100 GT, not including working crew members. One more point, I have asked and have never got anyone at Coast Guard to confirm that there is a exception to the rule for being at dock. This is urban myth. I agree with the earlier post that in violating the law, your on your own and will suffer both civil and criminal liabilty.
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 8:57 AM
Joined: 14/10/2008
Posts: 33

If you are operating on a MCA certificate, the little "y" denominates that you are limited to operate on yachts. According to SOLAS, any vessel licenced to carry more than 12 paying passengers is a "passenger vessel" This is NOT included in your yachting licence! Apart from that, you can often successfully aplpy to the local port state (port captain) for a temporary permit to carry more guest for a limited period within (his/hers) limited waters. Always assuring, of course, that your yacht is equipped for it, and that the insurance is cool with this.
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 1:27 PM
Joined: 12/07/2010
Posts: 57

You need to be clear about the rules and then follow them. If you are outside the confines of the rules and something goes amiss you are the sole culprit. One thing is for sure, the owner will not be blamed for the overage. It is not the owners responsibility to know the rules. The act of telling the owner he can't do something he want's to do is your main role aboard, if you can't do that, think about another line of work. please.
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 11:26 AM
I can't believe a Captain, responsible for other people lives and the vessel he commands, has to ask such basic questions! Professional knowledge is all about knowing the regulations and applying them corectly. Surely, that is why a Captain gets paid so much?!?!?! Yet here we are grabbing at straws and seeing what other people have or are doing. Surely you should be reading root documentation and working out what requires to be done ...... just like other respected captains in the industry! Sadly, probably takes too much time or effort to read the legislation so asking others is a quick and easy route. Bewary of knowledge dilution, as is readily aparent by some comments in this forum. I would love to answer you questions fully, but am precluded fom doing so, as I am on Charter with 16 Guests onboard .... all legal and all properely certificated! Now work that one out ...... 8)
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 2:56 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

Daytime/evening cruises up/down the intracoastal/without leaving the harbor are not considered going to sea.

The local Port State regulations will dictate all safety requirements for these short trips. 

If the vessel goes out to sea, Flag State rules prevail.

Always consult the vessel's insurance company.    

Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 3:19 PM
Joined: 02/06/2010
Posts: 14

Interesting, lots of different replies which is kind of worrying considering we are all supposed to be trained proffesionals. It seems that the laws may differ from the US and MCA points of view. So far as I am concerned opperating an MCA commercial vessel allows you no more than 12 guests. you can get special dispensation from flag state and your insurance company to carry more on pre planned trips so long as flag state have inspected your vessel and approved it for the amount of passengers that you will have. Nannys, bodyguards etc can be signed onto the articles as supernumeries and are therefore not regarded as passengers. Whatever the situation I suggest that you check with your flag state and insurance company before you do any more overloaded trips.
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 6:46 PM
No more than 12 PAYING guests. Owners can take on as many guests as they have PFD and is safe for the yacht so use common sense. If you are an MCA or US flag yacht, no more than 12 for PAYING guests. A 13th body can be on board if under the age of 1 yr. Your Flag State determines how many supernumeries allowed on board. Also, do not agree with the comment that if you cruise up and down the Intracoastal only you can take on more than 12 guests. This is absolutely wrong and was lobbied in Congress by the party boats that cruise the Intracoastal to make sure it could NOT be done.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 7:03 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207

Perhaps Mr Anonymous and Congress failed to observe the number of passengers onboard each vessel taking part in the annual "Winterfest Boat parade''? 

Captain Andy
Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 11:29 PM
Joined: 17/09/2008
Posts: 93

Captains - lets get this right as we are all meant to be professionals (Ben: please note the spelling of professionals!!) This is the definitive answer to the question of the 13th crew member. Firstly, under new MCA legislation which came into effect in November 2010, a new category of coding has been created. This is the Passenger Yacht Code which caters for large, new, vessels, who wish to carry between 13 and 36 guests. Again this is for Red Ensign Group yachts, which is applied via the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 by an order in Privvy. Other waivers, as has been mentioned, can be achieved through an application to Flag. I have been on one vessel that was entitled to have 60 guests onboard, but only at anchor in sheltered waters. Again, once aproved by Flag, the insurance company must be notified to remain on risk and, thus, be seaworthy. Remember the insurance warranties here! Lastly, for Ben again. With regard to signing on additional household staff as crew members, they must have completed and hold all basic STCW modules. The originals will be onboard with them. This is done so that they will become incorporated into emergency parties. Does the yacht Watch and Station bill show this? Have you conducted exercises with these people in their emergency roles? Are these logged correctly? This 'loophole' is known about and is due to be procedurely shutdown shortly: when I do not know as it has been a busy season so far! Hope this helps!!?!?!?
Posted: Saturday, August 6, 2011 6:46 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Aww Jeez...Brads looking for practical advice not rule book recitals. Carrying excess ballast is a fact of life. Id suggest your follow the IBNA approved method, CODE GREEN ALLIGATOR, when dealing with this situation. Say your in Monaco. The guests go ashore for some jewelry shopping and while ashore they run into their mate Lord Leadbottom and his hoe Ophelia Balls. They invite the pair back to their chartered Gin Palace to enjoy a few lines of coke, then join them on an overnight dinner cruise to Portofino. You are now over the 12 passenger limit. What to do ? Say no and you might be trashing a perfectly good chadda tip, say yes and the Italians are gonna swoop in and get Ya'. This scenario requires the Code Green. Instruct your Chief Stewardess, Ginorma, to break out the inflatable 2 meter Green Alligator from storage. Inflate the Gator then record in your log book....At 18.35, 13 miles SE of San Remo, chief stewardess Ginormna, while diddling her Iphone, spotted 2 persons desperately clinging to a 2 metre long green inflatable alligator. Ships lifeboat was launched into shark infested waters and both persons, Leadbottom and Balls were rescued and brought onboard the Gin Palace. Notify the Authorities of the rescue and if you will be boarded, have the stewardess re-inflate the gator then heave a bucket of sea water over the two extra guests to clarify the situation for the officials . This IBNA method is foolproof, protects your license and your Chadda tip.
Posted: Saturday, August 6, 2011 9:07 AM
Joined: 28/06/2010
Posts: 17

That.. was brilliant Junior... Speaking of Ginorma, I just had to endure a month with a new stew candidate who hid food in cleaning supply cabinets and stood in the galley eating off the guest's finished plates while she was supposed to be clearing the table. Suffice it to say, she is no longer...
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