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MLC 2006 new rules regarding men and women sharing cabins
Natasha Ambrose
Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 5:55 PM
Joined: 14/03/2012
Posts: 3

I am a female deckhand working on a 62m MY Cayman Flag, since the introduction of these new rule the gentlemen that came to do the audit asked me if I was happy to share a cabin with a male I replied yes, he then went on to ask what if he came home drunk I replied what if I came home drunk, he was suggesting that my roommate may come back drunk and sexually harass me, I have been happily sharing with him for the last 4 months, because of this new rule I have been forced to move rooms, much to the captains, chief officer etc dismay, where does this leave female deckhands and surely this is discrimination? Not just deckhands but other females working in similar situations, where perhaps it is not possible for you to move cabins?
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 7:35 PM
Joined: 22/03/2011
Posts: 4

This is really interesting as I am also a female deckhand and I work on a mainly female boat as this is the best way for the cabin arrangements, I have never had to share with a male however I would have no problem with it, as I would like to think that I can trust my crew mates, and if I can't then this should be delt with accordingly. I have had friend share cabin with the opposite sex and they have never had any problems at all! I think it's down the the captain, crew and the people involved! I hope this dosnt affect your job! Good luck!
Posted: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 11:55 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Separating the sexes is good practice. We live in modern times. Modern crew are quick to use Lawyers and lawsuits . The yacht leaves itself wide open to sexual harassment charges when they allow females to share a cabin with a male crew. Its just the way it is.
Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 5:18 PM
Joined: 10/01/2013
Posts: 1

What happens if your married and share a cabin
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 1:44 AM
Joined: 25/11/2012
Posts: 21

There is no requirement in MLC that says the opposite sex cannot co-habitate a cabin. I asked a good friend of mine that is a flag surveyor. He said there is no question on the inspection checklist to even address this subject. Either something was said during the inspection of this 62m yacht that warranted further investigation or the scenario did not happen.
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 1:47 AM
New question about MLC. How did this Cayman yacht get inspected for MLC when they have not yet signed it into law? I've been requesting a CISR inspector since November. They keep telling me to wait until the MCA signs the law and publishes their interpretations.
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 6:09 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Better keep asking your good friend. My copy of MLC 2006 states.... b) separate sleeping rooms shall be provided for men and for women; ...Its entirely possible that the regulations are intended for professional seaman and do not apply to Gin Palace types.
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 12:31 PM
Joined: 25/11/2012
Posts: 21

Junior, 100% agree about separate sleeping rooms to be provided, but there is no reference to preventing the opposite sex from sharing a cabin. If someone is forced to share a cabin with the opposite sex, there is a complaint mechanism in MLC that the flag would be required to respond to. Otherwise, the auditor should have just let the situation be.
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 2:55 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Its a fine line. Each season I use a couple milebuilder crew for deliveries. Included with This years sea servcie form , the form I must sign, I spotted a multi page, superfine print attachment of official gooblygook from the UK MCA stating ridiculous nonsense such as .... "Officer trainees sharing a cabin must be the same gender." Oh My...... I could care less about Male , Female, transgender, gender neutral and still pile them in the forepeake pipe berths like sardines. The danger is that if one of these crew got a burr up their but because I yelled at them and told them they were Skiving Pooftas, they could cause trouble.
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 11:18 PM
Joined: 05/06/2008
Posts: 88

Good to see the MLC is still making rules that have feck-all to do with being "professional seaman"...sail or steam alike we are all crew, all on yachts which means we're all in the service industry and I like to think we all employ people we believe to be professional adults...if you don't do this, sexual harassment is only a fraction of your issues. As mentioned above, I know many a yachts have co-ed cabin accommodations for crew and they'll seem to swear by it. Time well spent MLC
Koru International
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 11:20 PM
Joined: 07/10/2008
Posts: 10

I am currently a captain with a big ticket (not that it should matter) and came up throught the ranks on deck. I did, on occasion share with male crew members. They were actually better roomates, but that's a different conversation. In todays day, there should be no differentiation. What about gay crew members? What is the MLC/ MCA going to say about that? The majority of the world shares toilets, tables, and sometimes locker rooms. Are we not mature enough to be adults here?
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:00 AM
Joined: 20/10/2010
Posts: 2

I think it is firstly inappropriate that auditor even hint that drunk male crew might sexually harass or even rape a female crew member. The reality is that most people working on yachts are adults, the cabin arrangements are not based on the most sexually compatible, if something were to happen it would happen regardless of mixed sexes sharing cabins. I have shared with both men and women, and honestly as a female I prefer to share with men as they have less crap and don't hog the bathroom. Obviously crew should have a choice as to who they share with, but mixed sex cabins should not be a problem if both adults are consenting and the boat is run professionally.
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 1:59 AM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

This rule IS in MLC 2006. To be honest i have just got off watch after a typically long day and can't be bothered to look up the reference for you, but I have also read it in there and heard it brought up a few times now! As far as the repercussions go, my feeling is that we will need to ask joiners to agree in writing that they voluntarily agree to share with the opposite sex after giving them the option (but reserve the right to change that at a later date), then the surveyor has the authority to let the matter go. The question of the gay room mate raises an interesting line of thought. And so much for the hard fought equality! On boats around the 500GT mark which generally have 3 stews, if the rule is enforced it may mean that we have to have another crew member who is female (deck, engine or chef) - assuming Captain is single i guess.
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:08 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1024

Rules are rules. Just like the rules which require you to hire a backpacker with a ticket, instead a candidate who has the actual skills you need. You were warned long ago about MLC 2006. To protect the interests of your owner you would be acting professionally by conforming . The typical sexual harassment, " Hostile Work Environment" lawsuit by a disgruntled employee is something like a quarter million dollars. Courts are jam packed with these lawsuits. The issue is so troublesome that companies take out specific insurance policies to protect themselves. If you have any inclination to bend the rules , you would be wise to contact your insurance agent for guidance.
D and B Services
Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 8:46 AM
Joined: 27/03/2009
Posts: 1

Hi Yacht Expedition, ref.: "There is no requirement in MLC that says the opposite sex cannot co-habitate a cabin" I understand that differently: Regulation A. 3.1.9(b) "separate sleeping rooms shall be provided for men and for women;" MLC checklist for surveyers: Point 92: "Are separate sleeping rooms provided for men and women? Guidelines for flagstate inspectors (idem for port state): "Examples of deficiencies:... 'Separate sleeping rooms are not provided for males and females'"
Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014 4:25 PM

Hi does the MLC only apply to vessels constructed after there flag has signed?

Regulation 3.1 - Accommodation and recreational facilities

Purpose: To ensure that seafarers have decent accommodation and recreational facilities on board

1. Each Member shall ensure that ships that fly its flag provide and maintain decent accommodations and recreational facilities for seafarers working or living on board, or both, consistent with promoting the seafarers' health and well-being.

2. The requirements in the Code implementing this Regulation which relate to ship construction and equipment apply only to ships constructed on or after the date when this Convention comes into force for the Member concerned. For ships constructed before that date, the requirements relating to ship construction and equipment that are set out in the Accommodation of Crews Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 92), and the Accommodation of Crews (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1970 (No. 133), shall continue to apply to the extent that they were applicable, prior to that date, under the law or practice of the Member concerned. A ship shall be deemed to have been constructed on the date when its keel is laid or when it is at a similar stage of contruction.

3. Unless expressly provided otherwise, any requirement under an amendment to the Code relating to the provision of seafarer accommodation and recreational facilities shall apply only to ships constructed on or after the amendment takes effect for the Member 

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