Maritime and Coastguard Agency LogMARINE INFORMATION NOTE MIN 498 (M)
Seafarer Training and Certification: Using Yacht Sea Service Towards Unlimited Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency Applications
Notice to all owners, masters, deck officers and crews of commercially and privately operated yachts, and those concerned with maritime training.
This notice should be read with MSN 1802, MIN 473 and MGN 92 This MIN expires 30th April 2015

Summary
This Marine Information Note (MIN) outlines the requirements for Deck Officers or Ratings using yacht service as qualifying seagoing service towards the issue of an unlimited Certificate of Competency. This MIN also contains the new seagoing service testimonials for those working on yachts.
1. Introduction
1.1 The Merchant Shipping (Training and Certification) Regulations 1997 implemented the requirements of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers 1978, as amended and its associated code (STCW Code).
1.2 This Marine Information Note (MIN) outlines the requirements for those using yacht service as qualifying seagoing service towards the issue of an unlimited Certificate of Competence. This MIN is specifically designed to clarify the seagoing service requirements only, all other requirements stated in MGN 92 must be met prior to issue of a Certificate of Competency.
2. Yacht service breakdown
2.1 All yacht service must be submitted in the form of either; yacht service testimonials (Annex A) supported by a Discharge book or an MCA approved log book. This must include a breakdown of actual sea service, stand-by-service and yard time. For the purposes of this notice, the service definitions are:
 Actual sea service is time spent at sea, which may include time at anchor or river and canal transits associated with a passage.
 Stand-by service is time immediately following a voyage while the vessel is under preparation for a subsequent voyage.
 Yard time is time when standing by a build, refit or repair. 1

 Watchkeeping service is actual sea service spent as a watchkeeping officer in full charge of a navigational watch for at least 4 out of every 24 hours while the vessel is engaged on voyage.
2.2 Seagoing service on yachts will be counted as a combination of actual sea-service, standby service and yard service where:
 Standby service does not exceed the number of days performed on the previous voyage and in no case exceeds a maximum of 14 days in each period.
 Yard service does not exceed a maximum total of 90 days for OOW and 30 days for Chief Mate or Master.
Therefore, under no circumstances can standby service exceed actual sea service.
3. Sea service requirements for each unlimited Certificate of Competency (CoC)
3.1 Officers in charge of a Navigational Watch (OOW) unlimited, STCW Convention regulation II/1
To qualify for the issue of an OOW unlimited CoC you must, from the age of 16, have completed 36 months seagoing service, which includes at least 6 months engaged in bridge watchkeeping duties1, in vessels (including yachts) of more than 24m in length or more than 80 GT.
3.2 Chief Mate unlimited, STCW Convention regulation II/2
To qualify for the issue of a Chief Mate unlimited CoC, you must have completed 18 months seagoing service as a deck officer while holding an OOW unlimited, II/1, CoC in vessels (including yachts) of more than 24m in length or more than 80 GT.
3.3 Master unlimited, STCW Convention regulation II/2
To qualify for the issue of a Master unlimited CoC, you must have completed 18 months seagoing service as a deck officer while holding a Chief Mate unlimited, II/2, CoC in vessels (including yachts) of more than 24m in length or more than 80 GT.
If you hold an OOW unlimited, II/1, or a Chief Mate unlimited, II/2, Certificate of Competency and are serving on yachts, in order to qualify for higher Certificate of Competency your seagoing service requirements listed above must include the completion of:
 At least 6 months on yachts of 500 GT or more operating beyond UK categorised waters, or if outside of the UK beyond the harbour limits OR
 At least 6 months on vessels of at least 24 meters, made up of voyages of more than 300 nautical miles.
4. Sea service on yachts of more than 3,000 GT towards an unlimited CoCs
If you have service on a yacht of over 3,000 GT that has spent more than 2/3 of its time proceeding to sea, then your sea service can be counted as per MGN 92 (M), i.e. at the full rate. A breakdown of vessel’s movements must be provided with the application. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
1 This must be completed under the supervision of a certified Deck Officer. -2-

5. Further Guidance
• If the vessel is registered as a yacht, regardless of size, you will need to provide a breakdown of your yacht service as per paragraph 2.1.
• If you hold an MCA OOW (Yacht less than 3,000 GT) CoC and you are applying for an OOW unlimited CoC, you are not required to show evidence of 6 months watch keeping duties. If you do not hold an MCA OOW (Yacht less than 3,000 GT) CoC, you will need a letter from the Captain stating that you have been engaged in watch keeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer for at least 6 months.
• If you hold an OOW, Chief Mate or Masters CoC limited to yachts of less than 3,000 GT, you must first obtain an OOW unlimited CoC before progressing to a Chief Mate unlimited CoC.
• You should use the merchant application form MSF 4274 and sea service testimonials from Annex A of this MIN.
• Completing more than 4 hours watchkeeping within a 24 hour period cannot be counted as more than one day watchkeeping time, for example:
o If you complete a 12 hour watch within a 24 hour period you can only count this as 1 day of watchkeeping service or
o If you complete 2 separate 6 hour watch’s within a 24 hour period you can only count this as 1 day of watchkeeping service.

MIN 498 M

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