Table of Contents

The Specialised Law of Yachting - Special Maritime Laws


Maritime Laws

In regard to yachting, lawyers want to make mariners aware that there are specialized laws that apply to all maritime conveyances, from rowboats to luxury yachts. This article provides general information. A commercial lawyer can provide more detailed information on this subject.

Maritime law has traditionally been concerned with the transport of goods and passengers between ports, but with the advent of new technology and a more affluent society a specialised area of law for yachts and yachting has emerged.

It is believed that recreational boating first began in Holland and then in England when the Dutch East India Company made a gift of a yacht to King Charles ll.

As the practise grew, the number of pleasure craft increased, and the registration requirement became a concern. To resolve the issue, it was decided to measure vessels in length rather than in tonnage.

Yacht Registration

For those adhering to British commercial registration, a new system of eligibility has been devised for super yachts, the LY3 (Large Commercial Yacht Code). There is an equivalent for smaller vessel. In Australia there is only a mandatory requirement for commercial registration and no requirement for pleasure craft.

A recent issue shared between England and Australia in respect to registration is that registration is not synonymous with ownership of a vessel. Registration just refers to the port where the vessel is moored and the flag the vessel flies, thus what taxes and duties the owner might incur.

Building Contracts

There is a difference between building contracts for super yachts and contracts for other vessels. Contracts for super yachts tend to be non-standard and are drafted to suit specific circumstances. Apart from warranties and jurisdictional clauses, they are primarily concerned with payment, ownership of the materials used in production, the fit-out, and delivery. The terms of a contract are negotiated between the parties to represent both their interests with minimal interference from state laws.

Another area of contract consideration is the question of Class and Classification Societies. Although it’s not imperative in building contracts when the vessel is employed for personal use, it can be an important issue in respect to future salability of the vessel.

Mooring

There is a big difference when it comes to mooring small vessels and mooring large ships. The methods are somewhat similar but size, use, and frequency of need play a significant role. There are two ways to anchor a large ship. There is the temporary mooring by means of an anchor, which is lifted when necessary, and there is the more permanent mooring by means of attaching a vessel to a post or a fixed or floating dock.

In England there appears to be a shift away from the traditional forms as the availability of marinas with mooring facilities has become scarce. However, in Australia, many marinas in outlying areas do provide mooring facilities marine craft.

Beyond the obvious benefit of convenience, mooring facilities are important because they enable mariners to avoid laws that discourage visitors and limit the time a vessel can remain in port.

Compliance for Super Yachts

All commercial vessels are required by law to comply with the International Conventions of safety and pollution. However, there are constraints that make it impractical to apply these standards to sport and pleasure boats. In England the LY3 code has been developed to simplify this job by bring all the relevant codes in to one text and making them applicable for sport and pleasure and commercial yachts alike.

In Australia, a policy has been enacted regarding commercial Super yachts. When passing through Australian waters commercial vessels may be provided with emergency certification and permitted to dock for a limited period of time.

Remember, lawyers want to make mariners aware that there are specialized laws that apply to all maritime conveyances, from rowboats to luxury yachts. With the advent of new technology and a more affluent society a specialised area of law for yachts and yachting has emerged. A commercial lawyer can provide more detailed information on this subject. You can check out more information about commercial law from this website.

Marine Batteries