Write to be heard: Yachts should be abiding by regulations

Feb 7, 2013 by Guest Writer

A couple of things jumped out at me from your article on the Moran symposium [“New rules on hours of rest concern captains, industry,” page A1, January issue].

These regulations are not new. We are supposed to have been abiding by them for years. If you must work beyond the allowed hours due to limited number of crew, then the way that this is possible is to add this to the contract or standing orders.

Note: It is collectively understood and agreed that we will work outside these regulations for short periods, but get more rest off charter.

We are generally able to give a day off, from time to time, in the season (which would clearly never happen on a commercial vessel). Then you are all covered.

Happily enough, on this boat we manage to keep within the regs, anyway. My feeling is that long term, you are not going to provide a better level of service with tired people by simply making them work ridiculous hours, quite apart from the safety aspect of it.

Competent, experienced, well-trained, well-prepared crew will obviously get more done in fewer hours. If we have inexperienced people in senior positions ineffectively managing junior crew, then they will be running around inefficiently for more hours than would otherwise be needed to provide the level of service that we are striving for.

As always, this starts at the top with owners and managers hiring under-experienced, minimally trained captains who then hire the rest of the crew and the problem self-perpetuates.

Also, the dates you have for implementation of BNWAS are not correct. We do not need one on here until June 2014. (We are 498GT).

Capt. Chris Lewis
M/Y Ellix Too

Editor’s Note: To clarify compliance dates for BNWAS: New yachts with keels laid on or after July 1, 2011, should be in compliance. For existing vessels, compliance is based on tonnage: 3,000 tons and greater were due July 1, 2012; vessels between 500-2,999 gross tons should comply by July 1, 2013, and vessels 150-499 gross tons should comply by July 1, 2014.