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Uncoded race yachts targeted by Maritime and Coastguard Agency

10 Feb 2021

MCA targets uncoded race yachts

Action will be taken against uncoded commercially operated sailing yachts engaged in racing, the MCA has warned, following the conclusion of legal proceedings against two vessels.

The MCA has agreed to discontinue prosecution against the owners of Scarlet Oyster and Playing Around, under the condition both enter into a written agreement to ensure their vessels are coded when engaged in any commercial activity.


The outcome reaffirms the agency’s committed position to ensuring all vessels hold the correct documentation.


Small, commercially operated yachts must hold a valid code certificate when being used for any commercial purposes, including racing and training, while vessels must also only operate within the category of water for which they have been authorized. A failure to comply will result in enforcement action with the MCA committed to maintaining the rigorous standards of the UK Flag.

Despite initiatives to address concerns raised in 2019, such as publication of the information leaflet ‘Are you in code mode’ and officers attending Gran Canaria for the start of the ARC, investigations were begun into several yachts.


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