The MCA wants to hear recreational boaters’ views on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) concerning guidance on boat safety over the next few weeks.

RYA Cruising Manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The MCA has launched this consultation as a result of recommendations made by the MAIB following a number of accident investigations and is part of an effort to establish a broader understanding across the wider boating sector as to what constitutes good practice.

"The RYA already provides a considerable amount of safety advice that is readily accessible by the boating public and intends to submit a full response, outlining our views and the concerns of our members. Our response will focus on the interests of pleasure boaters with the aim of ensuring that any guidance is clear, realistic and proportionate."

The six notices cover guidance on keel groundings, rigging inspections, preparedness, stowage of lifesaving gear, vessel resilience and emergency procedures, and maintenance, modifications, damage and repairs.

They are aimed at both small commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats. The MCA states that it wishes to reinforce to owners, managing agents and skippers of both commercial and pleasure vessels what it considers good practice in terms of safety when going out to sea.

Boaters’ views are sought in the following areas:

  • Whether the draft notes contain guidance that is realistic to carry out in practice;
  • What other costs and benefits there might be that haven’t been included in the de minimis assessment;      
  • If there is the right level of content in each MGN.      

Full details on the draft MGNS and how to give your views can be found on the government website. A full list of consultation questions is contained in Section 5 of this consultation.

The consultation closes on Thursday 18th July 2019 and the RYA encourages all boaters to respond.