MCA releases guidance and clarifications on Load Line Length policy and the use of hull form cut-outs, extensions and steps through MGN 645

Published on: 21 July 2022

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The MCA has released MGN 645 Load Line Length – policy clarification: hull form cut-outs, extensions and steps. 

MGN 645 clarifies UK interpretations for determining Load Line Length on vessel hull forms which feature cut-outs, removable end sections and stepped or recessed decks.

It highlights several methods by which Load Line Length (L) has been manipulated in order to obtain a value of less than 24 metres to avoid the vessel having to comply with the International Load Line Regulations or with the Large Yacht Codes as an equivalence. The way in which the MCA treats these various methods is shown, based, as far as possible, on straightforward interpretations of the Load Line regulations.

In addition, problems of interpretation can arise where features such as reverse sheer of the freeboard deck, sometimes found on yachts, are not catered for in the regulations. The MCA’s approaches to issues such as this are included herein, with a view to a common approach being adopted.

The MCA, Certifying Authorities and Recognised Organisations authorised by the MCA consider the methods shown in Section 4 of attempting to reduce L to less than 24 metres to be unacceptable and will refuse to certify as SCVs any vessels using any of these methods to reduce L to below 24 metres.

MGN 645 can be downloaded here.

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