More and more engineers are talking about the new Small Vessel (SV) engineering certification, as outlined in the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) Marine Information Note (MIN) 524 last year. So what do the new requirements really mean, and how will the new certification route benefit superyacht engineers?

Existing engineers can keep their current CoC, but it will retain its current limitations, explains Tim Moss, head of engineering at bluewater. Moss adds that if an engineer is currently mid-training, they will have to continue in the current system as “you cannot mix and match the current yacht (Y) and the new Small Vessel courses and exams”. You can only convert a CoC, Moss adds, but you can easily transfer that CoC by following one of the routes shown in MIN 524.

In what ways does it mirror the existing Y4-Y1 route? Y4 equates to Small Vessel Second Engineer, Y3 and Y2 combine to become Chief Engineer (limited to 500gt and 3,000kW) – although these engineers can also act as Second Engineer on a vessel up to 3,000gt and 9,000kW – and the Y1 ticket equates to Chief Engineer (limited to 3,000gt and 9,000kW.

Moving up the ladder once in the new SV system is not only fast in most cases, but the new SV courses and exams are, in fact, more relevant to superyacht engineers.

So what are some of the advantages? Well, moving up the ladder once in the new SV system is not only fast in most cases, but the new SV courses and exams are, in fact, more relevant to superyacht engineers. “This includes the removal of the Y2 Advanced Hotel Services module, meaning current Y3 CoC holders transferring the new SV Chief Engineer 9,000kW is quicker and cheaper,” explains Moss.

Not only that, but there is a fast-track route from SV Second Engineer to SV Chief Engineer 9,000kW, 3,000gt. With no offshore mileage limitations, the new SV CoC should be recognised by all STCW signatory nations and each sea service day underway will count as 1.5 days while holding a SV CoC for Yachts only.

And, of course, perhaps the most important aspect of the new SV certification route is the fact that the CoCs are interchangeable with other Small Vessel sectors, offering alternative career options. “The fact that it’s giving others the opportunity to work across different maritime sectors is a great thing,” enthuses Edward Tuite, technical executive at the British Marine Federation. “In today’s market we sometimes see huge spikes in the yachting sector, and then it slumps a little bit – normally when that happens you will find another market is picking up, and this definitely allows people to cross over a lot more easily and find work. I imagine most people will want to do this because it massively expands their possibilities of getting work at the end of it.”

Tim Thomas explains more about the new Small Vessel route in Issue 82 of The Crew Report, available to download here and available at The Monaco Yacht Show, from The Superyacht Group’s stand, QE9.

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