Class & Safe Manning - 72m Motor Yacht - Superyacht

I’m near completion of my Lloyds Diploma in Marine Surveying. It’s surveying of merchant ships. However, The last assignment submission is a Case Study on our chosen specialist module, my chosen specialty - Surveying Superyachts.
The tutor presents quite the unusual scenario as the background basis of the assignment, a pre-purchase survey of a 72m Superyacht. Part of this Case Study assignment is in relation to Class. One of my fellow students approached the offices in Manilla of the two that are in the assignment brief without any joy (ie DNV and ABS) - their residing Class surveyors have not ever had such a scenario, so couldn’t offer any concrete advice;
I have also emailed the Sydney office for DNV but they are in radio silence, nothing heard!
Also put it out to the other students, doing different specialist module, but all with existing maritime careers.
Therefore, as we keep hitting road-blocks and brick walls, made me think to try here, with such a huge number of experienced professionals who are keen to share knowledge and experiences - Really hoping that here one or more on gCaptain may be able to throw some light? Hoping!
General in relation to the Class component : - vessel built to DNV-GL class in 2005, however class withdrawn in 2016 as not kept up survey requirements — a new owner wishes to gain ABS - would it be normal/best protocol to get re-instated to DNV-GL first - then to get the ToC (transfer of Class) to ABS, with the societies arranging between them after forms are filled in by owner?
Vessel is 72m Motor Yacht - category - commercial large yacht - 12 pax max.

My conclusions after much investigation is to advise to attain the MCA LY3 certification first, (I’m posing that the vessel already had LY2 - we have scope to extend on the information provided in the scenario brief - so my take is the vessel has been lying ‘dockside’ with care taker crew only for past few years - insurance would have been an issue without remaining in Class, correct? But perhaps was given insurance cover but only whilst remained dockside? That being the case - a ‘sea trial’ would not be able to be conducted as I understand because of the lack of full insurance coverage -
-then LY3 cert attained, as both are IACS members, all matters must be settled with the ‘losing class’ first - so reinstate with the DNV - then both societies will sort the TOC, the ‘gaining class’, ABS in this case, will be wanting to resolve as quickly as possible.

I’m also trying to further understand ‘Safe Manning’ for a vessel of this length and purpose – if the vessel were to sail/be delivered from Scotland to Caribbean after the needed surveys for Class and LY3 were completed. The tutor posed a ludicrously few in number crew accommodation/cabins, presently only 5 crew cabins, which are all Doubles! So a refit would be my suggestion, of at least 4 to twins (maybe could have four bunks in a few to up the crew numbers), keeping the Captain’s cabin as a double.

Bottom line is that there is truly not a 72m Superyacht that I can locate on searches that has accommodation for a total of only 10 crew. In the scenario they pose there is currently 6 crew, one of whom is a ‘trainee’, presumably not have STCW qualification.
I’m therefore posing that that they have been the ‘care-taker’ crew whilst vessel
decommissioned’ to a level, but remained lying dockside/floating.

So there’s a bunch of interesting ‘stuff’ to consider and then attempt to advise the prospective owner/client. As part of the assignment also Having to draw up a Survey plan for the LY3 and Class surveys that the client would be able to follow.

There’s only 4 of us in the intake for this diploma doing this particular module. As mentioned, all the students come from professional maritime careers/background, the majority are doing the course as part of their own professional development.

Clear as mud right! Truly appreciate any info to throw more light and/or direction.
Absolute deadline is basically tomorrow night.

Sounds like a ship load of overthinking the issue, which by the way is absurd on the face of it for many reasons.

First, regarding manning, that is a flag issue and unless all the documentation has vanished will be spelled out very clearly in the safe manning certificate.

Regarding class. It is up to the owner (or management company which should be handling all this anyway, not a surveyor) to contact class and write the first of many large checks.

Which class? Since it was DNV until it was dropped, start there as they already know the boat.


Hi Steamer, Thanks for your input, much appreciated - indeed it does seems like a lot of ‘over-thinking’. It is a ‘fictitious scenario’. Something they conjure up in order to ‘test’ analytical and critical thinking and taking in most of the components of the entire course.
Perhaps if you have time you can read the entire background brief, (copied below) operative word being brief as far as information/details on the vessel, and then what the expectations are for the ‘case study’ assignment - Sections 2a/2b/2c - you may understand why I appear to be over-thinking. I’m also over-loaded with the amount of research and reading to try and ensure I have enough references relevant to the issues that the course tutor expects us to include.
::: This is the actual assignment brief they provided - I have copied here :

You have been appointed as an independent marine surveyor by a client who is resident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, The United States of America. This client is about to purchase a motor yacht of 72m in length, from a broker in London, The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

The vessel, which was built in 2005, is afloat in Inverkip, Scotland, UK.

Currently the vessel is not certified under the Maritime & Coastguard LY3 Large Commercial Yacht Code, but it is the intention of the buyer to apply for this certificate. The vessel will be used to carry 12 paying passengers on holiday cruises in the Caribbean Sea. The passenger cabins are arranged as six cabins, all with double beds.

The vessel will be crewed by 3 male staff and 3 female staff. One of the male staff is a trainee. None of the crew members are in a personal relationship with any of the other crew members.

Five cabins are provided for the crew, four of these have double beds, one has twin beds.

The vessel was built under class survey by Det Norske Veritas, but class was withdrawn in 2016, as renewal surveys had not been completed as required.

The buyer intends to class the vessel with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) as soon as possible following purchase.

Note, the buyer has never seen the vessel, other than in photographs.

Your instructions are:

1 – To perform a pre-purchase survey of the vessel and its equipment and to report your findings to the buyer.

2- To advise the client on the methodology to obtain ABS Class Certificate and, MCA LY3 Certificate.

  1. a) Discuss how you would approach this survey and the preparations which you would make prior to commencing the survey. (10%)
  2. b) Provide a clear explanation on how the owner may approach the matter of obtaining both Class and, LY3 Certification and, describe the surveys which would be required. Discuss also, the matter of crewing levels and crew accommodation available. This information should be provided as a pre-purchase survey report. (40%)
  3. c) For the Class and LY3 Surveys required, produce a survey plan which the owner can follow, include all required surveys and provide clear in-depth details of the requirements of the LY3 Code. (50%) Word count target is 3000 words.

I suggest you contact one of the large yacht management firms in Fort Lauderdale or London or Antibes (Camper & Nicholsons, Fraser, YCO) and talk to them first. Your next step would be to talk to one of the survey firms they use - which by the way would dispatch a team of surveyors, no one person has the skill or the time to survey a 70m yacht solo.

You have been presented an absurd scenario which is beyond the scope of a surveyor. It takes a team of experienced professionals with subject matter expertise to perform the tasks described. Only a fool would attempt it alone.

Consider your assignment as a reporter would a story, conduct interviews with those involved in each aspect of flag, class, finance, insurance, and survey. There must be a broker involved, include the brokerage firm which is probably a division of the management company. The management company will have a technical team to coordinate all the aspects of this transaction. And there has to be a shore based management firm.

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Seems to me that Instruction 2 can’t be approached until Instruction 1 has been performed even in the hypothetical.

Thanks for the further feedback.
As I understand and must keep in mind is that it is a “Case Study” - in this ‘case’ there is brief and general information provided as the ‘fictitious basis’ for scenario.

Already we see ‘issues’ within that short brief.

Reviewing what a case study is in terms of standard academic approach - From Learning Resources of University of Bedfordshire, for example, “What is A case study? - A case study can refer to a research method (of analysing and presenting data) as well as assignment type (which focuses on a specific instance / example). If you are asked to do a case study, you will be expected to : a) analyse a specific case in all its complexity AND b) explain the elements of its complexity by using a certain theory / different theories.”

It is paramount to hone in on what lies at the core of the ‘tasks’ - almost reading between the lines, further hypothesise on scenario details in order to put a survey report together - here the marker will be looking at the structure, format and main headings and general presentation that reflects an understanding of writing a survey report rather than the detailed information under each of those headings.

Further advise from the Learning Resources online :
"Common mistakes in analysing a case study: **
When working on your case study, make sure to avoid these common errors:
*** Ignoring certain facts/ events/ factors which affect the overall 'picture’

*** Failing to provide an explanation for the causes or implication of the problem**
*** Making unsupported assumptions, which simplify the case (but omit valuable information) **
*** Presenting causes/ solutions as generic rather than case-specific**
*** Relying too much on own experience/ common sense rather than theory and data.** "
Although it is not actually stated the vessel is Flagged under Red Ensign, it is implied.
Listing and clarifying that the Flag State/MCA and Class have different ‘responsibilities’.
Noting that the ‘buyer’ has never seen the vessel, only photographs implies the further need to ascertain whether the photographs are an accurate representation of the overall condition, in this case more in view of ‘cosmetic appearance and condition’.

Bottom line, from a personal viewpoint, if this was ‘real life’ - unless the vessel can be purchased at a significantly lower price than market value, it would be better to review and consider other viable, more ‘ready-to-go’ vessels that are currently on the market.

I will hypothesise in my presentation that it is being sold as part of a ‘deceased estate’, use details derived from an existing and factual 72m motor yacht, express that a ‘team’ of surveyors, including a specialist marine engineer for the machinery aspects of the survey, conduct the survey, culminating all findings into one report. I will avoid hypothesising on vessel structure/machinery/systems defects, as the main issues are revolving around Class, LY3, crew numbers and crew accommodation. Remembering to adhere to the key ‘instructional words and phrases’ - Discuss, describe, produce, provide in-depth details of the requirements of the LY3 Code.

So I plug on with it! Just going back and forth a few times here has further clarified my approach. Thanks again!

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Yeah, but you don’t have a “case” to study, your tutor just gave you a scenario that is well beyond the scope of a surveyor. This begs the question - does your tutor have any first hand experience in the megayacht industry?

A potential owner is usually capable of making his own decisions, it is not the place of a surveyor to decide for him. A surveyor’s job is to sight, inspect when possible and if qualified, and evaluate within the limits of his own knowledge and experience. It is not to influence the personal decisions of a buyer.

For large yachts, a broker from a firm with a solid history of dealing with the size of vessel described will know or have access to the history of the yacht, its previous owners, and its marketability. He or she is normally the individual who is trusted by the seller or buyer (or their representatives) and selects the survey team.

Which leads us to the reality of small boat surveyors as a class, they tend to have trouble understanding the difference between a surveyor and God. God knows he is not a surveyor.

why doesn’t say which (if any) of these people have valid certificates backed up by seafaring experience?

and WTF is this bit included for?

does this mean there is no intercrew kanoodling going on under the sheets onboard? if so then this is not a yacht at all but merely a yacht imposter and it MUST be reported immediately!

Yes, thanks again - no worries - 'Tis why I mentioned ‘from a personal viewpoint’ - as I am very aware it is not part of the scope of the surveyor to sway or influence a decision.
It’s my own ‘personal’ thoughts in relation to the basics given. I certainly realise and respect that The Buyer needs to weigh up the findings and recommendations and his broker hopefully is advising him for the best - again hypothetically, perhaps the Buyer is a first-time purchaser.

It’s all been a bug-bare since receiving the assignment - - how rather bazaar with the skeletal info, let alone the twists in the situational scenario - a few superyacht captain buddies of mine concur! As does other fellow students.
I try hard not to be irritated by the assignment details - but rather think ‘what is it that they really want’ in this presentation.
I look forward to getting through completing and submitting it, helpfully today or no later than tomorrow morning UTC +10 - once results are back, which are furnished with ‘marker’s comments’, I’ll update this post. :-/

Hahhh hahhh hahhhh! I’m smiling - it’s always good to look on the comical side for sure! Again, I believe it’s having to make further deductions from the skeletal info - - I reckon trying to draw out our awareness/knowledge / understanding of STCW95/10 - safe manning and all that.
Then assuming that the rest of this skeletal crew are qualified.
A motor yacht creature of 72m with only 5 crew cabins - it surely doesn’t exist - maybe in another world or out there in space?
The personal relationships - again I deduce is drawing out the fact that ALL 5 of the crew cabins are DOUBLES not twins.

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if the insurance company is happy, you do what you like on a private yacht
I would be looking at the flag state rules, last I heard most didnt care to about 60m ish?

Because the “tutor” or someone obviously has no clue about flag state certificates. The OP mentioned it would be a Red Ensign flag and since they are all cut an paste regs, take a look at the Cayman Islands minimum safe manning rules for a yacht of >24m in length >500 tons <3000 tons <9000kW power. If that boat wants to sail up to 60 miles from a safe haven it requires at least 6 crew, all of whom require certification for the position they hold and four of those must be licensed. That does not include chief and several junior stewardi and the owner’s chef plus probably a crew chef, There is no such thing as a “trainee” on a safe manning certificate.

This whole affair reeks of bullshit and an ignorant “tutor” leading a blind student.

The information that you have offered through this thread is on the money. In some areas of the world where super yachts are constructed there are surveyors of the major classification societies who have specialist knowledge of these vessels.
As always class and certification of the crew has been driven by insurance companies which is not surprising when the vessel is being insured for many millions of dollars.

@Michelle Pippin
How did you get on. I am on the same Case Study too?

Kicking the can down the can down the road …

I wasn’t talking about class surveyors. Fewer and fewer class surveyors over the past few years seem to have much practical experience at all. Lloyds in particular seems to have undergone some kind of sea change where their surveyors (in the megayacht field at least) seem to have very little knowledge and even think they have the authority to impose “rules” or standards which don’t exist or are in conflict with other IACS members. In short, they are a royal pain in the ass and manipulate management, captains, and chief engineers by fear.

The independent private surveyors in the megayacht industry are for the greatest part, highly experienced, competent, and professional. They know what they are looking at and probably know more about the rules than many of the new breed of class surveyor.

It’s a while since this subject came up. I guess my experience was with class surveyors who were actively involved with the building and major refits of super yachts. As an example one French yacht constructed of riveted steel circa 1905 was stripped of all fittings at a boat yard then towed to a shipyard where the steel hull was completely renewed except for a very small section that was left for tax purposes. The hull was then barged to the boat yard and completed using among other things, two forty foot containers of mahogany. Imagine if you will about 50 metres of topsides finished like a grand piano .

Hi all,
Thanks for the inputs and suggestions.
There are nearly always ‘tricks’ and added underlying tests in assignment q’s - in other words checking if on the ball and researching thoroughly, or just taking things on face-value alone. So the issues of safe Manning I addressed and in short also recommendations for crew accommodation refit, etc etc.
Anyway, I did it!
I worked my way through it all and delivered my final Case Study with an excellent result.
Now have - Dip.MarSur (Merit) with Specialism in Surveying of Superyachts. Plus AssocRINA.
As part of Continual Professional Development - Attended a 2 day seminar/workshop in Brisbane hosted by IIMS - interesting topics covered, various ‘expert’ speakers, valuable networking! Cheers!

Well done. I am almost finished the same module C, here in HK. I believe we are mutual friends with Garry Smith.

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