Several speakers attacked Britain's Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) "Code of Practice for Safety" on the second day of the Yacht Vision Symposium in Auckland.

Several speakers attacked Britain’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) “Code of Practice for Safety” on the second day of the Yacht Vision Symposium in Auckland.

First to fire a broadside at the relatively new code was New Zealand’s Neville Crichton, owner of a series of superyachts, as well as being the founder and original owner of the Auckland yard, Alloy Yachts.

Crichton said that complying with the code added US$1 million to the cost of his latest yacht, and that it was difficult to get crew with the necessary classification.

Renowned yacht designer Ron Holland was also critical of the code, saying it was heavy handed and unworkable in some cases, referring specifically to the problems he is encountering in the construction of Mirabella V, with the fire resistance requirements.

The third speaker to critisize the MCA was designer Ken Freivokh, who likened them to the regulations for buildings, that he had found difficult to deal with as an architect.

Insurance broker Danielle Masse-Berger of Pantaenius was more conciliatory, saying that they have an open view of the MCA code, “it is a tool, but not the only tool in assessing a risk,” she commented, “crew and skipper experience is paramount”.

David Wright, of MCA, talked in defence of the code, saying it’s adoption had been wider and more accepted than they had expected, and they were now having to work hard to perfect it.

The discussion of the MCA code was the liveliest of the whole symposium, and nearly all the delegates found it valueable, and informative, with the suggestion being made that the Superyacht Society should become the negotiating body between MCA and the designers, builders and owners.

The day was rounded out with presentations by Tom Schnackenberg of Team New Zealand, and Louis Vuitton’s Bruno Trouble on the upcoming America’s and Louis Vuitton Cups, which is due to start in Auckland on October 1 this year.