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January 2005

Article selected from our quarterly magazine dedicated to the largest and most luxurious boats with information, interviews, technical articles, images and yachting news



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Navigation tests

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Article by
Andrea Petragnani Ciancarelli


The new Rules for Superyachts drawn up by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transportation with the joint collaboration of UCINA (National Union of Shipyards and Nautical Industries and Similar) and RINA (the Italian Classification Register) with the aim of abiding by the most important international rules were presented at the meeting ad hoc organized by UCINA at the recent Genoa Boat Show. The meeting, which according to all participants was very interesting, revealed the enormous potential of this special segment of the nautical sector. Important speeches were given by experts in various fields.

To our satisfaction a subject that a few days earlier had been discussed in another meeting held again in Genoa leaving a sour taste in the mouth was highlighted, i.e. the need for International Yachting Rules. The responsibility of such a declaration was taken on by an expert of the superyacht world, Claude Hamilton of the British Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA). In fact, the internationality of this titled sector of the yachting world is out of discussion. We are speaking of vessels that do not undertake daring adventures but which travel from one coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the opposite one. Many of these vessels are being transferred to the Caribbean Sea in wintertime, onboard adequate ships, which are actually mobile dry-docks. Such transfers need to become faster and more transparent and should be governed by standard rules to which coastal countries should abide in order to prevent costly cruises from becoming bureaucratic odysseys. The risk is that in those countries where such rules will not be adopted, the superyacht shall neither sail nor be serviced thus engendering a significant economical loss of approximately 10,000 euros per day in the related industry.

A primarily important element of any international rule is its concordance, that is the capacity of being easily adopted by several countries, as should be the case under consideration.


We appreciated the speech given by Mr. Giorgio Gallo, a RINA engineer, who synthetically highlighted the important work done so far. It was clearly pointed out that as for the field of application there is the will of meeting the new needs of the class and of making such rules an important instrument of international guarantee. To that end, the collaboration with the British MCA has been very important. The rules were formally presented as: "Safety rules including technical and steering regulations for ships exclusively used for chartering". The new rules, effective on January 2005, shall be enforced for all units exceeding a 24-meter length between perpendiculars having Italian flag and built under classification. The maximum limit of the vessels for which the rules shall be enforced - a maximum of 500 (approx. 48 meters) or 1000 gross tons - has not been decided yet. We totally agree with Mr. Hamilton from MCA who pointed out that such international units shall be standardized.


By reading the text that was handed out, made up of 78 pages, RINA commitment in drafting such rules is clear. The rules mostly refer to technical aspects and need further comprehension nevertheless such document is quite flexible and offers the remarkable feature of being able to include new rules in the future. Its structure abides by the shipping classification rules. It considers all construction and operational aspects aiming at maintaining a high level of safety, guaranteed by using materials that are compliant with the highest standards, as is the case of the central part of the rules concerning plants and firefighting systems. Additional class notes were included to guarantee the construction quality, in case these were still necessary for vessels of this size. Therefore, one should remember the Charter Class, which would guarantee the charter requirements, the Comfort Class, which is synonym of a high level of vibration and noise insulation and the Green Star Class, which guarantees compliance with the special standards for pollution control. Vessels destined to limited range navigation shall comply with less stringent rules and this, again, is a matter which needs further discussion.


In conclusion, the excellent job carried out by Rina is worthy of consideration, even more so when the superyachting world will be able to speak just one language with common standards. We hope to see solely the European flag fly above the stern of all these yachts and we know that when this will occur a standard international rule that is extremely important for this sector has been reached. Such rules will also allow an easier and more homogeneous management of such matter by all professionals who work in this field.