MCA Coded vessels – Marine Guidance Note MGN 280 (M)

In 2004, the MCA published Marine Guidance Note MGN 280 (M) Small Vessels in Commercial Use for Sport or Pleasure, Workboats and Pilot Boats – Alternative Construction Standards.

This set of standards was based upon the Yellow and Blue Codes and attempted to draw together harmonised standards for small commercial vessels that could be used as an alternative to the four earlier Codes above. Compliance with MGN 280(M) is suitable for United Kingdom (UK) vessels up to 24 metres load line length which:

  • are engaged at sea in activities on a commercial basis
  • carry cargo and/or not more than 12 passengers, or
  • provide a service in which neither cargo nor passengers are carried, or
  • are UK pilot boats of whatever size

Full information on the MCA Codes of Practice can be found on the MCA website:

If you are operating your vessel commercially, or are considering providing commercial services (e.g. chartering) with your leisure vessel, Blabey Engineering Limited can help you interpret the regulations and find the right MCA Code of Practice to suit your operation. I have extensive experience in overseeing the design, build and operation of a wide range of vessels in compliance with the Codes, and have – throughout some 18 years – contributed to the work of the MCA and industry groups to devise and update them.


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