Registration and coding Overview


For a UK Citizen, registering your private yacht is not compulsory if the yacht is based in the UK. However it is a requirement if you wish to travel abroad.

There are two types of registration for UK flagged vessels. The most simple and economical way of registering your yacht, if under 24 metres is on the part III register commonly known as the Small Ships Register or SSR. This registration can be done online directly, with the MCA. Online Registration

The other type of registration is known as Part 1 registration, this is a more formal registration which enables you to prove title of your yacht and obtain financing. With this type of registration you will require the ships documents including; bill of sale and builders certificate. All the information can be found here. You will also require a tonnage survey.

Joe Rowles is authorised to carry out Tonnage Surveys for the MCA for vessels under 24 metres as required for Part 1 registration. Joe can either work through one of the MCA approved certifying authorities that you have chosen or can carry out the tonnage application on your behalf.


If you have a UK flagged yacht which is being operated commercially (chartered) you are required to comply with the MCA Code of Practice - The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels.

Joe Rowles is authorised to carry out compliance surveys on yachts under 24 metres for the MCA Code of Practice; The Safety of Small Commercial Sailing Vessels as required on all UK flagged commercial yachts. Joe is authorised to work through a number of MCA appointed certifying authorities.

Please contact us for our recommendations.


“Your survey and report were a marked improvement on my previous experience of yacht surveys, which I've been involved in quite a lot over the years, both as seller & purchaser, and which have ranged from the reasonably competent to the frankly useless. I was particularly impressed with the time spent and the comprehensive nature of both the examination and report. I consider your service very good value for money, and would not hesitate to recommend it to others. I have in fact taken the opportunity of mentioning my satisfaction to my insurers.”Graham