Representing members views at the Red Ensign Groups Sub 500GT working group
18 April 2024
by Edward Tuite

The Red Ensign Group with Cayman Island Shipping Register as lead, held its first sub 500GT working group looking at potential changes to the REG code specifically related to sub 500GT large yachts.

The group looked at several issues currently affecting these vessels which could lead to tightening of the regulations, these included:

  • The definition of a short-range yacht

  • Use of internal cross-flooding and down-flooding devices

  • Stability criteria for vessels with openings in the hull, the lower edge of which is less than 600mm above the uppermost load line. 

  • Stability criteria for vessels with floodable tender garages

  • Structural fire protection 

  • Installation of sprinkler systems onboard Yachts of 300 to 499GT

British Marine’s Technical Department attended the meeting virtually to represent its members' views and report back to SYUK. The regulators stressed that there have been several major incidents leading to flooding of garages and sinking of vessels. So, there was a need to tighten up on the requirements for openings in the hull including, but not limited to, beach clubs and garages. Several of the issues include hydraulic manual backup systems failing preventing crew from closing the hull openings.

Sub 500GT large yachts have not had to have full sprinkler systems on board, this is due to availability and suitability of such systems for smaller superyachts. The REG believe technology has improved in this regard and it could enhance yachts’ safety to now look at fitting these systems. There is a general feeling from industry that further research needs to be undertaken on the availability, cost and maintenance of these systems to see if they are suitable for sub 500GT vessels and if they would enhance the safety of vessels of this size.

It was agreed that more work needs to be done and further WG meetings will be organised to explore this further.

For more information or to get involved please contact the British Marine Technical team by emailing: technical(at)