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Old 18-02-2020, 16:56   #1
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“New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

The need for NZ registered boats leaving on ocean passages to have a Cat 1 certification has always been somewhat contentious. Now it has taken another step along the path of ridiculousness.

There has always been a “requirement” for boats that are racing offshore to have a crew member (preferably the skipper) hold a Survival at Sea qualification. Since the Platino event that killed two people in the not-too-distant past, this requirement has now been devolved down to all boats leaving on an offshore passage. And not only does the skipper need to hold a valid certification but at least one other person on board needs to as well.

The rule used to (and actually still does) say inter alia

a) No pleasure craft should depart on an offshore voyage without there being at least one person on board who has had previous experience of ocean sailing.
b) The skipper of a departing pleasure vessel shall possess the requisite knowledge and experience to ensure the safe operation of the vessel on the proposed voyage and the wellbeing of all persons carried on board


Now a section named SR APPENDIX 6 - ADVANCED SEA SURVIVAL TRAINING says:

At least 30% but not fewer than two members of a crew, including the skipper, shall have undertaken sea survival training within the five years before the start of the voyage.

So now, in order to get a Cat 1 certification, the boat owner (and I use myself as an example here) has to travel to Auckland along with another crew member, pay for accommodation for at least one night and pay NZ$390 per person for the course. So I reckon it is unlikely that I will get away with less than a grand in additional cost to get my next Cat 1 certification.

if I hadn’t as a part of my forward planning, discussed my next inspection with my friendly inspector I would not have known this. I just thought other folks intending to travel north this season may need a heads-up
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Old 18-02-2020, 17:41   #2
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

Good grief! Kinda makes me glad that when we were considering emigrating to NZ they turned us down due to being over 55. This kind of oversight does not sit well with me, and I sympathize with those subject to it.

It also helps explain why so many Kiwis register t heir boats elsewhere.

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Old 18-02-2020, 17:46   #3
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

That's been there for a while. You must also have at least one (possibly more) of you having done an offshore medic course within the last two years, of which there's no such thing as a top-up so you need to re-sit it entirely. These two courses alone add several thousand dollars and several days to the cost of clearing out.

The "new" regulations also state that you must have a full crew safety manual on board, and show how the crew have been trained in the use of the safety equipment etc.
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Old 18-02-2020, 17:55   #4
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

How would that effect single handers leaving,
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Old 18-02-2020, 17:56   #5
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

Do they then esentially ban single handed passages?

I just looked online at what is in these Sea Survival Course, at least at one NZ site:

General
History, statistics and legislation
Accidents and emergencies
Equipment
Safety and emergency planning
Risk assessment
Man overboard, life rafts and equipment
Distress signals and responsibilities
Wet drill
SAR systems and responsibilities
Fire precautions and fire fighting
Medical care aboard
Damage control
Weather and forecasting
Heavy weather techniques
Storm sails
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Old 18-02-2020, 17:56   #6
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

All education is good

Be even better if the cost and travel hassle were reduced
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Old 18-02-2020, 17:58   #7
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

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How would that effect single handers leaving,
No problem being single-hander, but you need to prove ocean experience, and have been on the advanced sea survival and offshore medic course, as well as have your boat set up of course. The inspectors ask you questions. It's usually pretty obvious whether someone's ready for the trip or not.

A lot of people in NZ take crew with them on the way out, and then single-hand back if they need or wish to.

I know a guy here who wanted to leave single-handed, he offered his services as crew on another boat going to the islands, they paid for him to do the courses and he went with them. By the time he was back he had the courses and the experience to leave single-handed on his boat.
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Old 19-02-2020, 10:20   #8
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

What would happen if a foreign flagged vessel just up and left?
Would the NZ Navy chase them down and arrest them?
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Old 19-02-2020, 10:41   #9
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

Sounds like the NZ SAR folks are tired of doing their famous rescues.

Creeping regulation hits every industry. In the US it has, in particular, hit children's day care, volunteer firefighters, school teachers, forestry, and volunteer law enforcement (that exists here). Sometimes I think some bureaucrat sits in his office and thinks "wouldn't be nice if our recreational cruisers had sea survivial training? Yeah, let's do it." No thought of the consequences for you.

I've passed the state exam as a fire extinguisher technician, but can't have it unless I relocate for a week of class in how to pass the exam.

For teachers, foresters, and chemists it meant that students could not both complete bachelor's degrees and be certified in four years. For teachers that was really a problem, because we (our country) got stuck with teachers who had lots of "how to teach" and not enough knowledge of their subjects. For day care, it priced it out of the reach of hourly workers.
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Old 19-02-2020, 12:11   #10
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

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Originally Posted by George DuBose View Post
What would happen if a foreign flagged vessel just up and left?
Would the NZ Navy chase them down and arrest them?
As far as I know it’s the Flag state that dictates the qualifications of seaman sailing under their flag

You are Netherlands. Your seaman must conform to rules for the Netherlands

The boat is different .. it must conform to local rules or it will not be given permission to navigate local waters
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Old 19-02-2020, 12:14   #11
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

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What would happen if a foreign flagged vessel just up and left?
Would the NZ Navy chase them down and arrest them?
Foreign flagged vessels are not required to pass a Cat 1 and thus can leave with no safety equipment at all. And therein lies the rub.

It’s almost as if there is an expectation that the SAR people will establish that a vessel in trouble is foreign flagged then say “no need to help them, they haven’t done a Survival at Sea course”.

Not likely, the foreign vessel who has to do absolutely nothing prior to leaving NZ will get exactly the same quality of rescue as the poor sucker who has to jump through this interminable list of hoops. And whilst I have no statistics to show, I suspect that the number of foreign flagged vessels leaving NZ represents a significant proportion of the total boats leaving.

It’s completely ridiculous.
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Old 19-02-2020, 14:26   #12
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

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Originally Posted by CassidyNZ View Post
Foreign flagged vessels are not required to pass a Cat 1 and thus can leave with no safety equipment at all. And therein lies the rub.

It’s almost as if there is an expectation that the SAR people will establish that a vessel in trouble is foreign flagged then say “no need to help them, they haven’t done a Survival at Sea course”.

Not likely, the foreign vessel who has to do absolutely nothing prior to leaving NZ will get exactly the same quality of rescue as the poor sucker who has to jump through this interminable list of hoops. And whilst I have no statistics to show, I suspect that the number of foreign flagged vessels leaving NZ represents a significant proportion of the total boats leaving.

It’s completely ridiculous.
To be fair, coming from someone who spent 20 years in the maritime search and rescue business, I'm sure NZ would love to put those requirements on everyone. But they can't because of international treaties and international maritime law. And those treaties aren't necessarily a bad thing, idiosyncratic per country requirements that apply to foreign flagged vessels make commerce very difficult. So they're stuck doing what they can, which is placing the restrictions they want on NZ flagged vessels.

The whole line of logic that says "If you can't apply this to everyone then just don't bother...." is pretty destructive in it's own right. Just take a look at any thread on this board about pumping feces into the water where that crowd takes the "if a city in this jurisdiction lets storm water overflow into the ocean then we should all be able to pump feces wherever and whenever we want....stance. Or even better, the "as long as dolphins are defecating in the water then I have the right to pump my sewage in the water as well....." You have to do what you can with what you have, it's the only way to move forward.
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Old 19-02-2020, 14:30   #13
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

It sounds like revenue raising to me.

I am all in favour of regulations designating safety equipment, rafts, survival suits, man overboard alarms and location etc etc--but such a course is just a revenue raising impediment if it is only demanded at high cost to those already holding licenses and intending a voyage offshore.

Such an essential thing as survival in an accident or bad weather should be a mandatory part of getting one's boat license and should apply to ALL vessels regardless of whether they are offshore bound or just off for a day chasing snapper. It sounds like over-kill, but every year more people die in coastal mishaps than ever do in the deep ocean. It just costs less to go look for them.

The loss of vessels without trace does occur. The sea is not always benign--we should all carry as much skills and equipment as is appropriate for its worst scenarios, but nothing except survival skills will suffice if one has a collision with another unlit or negligent vessel or encounters a floating shipping container in the middle of the night.

While "Thoughts and Prayers" may be all politicians can offer because they cost nothing to provide---it is not enough for those in peril on the sea, and we have to provide for ourselves. Because essential equipment is expensive, we also need to spend a little more on training and a little guidance as to what is needed.

it should be a part of all marine licenses.
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Old 19-02-2020, 14:58   #14
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

Yes a lot of regulation is about revenue raising.
There is a lot of push coming from the training providers who cream it + a rare incident provokes an over the top response.
Also I think when a meeting is held by the governing bodies nobody ever says things are working ok, they say "what can we do to improve ?" This generally translates to "what can we change ?" Improvement, which implies making things better, often has no relation to change or in their self described press release "progress"
Often it's just adding another layer of regulation.
It's great to have education but yes that Cat 1 requirement is OTT. The maritime industry is not alone.
I'm amazed we have escaped licencing fees & boat registration locally for so long & I'm guessing our on water accident statistics are no worse than those countries that do have those requirements.
I'm sure it's coming.
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Old 19-02-2020, 14:59   #15
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Re: “New” requirement for NZ Cat 1 certification

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it should be a part of all marine licenses.
Yet the UK requires no licence for even ocean sailing. Nor does the boat need registration. The only reason we have our Small Ships Register (SSR) which is a A5 single piece of paper, with no checks required when you apply is to pacify the French just across the water who like lots of regulations.

Strange world.

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