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Superyacht Rules Benefit Large Groups

Photograph of a yacht under construction.

Superyacht Under Construction

New safety rules for the construction of superyacht vessels could prove a boon for the mega yacht charter marketplace, especially for charter parties of more than 12 passengers.

Bureau Veritas logo. Since 1828.

Bureau Veritas logo

Bureau Veritas, the international classification society, is launching an updated set of classification rules for yachts.  The rules cover design, material and equipment certification and construction surveillance at the shipyard.  A major addition to the new rules is a set of standards applicable to very large luxury yacht charter vessels with over 12 passengers.

These new standards will bridge the gap between international conventions applying to passenger ships and yacht industry standards.


Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters believes the new regulations are long overdue.

“We’ve been fighting for new standards for a long time. The regulatory environment for luxury yacht charter vessels carrying more than twelve passengers has been confusing for years. Costly conventions developed for passenger vessels like cruise ships carrying hundreds of passengers were forced upon superyachts clearly built for large families and corporate charters.”

Photograph of a girl with microphone being filmed. She is speaking on the top deck of a yacht. A film crew holding cue cards stands in front of her, out of camera view.

Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters, being filmed at Palm Beach International Yacht Show

According to Sheeder, the cost of compliance to non-conforming standards means charter yachts with the capacity to carry more than 12 passengers have been forced to only accept charters for 12 or fewer passengers.

“Owners of yachts with accommodations for 13 or more guests were hesitant to spend the large sums of money needed to bring their yachts into compliance with cruiseship-level standards.”  

“The result,” says Sheeder, “is that only a handful of mega yacht charter vessels can legally accommodate more than 12 guests. ”     

The new Bureau Veritas rules develop a set of requirements, close to the international conventions but customized to the yacht industry standards.  It is believed the new regulations will result in new charter yachts built to carry between twelve and thirty six passengers.

“The demand is there,” says Sheeder.  “Large, extended families end up renting island villas or staying in resorts when no suitable yachts are available.  Hopefully, the new regulations will result in more available yachts for parties of thirteen or more.”

Some of the yachts currently available for large families include the 36-passenger motor yacht CHRISTINA O, the 40-passenger LAUREN L, the 36-passenger motor yacht MOONLIGHT II, and the 30-passenger motor yacht RM ELEGANT.   For further information, contact Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters at 

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