The primary aim in developing the Grey Boat Code (the Code) has been to set standards of safety and protection for allbpersons on board small boats in Government service. The level of safety it sets out to achieve is considered to be
commensurate with the current expectations of Governments whilst taking account of the operating philosophy. ThebCode relates especially to the construction of a vessel, its machinery, equipment watertight integrity, stability, safety of embarked persons and to the correct operation of a boat in defined states so that safety standards are maintained.

The Code provides a set of requirements for application to boats up to 24 m in length in Government service. It considers boats owned or operated by a Government Department of Defence where there is no statutory obligation on the part of the Owners/Boat Operators to meet commercial standards of safety. It has used the statutory UK ‘Small Commercial Vessel and Pilot Boat Code’ and ‘The Workboat Code’, published by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, as the baseline standards alongside many years practical experience Lloyd’s Register (LR) has in applying the concept of these Codes to boats operated by the UK Ministry of Defence.

The Code recognises that craft with a defence or coastguard role cannot always comply directly with commercial safety standards because of the nature of their operations. A concept is introduced where variations can be permitted provided
mitigating circumstances can be shown. The process of agreeing such variations is jointly undertaken by the Owner and LR acting with the Naval Administration.

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