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United States Regulations
46 CFR PART 115—INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION
Title 46: Shipping
PART 115—INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION
Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(j); 46 U.S.C. 2103, 3205, 3306, 3307; 49 U.S.C. App. 1804; E.O. 11735, 38 FR 21243, 3 CFR, 1971–1975 Comp., p. 743; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.
Source: CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996, unless otherwise noted.
Subpart A—Certificate of Inspection
§ 115.100 When required.
(a) A vessel to which this subchapter applies may not be operated without having on board a valid U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection.
(b) Except as noted in §115.114 of this part, each vessel inspected and certificated under the provisions of this subchapter must, when any passengers are aboard during the tenure of the certificate, be in full compliance with the terms of the certificate.
(c) If necessary to prevent delay of the vessel, a temporary Certificate of Inspection may be issued pending the issuance and delivery of the regular Certificate of Inspection. The temporary certificate must be carried in the same manner as the regular certificate and is considered the same as the regular Certificate of Inspection which it represents.
(d) A vessel on a foreign voyage between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country, whose Certificate of Inspection expires during the voyage, may lawfully complete the voyage without a valid Certificate of Inspection provided the voyage is completed within 30 days of expiration and the certificate did not expire within 15 days of sailing on the foreign voyage from a U.S. port.
§ 115.103 Description.
The Certificate of Inspection issued to a vessel describes the vessel, the route(s) that it may travel, the minimum manning requirements, the survival and rescue craft carried, the minimum fire extinguishing equipment and life jackets required to be carried, the maximum number of passengers and total persons that may be carried, the number of passengers the vessel may carry in overnight accommodation spaces, the name of the owner and managing operator, any equivalences accepted or authorized by the Commandant or any Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) in accordance with §114.540 or §114.550 of this subchapter and such other conditions of operations as may be determined by the cognizant OCMI.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended by CGD 97–057, 62 FR 51047, Sept. 30, 1997]
§ 115.105 How to obtain or renew.
(a) A Certificate of Inspection is obtained or renewed by making application on Form CG 3752, “Application for Inspection of U.S. Vessel,” to the Coast Guard OCMI of the marine inspection zone in which the inspection is to be made. Form CG–3752 may be obtained at any U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office or Marine Inspection Office.
(b) The application for initial inspection of a vessel being newly constructed or converted must be submitted prior to the start of the construction or conversion.
(c) The construction, arrangement, and equipment of each vessel must be acceptable to the cognizant OCMI as a prerequisite of the issuance of the initial Certificate of Inspection. Acceptance is based on the information, specifications, drawings and calculations available to the OCMI, and on the successful completion of an initial inspection for certification.
(d) A Certificate of Inspection is renewed by the issuance of a new Certificate of Inspection.
(e) The condition of the vessel and its equipment must be acceptable to the cognizant OCMI as a prerequisite to the Certificate of Inspection renewal. Acceptance is based on the condition of the vessel as found at the inspection for certification.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended by USCG 1999–4976, 65 FR 6504, Feb. 9, 2000]
§ 115.107 Period of validity for a Certificate of Inspection.
(a) A Certificate of Inspection is valid for 1 year for vessels carrying more than 12 passengers on international voyages.
(b) A Certificate of Inspection is valid for 5 years for all other vessels.
(c) A Certificate of Inspection may be suspended and withdrawn or revoked by the cognizant OCMI at any time for noncompliance with the requirements of this subchapter.
[USCG 1999–4976, 65 FR 6504, Feb. 9, 2000]
§ 115.110 Routes permitted.
(a) The area of operation for each vessel and any necessary operational limits are determined by the cognizant OCMI, and recorded on the vessel's Certificate of Inspection. Each area of operation, referred to as a route, is described on the Certificate of Inspection under the major headings “Oceans,” “Coastwise,” “Limited Coastwise,” “Great Lakes,” “Lakes, Bays, and Sounds,” or “Rivers,” as applicable. Further limitations imposed or extensions granted are described by reference to bodies of waters, geographical points, distance from geographical points, distances from land, depths of channel, seasonal limitations, and similar factors.
(b) Operation of a vessel on a route of lesser severity than those specifically described or designated on the Certificate of Inspection is permitted unless expressly prohibited on the certificate of Inspection. The general order of severity of routes is: oceans, coastwise, limited coastwise, Great Lakes, lakes, bays and sounds, and rivers. The cognizant OCMI may prohibit a vessel from operating on a route of lesser severity than the primary route a vessel is authorized to operate on if local conditions necessitate such a restriction.
(c) Non-self-propelled vessels are prohibited from operating on an oceans, coastwise, limited coastwise, or Great Lakes route unless the Commandant approves such a route.
(d) When designating a permitted route or imposing any operational limits on a vessel, the OCMI may consider:
(1) Requirements of this subchapter for which compliance is based on the route of the vessel;
(2) The performance capabilities of the vessel based on design, scantlings, stability, subdivision, propulsion, speed, operating modes, maneuverability, other characteristics; and
(3) The suitability of the vessel for night-time operations and use in all weather conditions.
§ 115.112 Total persons permitted.
The cognizant OCMI determines the total number of persons permitted to be carried on a vessel. In determining the total number of persons permitted to be carried, the OCMI may consider stability restrictions and subdivision requirements of the vessel, the vessel's route, general arrangement, means of escape, lifesaving equipment, the minimum manning requirements, and the maximum number of passengers permitted in accordance with §115.113 of this part.
§ 115.113 Passengers permitted.
(a) The maximum number of passengers permitted must be not more than that allowed by the requirements of this section, except as authorized by the OCMI under paragraph (d) of this section.
(b) The maximum number of passengers permitted on any vessel may be the greatest number permitted by the length of rail criterion, deck area criterion, or fixed seating criterion described in this paragraph or a combination of these criteria as allowed by paragraph (c) of this section.
(1) Length of rail criterion. One passenger may be permitted for each 760 millimeters (30 inches) of rail space available to the passengers at the periphery of each deck. The following rail space may not be used in determining the maximum number of passengers permitted:
(i) Rail space in congested areas unsafe for passengers, such as near anchor handling equipment or line handling gear, in the way of sail booms, running rigging, or paddle wheels, or along pulpits;
(ii) Rail space on stairways; and
(iii) Rail space where persons standing in the space would block the line of vision of the licensed individual operating the vessel.
(2) Deck area criterion. One passenger may be permitted for each 0.9 square meters (10 square feet) of deck area available for the passengers' use. In computing such deck area, the areas occupied by the following must be excluded:
(i) Areas for which the number of persons permitted is determined using the fixed seating criteria;
(ii) Obstructions, including stairway and elevator enclosures, elevated stages, bars, and cashier stands, but not including slot machines, tables, or other room furnishings;
(iii) Toilets and washrooms;
(iv) Spaces occupied by and necessary for handling lifesaving equipment, anchor handling equipment or line handling gear, or in the way of sail booms or running rigging;
(v) Spaces below deck that are unsuitable for passengers or that would not normally be used by passengers;
(vi) Interior passageways less than 840 millimeters (34 inches) wide and passageways on open deck, less than 710 millimeters (28 inches) wide;
(vii) Bow pulpits, swimming platforms and areas that do not have a solid deck, such as netting on multi-hull vessels;
(viii) Deck areas in way of paddle wheels; and
(ix) Aisle area provided in accordance with §116.820(d) of this chapter.
(3) Fixed seating criterion. One passenger may be permitted for each 455 millimeter (18 inches) of width of fixed seating provided by §116.820 of this chapter. Each sleeping berth in overnight accommodation spaces shall be counted as only one seat.
(c) Different passenger capacity criteria may be used on each deck of a vessel and added together to determine the total passenger capacity of that vessel. Where seats are provided on part of a deck and not on another, the number of passengers permitted on a vessel may be the sum of the number permitted by the seating criterion for the space having seats and the number permitted by the deck area criterion for the space having no seats. The length of rail criterion may not be combined with either the deck area criterion or the fixed seating criterion when determining the maximum number of passengers permitted on an individual deck.
(d) For a vessel operating on short runs on protected waters such as a ferry, the cognizant OCMI may give special consideration to increases in passenger allowances.
§ 115.114 Alternative requirements for a vessel operating as other than a small passenger vessel.
(a) When authorized by the cognizant OCMI by an endorsement of the vessel's Certificate of Inspection, a small passenger vessel carrying six or less passengers, or operating as a commercial fishing vessel or other uninspected vessel, or carrying less than twelve passengers and operating as a recreational vessel, need not meet requirements of:
(1) Subparts C, D, and E, of part 117 of this chapter if the vessel is in satisfactory compliance with the lifesaving equipment regulations for an uninspected vessel or recreational vessel in similar service;
(2) Subpart C of part 116 of this chapter and subchapter S of this chapter if the vessel is in satisfactory compliance with applicable regulations for an uninspected vessel or recreational vessel in a similar service or if the owner of the vessel otherwise establishes to the satisfaction of the cognizant OCMI that the vessel is seaworthy for the intended service; and
(3) Sections 121.404, 121.408, and 121.410 of this subchapter providing the vessel is in satisfactory compliance with any navigational equipment requirements for an uninspected or recreational vessel in a similar service.
(b) A vessel operating under the alternative regulations of paragraph (a) of this section must:
(1) Not alter the arrangement of the vessel nor remove any equipment required by the certificate for the intended operation, without the consent of the congnizant OCMI;
(2) Comply with minimum manning specified on the Certificate of Inspection, which may include reduced manning depending on the number of passengers and operation of the vessel;
(3) When carrying from one to six passengers except for a vessel being operated as a recreational vessel, make the announcement required by §122.506(a) of this subchapter before getting underway; and
(4) If a vessel of more than 15 gross tons, not carry freight for hire.
(c) The endorsement issued under paragraph (a) of this section must indicate the route, maximum number of passengers, and the manning required to operate under the provisions of this section.
§ 115.120 Certificate of Inspection amendment.
(a) An amended Certificate of Inspection may be issued at any time by any OCMI. The amended Certificate of Inspection replaces the original, but the expiration date remains the same as that of the original. An amended Certificate of Inspection may be issued to authorize and record a change in the dimensions, gross tonnage, owner, managing operator, manning, persons permitted, route permitted, conditions of operations, or equipment of a vessel, from that specified in the current Certificate of Inspection.
(b) A request for an amended Certificate of Inspection must be made to the cognizant OCMI by the owner or managing operator of the vessel at any time there is a change in the character of a vessel or in its route, equipment, ownership, operation, or other similar factors specified in its current Certificate of Inspection.
(c) The OCMI may require an inspection prior to the issuance of an amended Certificate of Inspection.
Subpart B—Special Permits and Certificates
§ 115.202 Permit to proceed.
(a) When a vessel is not in compliance with its Certificate of Inspection or fails to comply with a regulation of this subchapter, the cognizant OCMI may permit the vessel to proceed to another port for repair if, in the judgment of the OCMI, the trip can be completed safely, even if the Certificate of Inspection of the vessel has expired or is about to expire.
(b) Form CG–948, “Permit to Proceed to another Port for Repairs,” may be issued by the cognizant OCMI to the owner, managing operator, or the master of the vessel stating the conditions under which the vessel may proceed to another port. The permit may be issued only upon the written application of the owner, managing operator, or master, and after the vessel's Certificate of Inspection is turned over to the OCMI.
(c) A vessel may not carry passengers when operating in accordance with a permit to proceed, unless the cognizant OCMI determines that it is safe to do so.
§ 115.204 Permit to carry excursion party.
(a) The cognizant OCMI may permit a vessel to engage in a temporary excursion operation with a greater number of persons or on a more extended route, or both, than permitted by its Certificate of Inspection when, in the opinion of the OCMI, the operation can be undertaken safely.
(b) Upon the written application of the owner or managing operator of the vessel, the cognizant OCMI may issue a Form CG–949, “Permit to Carry Excursion Party.” to indicate his or her permission to carry an excursion party. The OCMI will indicate on the permit the conditions under which it is issued, the number of persons the vessel may carry, the crew required, any additional lifesaving or safety equipment required, the route for which the permit is granted, and the dates on which the permit is valid.
(c) The number of passengers normally permitted on an excursion vessel is governed by §115.113 of this part.
(d) The OCMI will not normally waive applicable minimum safety standards when issuing an excursion permit. In particular, a vessel that is being issued an excursion permit will normally be required to meet the minimum stability, survival craft, life jacket, fire safety, and manning standards applicable to a vessel in the service for which the excursion permit is requested
(e) The permit acts as a temporary, limited duration supplement to the vessel's Certificate of Inspection and must be carried with the Certificate of Inspection. A vessel operating under a permit to carry an excursion party must be in full compliance with the terms of its Certificate of Inspection as supplemented by the permit.
(f) The OCMI may require an inspection prior to the issuance of a permit to carry an excursion party.
Subpart C—Posting of Certificates, Permits, and Stability Letters
§ 115.302 Certificates and permits.
The Certificate of Inspection and any SOLAS Certificates must be posted under glass or other suitable transparent material, such that all pages are visible, in a conspicuous place on the vessel where observation by passengers is likely. If posting is impracticable, such as on open boats, the certificates must be kept on board in a weathertight container readily available for use by the crew and for display to passengers and others on request.
§ 115.306 Stability letter.
When, in accordance with §170.120 in subchapter S of this chapter, a vessel must be provided with a stability letter, the stability letter must be posted under glass or other suitable transparent material, such that all pages are visible, at the operating station of the vessel. If posting is impracticable, the stability letter must be kept on board in a weathertight container readily available for use by the crew and for display to passengers and others on request.
§ 115.310 Certification expiration date stickers.
(a) A Certification Expiration Date Sticker indicates the date upon which the vessel's Certificate of Inspection expires and is provided by the cognizant OCMI in the number required, upon issuance or renewal of the Certificate of Inspection.
(b) A vessel that is issued a Certificate of Inspection under the provisions of this subchapter must not be operated without a valid Certification Expiration Date Sticker affixed to the vessel on a place that is:
(1) A glass or other smooth surface from which the sticker may be removed without damage to the vessel;
(2) Readily visible to each passenger prior to boarding the vessel and to patrolling Coast Guard law enforcement personnel; and
(3) Acceptable to the Coast Guard marine inspector.
(c) The Coast Guard marine inspector may require the placement of more than one sticker in order to insure compliance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
Subpart D—Inspection for Certification
§ 115.400 General.
(a) An inspection is required before the issuance of a Certificate of Inspection. Such an inspection for certification is not made until after receipt of the application for inspection required by §115.105 of this part.
(b) Upon receipt of a written application for inspection, the cognizant OCMI assigns a marine inspector to inspect the vessel for compliance with this subchapter at a time and place mutually agreed upon by the OCMI and the owner, managing operator, or representative thereof.
(c) The owner, managing operator, or a representative thereof shall be present during the inspection.
§ 115.402 Initial inspection for certification.
(a) Before construction or conversion of a vessel intended for small passenger vessel service, the owner of the vessel shall submit plans, manuals, and calculations indicating the proposed arrangement, construction, and operations of the vessel, to the Marine Safety Center for approval. The plans, manuals, and calculations required to be submitted and the disposition of these plans are set forth in Part 116, Subpart B of this subchapter.
(b) The initial inspection is conducted to determine that the vessel and its equipment comply with applicable regulations and that the vessel was built or converted in accordance with approved plans, manuals, and calculations. Additionally, during the inspection, the materials, workmanship, and condition of all parts of the vessel and its machinery and equipment may be checked to determine if the vessel is satisfactory in all respects for the service intended.
(c) The owner or managing operator of a vessel shall ensure that the vessel complies with the laws and regulations applicable to the vessel and that the vessel is otherwise satisfactory for the intended service. The initial inspection may include an inspection of the following items:
(1) The arrangement, installation, materials, and scantlings of the structure including the hull and superstructure, yards, masts, spars, rigging, sails, piping, main and auxiliary machinery, pressure vessels, steering apparatus, electrical installations, fire resistant construction materials, lifesaving appliances, fire detecting and extinguishing equipment, pollution prevention equipment, and all other equipment;
(2) Arrangement and means of emergency egress;
(3) Sanitary conditions and fire hazards; and
(4) Certificates and operating manuals, including certificates issued by the Federal Communications Commission.
(d) During an initial inspection for certification the owner or managing operator shall conduct all tests and make the vessel available for all applicable inspections discussed in this paragraph, and in Subpart H of this part, as applicable, to the satisfaction of the cognizant OCMI, including the following:
(1) The installation of each rescue boat, liferaft, inflatable buoyant apparatus, and launching appliance as listed on its Certificate of Approval (Form CGHQ–10030).
(2) The operation of each rescue boat and survival craft launching appliance required by Part 117 of this subchapter.
(3) Machinery, fuel tanks, and pressure vessels required by Part 119 of this subchapter.
(4) A stability test when required by §170.175 in subchapter S of this chapter.
(5) Watertight bulkheads as required by Subchapter S of this chapter.
(6) Firefighting systems as required by part 118 of this subchapter.
(7) The operation of all smoke and fire detecting systems, fire alarms and sensors, and fire confining appliances (such as fire screen doors and fire dampers).
§ 115.404 Subsequent inspections for certification.
(a) An inspection for renewal of a Certificate of Inspection is conducted to determine if the vessel is in satisfactory condition, fit for the service intended, and complies with all applicable regulations. It normally includes inspection and testing of the structure, machinery, equipment, and on a sailing vessel, rigging and sails. The owner or operator must conduct all tests as required by the OCMI, and make the vessel available for all specific inspections and drills required by subpart H of this part. In addition, the OCMI may require the vessel to get underway.
(b) You must submit your written application for renewal of a Certificate of Inspection to the OCMI at least 30 days prior to the expiration date of your current COI, as required in §115.105.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended by USCG 1999–4976, 65 FR 6504, Feb. 9, 2000; 65 FR 11904, Mar. 7, 2000; USCG 2003–14749, 68 FR 39314, July 1, 2003]
§ 115.500 When required.
(a) Vessels carrying more than 12 passengers on international voyages must undergo an inspection for certification each year as specified in §115.404.
(b) All other vessels must undergo an inspection for certification as specified in §115.404 and an annual inspection as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(1) Annual inspection. Your vessel must undergo an annual inspection within the 3 months before or after each anniversary date.
(i) You must contact the cognizant OCMI to schedule an inspection at a time and place which he or she approves. No written application is required.
(ii) The scope of the annual inspection is the same as the inspection for certification, as specified in §115.404 but in less detail unless the cognizant marine inspector finds deficiencies or determines that a major change has occurred since the last inspection. If deficiencies are found or a major change to the vessel has occurred, the marine inspector will conduct an inspection more detailed in scope to ensure that the vessel is in satisfactory condition and fit for the service for which it is intended. If your vessel passes the annual inspection, the marine inspector will endorse your current Certificate of Inspection.
(iii) If the annual inspection reveals deficiencies in your vessel's maintenance, you must make any or all repairs or improvements within the time period specified by the OCMI.
(iv) Nothing in this subpart limits the marine inspector from conducting such tests or inspections he or she deems necessary to be assured of the vessel's seaworthiness.
[USCG 1999–4976, 65 FR 6505, Feb. 9, 2000]
§ 115.502 Certificate of Inspection: Conditions of validity.
To maintain a valid Certificate of Inspection, you must complete your annual inspections within the periods specified in §115.500 and your Certificate of Inspection must be endorsed.
[USCG 1999–4976, 65 FR 6505, Feb. 9, 2000]
Subpart F—Hull and Tailshaft Examinations
§ 115.600 Drydock examination, internal structural examination, and underwater survey intervals.
(a) The owner or managing operator shall make a vessel available for drydock examinations, internal structural examinations, and underwater surveys required by this section.
(b) If your vessel is operated on international voyages subject to SOLAS requirements, it must undergo a drydock examination once every 12 months unless it has been approved to undergo an underwater survey (UWILD) per §115.615 of this part. If the vessel becomes due for a drydock examination or an internal structural examination during the voyage, it may lawfully complete the voyage prior to the examination if it undergoes the required examination upon completion of the voyage to the United States but not later than 30 days after the examination is due. If the vessel is due for an examination within 15 days of sailing on an international voyage from a United States port, it must undergo the required examination before sailing.
(c) If your vessel is operated on other than international voyages and does not meet the conditions in paragraph (d) of this section, it must undergo a drydock and internal structural examination as follows unless it has been approved to undergo an underwater survey (UWILD) per §115.615 of this part:
(1) A vessel that is exposed to salt water more than three months in any 12 month period since the last examination must undergo a drydock examination and an internal structural examination at least once every two years; and
(2) A vessel that is exposed to salt water not more than three months in any 12 month period since the last examination must undergo a drydock examination and an internal structural examination at least once every five years.
(d) Whenever damage or deterioration to hull plating or structural members that may affect the seaworthiness of a vessel is discovered or suspected, the cognizant OCMI may conduct an internal structural examination in any affected space, including fuel tanks, and may require the vessel to be drydocked or taken out of service to assess the extent of the damage, and to effect permanent repairs. The OCMI may also decrease the drydock examination intervals to monitor the vessel's structural condition.
(e) For a vessel that is eligible per §115.625 of this part and the owner opts for an alternate hull examination with the underwater survey portion conducted exclusively by divers, the vessel must undergo two alternate hull exams and two internal structural exams within any five-year period. If a vessel completes a satisfactory alternate hull exam, with the underwater survey portion conducted predominantly by an approved underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the vessel must undergo one alternate hull and one internal structural exam, within any five-year period. The vessel may undergo a drydock exam to satisfy any of the required alternate hull exams.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 51348, Sept. 30, 1997; USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21079, Apr. 29, 2002]
§ 115.610 Scope of drydock and internal structural examinations.
(a) A drydock examination conducted in compliance with §115.600 of this part must be conducted while the vessel is hauled out of the water or placed in a drydock or slipway. During the examination all accessible parts of the vessel's underwater body and all through hull fittings, including the hull plating, appendages, propellers, shafts, bearings, rudders, sea chests, sea valves, and sea strainers shall be made available for examination. Sea chests, sea valves, and sea strainers must be opened for examination.
(b) An internal structural examination conducted in compliance with §115.600 of this part may be conducted while the vessel is afloat or out of the water and consists of a complete examination of the vessel's main strength members, including the major internal framing, the hull plating, voids, and ballast, cargo, and fuel oil tanks. Where the internal framing or plating of the vessel is concealed, sections of the lining, ceiling or insulation may be removed or the parts otherwise probed or exposed so that the inspector may be satisfied as to the condition of the hull structure. Fuel oil tanks need not be cleaned out and internally examined if the marine inspector is able to determine by external examination that the general condition of the tanks is satisfactory.
§ 115.615 Underwater Survey in Lieu of Drydocking (UWILD).
(a) The Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI), may approve an underwater survey instead of a drydock examination at alternating intervals if your vessel is—
(1) Less than 15 years of age;
(2) A steel or aluminum hulled vessel;
(3) Fitted with an effective hull protection system; and
(4) Described in §115.600(b) or (c) of this part.
(b) For vessels less than 15 years of age, you must submit an application for an underwater survey to the OCMI at least 90 days before your vessel's next required drydock examination. The application must include—
(1) The procedure for carrying out the underwater survey;
(2) The time and place of the underwater survey;
(3) The method used to accurately determine the diver's or remotely operated vehicle's (ROV) location relative to the hull;
(4) The means for examining all through-hull fittings and appurtenances;
(5) The condition of the vessel, including the anticipated draft of the vessel at the time of survey;
(6) A description of the hull protection system; and
(7) The name and qualifications of any third party examiner.
(c) If your vessel is 15 years old or older, the cognizant District Commander, may approve an underwater survey instead of a drydock examination at alternating intervals. You must submit an application for an underwater survey to the OCMI at least 90 days before your vessel's next required drydock examination. You may be allowed this option if—
(1) The vessel is qualified under paragraphs (a)(2) through (4) of this section;
(2) Your application includes the information in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(7) of this section; and
(3) During the vessel's drydock examination, preceding the underwater survey, a complete set of hull gaugings was taken and they indicated that the vessel was free from appreciable hull deterioration.
(d) After this drydock examination required by paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the OCMI submits a recommendation for future underwater surveys, the results of the hull gauging, and the results of the Coast Guards' drydock examination results to the District Commander for cognizant review.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21080, Apr. 29, 2002]
§ 115.620 Description of the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program for certain passenger vessels.
The Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program provides you with an alternative to a drydock examination by allowing your vessel's hull to be examined while it remains afloat. If completed using only divers, this program has four steps: the application process, the preliminary examination, the pre-survey meeting, and the hull examination. If the vessel is already participating in the program or if a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is used during the program, the preliminary exam step may be omitted. Once you complete these steps, the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI), will evaluate the results and accept the examination as a credit hull exam if the vessel is in satisfactory condition. If only divers are used for the underwater survey portion of the examination process, you may receive credit for a period of time such that subsequent AHEs would be conducted at intervals of twice in every five years, with no more than three years between any two AHEs. The OCMI may waive an underwater survey in accordance with §115.655(d) provided that the interval does not exceed five years between any two underwater surveys. If an underwater ROV is used as the predominate method to examine the vessel's underwater hull plating, you may receive credit up to five years. At the end of this period, you may apply for further participation under the AHE Program.
Note to §115.620: The expected hull coverage when using an ROV must be at least 80 percent.
[USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.625 Eligibility requirements for the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program for certain passenger vessels.
(a) Your vessel may be eligible for the AHE Program if—
(1) It is constructed of steel or aluminum;
(2) It has an effective hull protection system;
(3) It has operated exclusively in fresh water since its last drydock examination;
(4) It operates in rivers or protected lakes; and
(5) It operates exclusively in shallow water or within 0.5 nautical miles from shore.
(b) In addition to the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section, the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) will evaluate the following information when determining your vessel's eligibility for the AHE Program:
(1) The overall condition of the vessel, based on its inspection history;
(2) The vessel's history of hull casualties and hull-related deficiencies; and
(3) The AHE Program application, as described in §115.630 of this part.
(c) When reviewing a vessel's eligibility for the AHE program, the OCMI may modify the standards given by paragraph (a)(5) of this section where it is considered safe and reasonable to do so. In making this determination, the OCMI will consider the vessel's overall condition, its history of safe operation, and any other factors that serve to mitigate overall safety risks.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21080, Apr. 29, 2002]
§ 115.630 The Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program application.
If your vessel meets the eligibility criteria in §115.625 of this part, you may apply to the AHE Program. You must submit an application at least 90 days before the requested hull examination date to the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) who will oversee the survey. The application must include—
(a) The proposed time and place for conducting the hull examination;
(b) The name of the participating diving contractor and underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) company which must be accepted by the OCMI under §115.650;
(c) The name and qualifications of the third party examiner. This person must be familiar with the inspection procedures and his or her responsibilities under this program. The OCMI has the discretionary authority to accept or deny use of a particular third party examiner using the criteria established in 46 CFR 114.400;
(d) A signed statement from your vessel's master, chief engineer, or the person in charge describing the vessel's overall condition, level of maintenance, known or suspected damage, underwater body cleanliness (if known), and the anticipated draft of the vessel at the time of the examination;
(e) Plans or drawings that illustrate the external details of the hull below the sheer strake;
(f) A detailed plan for conducting the hull examination in accordance with §§115.645 and 115.650 of this part, which must address all safety concerns related to the removal of sea valves during the inspection; and
(g) A preventative maintenance plan for your vessel's hull, its related systems and equipment.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21080, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.635 Preliminary examination requirements.
(a) If you exclusively use divers to examine the underwater hull plating, you must arrange to have a preliminary examination conducted by a third party examiner, with the assistance of qualified divers. The purpose of the preliminary examination is to assess the overall condition of the vessel's hull and identify any specific concerns to be addressed during the underwater hull examination.
(b) If you use an underwater ROV as the predominate means to examine your vessel's hull plating, a preliminary examination and the participation of a third party examiner will not be necessary.
(c) The preliminary examination is required only upon the vessel's entry or review into the AHE program.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21081, Apr. 29, 2002]
§ 115.640 Pre-Survey meeting.
(a) You must conduct a pre-survey meeting to discuss the details of the AHE procedure with the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). If you exclusively use divers to examine the underwater hull plating, the third party examiner must attend the meeting and you must present the results of the preliminary examination. If you use an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) as the predominate means to examine the vessel's hull plating, then a representative of the ROV operating company must attend the pre-survey meeting and address the underwater ROV's capabilities and limitations related to your vessel's hull design and configuration.
(b) A vessel owner, operator, or designated agent must request this meeting in writing at least 30 days in advance of the examination date.
(c) The pre-survey meeting may be conducted by teleconference, if agreed to in advance by the OCMI.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21081, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.645 Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Procedure.
(a) To complete the underwater survey you must—
(1) Perform a general examination of the underwater hull plating and a detailed examination of all hull welds, propellers, tailshafts, rudders, and other hull appurtenances;
(2) Examine all sea chests;
(3) Remove and inspect all sea valves in the presence of a marine inspector once every five years;
(4) Remove all passengers from the vessel when the sea valves are being examined, if required by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI);
(5) Allow access to all internal areas of the hull for examination, except internal tanks that carry fuel (unless damage or deterioration is discovered or suspect), sewage, or potable water. Internal sewage and potable water tanks may be examined visually or by non-destructive testing to the satisfaction of the attending marine inspector; and
(6) Meet the requirements in §115.650 of this part.
(b) A marine inspector may examine any other areas deemed necessary by the OCMI.
(c) If the AHE reveals significant deterioration or damage to the vessel's hull plating or structural members, the OCMI must be immediately notified. The OCMI may require the vessel be drydocked or otherwise taken out of service to further assess the extent of damage or to effect permanent repairs if the assessment or repairs cannot be completed to the satisfaction of the OCMI while the vessel is waterborne.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21081, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.650 Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program options: Divers or underwater ROV.
To complete your underwater survey, you may use divers or an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
(a) If you use divers to conduct the underwater survey, you must—
(1) Locate the vessel so the divers can work safely under the vessel's keel and around both sides. The water velocity must be safe for dive operations;
(2) Provide permanent hull markings, a temporary grid system of wires or cables spaced not more than 10 feet apart and tagged at one-foot intervals, or any other acoustic or electronic positioning system approved by the OCMI to identify the diver's location with respect to the hull, within one foot of accuracy;
(3) Take ultrasonic thickness gaugings at a minimum of 5 points on each plate, evenly spaced;
(4) Take hull plating thickness gaugings along transverse belts at the bow, stern, and midships, as a minimum. Plating thickness gaugings must also be taken along a longitudinal belt at the wind and water strake. Individual gaugings along the transverse and longitudinal belts must be spaced no more than 3 feet apart;
(5) Ensure the third party examiner observes the entire underwater examination process;
(6) Record the entire underwater survey with audio and video recording equipment and ensure that communications between divers and the third party examiner are recorded; and
(7) Use appropriate equipment, such as a clear box, if underwater visibility is poor, to provide the camera with a clear view of the hull.
(b) You may use an underwater ROV to conduct the underwater survey. The underwater ROV operating team, survey process and equipment, quality assurance methods, and the content and format of the survey report must be accepted by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) prior to conducting the survey. If you choose this option, you must—
(1) Locate the vessel to ensure that the underwater ROV can operate effectively under the vessel's keel and around both sides;
(2) Employ divers to examine any sections of the hull and appurtenances that the underwater ROV cannot access or is otherwise unable to evaluate; and
(3) If the OCMI determines that the data obtained by the ROV, including non-destructive testing results, readability of the results, and positioning standards, will not integrate into the data obtained by the divers, then a third party examiner must be present during the divers portion of the examination.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21081, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.655 Hull examination reports.
(a) If you use only divers for the underwater survey portion of the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE), you must provide the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI), with a written hull examination report. This report must include thickness gauging results, bearing clearances, a copy of the audio and video recordings, and any other information that will help the OCMI evaluate your vessel for a credit hull exam. The third party examiner must sign the report and confirm the validity of its contents.
(b) If you use an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) as the predominate means to examine the vessel's underwater hull plating, you must provide the OCMI with a report in a format that is acceptable to the OCMI, per §115.650(b) of this part.
(c) The OCMI will evaluate the hull examination report and grant a credit hull exam if satisfied with the condition of the vessel. If approved and you exclusively use divers to examine the hull plating, you may receive a credit hull exam to 36 months. (Underwater examinations are required twice every 5 years). If approved and you use an underwater ROV as the predominant means to examine the underwater hull plating, you may receive a credit hull exam up to 60 months (5 years).
(d) At least 60 days prior to each scheduled underwater exam, the owner may request a waiver from the OCMI if:
(1) A satisfactory exam has been completed within the last three years;
(2) The conditions during the last exam allowed at least 80 percent of the bottom surface to be viewed and recorded; and
(3) The results of the last exam indicated that an extended interval is safe and reasonable.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21081, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.660 Continued participation in the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program.
(a) To continue to participate in the AHE Program, vessel operators must conduct an annual hull condition assessment. At a minimum, vessel operators must conduct an internal examination and take random hull gaugings internally during the hull condition assessment, unless waived by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI). If the annual hull assessment reveals significant damage or corrosion, where temporary repairs have been made, or where other critical areas of concern have been identified, the OCMI may require an expanded examination to include an underwater hull examination using divers. If an underwater examination is required, the examination must focus on areas at higher risk of damage or corrosion and must include a representative sampling of hull gaugings.
(b) If an underwater survey is required for the annual hull condition assessment, the OCMI may require the presence of a third party examiner and a written hull examination report must be submitted to the OCMI. This report must include thickness gauging results, a copy of the audio and video recordings and any other information that will help the OCMI evaluate your vessel for continued participation in the AHE program. The third party examiner must sign the report and confirm the validity of its contents.
(c) You must submit your preventive maintenance reports or checklists on an annual basis to the OCMI. These reports or checklists must conform to the plans you submitted in your application under §115.630 of this part, which the OCMI approved.
(d) Prior to each scheduled annual hull condition assessment—
(1) The owner may submit to the OCMI a plan for conducting the assessment, or a request for a waiver of this requirement, no fewer than 30 days before the scheduled assessment; and
(2) The OCMI may reduce the scope or extend the interval of the assessment if the operational, casualty, and deficiency history of the vessel, along with a recommendation of the vessel's master, indicates that it is warranted.
[USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21082, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG–2000–6858, 69 FR 47383, Aug. 5, 2004]
§ 115.665 Notice and plans required.
(a) The owner or managing operator shall notify the cognizant OCMI as far in advance as possible whenever a vessel is to be hauled out or placed in a drydock or slipway in compliance with §115.605 of this part or to undergo repairs or alterations affecting the safety of the vessel, together with the nature of any repairs or alterations contemplated. Hull repairs or alterations that affect the safety of the vessel include but are not limited to the replacement, repair, or refastening of planking, plating, or structural members, including the repair of cracks in the hull.
(b) Whenever a vessel is hauled out or placed in a drydock or slipway in excess of the requirements of this subpart for the purpose of maintenance, including, but not limited to, changing a propeller, painting, or cleaning the hull, no report need be made to the cognizant OCMI.
(c) The owner or managing operator of each vessel that holds a Load Line Certificate shall make plans showing the vessel's scantlings available to the Coast Guard marine inspector whenever the vessel undergoes a drydock examination, internal structural examination, an underwater survey, or whenever repairs or alterations affecting the safety or seaworthiness of the vessel are made to the vessel's hull.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 51348, Sept. 30, 1997. Redesignated and amended by USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21080, 21082, Apr. 29, 2002]
§ 115.670 Tailshaft examinations.
(a) The marine inspector may require any part or all of the propeller shafting to be drawn for examination of the shafting and stern bearing of a vessel whenever the condition of the shafting and bearings are in question.
(b) The marine inspector may conduct a visual examination and may require nondestructive testing of the propeller shafting whenever the condition of shafting is in question.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996. Redesignated by USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21080, Apr. 29, 2002]
§ 115.675 Extension of examination intervals.
The intervals between drydock examinations and internal structural examinations specified in §115.605 of this part may be extended by the cognizant OCMI or Commandant.
[CGD 85–080, 61 FR 892, Jan. 10, 1996. Redesignated and amended by USCG–2000–6858, 67 FR 21080, 21082, Apr. 29, 2002]
Subpart G—Repairs and Alterations
§ 115.700 Permission for repairs and alterations.
(a) Repairs or alterations to the hull, machinery, or equipment that affect the safety of the vessel must not be made without the approval of the cognizant OCMI, except during an emergency. When repairs are made during an emergency, the owner, managing operator, or master shall notify the OCMI as soon as practicable after such repairs or alterations are made. Repairs or alterations that affect the safety of the vessel include, but are not limited to, the: replacement, repair, or refastening of deck or hull planking, plating, and structural members; repair of plate or frame cracks; damage repair or replacement, other than replacement in kind, of electrical wiring, fuel lines, tanks, boilers and other pressure vessels, and steering, propulsion and power supply systems; alterations affecting stability; and repair or alteration of livesaving, fire detecting, or fire extinguishing equipment.
(b) The owner or managing operator shall submit drawings, sketches, or written specifications describing the details of any proposed alterations to the cognizant OCMI. Proposed alterations must be approved by the OCMI before work is started.
(c) Drawings are not requiredto be submitted for repairs or replacements in kind. (continued)
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