Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 10 Small Passenger Vessel Deficiencies (Subchapter T)—Part I

Dead-End Wires 46 CFR 183.340
All cables or wires must serve some piece of equipment or system aboard the vessel. If equipment is removed and not replaced, the cable or wire that serviced it must also be properly removed from the power supply.

Deteriorated Hull Material 46 CFR 189.40; NVIC 7-68; NVIC 8-87; NVIC 7-95

  • Wood vessels are notorious for having wasted wood planking and deteriorated fasteners.
  • Steel and aluminum-hulled vessels are prone to cracked welds following allisions with objects such as docks and due to routine operations in rough seas. Steel is also prone to rusting, especially in areas where the plating is uncoated or where the coating has failed.
  • Fiberglass-hulled vessels are subject to hull deterioration due to delamination, blisters, or cracks/knicks in the gel coat that can allow water to permeate through the layers of fiberglass and weaken the hull structure.

Inoperable Bilge High-Level Alarm 46 CFR 182.530
All certificated small passenger vessels 26 feet or greater, regardless of build date, must have visual and audible bilge high-level alarms for:

  • normally unmanned spaces that might flood,
  • spaces containing charged sea water piping, and
  • spaces with a non-watertight closure.

Vessels constructed of wood must also provide bilge level alarms in all watertight compartments except small buoyancy chambers.

Portable Hand Bilge Pump Inoperable or Missing 46 CFR 182.520(b); 46 CFR Table 182.520(a)
Specific small passenger vessels are permitted portable hand bilge pumps as secondary or emergency means of dewatering a space. Some examination activities showed that vessel owners failed to maintain a portable pump on board, but most found that the portable pump was either inoperable or not usable in all spaces of the vessel.

Regulations require that the portable hand bilge pump be capable of pumping water from all watertight compartments on the vessel, which means that the suction hose must be long enough to reach the deepest part of the vessel.

FCC Station License Missing 46 CFR 184.502, 47 CFR 80.13
Marine radios, EPIRBs, and AIS equipment required to be installed on small passenger vessels must comply with FCC requirements. Many certificated small passenger vessels are issued deficiencies for not having an FCC station license for the marine radio.

The subchapter T list continues in part 2.

For more information:
For more information about small passenger vessel inspections, contact your local Coast Guard Sector/Inspections Division. For a listing of sector offices, click on “Sector Map” on http://homeport.uscg.mil.