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e-CFR data is current as of November 25, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter HPart 71 → Subpart 71.50


Title 46: Shipping
PART 71—INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION


Subpart 71.50—Drydocking


Contents
§71.50-1   Definitions relating to hull examinations.
§71.50-3   Drydock examination, internal structural examination, underwater survey, and alternate hull exam intervals.
§71.50-5   Underwater Survey in Lieu of Drydocking (UWILD).
§71.50-15   Description of the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program for certain passenger vessels.
§71.50-17   Eligibility requirements for the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program for certain passenger vessels.
§71.50-19   The Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program application.
§71.50-21   Preliminary examination requirements.
§71.50-23   Pre-survey meeting.
§71.50-25   Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) procedure.
§71.50-27   Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) program options: Divers or underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
§71.50-29   Hull examination reports.
§71.50-31   Continued participation in the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) program.
§71.50-35   Notice and plans required.

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§71.50-1   Definitions relating to hull examinations.

As used in this part—

Adequate hull protection system means a method of protecting the vessel's hull from corrosion. It includes, as a minimum, either hull coatings and a cathodic protection (CP) system consisting of sacrificial anodes, or an impressed current CP system.

Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program means a program in which an eligible vessel may receive an initial and subsequent credit hull examination through a combination of underwater surveys, internal examinations, and annual hull condition assessment.

Drydock examination means hauling out a vessel or placing a vessel in a drydock or slipway for an examination of all accessible parts of the vessel's underwater body and all through-hull fittings and appurtenances, including verification of the accuracy of draft marks if not already verified at a previous drydock examination.

Internal structural examination means an examination of the vessel while afloat or in drydock and consists of a complete examination of the vessel's main strength members, including the major internal framing, the hull plating, voids, and ballast tanks, but not including cargo, sewage, or fuel oil tanks.

Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) team, at a minimum, consist of an ROV operator, a non-destructive testing inspector, an ROV tender or mechanic, and a team supervisor who is considered by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI), to have the appropriate training and experience to perform the survey and to safely operate the ROV in an effective manner. The team must also have a hull-positioning technician present. This position may be assigned to a team member already responsible for another team duty.

Shallow water is an ascertained water depth at which the uppermost deck(s) of a sunken vessel remain above the water's surface. The determination of the water's depth is made by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) who considers the vessel's stability (passenger heeling moment), the contour of the hull, the composition of the river bottom, and any other factors that would tend to prevent a vessel from resting an even keel.

Third party examiner means an entity:

(1) With a thorough knowledge of diving operations, including diving limitations as related to diver safety and diver supervision;

(2) Having a familiarity with, but not limited to, the following—

(i) The camera used during the AHE; and

(ii) The NDT equipment used during the AHE, including the effect of water clarity, and marine growth in relation to the quality of the readings obtained;

(3) Having a familiarity with the communications equipment used during the AHE;

(4) Possessing the knowledge of vessel structures, design features, nomenclature, and the applicable AHE regulations; and

(5) Able to present the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, with evidence of formal training, demonstrated ability, past acceptance, or a combination of these.

Underwater Survey in Lieu of Drydocking (UWILD) means a program in which an eligible vessel may alternate between an underwater survey and the required drydock examinations.

[USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21076, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004; USCG-2007-0030, 75 FR 78081, Dec. 14, 2010; USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58281, Sept. 29, 2014]

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§71.50-3   Drydock examination, internal structural examination, underwater survey, and alternate hull exam intervals.

(a) If your vessel is operated on international voyages, it must undergo a drydock and internal structural examination once every 12 months unless it has been approved to undergo an underwater survey per §71.50-5 of this part.

(b) If your vessel is operated on other than international voyages and does not meet the conditions in paragraphs (c) through (f) of this section, it must undergo a drydock and internal structural examination as follows unless it has been approved to undergo an underwater survey per §71.50-5 of this part:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, vessels that operate in salt water must undergo two drydock and two internal structural examinations within any five year period. No more than three years may elapse between any two examinations.

(2) Vessels 20 years of age or older that operate in salt water and accommodate overnight passengers must undergo drydock and internal structural examinations at intervals not to exceed 18 months.

(3) Vessels that operate in fresh water at least six months in every 12 month period since the last drydock examination must undergo drydock and internal structural examinations at intervals not to exceed five years.

(c) Vessels with wooden hulls must undergo two drydock and two internal structural examinations within any five year period regardless of the type of water in which they operate. No more than three years may elapse between any two examinations.

(d) If, during an internal structural examination, damage or deterioration to the hull plating or structural members is discovered, the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, may require the vessel to be drydocked or otherwise taken out of service to further assess the extent of the damage and to effect permanent repairs.

(e) Each vessel which has not met the applicable examination schedules in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section because it is on a voyage, must undergo the required examinations upon completion of the voyage.

(f) For a vessel that is eligible per §71.50-17 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 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.

(g) The Commandant (CG-CVC) may authorize extensions to the examination intervals specified in paragraph (a) through (c) of this section.

[CGD 84-024, 52 FR 39652, Oct. 23, 1987, as amended by CGD 84-024, 53 FR 32231, Aug. 24, 1988; CGD 95-072, 60 FR 50463, Sept. 29, 1995; CGD 96-041, 61 FR 50729, Sept. 27, 1996; USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21076, Apr. 29, 2002; USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49231, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2012-0832, 77 FR 59779, Oct. 1, 2012]

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§71.50-5   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 §71.50-3(a) or (b).

(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 means for taking shaft bearing clearances;

(6) The condition of the vessel, including the anticipated draft of the vessel at the time of survey;

(7) A description of the hull protection system; and

(8) The name and qualifications of any third party examiner.

(c) If your vessel is 15 years old or older, the cognizant District Commander for the area in which the exam is being completed, 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)(8) of this section; and

(3) During the vessel's drydock examination that precedes 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 in 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 cognizant District Commander for review.

[USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21077, Apr. 29, 2002]

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§71.50-15   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 §71.50-29(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 §71.50-15: The expected hull coverage when using an ROV must be at least 80 percent.

[USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004]

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§71.50-17   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 a reduced risk environment such as a river or the protected waters of a lake; 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), 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 §71.50-19 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 21077, Apr. 29, 2002]

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§71.50-19   The Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program application.

If your vessel meets the eligibility criteria in §71.50-17 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 hull examination. 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 accepted by the OCMI under §71.50-27 of this part;

(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 any third party examiner using the criteria established in §71.50-1 of this part;

(d) A signed statement from your vessel's master, chief engineer, or the person in charge stating the vessel meets the eligibility criteria of §71.50-17 of this part and a description of 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 §§71.50-25 and 71.50-27 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 21077, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004]

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§71.50-21   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) The preliminary examination is required only upon the vessel's entry or reentry into the AHE program.

(c) If you use an underwater ROV as the predominant means to examine your vessel's hull plating, a preliminary examination and the participation of a third party examiner will not be necessary.

[USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21078, Apr. 29, 2002]

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§71.50-23   Pre-survey meeting.

(a) In advance of each AHE, 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 predominant means to examine the vessel's hull plating, then the pre-survey meeting must be attended by a representative of the ROV operating company who is qualified to discuss the ROV's capabilities and limitations of 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 21078, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004]

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§71.50-25   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, sewage, or potable water. Internal tanks that carry fuel must be examined in accordance with §71.53-1 of this part. 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 §71.50-27 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 21078, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004]

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§71.50-27   Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) program options: Divers or underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

To conduct the underwater survey portion of the AHE, you may use divers or an underwater 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 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 all 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 diver's portion of the examination.

[USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21078, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004; USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58281, Sept. 29, 2014]

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§71.50-29   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 ROV as the predominant means to examine the vessel's underwater hull plating, you must provide the OCMI with a report in the format that is accepted by the OCMI, per §71.50-27(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 up 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 21078, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004]

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§71.50-31   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 §71.50-19 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 21078, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended by USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47382, Aug. 5, 2004]

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§71.50-35   Notice and plans required.

(a) The master, owner, operator, or agent of the vessel shall notify the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, whenever the vessel is to be drydocked, regardless of the reason for drydocking.

(b) Each vessel, except barges, that holds a Load Line Certificate must have on board a plan showing the vessel's scantlings. This plan must be made available to the Coast Guard marine inspector whenever the vessel undergoes a drydock examination, internal structural examination or underwater survey or whenever repairs are made to the vessel's hull.

(c) Each barge that holds a Load Line Certificate must have a plan showing the barge's scantlings. The plan need not be maintained on board the barge but must be made available to the Coast Guard marine inspector whenever the barge undergoes a drydock examination, internal structural examination, or underwater survey or whenever repairs are made to the barge's hull.

[CGD 84-024, 52 FR 39652, Oct. 23, 1987. Redesignated and amended by USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21076, Apr. 29, 2002; USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58281, Sept. 29, 2014]

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