e-CFR banner

Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 10, 2019

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter TPart 176 → Subpart F


Title 46: Shipping
PART 176—INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION


Subpart F—Hull and Tailshaft Examinations


Contents
§176.600   Drydock and internal structural examination intervals.
§176.610   Scope of drydock and internal structural examinations.
§176.615   Underwater Survey in Lieu of Drydocking (UWILD).
§176.620   Description of the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program for certain passenger vessels.
§176.625   Eligibility requirements for the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program for certain passenger vessels.
§176.630   The Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program application.
§176.635   Preliminary examination requirements.
§176.640   Pre-survey meeting.
§176.645   AHE Procedure.
§176.650   Alternative Hull Examination Program options: Divers or underwater ROV.
§176.655   Hull examination reports.
§176.660   Continued participation in the Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program.
§176.665   Notice and plans required.
§176.670   Tailshaft examinations.
§176.675   Extension of examination intervals.

§176.600   Drydock and internal structural examination intervals.

(a) The owner or managing operator shall make a vessel available for drydock examinations, internal structural examinations, and underwater surveys (UWILD) 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 §176.615 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 was due. If the vessel is due for an examination within 15 days of sailing on an international voyage from the United States port, it must undergo the required examination before sailing.

(c) If your vessel is not operated on 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 §176.615 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 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, and if 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 953, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 51356, Sept. 30, 1997; USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21084, Apr. 29, 2002]

§176.610   Scope of drydock and internal structural examinations.

(a) A drydock examination conducted in compliance with §176.600 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 and planking, 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. On wooden vessels, fastenings may be required to be pulled for examination. The accuracy of draft or loading marks, if required by §185.602 of this chapter, must be verified if not verified at a previous drydock examination.

(b) An internal structural examination conducted in compliance with §176.600 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 and planking, voids, and ballast, cargo, and fuel oil tanks. Where the internal framing, plating, or planking 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.

[CGD 85-080, 61 FR 953, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended by USCG-2007-0030, 75 FR 78087, Dec. 14, 2010]

§176.615   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 §176.600(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 (UWILD). 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 the 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 cognizant District Commander for review.

[USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21084, Apr. 29, 2002]

§176.620   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 §176.655(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 §176.620: The expected hull coverage when using an ROV must be at least 80 percent.

[USCG-2000-6858, 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

§176.625   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), 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.

(3) The AHE Program application, as described in §176.630 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 21085, Apr. 29, 2002]

§176.630   The Alternative Hull Examination (AHE) Program application.

If your vessel meets the eligibility criteria in §176.625 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 accepted by the OCMI under §176.650 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 a particular third party examiner;

(d) A signed statement from your vessel's master, chief engineer, or the person in charge stating the vessel meets the eligibility criteria of §176.625 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 §§176.645 and 176.650 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 21085, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

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

(c) If you use an underwater remotely operated vehicle (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.

[USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21085, Apr. 29, 2002]

§176.640   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 predominate 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 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 21086, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

§176.645   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 §176.650 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 21086, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

§176.650   Alternative Hull Examination Program options: Divers or underwater ROV.

To complete the underwater survey portion of the AHE, 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 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; and

(2) Employ divers to examine any sections of the hull and appurtenances that the underwater ROV cannot access or is otherwise unable to evaluate.

(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 21086, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

§176.655   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 §176.650(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 will receive a credit hull exam of up to 36 months. (Underwater examinations are required twice every 5 years.) If approved and you use an underwater ROV as the predominate means to examine the hull plating, you will receive a credit hull exam of 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 21086, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

§176.660   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 §176.630 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 21086, Apr. 29, 2002, as amended at 69 FR 47384, Aug. 5, 2004]

§176.665   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 §176.600 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 alternations 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.

(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, or 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 953, Jan. 10, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 51356, Sept. 30, 1997. Redesignated and amended by USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21084, 21087, Apr. 29, 2002; USCG-2006-25697, 71 FR 55747, Sept. 25, 2006]

§176.670   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 953, Jan. 10, 1996. Redesignated by USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21084, Apr. 29, 2002]

§176.675   Extension of examination intervals.

The intervals between drydock examinations and internal structural examinations specified in §176.600 of this part may be extended by the cognizant OCMI or Commandant.

[CGD 85-080, 61 FR 953, Jan. 10, 1996. Redesignated and amended by USCG-2000-6858, 67 FR 21084, 21087, Apr. 29, 2002; USCG-2013-0671, 78 FR 60164, Sept. 30, 2013]

Need assistance?