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SHIP'S BUSINESS - Ship’s Business, Management and Training

Ship's Business - Module 4

Ship’s Business, Management and Training

Rules and Regulations for Inspected T-Boats

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contains all of the rules and regulations for inspected T-Boats under Subchapter T Small Passenger Vessels (under 100 gross tons) Parts 175-185. The index at the end of Subchapter T can be used to look up specific regulations. Under current U.S. laws the U. S. Coast Guard must inspect and certify certain commercial vessels and ensure that they are sufficiently manned for the services that they are employed. The Coast Guard will issue a Certificate of Inspection (COI) to inspected vessels that comply with the federal regulations, and the manning requirements will be listed on that document. While the Certificate of Inspection is valid for five years, the vessel must be re-inspected annually.  Vessels carrying more than six paying passengers or freight for hire must be inspected. The OCMI (Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection) determines the maximum number of people a vessel may carry during inspection and initial Certification. An uninspected passenger vessel is not required to undergo annual inspections and does not receive a Certificate of Inspection. The operator of an uninspected passenger vessel carrying six or fewer passengers for hire must have a valid Coast Guard License. The Certificate of Inspection issued to each vessel will describe the vessel, route(s) that it may take, minimum manning requirements, survival and rescue craft carried, minimum fire extinguishers and life jackets required, the maximum number of passengers and total number of persons that may be carried, the number of passengers in overnight accommodation spaces, and the names of the owners and operators (46 CFR 176.103).

Manning Requirements

Manning requirements are determined for each inspected vessel, establishing the size and qualifications of the crew that the vessel must legally carry.  The master of a vessel cannot legally operate a vessel that does not comply with the manning requirements.  46 CFR 15 contains all of the manning requirements.  46 CFR 15.401 states that “a person may not employ or engage an individual, and an individual may not serve, in a position in which an individual is required by law or regulation to hold a license, certificate of registry, or Merchant Mariner’s document , unless the individual holds a valid license, certificate of registry, or Merchant Mariner’s document, as appropriate.”

A document which has a list of names, birthplaces, and residences of persons employed on a merchant vessel bound from U.S. port on a foreign voyage and is required at every port is called the Certified Crew List.

Articles of Shipping

The Articles of Shipping Agreements between the master or individual in charge of the vessel and merchant mariner must be signed by both parties prior to the start of a voyage.  46 CFR 14.2 – 14.3 states the regulations regarding the Articles of Shipping Agreements and Discharge.  The Articles of Shipping Agreements must contain the nature of the voyage and specify at least the name, the number of the merchant mariner document, the capacity of service, the time on board to begin work, the name and address of the next of kin, and wages due (46 CFR 14.207).  A legible unsigned copy without the next of kin information must be posted at a place accessible to the crew (46 CFR 14.211).  This is called the Forecastle Card.

Requirements for Discharge of Merchant Mariners are stated in 46 CFR 14.301-14.313.  “Upon discharge of a merchant mariner in a foreign port, the master shall make the required entries on the ship’s articles.  Upon the request of the master or a mariner, the consular officer shall discharge the mariner in accordance with the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 10318.  If the merchant mariner holds a continuous discharge book, the master or individual in charge of the vessel shall make the proper entries in it.  Each master or individual in charge of a vessel, for each merchant mariner discharged from the vessel, prepare a certificate of discharge and two copies…in the prescribed format; and shall sign them in permanent ink.”

At the end of each voyage upon which shipping articles are required, the master or individual in charge of the vessel shall complete the articles, conforming the pertinent entries in them to those on the certificate of discharge and its copies…” (46 CFR 14.309)  “Each shipping company shall keep the original shipping articles and copies of all certificates of discharge for 3 years.  After 3 years the shipping companies shall prepare the original shipping articles in alphabetical order by vessel name and send …for storage at the Federal Records Center at Suitland, Maryland…”(46 CFR 14.313).

Permit to Proceed

According to 46 CFR 176.202, “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.”  The OCMI will issue the Permit to Proceed to the owner/operator of the vessel, and will state the conditions under which the vessel may proceed to another port.  A vessel may not carry passengers when operating under a Permit to Proceed unless the OCMI determines that it is safe to do so.

Permit to Carry Excursion Party

According to 46 CFR 176.204, the “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.”

According to 46 CFR 176.302, “the Certificate of Inspection and any SOLAS Certificates must be posted under glass or other suitable transparent material, and 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 in an open boat, the certificates must be kept on board in a weather-tight container readily available for use by the crew and display to passengers and others on request.”  The Stability Letter, if required, must also be posted under glass or other suitable transparent material such that all of the pages are visible (46 CFR 176.306).

The Certification Expiration date stickers indicates the date that the Certificate of Inspection expires.  This must be placed in accordance with the requirements in 46 CFR 176.310.

Practical Exercise:  Using the CFR links, read the CFR information regarding 46 CFR 175-185 requirements for inspected T- Boats referencing the index and 46 CFR 14 – 15 Manning Requirements and Shipment of Merchant Mariners.

Ship’s Sanitation

According to 46 CFR 97.15-10, “it shall be the duty of the master and chief engineer to see that the vessel, and, in particular, the quarters are in clean and sanitary condition.  The chief engineer shall be responsible only for the sanitary condition of the engineering department.”  46 CFR 71.45–1 states that: “when made, an inspection of passenger and crew quarters, toilet and washing spaces, serving pantries, galleys, etc. shall be made, in general, at least once in every month. If the route of the vessel is such that it is away from a United States port for more than one month, an inspection shall be conducted at least once every trip.”

Potable water utilized on a vessel for drinking and culinary purposes must be water of drinking water quality, whether it is obtained or manufactured.  Potable water tanks should not be located low in the bilge.  Chlorine is used to treat drinking water to insure that it is safe.  The sanitation facilities on the vessel must be utilized so as not to contaminate the water during normal ship operation.

Garbage must be disposed of properly and in a sanitary manner.  Improper disposal of garbage can attract flies and other vermin.  The best method of controlling rats on a vessel is preventing them from coming on the ship to begin with.

Ship’s Business, Management and Training

All perishable food or drink should be kept refrigerated below 50 degrees F except during preparation.  Any area that is used for food storage or food preparation should be kept clean and sanitized at all times.

Environmental Protection

Federal and State laws need to be followed regarding protection of the environment. For example, the Florida Marine Sanctuary protects reefs and other coastal areas.  Anti-pollution laws are designed to protect these fragile environments. While agencies enforce these laws, it is up to each mariner that enjoys or makes a living on these waters to help keep them from becoming polluted. Unauthorized discharging into the oceans, bays, etc. destroys the environment for everyone.