46 CFR 176.110 - 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, and other characteristics;
(3) The suitability of the vessel for nighttime operations; and
(4) The suitability of the vessel for all environmental conditions.