46 CFR § 196.40-10 - Draft marks and draft indicating systems.
(a) All vessels must have draft marks plainly and legibly visible upon the stem and upon the sternpost or rudderpost or at any place at the stern of the vessel as may be necessary for easy observance. The bottom of each mark must indicate the draft.
(b) The draft must be taken from the bottom of the keel to the surface of the water at the location of the marks.
(c) In cases where the keel does not extend forward or aft to the location of the draft marks, due to raked stem, or cutaway skeg, the datum line from which the draft shall be taken shall be obtained by projecting the line of the bottom of keel forward, or aft, as the case may be, to the location of the draft marks.
(d) In cases where a vessel may have a skeg or other appendage extending locally below the line of the keel, the draft at the end of the vessel adjacent to such appendage shall be measured to a line tangent to the lowest part of such appendage and parallel to the line of the bottom of the keel.
(e) Draft marks must be separated so that the projections of the marks onto a vertical plane are of uniform height equal to the vertical spacing between consecutive marks.
(f) Draft marks must be painted in contrasting color to the hull.
(g) In cases where draft marks are obscured due to operational constraints or by protrusions, the vessel must be fitted with a reliable draft indicating system from which the bow and stern drafts can be determined.
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