(1) The freeboard deck is normally the uppermost complete deck exposed to weather and sea, which has permanent means of closing all openings in the weather part thereof, and below which all openings in the sides of the vessel are fitted with permanent means of watertight closing. In a vessel having a discontinuance freeboard deck, the lowest line of the exposed deck and the continuation of that line parallel to the upper part of the deck is taken as the freeboard deck. At the option of the owner and subject to the approval of the assigning authority a lower deck may be designated as the freeboard deck, provided it is a complete and permanent deck continuous in a fore and aft direction at least between the machinery space and peak bulkheads and continuous athwartships. When this lower deck is stepped the lowest line of the deck and the continuation of that line parallel to the upper part of the deck is taken as the freeboard deck.
(2) When a lower deck is designated as the freeboard deck, that part of the hull which extends above the freeboard deck is treated as a superstructure so far as concerns the application of the conditions of assignment and the calculation of freeboard. It is from this deck that the freeboard is calculated.