296-115-040 - Vessel construction and arrangement

296-115-040. Vessel construction and arrangement

(1) Application.

(a) These requirements apply to all vessels contracted for construction on or after June 7, 1979.

(b) Vessels constructed before the effective date of this chapter must be brought into substantial compliance with the requirements of this section. Where strict compliance is impractical, the assistant director may grant a temporary variance to allow a modification or a permanent variance if the intent of these requirements is met.

(c) The intent of these requirements is to provide for a sound, seaworthy vessel, reasonably fit for the service it is intended to provide, and to ensure that the materials, scantlings, fastenings, and workmanship meet this intent. Primary consideration must be given to the provision of a seaworthy hull, protection against fire, means of escape in case of casualty, guards and rails in hazardous places, ventilation of closed spaces, and necessary facilities for passengers and crew.

(2) Hull structure.

(a) In general, complying with the standards of the United States Coast Guard rules for small passenger vessels or with the standards of a recognized classification society is considered satisfactory evidence of the structural adequacy of a vessel.

(b) Special consideration will be given by the assistant director to materials or structural requirements not specified by the standards of a recognized classification society.

(3) Watertight integrity and subdivision.

(a) All vessels carrying more than forty-nine passengers must have a collision bulkhead and watertight bulkheads (or sufficient air tankage or other internal flotation) so the vessel will remain afloat (with positive stability) with any one main compartment flooded.

(b) All watertight bulkheads required by this part must be of substantial construction so they remain watertight with water to the top of the bulkhead.

(c) Watertight bulkheads must extend intact to the bulkhead deck. Penetrations must be kept to a minimum and must be watertight.

(d) The weather deck on a flush deck vessel must be watertight and must not obstruct overboard drainage.

(e) Cockpits must be watertight except that companionways may be fitted if they are provided with watertight coamings and weathertight doors. Also, ventilation openings may be provided if they are situated as high in the cockpit as possible and the opening height does not exceed two inches.

(f) Cockpits must be self-bailing. The scuppers installed for this purpose must be located so they are effective considering probable list and trim.

(g) Well decks must be watertight. Freeing ports may be installed if the provisions of applicable United States Coast Guard standards are followed.

(h) Weather deck hatches may be weathertight. All hatches must be provided with covers capable of being secured.

(i) The number of openings in the vessel's sides below the weather deck must be kept to a minimum.

(j) Any openings in a vessel's sides, such as portlights, must comply with applicable United States Coast Guard standards.

(4) Stability.

(a) All charter vessels must have a stability test, unless the assistant director determines that a test is not required because sufficient evidence is provided by the owner that the vessel's stability is satisfactory for the service for which it is intended.

(b) A letter stating that the vessel has met these stability requirements must be posted in the pilothouse of each vessel.

Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.060, 49.17.210, and 88.04.005. 08-20-123, § 296-115-040, filed 10/1/08, effective 11/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050 and 1999 c 111. 00-23-100, § 296-115-040, filed 11/21/00, effective 1/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.240, chapters 42.30 and 43.22 RCW. 80-17-014 (Order 80-20), § 296-115-040, filed 11/13/80.

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