Passenger Pontoon approval in USA

Discussion in 'Class Societies' started by Cacciatore, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Cacciatore
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    Cacciatore Junior Member

    Hi , I have to supply drawing to approve a passenger pontoon of 65 ft. in USA anyone know what Classification Society use and relative Guidelines ? The owner talk about U.S. Coast Guard Standard but i think to consider ABS is right? could anyone give me more informations about drawing like European CE to have a more objective overview?

    Thank you for the support;)
     
  2. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I'm afraid you're required to comply with the USCG, which is not a Classification Society, in addition to ABS.
     
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    That depends on the amount of passengers and operating area? Do you have those; you may not need anything besides USCG Chapter T?
     
  4. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Gonzo, in general, follow the rules of a CS is not an option. If the boat needs a class notation, you must resort to a CS. The USCG can not grant such notation, as far as I know.
    Most vessels, even without any passengers, are required to comply with a CS. So, in general, it does not depend on the number of passengers.
    Generally a ship, no matter where she navigates, must be built in accordance with the rules of a CS. Not so with the USCG's Rules.
    Maybe Ike could clarify the issue in relation to the competences of the USCG.
     
  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I don't think you are familiar with US Law. It is all in the CFR.
     
  6. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    No, the US Law, in general, of course not. But I think you of the rules and requirements of shipbuilding are not very aware.
    For my part, end of this enriching debate.
    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Cacciatore: if you are building to subchapter T, it is not too difficult. I have done several of them. There are some requirements like a forward collision bulkhead and access to fule stops and seacocks that are better to keep in mind before building. Retrofitting can be cumbersome. Read the CFR where all the regulations are. Also, you can write to the USCG inspection office and get recommendations. Is this going to operate in US waters only or is it for international passages? If it is for US waters only, it will have to be built in the USA to be approved under the Jones Act.
     
  8. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    I'm not aware of any rules, from ABS or the other classification societies, which govern passenger pontoons. In any event, classification of any vessel is purely a voluntary act by a vessel owner, unless required by state flag regulations.

    In the US, many smaller vessels are inspected by the USCG, but these vessels are not classed by ABS or any other classification society.

    In the US, you can obtain permission from the USCG to have ABS do the plan approval on behalf of the USCG under the Memorandum of Understanding between these two organizations. Plan approvals are free if done by the USCG; if you ask ABS to do them, they may charge you for their services.

    The USCG Marine Safety Center is an important point of contact for learning about the rules and regulations which the USCG enforces.

    http://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/

    What regulations are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations are important, but there is so much more you need to know to navigate the Coast Guard bureaucracy.
     
  9. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    As was just said, contact the USCG Marine Safety Center. There are a separate set of rules for pontoon passenger boats that are different than the usual subchapter T vessels.
    In addition to the web address above the main phone number is (703) 872-6729 or after Nov 19th (202) 795-6729

    Also read their bulletin at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/docs/MSCIB_01-15.pdf
     
  10. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Do pontoons still comply with collision bulkheads?
     
  11. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Disclaimer - I am not a lawyer nor an expert on US law and regulations concerning boats and ships. Below is based on my knowledge but could be incorrect.

    Is the "passenger pontoon" a vessel or part of a floating pier system?

    If it is a vessel will it carry passengers for hire, and if so how many?

    US Coast Guard inspection and approval is generally only required for vessels in US waters carrying over 6 passengers for hire (over 12 passengers for hire if over 100 tons measured).

    There are no legal requirements for classification society approval for vessel operating in US waters. Classification society approval may be needed for other reasons such as insurance or financing.

    Also, some vessels on some bodies of water which are isolated from the sea (such as some lakes and reservoirs) do not fall under USCG regulation. Those vessels are regulated by the individual US states.

    Most recreational powerboats and rowboats under 20' in overall length sold new in the US need to meet a separate set of regulations which are administered by the USCG.
     
  12. Cacciatore
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    Cacciatore Junior Member

    The only issue is that the owner need to take onboard almost 80 passengers using the boat like a restaurant lounge on the sea.
     
  13. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Let me clarify this: The USCG separates vessels into two categoreis. Recreational and Commercial:

    Recreational vessels must comply with the regulations in 33 CFR Parts 179-184 regardless of length of the vessel. However, most large privately owned yachts are built to some other standards such as LLoyds, MCA, ABS, Det Norske Veritas, etc. Those always exceed USCG requirements.

    Commercial vessels carrying passengers for hire (the passengers pay for the ride) must comply with Subchapter T (vessels under 100 gross tons carrying more than 6 passengers for hire.)
    Vessels carrying 6 passenger or less must meet the same standards as recreational boats.
    Exception: Pontoon Boats carrying more than 6 passengers for hire
    Exception: Boats carrying 6 to 12 passengers for hire in the Virgin Islands.

    US states do not normally regulate the construction of recreational boats but they do regulate boats carrying passengers for hire on bodies of water where the Federal Government does not have jurisdiction.

    Large vessels over 100 gross tons can get ABS certification and that is accepted by the USCG.

    A 65 foot pontoon boat carrying more than 6 passengers for hire must meet the USCG requirements for those types of boats. To find out what the exact requirements are contact the Marine Safety Center as mentioned above. There will be requirements for hull construction, electrical, fuel systems, anti-pollution devices, safety equipment and so on.
     
  14. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    For 80 passengers on a floating restaurant the boats has to comply with the USCG Subchapter T requirements and be USCG Certified.
     

  15. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    Do pontoons have bulkheads?
     
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