Want COI for my stock Suntracker pontoon

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by griggsmars, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    Hello, it's my first time on site, from Shark River, N.J. I have a completely stock 1996 30' Suntracker Party Barge with a single 120hp Force outboard that I use to take people on six pack charters around Shark River Bay. We stay in Shark River Bay and the boat never sees the Ocean. As a recreational boat it is rated to carry 14 people or 2200 lbs. The boat easily holds 14 people with no issues, but I am restricted to six pack charters unless I can get a Certificate of Inspection. I have a 50 ton Masters Captain's License so more passengers no problem.
    I know this is no easy task to accomplish but would love any advise besides the obvious (buy a boat that has a COI). I also know that the weight rating on a pontoon has changed from 145lbs to 185lbs which would only put me at 11.89 passengers. So the question is will it be worth it to up the passengers . I have also seen websites for other pontoon boats that appear completely stock and have been inspected to carry more than 6 passengers. Thanks for any advise, Mike
     
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 6,626
    Likes: 446, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    On a boat (pontoon) you can do things to pass an inspection and try to get the COI:
    -calculations to justify the scantlings
    -naval architecture calculations, stability, etc.
    -reinforce certain areas, if necessary.
    -lightening other areas.
    -increase displacement.
    -review and improve the safety, fire fighting, pollution
    -etc
    But give solutions without knowing the boat is not possible. If you wish, you can send me more information: 657677483@orange.es
    Regards
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,245
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

  4. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    Hey Gonzo, are you talking about the small vessel waiver program?
     
  5. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,005
    Likes: 210, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2917
    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Hi Griggs,

    All you have to do is arrange with your local USCG office to do a Simplified Stability Test. You would try to qualify for carriage of passengers on inland waters. The procedure is fairly simple, which you can read in the attachment that I provide below, which is downloaded from the USCG headquarters website.

    You will need to make your boat available on a calm morning for the USCG personnel to conduct the test, which will take a few hours. You will need to provide inclining weights, and these can be plastic 55 gal barrels of water. A full barrel weighs about 450 lbs. You may have to raise these barrels up about a foot to 18" above the deck so that they represent the same center of gravity as humans, so extra supports like cement blocks and wooden planks may be necessary. Ask your USCG office what they typically do. Alternatively, see if you can use actual humans (a dozen of your closest friends). Bring a scale to weigh them all, you'll need to know the total weight equivalent to 185 lbs per passenger.

    The basic procedure is to load all the weights on the boat on its centerline. Measure the freeboards from the waterline to the deck. Calculate the wind areas (projected area of everything on the boat above the waterline. Railings and canopies are considered solid structures. There is a little procedure in the attachment that shows how to do this. From the measurements and weights, you'll determine which is the worst case--high wind blowing the boat over, or passengers amassing to one side. Then you'll mark the mid-freeboard point on the hull, and then begin the test. You'll start moving the weights from the centerline to the side. The boat will heel. Keep shifting weight until either all the weight is shifted without submerging the mid-freeboard mark, or when the mid-freeboard mark touches the water. That amount of weight moved will represent the allowed weight on board.

    Read through the procedure a few times to get a full understanding of what is required. You do not need a naval architect to do this, although if you would like technical help, see if you can find one or at least someone who has done it before to guide you through the procedure. The test does not cost anything as far as the USCG personnel are concerned--your federal taxes pay for their time. But don't waste their time either--schedule a time, get the test done, and at the end of the procedure you will know what your boat will be approved for. Your paperwork and COI will follow in a few weeks.

    You will also be advised on what required safety equipment you will need to carry like placards, life jackets, flares, navigation lights, fire extinguishers, etc.

    Good luck, I hope this helps.

    Eric
     

    Attached Files:

  6. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    Thank you very much, very helpful. BTW Love St Augustine
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,245
    Likes: 949, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I did similar tests for some boats we were building in the UK. They are pretty self explanatory and don't require specialized equipment.
     
  8. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    Think it's better to go for the stability test or the small vessel waiver program?
     
  9. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,005
    Likes: 210, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2917
    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    I have never had anything to do with this program, but on the face of it, it looks to waive certain small foreign-built vessels from manning, route, and trade restrictions. I don't think it has anything to do with inspections, stability, and the like. I think you would still have to pass inspection and a simplified stability test. In my opinion, the simplified stability test is the surest and safest most direct way to go. It will answer all questions about the boat's stability and passenger capacity--there won't be any doubt either in your mind or the minds of the passengers. And it is simple enough to go through and costs very little money--probably less than the $500 application fee required for the waiver program.

    Eric
     
  10. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    I agree, seems like I would need to find my capacity before getting anything done. Thanks again
     
  11. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    Does anyone know if the new assumed weight of 185lbs is across the board? I have read CG documents that had the weight at 160lbs per person but dropped to 140 if you were operating in protected waters and had a mix of women and children. I only operate in protected waters (bay is only a mile across, and half the time you could walk back to the dock) Will operating in protected waters and have a mix of women and children possible lower my assumed weight. Thanks, Mike
     
  12. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 6,626
    Likes: 446, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    I do not know what the rules of your country calls on the weight per person. It is best that you ask in your administration. What I can say is that if for your boat, weighting 400-lb more o less, is a problem, is because your boat has a BIG problem.
     
  13. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,005
    Likes: 210, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2917
    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Yes, the 185-lb rule is across the board. All the old rules about 160 lbs and 140 lbs. are superceded by the new weight. This is because humans are getting fat, and commercial craft were caught with their pants down when the Ethan Allan capsized on Lake George in October, 2005, and 20 people drowned. It was discovered that practically all the passengers were over the rules weights, among other things.

    The USCG is in the middle of a massive review of ALL certificated commercial vessels. I did three complete boat passenger/stability reviews last year, new calculations for stability. As a boat or ship operator, you can elect to accept a pro-rated reduction in the number of passengers, or you can have your stability recalculated, or you can go through a new stability test. It's up to you. All new vessels have to conform to the new weights and corresponding stability. This review effort is probably going to take a few more years to complete.

    Eric
     
  14. Part Time
    Joined: May 2012
    Posts: 10
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 22
    Location: Portland, Or

    Part Time Junior Member

    I am a Marine Inspector with the USCG. There are several significant hurdles you will need to get over to carry more than 6 passengers. Is the boat manufactured in the U.S. and was it ever foreign owned? The Joan’s act requires vessels in Coastwise trade in the U.S. to be built in the U.S. and never foreign owned. The waiver that has been discussed in this thread may allow you to work around this restriction but it is not guaranteed that it will be granted. This waiver has nothing to do with the Coast Guard stability requirements.

    Most vessels built for recreational use in the U.S will not pass a structural scantling review to be approved as a commercial passenger boat. 46 CFR 177.300 requires the vessel to have scantlings at least a strong as ABS or several other class society rules. It may be possible to meet this requirement with a pontoon vessel but it will almost certainly require extensive structural modifications and all of this will require detailed plans that must be submitted to the USCG Marine Safety Center in Washington DC. You will need the services of a Naval Architect to complete this process. Another possibility is the “Five year rule”. 46 CFR 177.310 allows you to use a vessel with similar scantlings and dimensions on the same route and service to prove the adequacy of your design. So , if there is another Suntracker carrying more than 6 passengers on a route like yours you may be able to use it to justify approving your vessel. The local Officer in Charge of Marine Inspections may choose not to allow the use of the five year rule, even if you find a comparable boat.

    As for stability, pontoon boats are a different animal when it comes to the Simplified Stability Test. It will require an Inspector from the CG Marine Safety Office to attend and the criteria is very conservative. The procedure for a pontoon stability test is at 46 CFR 178.340.

    The first thing to do is contact the local Coast Guard Marine Inspections office. Make sure to ask for the commercial vessel inspections office. The local search and rescue station will not be able to help. They will be able to help you through the process. Keep in mind that it will not be easy or inexpensive to obtain a certificate of inspection for this boat. Most of the time certificated small passenger vessels are designed from the keel up to meet all of the requirements in 46 CFR subchapter “T” 46 CFR 175-185. If you do decide to go ahead with the project look for a NA with experience working with the Coast Guard and designing certificated vessels. It will save you time and money in the long run. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have just send me an e-mail.
     
    2 people like this.

  15. griggsmars
    Joined: Jan 2013
    Posts: 7
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Shark River, N.J.

    griggsmars Junior Member

    Thank you very much for your help, it seems like an expensive endeavor to gain a few passengers. I'll be in touch as I decide how to proceed.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.