MACHINERY AND ELECTRICAL
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A “reliable means” should be interpreted as having an adequate source of power for normal conditions as well as adequate power when vessel is operating on emergency power, if equipped.

Items to check:  

  • Alarm for main engine low lubricating oil pressure. 
  • Alarm for main engine high cooling water temperature. 
  • Alarm for auxiliary generator engine low lubricating oil pressure. 
  • Alarm for auxiliary generator engine high cooling water temperature.
  • Alarm for high bilge levels. 
  • Alarm for low hydraulic steering fluid levels, (if applicable).
  • Alarm for high and low fuel levels if vessel equipped with day tanks.
  • Alarm is visible and audible at each operating station.
  • If alarm at operating station is a summary alarm, specific alarm is indicated at machinery or bilge location.
  • Alarm has means to test at operating station or is continuous self monitoring and activates  if there is an alarm point failure or it becomes disabled.

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.230 Alarms and monitoring

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89, Guide for Electrical Installation on Merchant Vessels and MODUs - see 3.4 Battery and Battery Installations
Marine Safety Manual Volume II - see Sect B CH-1 Part L Emergency Lighting and Power Systems

Items to check:

  • If vessel has installed bilge pump:
    • Installed bilge pump piping has foot valve or check valve at each bilge suction.
  • If vessel has portable bilge pump:
    • Portable bilge pump has sufficient hose length and pumping capability.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.275 Bilge pumps or other dewatering capability

Additional Guidance:

FAQs Part 143 - see FAQ 143-028

Items to check:

  • Maintain vessel in class.
  • Maintain vessel in accordance with applicable classification society rules.

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 136.110 Definitions - see "objective evidence
46 CFR 143.215 Existing vessels built to Class

Additional Guidance:

FAQs Part 136 - see FAQ 136-011
Marine Safety Center Plan Review Guidelines - see E1-36, Design Verification of Machinery Systems-Towing Vessels and E2-31, Design Verification of Electrical Systems-Towing Vessels

Items to check:

  • This section does not apply to excepted vessels or those with more than one propulsion units.
  • Pilothouse engine controls and engine room access are within 10 feet of each other, direct voice communications are acceptable in lieu of a communication system.
  • Vessel is fitted with communication system between pilothouse and engine room.
  • System has its own power supply and is independent of vessel electrical system.
  • Provides two way communications between pilot house and engine room or location immediately adjacent to an exit from the engine room. 

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.240 Communication requirements 

Additional Guidance:

33 CFR 164.80 Tests, inspections, and voyage planning
NVIC 2-89, Guide for Electrical Installation on Merchant Vessels and MODUs - see Chapter 5

Items to check:

  • Means to monitor and control thrust, rudder angle, and if applicable direction of thrust at each control station.
  • If equipped with rudders has means of control and monitoring the position of the rudders at each operating station. 

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 136.110 Definitions (Operating station)
46 CFR 143.225 Control and monitoring requirements
46 CFR 143.230 Alarms and monitoring

Additional Guidance:

FAQs Part 143 - see FAQs 143-004, -005, -006, -020, -023, -025, -030 and, -034.

Items to check:

  • Conductors are properly sized for their current carrying load.
  • Overhead and vertical cable runs are supported with metal supports and retention devices at least every 48 inches.
  • Cables installed to reduce radio  and magnetic compass interference.
  • Cables are protected from weather.
  • Cables supported to avoid chafing.
  • Cables protected by metal covering or other suitable means if subject to mechanical  abuse.
  • Cables in refrigerated spaces suitable for low temperature and high humidity.
  • Cables located outside of tanks.
  • Cables located in tanks suitable for fluids in tank.
  • No extension cords or multiple outlet adapters installed as a permanent power source.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.575 Electrical conductors, connections, and equipment 

Additional Guidance:

Marine Safety Manual Volume II see - Sect B Ch-1
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQs 143-012, -013, -019, -021, -022, -026 and, -032
ASTM F1507 (Standard Specifications for Surge Suppressors for Shipboard Use)
UL 1449 (Safety Standards for Surge Protective Devices)

Items to check:

  • Switchboards are accessible, insulated, and protected.
  • Constructed properly to prevent accidental contact with energized parts.
  • Non-conductive mats present on the deck in front of switchboard and at the rear if accessible.
  • Current carrying parts properly insulated  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.400 Electrical systems, general   
46 CFR 143.560 Electrical distribution panels and switchboards
46 CFR 143.565 Electrical overcurrent protection other than generators and motors
46 CFR 143.570 Electrical grounding and ground detection 

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units - see Chapter 3 - 5
Marine Safety Manual Volume II - see Section B Ch-1
FAQs Part 143 - See FAQs 143-012, -013, -019, -021, -022, -026 and, -032

Items to check:

  • Ungrounded distribution system has ground detection at main switchboard or distribution panel.
  • Ungrounded distribution system is continually monitored for circuit status to ground.
  • Dual voltage or grounded electrical system has neutral suitably grounded at main switchboard or distribution panel.
  • Metallic vessel, grounded distribution system grounded to hull.
  • Non metallic vessel, all electrical equipment grounded to common ground.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.570 Electrical grounding and ground detection 

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units - see Chapter 3
NFPA NEC 2002 Section 250.119 and 250.122

Marine Safety Manual VOL II Section B Ch-1
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQs 143-012, -013, -019, -021, -022, -026 and, -032

Items to check:

  • Suitable overcurrent protection is available for vessel power and lighting systems.
  • Essential systems and non-essential systems not on same circuit or sharing same overcurrent devices.

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.565 Electrical overcurrent protection other than generators and motors 

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling, Chapter 3
National Electrical Code (NEC) article 240
National Electrical Code (NEC) article 310.15(B)
National Electrical Code (NEC) article 450
Marine Safety Manual Volume II Chapter 1, Section B
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQs 143-012, -013, -019, -021, -022, -026 and, -032

Items to check:

  • Power source requirements adequate for all essential loads.
  • Two independent sources for essential loads.
  • Verify load analysis.
  • Inspect condition and installation of generator(s) and prime mover(s) components and insure data plates are attached and legible.
  • Protective covers and guards installed properly.
  • Verify overcurrent protection at <115% of rated current.
  • Battery installation installed as second source adequate for supplying essential loads.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 136.110 Definitions - see "Essential systems"
46 CFR 143.220 Machinery space fire protection
46 CFR 143 400 Electrical systems, general
46 CFR 143.555 Electrical power sources, generators, and motors
46 CFR 143.580 Alternative electrical installations
46 CFR 144.820 Guards in dangerous places
46 CFR 144.830 Protection against hot piping 

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units - see Chapter 3-4
Marine Safety Manual Volume II Section B Ch-1
National Electrical Code (NEC) Parts I-VII, Article 430
ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels under 90 Meters in Length, Regulation 11
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQs 143-012, -013, -019, -021, -022, 026 and, -032

In general, minimizing shock and fire hazards for electrical systems means all current-carrying conductors must be protected by  appropriately-sized protection device(s) to minimize shock and fire hazards.  Warning signs as described in 143.250 (b) should be made of durable material, written in the language understood by all crew members and affixed as not to easily or mistakenly be removed.   

Items to check:

  • Electrical equipment is marked with respective current and voltage ratings.
  • Circuit breakers on switchboards and distribution panels are labeled with description of loads they serve.
  • Electrical connections properly installed and secured from vibration.
  • Electrical connections are protected from wet and corrosive environments.
  • Electrical components that pose a hazard are enclosed.
  • Electrical conductors that pass through watertight bulkheads are installed so that bulkhead remains watertight.
  • Flexible cable plugs and sockets designed to prevent unintended separation. 

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 111.79 Receptacles
46 CFR 129.220 Basic safety
46 CFR 143.400 Electrical systems, general

Additional information:

Marine Safety Manual Volume II Section B Ch-1
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQs 143-012, -013, -019, -021, -022, 026 and, -032

 

Items to check:

  • Vessel is not an excepted vessel.
  • Fuel shutoff valve on any fuel line that is directly connected to propulsion engine or generator prime mover.
  • Valve installed directly outside fuel supply tank.
  • Valve is operable from a safe space outside of space where valve installed.
  • Remote valve control is clearly marked IAW 143.260 (e). 

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.260 Fuel shutoff requirements

Additional Guidance:

Commandant (CG-ENG-4) Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division
SAE J1942
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQ 143-018

Items to check:

  • Fuel system for main engines and generators have documented maintenance plan.
  • Fuel system has either filters or purifiers for a continuous supply of clean fuel.
  • Adequate supply of spare clean filters available.
  • Fuel filters replaced in accordance with manufactures requirements of or vessel TSMS.
  • No other fuel sources used except those permitted under 143.210 or 143.520.
  • No portable fuel systems except when used for outboard engines or portable bilge or fire pumps:
    • Portable tanks, fuel lines and accessories for those items list above, comply with ABYC (American Boat and Yacht Council) H-25.
  • Integral fuel tanks properly vented:
    • Vent pipe(s) at the highest point on the tank(s).
    • Vent pipe(s) discharges on weather deck through a 180° bend.
    • Vent pipe(s) has 30-by-30 corrosion resistant flame screen.
    • Vent pipe(s) has cross sectional area > 312.3 square millimeters (0.484) for gravity filled tanks.
    • Cross sectional area for vent pipe(s) is not less than the cross sectional area of the fill pipe if tank filled by pump pressure.
  • Fuel piping meets minimum standard:
    • Constructed of seamless steel, annealed copper, nickel-copper, or copper nickel.
    • Wall thickness of no less than 0.9 millimeters (0.035 inches).
    • If vessel is aluminum hull and fuel lines are aluminum piping of at least Schedule 80.
    • All non metallic fuel hoses:
      • Less than 30 inches (0.76meters) in length.
      • Visible and easily accessible.
      • Fabricated with an inner tube and cover of synthetic rubber or other suitable material reinforced with wire braid.
      • If designed for use with compression fittings, is fitted with suitable corrosion resistant compression fittings or fittings compliant with SAE J1475-1996.
      • If designed for use with clamps, is installed with two clamps at each end of the hose.
      • Clamps:
        • Do not rely on spring tension.
        • Installed beyond the bead or flare or serrations of the mating spud, pipe, or hose fitting.
      •  Hose meets SAE J1942-2005.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.210 Alternate design or operational considerations
46 CFR 143.255 Fuel system requirements
46 CFR 143.265 Additional fuel system requirements for towing vessels built after January 18, 2000
46 CFR 143.520 Towing vessels built to American Boat and yacht Council standards

Additional Guidance:

American Boat and Yacht Council ABYC H-25
Marine Safety Manual Volume II Sect B CH-1
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQ 143-008 and -015

Items to check:  

  • Can be activated from each control station. 
  • Capable of notifying persons in any accommodations, work space, and engine room. 
  • Has flashing red light in engine room or other high noise spaces. 
  • Red light is identified with sign that reads: “Attention General Alarm – When Alarm Sounds  or Flashes Go to your Station”. 
  • If General Alarm not installed, a public address system may be used that meets  requirements of (b) (2) and (b) (3) of this section.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.235 General alarms

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units - see Chapter 5
Marine Safety Manual Volume II
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQ 143-016

Subpart C, beginning with 46 CFR 143.500, is applicable to new towing vessels only.

Items to check:

  • Alternative means to control propulsion and steering.
  • Alternative controls independent from primary system.
  • Readily accessible and suitable for prolonged operations.
  • Communication available between alternative and primary operating station(s)
  • Means to stop propulsions engines and steering motors from each station.
  • Means to monitor thrust, direction ahead or astern, and rudder angle.
  • Control system designed so that in the event of single component failure propeller speed and direction of trust are maintained or reduced to zero.
  • Integrated steering and propulsion system (Z-Drive) designed so that in the event of any component failure of the system,  propeller speed and direction of trust are maintained or reduced to zero.
  • Audible and visual alarms operate if:
    • Propulsion control system fails.
    • Non-follow up steering controls failed, if installed.
    • Ordered rudder angle does not match actual rudder position.
    • System properly designed to eliminate nuisance alarms. 
    • Alarms separate and independent of system controls required by 143.225.
  • Communication available between each operating station.
  • Two electrical sources available to power electrical loads to maintain propulsion, steering and related controls for three hours.
  • Second source automatically comes on line in event of main power failure.
  • Propulsion, steering and controls that rely on stored energy such as batteries, hydraulic pressure, or compressed air must have two independent stored energy systems.
  • Motors used to maintain propulsion and steering must automatically restart after power failure.
  • Remote control restart available at operating stations.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 136.110 Definitions, (New towing vessel)
46 CFR 143.225 Control and monitoring requirements
46 CFR 143.555(a)(3)(b)(8) Electrical power sources, generators, and motors
46 CFR 143.585 General requirements for propulsion, steering, and related controls on vessels that move tank barges carrying oil or hazardous materials in bulk
46 CFR 143.590 Proposer redundancy on vessels that move tank barges carrying oil or hazardous material in bulk
46 CFR 143.595 Vessels with one proposer that move tank barges carrying oil or hazardous material in bulk

Additional Guidance:

FAQs Part 143 - see FAQ 143-033

Pilot house alerter system requirements on an existing towing vessel must be met no later than 5 years after the issuance of the initial COI.

The pilothouse alerter system acknowledgement time cannot exceed ten (10) minutes. The CG highly recommends that the acknowledgement time be reduced as appropriate for the route and service.   

 

Items to check:

  • Vessel has pilot house alerter system that meets the requirements of 46 CFR 143 (a) (1-3), (b), (c).
    • Alerter not needed if:
      • Vessel manned with second person in pilothouse while underway; or
      • Vessel is < 65 ft LOA.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.200 Applicability
46 CFR 143.450 Pilothouse alerter system 

Additional Guidance:

SOLAS 14V/19.2.2.4

Items to check:

  • External piping is metal and leak free.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.270 Piping systems and tanks

On existing vessels, these regulations are applicable for pressure vessels over 5 cubic feet in volume and over 15 PSI MAWP.

Pressure vessels installed on new towing vessels that are over 5 cubic feet in volume and  over 15 PSI must meet ABS Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels under 90 feet in Length.

Items to check:

  • Pressure vessel has visible working gauge.
  • Pressure vessel has relief valve that prevents system pressure to never exceed MAWP by more than  10%.
  • MAWP is stamped or on data plate and is visible to crew.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 61.10 Tests and Inspection of Pressure Vessels
46 CFR 143.245 Readiness and testing
46 CFR 143.300 Pressure vessels
46 CFR 143.545 Pressure vessels 

Additional Guidance:

Marine Safety Manual Volume II
NVIC 11-92 Guidance for Acceptance of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors (NBBI) National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) for Repairs and Alterations to Boilers and Pressure Vessels
The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, Recommended Administrative Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Rules and Regulations NB-132 Revision 8

These regulations are only applicable for new towing vessels.

Items to check:

  • Pumps, pipes, valves, and fittings in essential systems meet ABS rules for building and classing steel vessels under 90 meters (295 feet) in length.
    • If towing vessel operates exclusively on rivers and intracoastal waterways:
      • Pumps, pipes, valves, and fittings in essential systems may meet ABS rules for building and classing steel vessels for service on rivers and intracoastal waterways.  

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 136.112 Incorporation by reference
46 CFR 143.540 Pumps, piping, valves, and fittings for essential systems

These tests must be recorded in accordance with 46 CFR 140.

Items to check:  

  • Essential systems and equipment are tested and examined regularly. 
  • Tests and examinations verify systems and equipment function as designed. 
  • Unsatisfactory components are repaired or replaced. 
  • Tests and examinations are performed as per manufacturers instructions or the Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) if applicable.
 Test of:  Frequency:
Propulsion controls; ahead and astern at the operating station. Before the vessel gets underway, but no more than once in any 24 hour period.
Steering controls at the operating station Before the vessel gets underway, but no more than once in any 24 hour period.
Pilothouse alerter system. Weekly.
All alternate steering and propulsion controls. At least once every 3 months.
Power supply for alarm actuation circuits for alarms required by § 143.230. At least once every 3 months.
Communications required by § 143.240. Weekly.
General alarm if the vessel is so equipped. Weekly
Emergency lighting and power if the vessel is so equipped. At least once every 3 months.
Charge of storage batteries if the vessel is so equipped, for emergency lighting and power.  At least once every 3 months.
Alarm set points. Twice every 5 years, with no more than 3 years elapsing since last test.
Pressure vessel relief valves. Twice every 5 years, with no more than 3 years elapsing since last test.
All other essential systems. At least once every 3 months.

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.245 Readiness and testing

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 11-92 Guidance for Acceptance of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors National Board Inspection Code (NBIC) for Repairs and Alterations to Boilers and Pressure Vessels
NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and MODUs - see Chapter 5 Marine Safety Manual Vol II Sect B Ch-1
ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code VIII Div 1, UG-126
National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, NB-132 Rev 8

Items to check:

  • Emergency lighting in all internal crew living and working spaces.
  • If battery operated, provides illumination for not less than two hours.
  • If non electric, phosphorescent adhesive strips, sufficient visibility available to egress in a no power condition.
  • Two potable, battery powered lights. One in pilot house and one in engine room.   

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.410 Shipboard lighting

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 2-89 Guide for Electrical Installations on Merchant Vessels and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units - see Chapters 3-5
FAQs Part 143 - see FAQ 143-032

These regulations are only applicable to new towing vessels.

Items to check:

  • Steering systems meet ABS rules for building and classing steel vessels under 90 meters (295 feet) in length.
    • If towing vessel operates exclusively on rivers and intracoastal waterways:
      • Steering systems may meet ABS rules for building and classing steel vessels for service on rivers and intracoastal waterways 

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 136.112 Incorporation by reference
46 CFR 137.220(d)  Scope
46 CFR 143.550 Steering systems

Additional Guidance:

Marine Safety Manual Volume II Sect B Ch-1

Isolation valves must be clearly marked. Use of color-coding in accordance with the vessel's TSMS permitted.

Items to check:

  • Electrical equipment provided with circuit isolations and marked as described in 143.400.
  • Electrical panels and enclosures with multiple power sources have warning signs and identify where to secure power sources.
  • Piping for combustible liquids, seawater cooling, or firefighting systems fitted with isolation valves and clearly marked or color coded to identify its function.
  • All piping hull penetrations below the waterline fitted with accessible valve as close to penetration as practicable and clearly marked or color coded.
  • Color coding meets ISO Standard 14726 or is in accordance with the TSMS applicable to this vessel. 

Regulatory Cites:

46 CFR 143.250 System isolation and markings 

Additional Guidance:

ISO Standard 14726:2008(E)

Existing towing vessels do not have to comply with these requirements until 5 years after the issuance of the initial COI.

New Towing vessels must be in compliance with these regulations prior to c=receiving an initial COI.

Items to check:

  • Towing machinery such as winches, capstans, and related equipment is adequate for intended route and service.
  • Towing wires, hawsers, chains, shackles and fittings are adequate for intended route and service.
  • Safeguards utilized to prevent unintentional release, are not disabled, and properly placarded.
  • Procedures are in place for all towing equipment to be routinely examined, maintained, and/or replaced as needed.

Regulatory Cites:

33 CFR 157.04   Authorization of classification societies
33 CFR 164.74   Towline and terminal gear for towing astern
46 CFR 140.805 Towing safety
46 CFR 143.460 Towing machinery 

Additional Guidance:

NVIC 5-92 Guidelines for Wire Rope Towing Hawsers
Marine Safety Manual Volume II
U.S. Navy Towing Manual
U.S. Navy Salvor’s Handbook