300 Pax Two-Deck Tour Vessel

Private Entity, Draft — June 30, 2008

Introduction

The tour vessel was launched in 2007 and is certified to carry about 300 passengers. The vessel’s service speed is approximately 12.4 knots. The vessel has two passenger decks and both are classified by the draft guidelines as entry decks.1

  • Main Deck — The main deck is about 89 feet long and 31 feet wide (approximately 2,300 square feet). Near the vessel’s amidships line, passengers embark and disembark the vessel at two entry points (one on each side of the vessel). Each entry point is equipped with one crew-operated double-leaf gate. The entry points connect to an exterior passenger circulation path (about 54 inches wide) which encircles the main deck and deck cabin at its perimeter. At the bow, the circulation path widens and contains two exterior stairs (one on each side) which connect the upper deck (second deck). At the stern, a wider third stair, with an inclined platform lift, also connects the upper deck. Along both sides of the cabin, fold-down benches are provided which project into the exterior circulation path. Inside the cabin, at the forward end, is a bar, and in the middle a large open space. When operating as a tour vessel, the larger open space contains portable tables and seats. The after end of the cabin contains a storage closet and engine room access space followed by one multi-user men’s toilet room and one multi-user women’s toilet room. The men’s toilet room is entered through a door on the port side of the cabin and the women’s is entered through a door on the starboard side. Just aft of the amidships line, two double-leaf doors (one of each side of the vessel) connect the cabin open space with the exterior passenger circulation path. Each double-leaf door has two 34 inch wide leaves.

figure300-1
Figure 1. Main Deck — Original Design

  • Upper Deck — The upper deck (second deck) is about 72 feet long and 31 feet wide (approximately 2,200 square feet). The deck extends the length of the main deck cabin and width of the main deck, thereby covering the circulation path on the port and starboard sides of the main deck cabin. On the starboard side of the upper deck, toward the stern, one entry point is provided which is equipped with a crew-operated double-leaf gate. Except for the pilot house, the entire deck and the three stairs which connect it to the main deck are exterior spaces. At the bow end, two stairs (one on each side of the vessel) connect the main deck. At the stern, a stair with an inclined platform lift connects the main deck. On each side of the stern stair, a bench seating area of fixed seats is provided. In addition, along each side of the deck, fixed bench seats (which crew fold-down when needed) are provided and behind the pilot house another fixed bench seat is provided. When the vessel is operating as a tour vessel, the open area in the middle of the deck contains portable seats.

figure300-2
Figure 2. Upper Deck (Second Deck) — Original Design

Methodology

A representative of the Access Board reviewed the original designs of the vessel with a representative2 of the tour company to identify passenger features that would not meet the 2006 draft passenger vessel accessibility guidelines.3 The vessel representative proposed new designs for the passenger features that would meet the draft guidelines and estimated how much the new designs would add to a new vessel’s construction cost.

The vessel representative estimated it would cost approximately $2 million to $2.1 million to construct the vessel in 2006. The vessel representative estimated that the proposed new designs to meet the draft guidelines would add about $67,000 to the vessel’s construction costs, or approximately a 3.2 percent increase. Of this increase, $58,000 is needed to lengthen the vessel by five feet to provide two accessible toilet rooms.

However, if the vessel was not originally equipped with an inclined platform lift (which is typically the case in other two deck tour vessels needing vertical access between decks), the addition of an inclined lift would have added $41,000 to the cost increase, totaling about $108,000, or approximately a 5.3 percent increase.

Although an inclined lift is used in this vessel, the operator noted that some other operators would not feel comfortable having an inclined lift (running up the stern stair) available for unassisted use, and to improve safety would then have provided instead a vertical platform lift to connect the two decks. Adding a vertical platform lift (at a cost of $100,000) to the proposed designs (instead of an inclined platform lift) would add an additional $58,000 to the vessel cost, for a total cost increase of about $166,000, or approximately a 8.1 percent increase.

Actions taken on features in the original vessel designs to create new designs meeting the draft guidelines for a new vessel are discussed below. The case study sought to identify actions that 1) have significant impacts, 2) incurred additional costs but did not have significant impacts, or 3) have other outcomes which should be noted.

An action is identified as having a significant impact where the redesign of the feature would add more than 0.5 percent to vessel’s construction costs; would substantially reduce the vessel’s usable space or necessitate an increase in the vessel’s size; or would present major operational issues. An action is identified as incurring an additional cost but not having a significant impact where a specific cost can be attributed to the redesign of a feature but it does not meet the criteria for a significant impact.

Actions That Have Significant Impacts

1. Vertical Access between Main Deck and Upper Deck (Second Deck)4

At the stern stair, an exterior inclined platform lift (which runs up the side of the exterior stair) is going to be provided and will connect the main deck to the upper deck (second deck). The lift will be available for unassisted use. The platform lift will be 32 inches wide5 and 48 inches long, and will have attached ramps which also function as platform edge protection when in the up position. When in the down position, for loading or off loading, the end ramp which services the lift on the main deck could have a slope greater than 1:12. When serving the upper deck, as the platform stops over the stair, the attached “ramp” connecting the upper deck is probably less than 1:20. The platform lift will have a rated load of 525 pounds.

The draft guidelines would classify both decks as entry decks and would require them to be connected by an onboard accessible route. V106.5 and V206.2.1. As at least one of the two decks is less than 3,000 square feet, the draft guidelines allow a platform lift to be used to connect the decks in the new designs. V206.7.5. The draft guidelines require platform lifts to provide unassisted entry, operation, and exit. V409.1 and V409.5. The guidelines require the platform of the lift to be connected to an accessible route and allow landings 48 inches deep and 32 inches wide at the top and bottom of the attached ramps. V206.2.2, V405.5 Exception and V405.7.3 Exception 1. The guidelines allow platform lifts to have a clear width of 32 inches where the largest deck is less than 3,000 square feet. V305.7.1 Exception.

figure300-3 

Figure 3. Inclined Platform Lift — Main Deck

Inclined Platform Lift Option – The vessel representative proposed in the new designs to have the inclined lift turn 90 degrees at the bottom of the stairs to provide a 48 inch long landing for the attached platform lift entry ramp. To provide this landing space, the port side life jacket storage lockers were moved in the new designs to a location near the bow. The cost of these actions is included in the life jacket locker discussion below under the section titled “Storage”. As no inclined lifts were identified in the market with widths greater than 32 inches, to provide the 32 inches of clear width, the fold-down seat attached to the lift was removed. In addition, the attached ramp which serves the lift when on the main deck was lengthened to provide a maximum slope of 1:12. This lengthening action is estimated to increase the cost of the $41,000 inclined lift by an amount less than $1,000.6

Vertical Platform Lift Option – The vessel representative noted that some vessel operators would be uncomfortable for safety reasons in allowing an inclined platform lift to be available for unassisted use at any time. To provide a vertical lift which reduces safety concerns and is more readily configured to allow unassisted use at any time (during non-emergency conditions), it is estimated the cost of the new designs would increase by $100,000. As the toilet room had to be lengthened by five feet to provide two complying toilet rooms (see toilet room discussion below), by further lengthening the portside of the main deck cabin to contain the space originally occupied by the portside life jacket lockers, the vessel representative believed it was highly likely the vertical lift could be installed within the footprint of the main deck cabin and not require further lengthening of the vessel. The vessel representative also believed that although the men’s toilet room would be made tighter because of the space occupied by the lift, the new toilet room would still comply with the draft guidelines.

2. Toilet Rooms

Two multi-user toilet rooms (one for men and another for women) are provided in the stern area of the main deck cabin. Both were designed for access for persons with disabilities. The draft guidelines require both toilet rooms to be accessible and comply with the provisions in the guidelines. V213. As the markets serviced by the vessel would not allow a reduction in the number of fixtures, the vessel representative proposed in the new designs to increase the size of the two toilet rooms to comply with the draft guidelines. This action required the vessel to be lengthened by five feet and is estimated to increase the cost of the new vessel designs by $58,000.7

Actions That Incur Additional Costs But Do Not Have Significant Impacts

3. Assistive Listening System

The vessel functions as a tour vessel and is equipped with a public address system. As communication which is integral to the use of the exterior spaces of the vessel is provided via a permanently installed audio amplification system, the draft guidelines require the exterior areas to be serviced by a permanently installed assistive listening system (ALS). V219. Based on a seating capacity of 300 (fixed and portable seats), the draft guidelines require 12 receivers to be provided, three of which must be hearing aid compatible. V219.3. The vessel representative proposed in the new designs to install a permanently installed assistive listening system which services the external areas of the vessel and provide the necessary receivers. It is estimated that an ALS would need two or three FM transmitters to provide coverage on the main deck and upper deck and each of the 12 receivers having at least two or three channels (corresponding to the different frequencies of the two or three transmitters). The ALS described above is estimated to increase the cost of the new vessel by $6,000 to $7,000.8 The vessel representative noted that in certain areas through which the vessel travels interferences impact the use of the wireless microphones and these same interferences would probably also impact the ALS signal.

4. Storage

The only storage facilities used by passengers in the vessel are life jacket storage facilities which are located in exterior lockers at the stern of the main deck and under benches on the upper deck. The draft guidelines require one storage facility of each type to be accessible in each accessible space containing passenger storage facilities. V225.2. As the main deck cabinets comply with the draft guidelines, the vessel representative proposed to add an accessible life jacket storage facility on the upper deck. This action, combined with the work to move one of the main deck life jacket lockers from the stern to the bow (see platform lift discussion above) is estimated to increase the cost of the new designs by $1,700.

Other Outcomes

5. Fixed Seating Areas

The vessel has 182 fixed bench seats. On the main deck, 54 exterior bench seats along the port and starboard sides of the main deck cabin (27 on each side) are provided which fold-down into the 54 inch wide exterior circulation path and reduce the path’s width to 39 inches. On both sides of the vessel, the fold-down benches run in front of the two entry points, but can be lifted up when crew members are opening the entry point gates to provide the necessary gate maneuvering clearances. No fixed seats (or fixed tables) are provided inside the cabin.

On the upper deck (second deck), 128 exterior fixed bench seats are provided. At the aft end of the deck, 60 are equally divided on both sides of the stern stair and seven seats are provided along the after end of the pilot house. The remaining 61 seats are located along each side of the deck and mounted against the side windbreak/guard rails (and are folded-up by crew when not in use).

Because the vessel functions as a tour vessel, the exterior fixed seating would be classified by the draft guidelines as seats in an assembly area. V106.5. With one assembly area (comprising both decks) containing 182 fixed seats, the draft guidelines require five wheelchair spaces to be provided. V221.2.1.1. The wheelchair spaces must be integrated into the seating plan and dispersed among portions of the vessel which contain fixed seats. V221.2.2 and V221.2.4. The draft guidelines do allow wheelchair spaces to be dispersed in groups of two. V221.2.4 Exception. Where fixed seats in assembly areas are provided primarily with the intention to provide user lines of sight to areas not on or in the vessel, the wheelchair spaces are not required to comply with lines of sight provisions in the draft guidelines. V221.2.4. The guidelines require each wheelchair space to have a companion seat, but where seats are not arranged to provide lines of sight to fixed screens or performing areas on or in the vessel (as in this tour vessel), the companion seats are not required to be positioned to provide a shoulder to shoulder alignment with each applicable wheelchair space. V802.3.1 Exception 1.

On the main deck, because the exterior circulation path which runs past the fold-down benches is only 54 inches wide (if no seats are provided), to provide a wheelchair space on each side of the vessel, the vessel representative proposed to recess the two wheelchair spaces (one on each side of the cabin) 18 inches into the main deck cabin bulkhead (wall). This would ensure the two main deck wheelchair spaces would not overlap the accessible routes and accessible means of escape which run past the wheelchair spaces. The companion seat may be located at the adjacent fold-down bench seating. The vessel representative indicated the recessed wheelchair spaces would have minimal impact on the area inside the cabin.

 figure300-4

When compared to the original vessel, the vessel representative proposed in the new designs of the upper deck to remove 120 inches of fold-down seats on the port side to hold two wheelchair spaces (each 36 inches by 60 inches) and 48 inches on the starboard side to hold one wheelchair space (36 inches by 48 inches). The companion seats are located to the side on folding bench seats.

 figure300-5

All five wheelchair spaces are positioned parallel with the side of the vessel. The actions to provide five wheelchair spaces are estimated to have an insignificant impact on the cost of the new vessel. Due to the replacement of bench seats with wheelchair spaces about 17 seats were lost. However, due to the five foot extension of the vessel for the toilet rooms, the vessel representative had bench space available at the stern area on both decks to add a total of 32 seats, a net gain of 17 seats.

Vertical Lift Option – If the vessel (which is five feet longer) is required to install a vertical platform lift instead of the inclined lift, about two rows of 11 seats each (22 total) would have to be removed on the port side of the stern stair to provide an accessible route to the lift entry door. This action results in net loss of five seats when compared to the original seating plan.

Wider Stern Stair Option – If the stern stair had to be widened (see stair discussion below) in the vessel which is five feet longer and uses an inclined platform lift, the seating plan results in a net gain of six seats.

As the tour vessel is not required to add these additional seats, the cost of the seats is not included in the case study report. A table is provided below which summarizes the seating impact results.

Summary of Seating Impacts

Action

Upper Deck

Main Deck Port Side

Main Deck

Total Seating Both Decks

WcS = Seating impact of 5 wheelchair spaces (WcS) added to the original seating plan.
TR = Seating impact of increased length by 5 feet to provide accessible toilet rooms (TR).
Vertical Lift = Seating impact when vertical lift is added to 5 foot lengthened vessel.
Wider Stair = Seating impact when stern stair needs to be widened by 24 inches so the inclined platform lift does not block stair in the 5 foot lengthened vessel.

Original Layout

128 seats

27 seats

27 seats

182 seats

5 WcS Provided

119 (-9)
3 WcS

24 (-3)
1 WcS

24 (-3)
1 WcS

167 (-15)
5 WcS

TR (plus 5 ft)

143 (+24)
3 WcS

28 (+4)
1 WcS

28 (+4)
1 WcS

199 (+32)
5 WcS

Net Gain

15 seats
3 WcS

1 seat
1 WcS

1 seat, 1 WcS

17 seats
5 WcS

Vertical Lift

121 (143-22)
3 WcS

28
1 WcS

28
1 WcS

177 (199-22)
5 WcS

Wider Stair Inclined Lift

132 (143-11)
3 WcS

28
1 WcS

28
1 WcS

188 (199-11)
5 WcS

6. Stairs

Three exterior stairs (two at the bow and one at the stern) connect the main deck to the upper deck (second deck). The slope of the stairs is 40 degrees, as allowed by the US Coast Guard (USCG). As vertical access (by the platform lift) is provided9 in the vessel and the stairs are open to the weather10, the draft guidelines do not require in the new designs that the stairs be changed. V209 Exception 3, and V207 and V410.2. However, because the platform lift runs up the 42 inch wide stern stair, it is possible the USCG would require the stair to be made wider so as not to block the means of escape path which uses this stair. In informal discussions with the USCG, it was noted that the USCG would probably establish platform lift operating restrictions which would prohibit lift use under certain conditions, thereby reduce USCG concerns that the stair would be blocked.

Although the case study assumes the stair does not need to be made wider, if it did need to be widened (probably by 24 inches), the costs associated with it would be insignificant in new construction due to the other work related to the lengthening of the vessel by five feet for the toilet rooms. Although not specifically evaluated in this case study, on the main deck, the increase in stair width could expand into the toilet rooms, making the room less spacious but likely to still be in compliance with the draft guidelines. On the upper deck, an increase in stair width would probably lead to the removal of one row of bench seats comprising about 11 seats on one side of the stair. To ensure a circulation path to the row of seats opposite the removed seats and to balance the space impact on the toilet rooms, the stair could be moved from its centerline location either toward the port of starboard side.

7. Entry and Departure Point Gates

Three entry and departure points are provided in this vessel (one each side of the main deck and on the starboard side of the upper deck) and each is provided with a crew-operated double-leaf gate that has 36 inch wide leaves. Depending on which entry point is being used to embark and disembark passengers, a gangway connects a gate to a fixed pier facility. On the main deck, fold-down seating benches are provided opposite the gate openings. When the benches are in the down position, 39 inches of clearance exists between the gates and benches. The draft guidelines require each gate to be connected by an accessible route. V206.4. In addition, as the two gates on the main deck function as the vessel’s two life raft embarkation stations, these two gates are the end points of the two accessible means of escape required by the draft guidelines. V207. The guidelines require at least one leaf at each gate to have a maneuvering clearance at least 42 inches deep. V404.2.4. As the gates are crew operated and the benches can be folded up by crew members to provide the 42 inches clearance at the gates, no change in the new designs is needed. V404.2.4 Exception 4.

8. Protruding Objects

Two engine room vents are provided on the upper deck. The vents are long wide tubes which run up from the deck surface and then turn 90 degrees and project out more than four inches. The draft guidelines prohibit projections of more than four inches into circulation paths, if the leading edges of the projections are more than 27 inches but not more than 80 inches high. V204 and V307.2. The vessel representative proposed in the new designs to add a six inch high curb underneath the vent projections to occupy circulation path space, thereby reducing the projections to four inches or less into circulation paths. This action is estimated to have an insignificant impact on the cost of the new vessel and use of the upper deck.

9. Passenger Boarding System

The vessel 98 percent of the time embarks and disembarks passengers from its company pier. The pier has two levels, the lower level which is down some steps is connected by a gangway to the main deck of the vessel and is primarily the way passengers embark and disembark. If passengers cannot use the steps, a second gangway from the upper pier level is used to connect the upper deck of the vessel. This case study did not evaluate the impact of draft guidelines on passenger boarding systems used in the new vessel designs.

10. Electrical Power, Fuel Consumption, and Vessel Stability Impacts

The vessel representative estimated the proposed actions to meet the draft guidelines would have an insignificant impact on the stability, electrical power needs, and fuel consumption of the new vessel.

Summary

The vessel representative estimated it would cost approximately $2 million to $2.1 million to construct the vessel in 2006. The vessel representative estimated that the proposed new designs to meet the draft guidelines would add about $67,000 to the vessel’s construction costs, or approximately a 3.2 percent increase.

Increase in Size of the Two Toilet Rooms

$58,000

Assistive Listening System

$6,000 to $7,000

Storage for Life Jackets

$1,700

Ramp Extension on Inclined Platform Lift

$1,000

Total

$66,700 to 67,700

However, if the vessel was not originally equipped with an inclined platform lift (which is typically the case in other two deck tour vessels needing vertical access between decks), the addition of an inclined lift would have added $41,000 to the cost increase, totaling about $108,000, or approximately 5.3 percent increase.

Inclined Platform Lift

$41,000

Increase in Size of the Two Toilet Rooms

$58,000

Assistive Listening System

$6,000 to $7,000

Storage for Life Jackets

$1,700

Ramp Extension on Inclined Platform Lift

$1,000

Total

$107,700 to 108,700

Although an inclined lift is used in this vessel, the operator noted that some other operators would not feel comfortable having an inclined lift (running up the stern stair) available for unassisted use, and to improve safety would then have provided instead a vertical platform lift to connect the two decks. For two deck tour vessels not having vertical access between decks, adding a vertical platform lift (at a cost of $100,000) to the proposed designs (instead of an inclined platform lift) would add an additional $58,000 to the vessel cost, for a total cost increase of about $166,000, or approximately a 8.1 percent increase.

Vertical Platform Lift

$100,000

Increase in Size of the Two Toilet Rooms

$58,000

Assistive Listening System

$6,000 to $7,000

Storage for Life Jackets

$1,700

Total

$165,700 to 166,700


1 Both decks have entry points where passengers embark or disembark the vessel. Therefore, under V106.5, the decks are entry decks.

2 Although the report notes decisions made by the vessel representative, it should be noted that the Access Board hired a consultant (acceptable to the vessel representative) to provide most impact information (including cost estimates) which was used by the vessel representative in the case study decision making process.

3 The 2006 draft guidelines, as amended by Board actions at the 2007 and April 2008 meetings.

4 Sufficient clearances exist on the main deck and upper deck (second deck) for accessible routes required by V206.2.2 and accessible means of escape required by V207, unless otherwise noted in the report.

5 A fold-down seat (in the up position) reduces the platform clear width to less than 32 inches.

6 The Access Board contacted two manufacturers of inclined lifts. One reported that the attached ramp could not be lengthened without totally redesigning the lift. Another reported the attached ramp could be lengthened and the lengthening action would add a few $100 to the cost of the lift. Both indicated with a longer attached ramp (for main deck use), the lift may not be able to fold up and would require more space to make a 90 degree turn which the case study assumes is available.

7 Estimate based on materials of 2060 lbs/foot x 5 feet x $0.55/lb plus profit of 15% ($6,515), plus labor of 150 man-hours/ton x $65/Hr ($50,213), plus engineering of 12 hours at $85/Hr ($1,020) equals $57,748. The cost of materials and labor inside the toilet rooms to make them larger is estimated to have an insignificant increase in cost of the new vessel when compared to the cost to build the toilet rooms in the original vessel.

8 The assistive listening system estimate was provided by the Access Board from discussions with equipment suppliers and includes $1,400 estimated engineering and installation costs. Maintenance of the system is estimated to be less than $100 per year.

9 Section V209 requires stairs to be accessible where the stairs connect levels not connected by an accessible route (platform lift in this example).

10 Because the US Coast Guard requires two means of escape from the upper deck to the main deck, section V207 would require two accessible means of escape (AMOE) from the upper deck to the main deck and section V410.1.2 allows stairs to be components in an AMOE. However, under V410.2 Exception 3, the access requirements do not apply to stairs that are open to the weather which are used in an AMOE.