Chapter 12 Subchapters C & T

New Construction Access Specifications for Small Passenger Vessels

Note: This chapter only applies to passenger vessels subject to subchapters C or T.

Measurements. All slopes are determined when the vessel has zero trim and list.

Definitions

Brow. A brow (also known as a transfer span) will typically bridge from the side of the vessel to a landing on essentially the same level. The purpose of the transfer span is to accommodate the motion differences between the vessel and the float or dock.

Gangway. That portion of the path of travel which changes slope to accommodate changes in water level other than wave surge and heel action.

LOD. Length on Deck.

Program Area. Area containing the primary commercial purpose of the vessel.

Sailing Vessel. A vessel principally equipped for propulsion by sail even if the vessel has an auxiliary means of propulsion (Subchapter T, 46 CFR 175.400).

Note: Exceptions are not mandatory. Exceptions provide other options for certain size vessels.

S1 Small Sailing Vessels. Passenger sailing vessels classified as subchapter C or T that are less than 100 gross tons, and uninspected vessels over 100 gross tons, shall comply with the small passenger sailing vessel requirements in sections S1.1 through S1.4.

Example 1. A subchapter C passenger sailing vessel greater than 100 gross tons would not be classified as a small sailing vessel and would comply with the provisions for "H and K" vessels.

Example 2. A passenger sailing vessel less than 100 gross tons and classified as a subchapter T vessel would comply with S1.1 through S1.4.

Comment: Some U.S. Coast Guard grand-fathered T boats are over 100 gross tons, so the committee added a reference to T boats. Therefore, even if a sailboat is greater than 100 gross tons, but is classified as a T boat by the Coast Guard, the sailboat would fall under these small boat access provisions.

Note: Gross tonnage is not weight but volume.

S1.1 Embarkation/Debarkation. At least one entry/departure point to the vessel shall have a minimum clear width of 32 inches (815 mm) and shall be provided through bulwarks, lifelines, deck rails, and toe rails, where such features are provided. An onboard maneuvering space shall be provided at the opening which is either (1) 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum by 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum or, (2) 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum in depth and starting at one side of the opening and extending 80 inches (2030 mm) minimum in width across the opening (see figure below). A door is permitted to be located in the opening through such features and such features are permitted to be readily removable to provide a clear passage for transfer purposes.

EXCEPTION: Instead of the minimum opening and maneuvering space, vessels less than 80 feet (24.3 m) LOD may provide a transfer platform complying with S10.2.1 through S10.2.3 or other auxiliary equipment sufficient to provide entry/departure to the vessel.

Advisory S1.1 - Readily removable features may require the assistance of another passenger or crew member.

Example 1. An 81 foot LOD passenger sailing vessel has a lifeline surrounding the deck. To meet the requirements of S1.1, a 32 inch minimum opening through the lifeline has been provided. When the vessel is underway, a readily removable lifeline is positioned in the opening for safety reasons, which is permitted by S1.1.

Example 2. A 40 foot LOD passenger sailing vessel has a lifeline surrounding the stern area. Under S1.1, three options are available, if the entry/departure point was provided on this stern area. (1) a 32 inch opening could be installed, (2) as allowed by the exception, a transfer platform could be provided on top of the life line, or (3) also allowed by the exception, auxiliary equipment (e.g., shipboard lift or bosun's chair) could be provided which will facilitate safe movement onto the vessel.

S1.2 Clear Deck Spaces - Required Number. Clear deck spaces, each 30 inches (760 mm) minimum by 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum, shall be provided in accordance with Table S1.2 and shall be dispersed among vessel program areas. Where more types of program areas exist than clear deck spaces are required by Table S1.2, each type of program area shall contain at least one clear deck space. Each clear deck space required by this section shall be provided with a tie-down system which complies with S3.

EXCEPTION 1. Not more than fifty percent of the requirement may be met with transfer seats complying with S4.

EXCEPTION 2. Vessels less than 65 feet (19.8 m) LOD may substitute one transfer seat complying with S4 for each clear deck space where providing the clear deck space is not structurally feasible.

EXCEPTION 3. This section does not apply to spaces reachable only by vertical or inclined ladders.

Table S1.2 Clear Deck Spaces

Passenger capacity of vesselMinimum Number
50 or less 2
51 to 100 4
101 to 149 6

Advisory S1.2 - Type of program area refers to locations where each business service offered to passengers occurs. For example, a fishing program area in the bow or along the sides of the vessel is the same type of fishing area at the stern of the vessel. For a vessel providing overnight trips, one passenger stateroom would be the same type of program as another passenger stateroom.

S1.3 Toilet Rooms (Heads). Where at least one toilet room (head) is provided on the deck containing a program area, or on a deck connected by an accessible route complying with S5 to an accessible vessel entry point, at least one toilet room on board the vessel shall comply with the following provisions.

a. The entry door shall have a clear width of 32 inches (815 mm) minimum. The door shall be capable of being opened and closed by the occupant. If locking or latching hardware is provided, it must comply with S5.2.3. A maneuvering space 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum in depth and 80 inches (2030 mm) minimum in width shall be provided outside the entry door (see figure below).

EXCEPTION: Where the entry door has a clear width of 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum, the maneuvering space at the door shall be at least 32 inches (815 mm) by 48 inches (1220 mm).

b. A horizontal grab bar 24 inches (610 mm) minimum in length and located 33 inches (840 mm) to 36 inches (915 mm) above the finished deck surface shall be provided.

c. The horizontal grab bar shall be located on the opposite side of the water closet from the clear deck space.

d. The water closet shall have a height of 17 inches (430 mm) to 19 inches (480 mm) above the finished deck surface.

e. Clear deck space 30 inches (760 mm) minimum by 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum shall be provided adjacent to the water closet.

EXCEPTION 1. No access will be required in spaces reachable only by vertical or inclined ladders.

EXCEPTION 2. Section S1.3 does not apply to vessels less than 65 feet (19.8 m) LOD.

Example 1. A 70 foot LOD sailing vessel has a weather deck and provides a head on the second deck which is located below the weather deck and accessed by stairs. Under S1.3, the toilet room has to meet the technical requirements of this section if a program area is on the second deck. If no program area is on the deck containing the head and because no accessible route connects the second deck (it is connected by stairs), the toilet room (head) does not have to be accessible.

Example 2. A 60 foot LOD sailing vessel has a toilet room located on the deck which contains a program area. Under exception 2, a vessel less than 65 feet LOD does not have to comply with S1.3. Therefore, the toilet room on this 60 foot vessel is not required to meet S1.3 requirements.

S1.4 Accessible Route. At least one accessible route complying with S5 shall connect each element (for example, transfer seat and clear deck space) and space (for example, toilet room) required by S1 to be accessible with the accessible entry/departure point.

EXCEPTION 1. Where providing an accessible route is not structurally or operationally feasible, a transfer system complying with S10 may be provided instead of the accessible route.

EXCEPTION 2. The accessible route is not required to connect elements and spaces required to be accessible, which are connected only by one or more vertical or inclined ladders.

EXCEPTION 3. Vessels less than 80 feet (24.4 m) LOD may replace all or portions of the accessible route with a transfer system complying with S10.

EXCEPTION 4. Where a deck or deck level is less than 300 square feet (28 m2), a transfer system complying with S10 may be used instead of all or portions of an accessible route to connect the elements and spaces which are required to be accessible on that deck.

EXCEPTION 5. Accessible routes that comply with the accessible route provisions being developed by the full committee for subchapter K and H vessels may be used in lieu of S5 requirements.

S2 Small Power Vessels. Self-propelled passenger vessels having engines and (1) not principally equipped for propulsion by sail, (2) classified as Subchapter C or Subchapter T vessels, or are less than 100 gross tons and not classified as subchapter K vessels, and (3) meeting at least two of the following three factors shall comply with the small passenger power vessel requirements in sections S2.1 through S2.4.

a. Length on deck of the vessel is 65 feet (19.8 m) or less;

b. Maximum beam of the vessel is 16 feet (4875 mm) or less;

c. On the vessel's main deck, each of the following three areas is 750 square feet (70 m2) or less in size:

- weather deck,

- major program area, and

- the boarding deck.

EXCEPTION: Square footage containing employee only areas, ship's gear, machinery, and cabin trunks shall not be included in determining the size of the above three areas.

Example. A 70 foot LOD subchapter T dinner boat has a maximum beam of 15 feet. On the main deck, the weather deck is 50 sq. ft., the major program area is 800 sq. ft., and the boarding deck is 20 sq. ft. The vessel would not be classified as a small passenger vessel, because only one of the three factors was met (i.e., the maximum beam is 15 feet). Therefore, the vessel would have to meet the new construction requirements for subchapters H or K.

S2.1 Embarkation/Debarkation. At least one entry/departure point to the vessel shall have a minimum clear width of 32 inches and shall be provided through bulwarks, lifelines, deck rails, and toe rails, where such features are provided. An onboard maneuvering space shall be provided which is either (1) 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum by 60 inches (1525 mm) minimum or (2) 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum in depth and starting at one side of the opening and extending 80 inches (2030 mm) minimum in width across the opening (see figure below). A door is permitted to be located in the opening through such features and such features are permitted to be readily removable to provide a clear passage for transfer purposes.

EXCEPTION: Vessels 30 feet (9145 mm) LOD or less may have a transfer platform 22 inches (560 mm) wide minimum to facilitate movement onto the vessel instead of the opening.

S2.2 Clear Deck Spaces - Required Number. Clear deck spaces, each 30 inches (760 mm) minimum by 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum, shall be provided in accordance with Table S2.2 and shall be dispersed among vessel program areas. Where more types of program areas exist than clear deck spaces are required by Table S2.2, each type of program area shall contain at least one clear deck space. Each clear deck space required by this section shall be provided with a tie-down system which complies with S3.

EXCEPTION 1. Not more than fifty percent of the requirement may be met with transfer seats complying with S4.

EXCEPTION 2. If providing a clear deck space is not structurally or operationally feasible, a transfer platform and transfer seat complying with S4 may be provided instead each clear deck space.

EXCEPTION 3. Vessels 30 feet (9145 mm) LOD or less may have a transfer seat complying with S4 in the vessel instead of the clear deck space.

EXCEPTION 4. This section does not apply to spaces reachable only by vertical or inclined ladder.

Table S2.2 Clear Deck Spaces

Passenger capacity of vesselMinimum Number
50 or less 2
51 to 100 4
101 to 149 6

S2.3 Toilet Rooms (Heads). Where one or more passenger toilet rooms (heads) are provided on a passenger vessel, at least one toilet room complying with the following provisions shall be provided.

a. The entry door shall have a clear width of 32 inches (815 mm). The door shall be capable of being opened and closed by the occupant. If locking or latching hardware is provided, it must comply with S5.2.3. A maneuvering space 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum in depth and 80 inches (2030 mm) minimum in width shall be provided outside the entry door (see figure below).

EXCEPTION 1. Where the entry door has a clear width of 42 inches (1065 mm) minimum, the maneuvering space at the door shall be at least 32 inches (815 mm) by 48 inches (1220 mm).

EXCEPTION 2. This section does not apply to vessels 48 feet (14.6 m) LOD or less.

b. A horizontal grab bar 24 inches (610 mm) minimum in length and located 33 inches (840 mm) to 36 inches (915 mm) above the finished deck surface shall be provided.

EXCEPTION: This section does not apply to vessels 48 feet (14.6 m) LOD or less.

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c. The horizontal grab bar shall be located inside the toilet room door and adjacent to the water closet.

d. The water closet shall have a height of 17 inches (430 mm) to 19 inches (480 mm) above the finished deck surface.

e. Clear deck space 30 inches (760 mm) minimum by 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum shall be provided adjacent to the water closet.

S2.4 Accessible Route. At least one accessible route complying with S5 shall connect each element (for example, transfer seat and clear deck space) and space (for example, toilet room) required by S1 to be accessible with the accessible entry/departure point.

EXCEPTION 1. This section does not apply to vessels less than 30 feet (9145 mm) LOD.

EXCEPTION 2. The accessible route is not required to connect elements and spaces required to be accessible, but only connected by one or more vertical or inclined ladders.

EXCEPTION 3. Where a deck or deck level is less than 300 square feet (28 m2), a transfer system complying with S10 may be used instead of all or portions of an accessible route to connect the elements and spaces which are required to be accessible on that deck.

EXCEPTION 4. Accessible routes that comply with the accessible route provisions for subchapter K and H vessels may be used in lieu of S5 requirements.

S3 Tie-Downs. Clear deck spaces required by S1 or S2 to have a tie-down systems shall comply with the following provisions:

a. Each tie down system will consist of four d-rings securely fastened to the deck;

b. Lashings shall be provided to secure the wheelchair to the d-rings;

c. Provisions for securing the passenger in their wheelchair shall be provided; and

d. The securing of passengers with disabilities shall be accomplished in a prudent and seamanlike manner.

Comment: Quantitative performance criteria should be researched and/or developed.

S4 Transfer Seat. Transfer seats required by S1 or S2 shall be 14 inches (355 mm) minimum to 18 inches (455 mm) maximum in depth and 24 inches (1065 mm) minimum in length. Seats shall be fixed and shall have back support. Back support shall be 24 inches (610 mm) minimum in length and shall extend from a point 2 inches (50 mm) maximum above the seat to a point 18 inches (455 mm) minimum above the seat. Transfer seats shall be provided with a means of securing the occupants in the seats, such as a lap belt.

S5 Small Vessel Accessible Routes (Technical).

S5.1 (403) Walking Surfaces.

S5.1.1 (403.2) Deck Surface. Deck surfaces that are part of an accessible route and accessible spaces shall be stable, firm, and slip resistant.

S5.1.2 Slope and Cross Slope. Deck surfaces that are part of an accessible route shall have a slope of 1:48 maximum in all directions.

EXCEPTION: Slopes may exceed 1:48 due to camber or sheer or design trim.

S5.1.3 Width. Accessible routes shall have a minimum clear width of 32 inches (815 mm).

S5.1.4 Openings. Openings in deck surfaces that are part of an accessible route shall be of a size that does not permit passage of a 1 inch (25 mm) diameter sphere.

S5.2 (404) Doors and Doorways. Doors and doorways on accessible routes shall comply with S5.2.

EXCEPTION: S5.2 shall not apply to vessels less than 45 feet (13.7 m) LOD.

S5.2.1 (404.2.3) Clear Width. Doorways shall have a clear opening of 32 inches (815 mm) exclusive of hardware.

S5.2.2 (404.2.4) Thresholds. In doors without coamings, thresholds, if provided, at doorways shall be ½ inch (13 mm) beveled or ¼ inch (6 mm) unbeveled maximum in height.

S5.2.3 (404.2.7) Door Hardware. Handles, pulls, latches, locks and other operable parts of accessible doors shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping or pinching. The force required to activate them shall be 5 lbs (22.2N) maximum. Handles, pulls, latches and other operable parts of accessible doors shall be 34 inches (865 mm) minimum and 44 inches (1120 mm) maximum above the finished deck surface. When sliding doors are in the fully open position operating hardware shall be exposed and operable from both sides.

EXCEPTION: The activation force shall not apply to the actual sliding of sliding doors.

S5.2.4 (404.2.11) Vision Lights. Doors and sidelights adjacent to doors, containing one or more glazing panels that permit viewing through the panels shall have the bottom of at least one glazed panel located 43 inches (1090 mm) maximum above the finished deck surface.

S5.3 (307) Protruding Objects.

S5.3.1 (307.1) General. Protruding objects along an accessible route shall comply with S5.3.

EXCEPTION 1. S5.3 shall not apply to sailing vessels less than 80 feet (24.4 m) LOD.

EXCEPTION 2. S5.3 shall not apply to power vessels less than 48 feet (14.6 m) LOD.

S5.3.2 (307.2) Protrusion Limits. Objects with leading edges located more than 27 inches (685 mm) and not more than 80 inches (2030 mm) above the finished deck surface shall protrude from the bulkhead 4 inches (100 mm) maximum into the accessible route.

EXCEPTION: Handrails serving stairs or ramps shall protrude 4-1/2 inches (115 mm) maximum from the bulkhead.

S5.3.3 (307.3) Post-Mounted Objects. Free standing objects mounted on posts or pylons shall overhang 12 inches (305 mm) maximum when located 27 inches (685 mm) minimum and 80 inches (2030 mm) maximum above the finished deck surface. Where a sign or other obstruction is mounted between posts or pylons and the clear distance between posts or pylons is greater than 12 inches (305 mm), the lowest edge of such sign or obstruction shall be 27 inches (685 mm) maximum and 80 inches (2030 mm) minimum above the finished deck surface.

EXCEPTION: This requirement shall not apply to sloping portions of handrails serving stairs or ramps.

S5.3.4 (307.4) Reduced Vertical Clearance. Guardrails or other barriers shall be provided where vertical clearance is less than 60 inches (1525 mm) above the finished deck surface.

S5.3.5 (307.5) Requires Clear Width. Protruding objects shall not reduce clear width required for accessible routes.

S5.4 Brows and Gangways.

S5.4.1 Brows. Brows used for embarkation and debarkation shall comply with this section.

S5.4.1.1 Width. Brows shall be 36 inches (915 mm) wide minimum.

S5.4.1.2 Edge Protection. Brows shall have an edge protection no less than 2 inches (50 mm) from the walking surface of the brow.

S5.4.1.3 Slope. Brows to the vessel shall provide a slope no greater than 1:12.

EXCEPTION: The1:12 slope may be exceed when the vertical height is less than 9 inches as in Table 1.

Table 1

Vertical HeightSlope
3 inches or less 1:4
3 - 6 inches 1:6
6 - 9 inches 1:8

S5.4.1.4 Personnel Lift. Where a brow slope exceeds 1:12, a personnel lift other than a wheelchair lift may be substituted.

S5.4.2 Gangways. Gangways used for embarkation and debarkation shall comply with 1005 (see chapter 2 of this report).

S5.4.3 Transition Plates. Transition plates shall comply with 1006 (see chapter 2 of this report).

S6 Means of Escape

S6.1 (207.2) Number Required. All spaces required to be accessible shall be provided with not less than one accessible means of escape complying with Coast Guard requirements. Where more than one means of escape is required by the Coast Guard from any accessible space, each accessible space shall be served by not less than two accessible means of escape. Each required accessible means of escape shall comply with S5 and shall be a continuous and unobstructed way of exit travel to an area of refuge complying with Coast Guard requirements, then, if applicable, to mustering and lifeboat embarkation locations, or alternatively to the point of disembarking the vessel.

EXCEPTION: Where a required means of escape is permitted by the Coast Guard to: include a ladder, go through a window, or go through a deck scuttle, the corresponding means of escape is notrequired by this section.

S7 Not Used.

S8 Not Used.

S9 Not Used.

S10 Transfer System

Comment: Concept and dimensions for the transfer system provisions in S10 came from the Access Board's proposed rule on playground access which allows a transfer system to provide some degree of access around play areas with less than 20 elevated play components.

S10.1 General. Transfer systems permitted to replace all or portions of a required accessible route shall comply with S10. Transfer systems are permitted to be portable or fixed.

S10.2 Transfer Platform. A transfer platform complying with 10.2.1 through 10.2.3 shall be located at the beginning and end of a transfer system.

EXCEPTION: Except at any entry/departure point which is required to be accessible, a transfer seat complying with S4 may be used instead of a transfer platform.

S10.2.1 Size. Transfer platforms shall have a surface 14 inches (335 mm) minimum in depth and 24 inches (610 mm) minimum in width.

S10.2.2 Clear Deck Space. Each transfer platform and transfer seat shall be provided with at least one adjacent clear deck space which is 30 inches (760 mm) minimum by 48 inches (1220 mm) minimum.

EXCEPTION 1. This section does not apply to transfer platforms which are used at an accessible entry/departure point and are connected to transfer steps.

EXCEPTION 2. This section does not apply to transfer seats used also to meet the requirements of S1.2 and S2.2.

S10.2.3 Height. Where clear deck space is required, the surface of the transfer platforms and transfer seats required by 10.2 shall be 11 inches (280 mm) minimum to 18 inches (455 mm) maximum above the finished deck surface containing the required adjacent clear deck space.

S10.3 Transfer Step. Where a transfer system provides vertical movement, transfer steps shall be provided between transfer platforms and transfer seats required by 10.2. Such transfer steps shall have a surface 14 inches (335 mm) minimum in depth and 24 inches (610 mm) minimum in width, and shall have a riser height of 8 inches (205 mm) maximum.

Communications.No hardware standard adopted.