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U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) ship stability regulations governing the ability of a vessel to return to an upright position after being disturbed is the focus of a new TRB publication, Review and Update of U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Stability Regulations and Guidance. The authors advise the USCG on how it can make its stability regulations more usable and complete in meeting the requirements of different types of vessels and those vessels that have undergone weight changes that can affect their stability characteristics.
The USCG has safety regulatory jurisdiction over vessels registered in the United...
The USCG has safety regulatory jurisdiction over vessels registered in the United States. One of its oldest regulatory functions is to ensure these ships, boats, and other floating vessels remain upright as they encounter both expected and unexpected loading, operating, and weather conditions, including wind and wave conditions and unexpected failure of watertight integrity.
Stability standards have been improved over time - particularly in the past 30 years - and the USCG remains keenly interested in making sure the regulations are kept updated based on the latest technical knowledge, well aligned with international standards, and organized and presented in a manner that facilitates compliance and enforcement. The recommendations in the report are intended to further these aims. The USCG earlier commissioned a National Academies study to identify options for improving vessel stability regulations, and after receiving that study in September 2018, the USCG asked for this second study to provide more in-depth advice on applying these options.