The safety bulletins were published on 15 January 2024.
Safety and legal information for vessels with removable decks
This bulletin applies to Authorized Representatives (AR) and Masters of Canadian fishing vessels subject to the Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations.
It addresses safety information and regulatory requirements when adding a removable deck.
Removable Deck Impact:
Raises the vessel's vertical center of gravity and increases lightship displacement.
Can negatively affect stability and increase gross tonnage.
Photos show examples of removable decks fitted above the vessel's gunwale.
Transportation Safety Board highlights stability issues as a common cause of fishing vessel incidents and fatalities.
Modifications affecting stability should be carefully considered.
Changes to a vessel's design, stability, or gross tonnage must comply with Canadian law.
Failure to comply may lead to vessel detention or fines.
Requirements for Masters and Authorized Representatives:
The AR and Master must ensure the modified vessel is seaworthy and complies with regulations.
Stability assessment is required for vessels modified with removable decks.
Removable deck addition requires a reassessment of the vessel's stability.
Update stability assessment to account for the deck, additional catch capacity, and raised equipment.
Drainage and Tonnage:
Installing a removable deck can impact freeing ports and drainage arrangements.
Changes in gross tonnage must be reported to the Vessel Registration Office.
Installation of hinged fin anti-roll devices on fishing vessels
This bulletin applies to all small Canadian fishing vessels with hinged fin anti-roll devices. It also applies to owners and operators of small Canadian fishing vessels that are thinking of installing these devices.
The purpose of this bulletin is to explain how these devices can affect a vessel’s safety and the legal requirements for fishing vessels with these devices.
Hinged fin anti-roll devices help reduce a vessel's rolling motion.
Fins are fastened to a vessel's hull bilges and can be lowered from a raised stowed position.
While anti-roll devices make a platform more comfortable, they do not improve stability and may introduce risks.
Risks include vessel sinking, sudden heel, reduced stability, and loss of control.
Fins are considered experimental and not regulated by Transport Canada.
Legal Compliance for Vessels 15 GT or Less:
Owners must ensure safe operation and seaworthiness.
Written proof required, including considerations for hull integrity, weak links, design loads, and stability assessment.
Major modifications may require stability assessment and approval by a competent person.
Legal Compliance for Vessels More than 15 GT:
Transport Canada review and approval is required for vessel plans before construction or modification.
Plans should detail fin attachment points, expected forces, and arrangements for extra loading.
There are no specific design or construction requirements for fins.
Written Procedures and Crew Training:
Authorized representatives and masters must develop written safety procedures, including operation and potential issues.
Crew must be trained on written procedures, including drills, with records kept.
Both bulletins aim to guide vessel owners and operators, providing safety information, legal requirements, and considerations for modifications to fishing vessels, whether involving removable decks or hinged fin anti-roll devices.