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Vessel Lay-up

Vessel Lay-up

Upon request, ABS will survey and review actions taken by the owner to preserve and protect a vessel in lay-up. Upon confirmation of these actions, a factual Lay-up Report will be issued by ABS. When a laid-up vessel achieves full compliance with the requirements specified in the ABS Guide for Lay-up of Ships, it is assigned the ABS optional notation LAID UP.

Full details can be found in the ABS Rules for Survey after Construction, Part 7, Appendix, Section 3.

Specific elements subject for approval for the LAID UP notation include the following:

1. Lay-up Surveys
2. Lay-up Site & Mooring Arrangements
3. Safety & Protection
4. Preservation & Maintenance

Owners may contact any ABS survey office worldwide for additional details.

1. Lay-up Surveys

When ABS is notified by an owner that a vessel has been laid-up, its status will be noted in the vessel’s survey status and in the ABS Record.  In addition, surveys falling due during lay-up may be postponed until after the vessel reactivates.

The following items, among others, should normally be included upon submittal of lay-up specification procedures:

  • Lay-up site details (location, access, meteorological data, currents and tides)
  • Proposed period for lay-up
  • Mooring and anchoring arrangements
  • Proposed manning
  • Power availability and other services
  • Fire prevention, fire fighting, flooding and securing arrangements
  • Preservation of hull and tank protection
  • Procedures for preservation and maintenance of equipment
  • Use of dehumidification equipment
  • Reactivation plan

A log book with record of lay-up preparations, maintenance and preservation actions should be maintained throughout the vessel’s lay-up and reactivation. Owners should keep in mind that flag Administrations may have specific regulations for lay-up and reactivation surveys and should be contacted for additional requirements.

2. Lay-up Site & Mooring Arrangements

Lay-up Site Considerations
The following lay-up arrangements are normally subject to approval by the local port authorities, salvage association and underwriters:

  • Protection from open seas and surge
  • Sufficient year-round water depth
  • Good holding ground for anchors, clear of wrecks or cables
  • Freezing or excess humidity

The lay-up site must also be clear of:

  • Open roadstead anchorages or shipping channels
  • High velocity or turbulent tidal currents
  • Significant amounts of moving ice
  • Hazardous shore facilities
  • Detrimental industrial waste discharges

Mooring Arrangements Considerations
When approving mooring arrangements at the lay-up site, ABS will consider the following:

  • Good holding ground and ample anchor scope, generally considered to be seven times the depth of the water, as a minimum
  • Vessel’s stem should face toward the usual most severe winds
  • Mooring chains should be led and protected so as to avoid chafing against the vessel
  • Adjacent vessels should be similar in size to avoid differential surging motion
  • Vessels should be moored in alternate directions bow to stern in even numbers
  • Vessels should be ballasted to reduce windage, rolling and surge (30% or more of load draft is suggested)
  • Clearly visible reference marks should be painted on bow and stern just above waterline as an external means of checking for leakage
  • Emergency towing pendants should be secured to bitts at the bow and stern of each vessel and arranged for easy access from a tug

3. Safety & Protection

A security plan is to be provided at the lay-up location. Details should include general vessel access for crew, watch keepers, port authorities or the use of other remote monitoring systems.

The objective of the following is to verify that sufficient and qualified personnel should be available to maintain fulltime fire, leakage, moorings and security watch of the vessel. In addition, ABS will verify that efficient, independently powered fire and flooding alarms and/or warning lights are fitted as deemed appropriate.

ABS will also consider the following:

  • Fire safety equipment, including the emergency fire pump, should be proven to be in good order immediately prior to lay-up and prepared for immediate use thereafter
  • Drains should be kept only sufficiently open to allow drainage of condensate
  • The following equipment is to be removed from external locations and stored, identified and accessible for immediate use when required:
    • Fire hose
    • Nozzles
    • Applicators
    • Life jackets
    • Survival suits
    • Firemen’s outfits
    • Breathing apparatus and life rings (except those needed for crew on board)
  • Fire extinguishers shall remain in their respective stations
  • Fire-extinguishing systems should remain fully operational during the lay-up period
  • A copy of the fire control plan should be maintained on board and readily available
  • Arrangements should be made for containment and frequent removal of all loose flammable materials, such as:
    • Oily rags
    • Cotton waste
    • Chemicals
    • Additives
    • Corrosives
    • Old pyrotechnics
    • Matches
    • Unsealed painting oils
  • Empty cargo tanks, adjacent cofferdams, cargo piping and venting systems and cargo pump rooms should be clean and gas-free
  • Machinery space bilges should be cleaned of all debris, oil or other flammable products and dried out
  • Life boat davits, wires, rollers and winches should be lubricated and operated every three months. Life boat engines should be operated once a month.

4. Preservation & Maintenance

The primary objective of lay-up preservation is to protect the hull and deck equipment against accelerated corrosion, weathering damaging and freezing.

Hull protection:

  • External coating systems should be in good condition prior to lay-up, with consideration given to supplemental sacrificial anodes externally along the side shell and in ballasted tanks
  • Impressed-current cathodic hull protection systems should be maintained in operation if a continuous power source is available and readings logged weekly by watch personnel
  • Cargo tanks should be kept empty and dehumidified or ventilated and condensate removed regularly
  • All doors and side scuttles should be kept closed and deadcovers in place

Machinery preservation:

  • Machinery casing top openings and skylights should be kept closed and weathertight
  • Whenever possible, accommodation spaces, navigation bridges and other control rooms should be sealed and dehumidified. Complete dehumidification at 45% to 55% RH is normally required to prevent sweating or equipment damage.

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