Big Changes Submitting Catamaran Plans To USCG


My go-to guy at USCG MSC in Washington DC, Mark Ganulin retired. It seems that he didn’t train anyone nor leave any notes for the new staff on his way out the door.

This came into sharp focus last spring when I was submitting a tiny 27′ shore shuttle catamaran through MSC.  There is a thing in the CFR 46 called 170.173.  It states that no vessel may have its maximum transverse righting moment occurring at less than 15 degrees of heel.

A typical catamaran like I do or like Gold Coast does has that maximum righting occur at some 5 to 9 degrees, not 15.  It was irrelevant to catamarans and Mark ignored it.  It’s probably very important to single hulls, but not us.  One could design a catamaran what would get it’s maximum righting at 15 degrees, but it would have to have deep V hulls right beside each other.  No!

The new guys were adamant about it.  We spent months wrangling.  They stated that the only way forward was to show a hypothetical vessel that would comply, but they could not say what that vessel would be.  Kevin, the builder, finally filled barrels with water on one side and got it that way.

The take-away lesson is that any of the settled USCG requirements that we thought we could depend on could be gone.  They were like a terrier on a pantleg, even on something as ridiculous as 170.173.  They are polite but seem to have no experience with boats whatsoever, and the force of law behind them.

In the past I could state that I would include compliance with published regulations in the CFR 46 with purchase of a plans set.  I can no longer do that.  They could latch onto anything and demand something never done before.

I will also have to sharply raise the cost of the plans of USCG certified designs.model25psp3


2 thoughts on “Big Changes Submitting Catamaran Plans To USCG”

  1. wow, shouldn’t a competent marine architect be appointed to such a position? I guess the only new USCG compliant designs will be trimarans><?

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