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Inspection of Hulls and Equipment.
[See Seaworthiness, p 76.] Inspection of Boilers.
The local inspectors shall also inspect the boilers and their appurtenances in all steam vessels before the same shall be used, and once at least in every year thereafter, and shall subject all boilers to the hydrostatic pressure. All such vessels shall comply with the following requirements, namely: That the boilers are well made, of good and suitable material; that the openings for the passage of water and steam, respectively, and all pipes and tubes exposed to heat, are of proper dimensions and free from obstructions; that the spaces between and around the flues are sufficient; that flues, boilers, furnaces, safety valves, fusible plugs, low-water indicators, feed-water apparatus, gauge cocks, steam gauges, water and steam pipes connecting boilers, means of prevention of sparks and flames from fire doors, low-water gauges, means of removing mud and sediment from boilers, and all other such machinery and appurtenances thereof, are of such construction, shape, condition, arrangement, and material that the same may be safely employed in the service proposed without peril to life; and the local inspectors shall satisfy themselves by thorough examination that said requirements of law and regulations in regard thereto have been fully complied with. All boilers used on steam vessels and constructed of iron or steel plates, inspected under the provisions of section forty-four hundred and thirty, shall be subjected to a hydrostatic test, in the ratio of one hundred and fifty pounds to the square inch to one hundred pounds to the square inch of the working steam power allowed. No boiler or flue pipe, nor any of the connections therewith, shall be approved, which is made, in whole or in part, of bad material, or is unsafe in its form, or dangerous from defective workmanship, age, use, or other cause. (R. S. 4418; Mar. 3, 1905.)
One of the safety valves may, if in the opinion of the local inspectors it is necessary to do so, and the steam registers shall, be taken wholly from the control of all persons engaged in navigating such vessel and secured by the inspectors. (R. S. 4419.)
In applying the directions of the preceding sections [4418-4419) to steamboats used exclusively for towing and carrying freight on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the local inspectors shall substitute for such boats, one hundred and fifty pounds of steam pressure in place of one hundred and ten pounds for the standard pressure upon standard boilers of forty-two inches diameter, and of plates of one-quarter of an inch in thickness. (R. S. 4420.)
Every boiler manufactured to be used on steam vessels, and made of iron or steel plates, shall be constructed of plates that have been stamped in accordance with the provisions of this Title [R. S. 4399– 4500). (R. S. 4428.)
Every person who constructs a boiler, or steam pipe connecting the boilers, to be used on steam vessels, of iron or steel plates which have not been duly stamped and inspected according to the provisions of this Title [R. S. 4399-4500], or who knowingly uses any defective, bad, or faulty iron or steel in the construction of such boilers; or who drifts any rivet hole to make it come fair; or who delivers any such boiler for use, knowing it to be imperfect in its flues, flanging, riveting, bracing, or in any other of its parts, shall be fined one thousand dollars, one-half for the use of the informer. Nothing in this Title shall be so construed as to prevent from being used, on any steamer, any boiler or steam generator which may not be constructed of riveted iron or steel plates, when the board of supervising inspectors have satisfactory evidence that such boiler or steam generator is equal in strength, and as safe from explosion, as a boiler of the best quality constructed of riveted iron or steel plates: Provided, however, That the Secretary of Commerce may grant permission to use any boiler or steam generator not constructed of riveted iron or steel plates upon the certificate of the supervising inspector of steamboats for the district wherein such boiler or generator is to be used, and other satisfactory proof that the use of the same is safe and efficient; said permit to be valid until the next regular meeting of the supervising inspectors who shall act thereon. (R. S. 4429; Aug. 7, 1882.)
Every iron or steel plate used in the construction of steamboat boilers, and which shall be subject to a tensile strain, shall be inspected in such manner as shall be prescribed by the board of supervising inspectors and approved by the Secretary of Commerce, so as to enable the inspectors to ascertain its tensile strength, homogeneousness, toughness, and ability to withstand the effect of repeated heating and cooling; and no iron or steel plate shall be used in the construction of such boilers which has not been inspected and approved under those rules. (R. S. 4430.)
And the Supervising Inspector General may, under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, detail assistant inspectors from any local inspection district where assistant inspectors are employed, to inspect iron or steel boiler plates at the mills where the same are manufactured; and if the plates are found in accordance with the rules of the supervising inspectors, the assistant inspector shall stamp the same with the initials of his name, followed by the letters and words “U. S. Assistant Inspector”; and material so stamped shall be accepted by the local inspectors in the districts where such material is to be manufactured into marine boilers as being in full compliance with the requirements of this section regarding the inspection of boiler plates; it being further provided that any person Who affixes any false, forged, fraudulent, spurious, or counterfeit of the stamp herein authorized to be put on by an assistant inspector, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars, nor more than five thousand dollars, and imprisoned not less than two years nor more than five years. (Jan. 22, 1894.)
Every plate of boiler iron or steel, made for use in the construction of steamboat boilers, shall be distinctly and permanently stamped by the manufacturer thereof, and, if practicable, in such places that the marks shall be left visible when such plates are worked into boilers, with the name of the manufacturer, the place where manufactured, and the number of pounds tensile strain it will bear to the sectional square inch; and the inspectors shall keep a record in their office of the stamps upon all boiler plates and boilers which they inspect. (R. S., 4431.)
Every person who counterfeits, or causes to be counterfeited, any of the marks or stamps prescribed for boiler iron or steel plates, or who designedly stamps, or causes to be stamped falsely, any such plates; and every person who stamps or marks, or causes to be stamped or marked, any such iron or steel plates with the name or trade-mark of another, with the intent to mislead or deceive, shall be fined two thousand dollars, one-half to the use of the informer, and may, in addition thereto, at the discretion of the court, be imprisoned not exceeding two years. (R. S. 4432.).
The working steam pressure allowable on boilers constructed of plates inspected as required by this Title [R. S. 4399-4500], when single riveted, shall not produce a strain to exceed one-sixth of the tensile strength of the iron or steel plates of which such boilers are constructed; but where the longitudinal laps of the cylindrical parts of such boilers are double riveted, and the rivet holes for such boilers have been fairly drilled instead of punched, an addition of twenty per centum to the working pressure provided for single riveting may be allowed: Provided, That all other parts of such boilers shall correspond in strength to the additional allowances so made; and no split calking shall in any case be permitted. (R. S. 4433.)
No externally fired boiler having its shell constructed of iron or steel plates, exceeding an average thickness of thirty-eight one-hundredths of an inch, shall be employed on any steam vessel navigating the Red River of the North or rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico or their tributaries; and no externally fired boiler employed on any such steam vessel 'shall have less than three inches space between its shell and any of its internal flues, and not less than three inches space between such flues when any such flues are more than five inches in diameter, the measurements to be taken from the center of the length of the tapered section of said flues; and every such externally fired boiler employed on any such steam vessel shall be provided with a manhole in the lower part of the front head thereof, of such dimensions as may be prescribed by the Board of Supervising Inspectors, in all cases where the distance between its internal flues is less than three inches. Externally fired boilers hav- . ing shells constructed of iron or steel plates not exceeding an average thickness of fifty one-hundredths of an inch may, in the discretion of the Supervising Inspector General, be authorized and employed on steam vessels navigating the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, or salt-water bays, or sounds, or the Great Lakes, or any of them, and waters flowing to and from the same, or any of them: Provided That on inspection no plate that is by this Act limited to a thickness of thirty-eight one-hundredths of an inch and no plate that is by this Act limited to a thickness of fifty one-hundredths of an inch shall be rejected for use if found to exceed those dimensions, respectively, if the approved average thickness thereof does not exceed the limits therein specified, and the amount of steam pressure that will be permitted to be carried in boilers constructed in accordance with the requirements of this Act shall be determined from measurements showing the least thickness of the plates. (Sec. 1.)
All externally fired boilers, constructed of iron or steel, prior to the passage of this Act, and now in use on any such vessels, wherein the space between the shell and any of its internal flues or between such flues is less than three inches, they shall be deemed lawfully constructed. (R. S. 4434; Mar. 2, 1909, sec. 2.) Loading Safety Valve.
Every person who intentionally loads or obstructs, or causes to be loaded or obstructed, in any way or manner, the safety valve of a boiler, or who employs any other means or device whereby the boiler may be subjected to a greater pressure than the amount allowed by the certificate of the inspectors, or who intentionally deranges or hinders the operation of any machinery or device employed to denote the state of the water or steam in any boiler, or to give warning of approaching danger, or who intentionally permits the water to fall below the prescribed low-water line of the boiler, and every person concerned therein, directly or indirectly, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined two hundred dollars, and may also be imprisoned not exceeding five years. (R. S. 4437.) Water-Tight Bulkheads.
Every seagoing steamer, and every steamer navigating the great northern or northwestern lakes, carrying passengers, the building of which shall be completed after the twenty-eighth day of August, eighteen hundred and seventy-one, shall have not less than three water-tight cross bulkheads, such bulkheads to reach to the main deck in single-decked vessels, otherwise to the deck next below the main deck; to be made of iron plates, sustained upon suitable framework; and to be properly secured to the hull of the vessel. The position of such bulkheads and the strength of material of which the same shall be constructed shall be determined by the general rules of the board of supervising inspectors. (R. S. 4490.)
Steam vessels of one hundred tons burden or under, engaged in the coastwise bays and harbors of the United States, may be licensed by the United States local inspectors of steam vessels to carry passengers or excursions on the ocean or upon the Great Lakes of the North or Northwest, not exceeding fifteen miles from the mouth of such bays or harbors, without being required to have the three water-tight cross bulkheads provided by section forty-four hundred and ninety of the Revised Statutes for other passenger steamers: Provided, That in the judgment of the local inspector such steamers shall be safe and suitable for such navigation without danger to human life, and that they shall have one water-tight collision bulkhead not less than five feet abaft the stem of said steamer. (July 9, 1886; sec. 3.) Lifeboats, Lines, and Life Preservers.
Every steam vessel navigating rivers only, except ferryboats, freight boats, canal boats, and towing boats, of less than fifty tons, shall have at least one good substantial boat with lines attached, and properly supplied with oars, and kept in good condition at all times, and ready for immediate use; and in addition thereto, every such vessel carrying passengers shall have one or more metallic lifeboats, fireproof, and in all respects good and substantial boats, of such dimensions and arrangements as the board of supervising inspectors by their regulations shall prescribe, which boats shall be carried in the most convenient manner to be brought into immediate use in case of accident. But where the character of the navigation is such that, in the opinion of the supervising inspector, the metallic lifeboats can be dispensed with, he may exempt any such vessel from carrying the same; or may require a substitute therefor, at his discretion. (R. S. 4481.)
Every such steam vessel carrying passengers shall also be provided with a good life preserver, made of suitable material, for every cabin passenger for which she will have accommodation, and also a good life preserver or float for each deck or other class passenger which the inspector's certificate shall allow her to carry, including the officers and crew; which life preservers or floats shall be kept in convenient and accessible places on such vessel in readiness for immediate use in case of accident. (R. S. 4482.)
Every steamer navigating the ocean, or any lake, bay, or sound of the United States, shall be provided with such numbers of lifeboats, floats, rafts, life preservers, line-carrying projectiles, and the means of propelling them, and drags, as will best secure the safety of all persons on board such vessel in case of disaster; and every seagoing vessel carrying passengers, and every such vessel navigating any of the northern or northwestern lakes, shall have the lifeboats required by law, provided with suitable boat-disengaging apparatus, so arranged as to allow such boats to be safely launched while such vessels are under speed or otherwise, and so as to allow such disengaging apparatus to be operated by one person, disengaging both ends of the boat simultaneously from the tackles by which it may be lowered to the water. And the board of supervising inspectors shall fix and determine, by their rules and regulations, the character of lifeboats, floats, rafts, life preservers, line-carrying projectiles, and the means of propelling them, and drags that shall be used on such vessels, and also the character and capacity of pumps or other appliances for freeing the steamer from water in case of heavy leakage, the capacity of such pumps or appliances being suited to the navigation in which the steamer is employed. Every vessel subject to the provisions of this Title [R. S. 4399-4500] shall, while in operation, carry one life preserver for each and every person allowed to be carried on said vessel by the certificate of inspection, including each member of the crew: Provided, however, That upon such vessels and under such conditions as are specified in section forty-four hundred and eighty-two floats may be substituted for life preservers. Any person who willfully and knowingly manufactures or sells, or offers for sale, or has in his possession with intent to sell, life preservers containing metal or other nonbuoyant material, for the purpose of increasing the weight thereof, or more metal or other such material than is reasonably necessary for the construction thereof, or who shall so manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or possess with intent to sell any other articles commonly used for preservation of life or the prevention of fire on board vessels subject to the provisions of this Title, which articles shall be so defective as to be inefficient to accomplish the purposes for which they are respectively intended and designed, shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than two thousand dollars, and may, in addition thereto, in the discretion of the court, be imprisoned not exceeding five years. (R. S. 4488; Mar. 3, 1905, sec. 3.)
The powers bestowed by this section upon the Board of Supervising Inspectors in respect of lifeboats, floats, rafts, life preservers,