C G vessel inspection functionality (What to expect): For passenger vessels, the C G has a set of published work guide booklets for T, K, or H type vessels. When the three to six inspectors arrive they will likely have a similar set of guidelines to follow like the CG-840 TBoat Booklet referenced below. They will use their booklet as a checklist for the different inspectors (specialists) to use to make sure they cover everything while they are present. If you already have a COI make sure they sign it before they leave.
If your vessel is considered a secure vessel and has a security plan make sure you check the Costies ID even if they are in uniform unless you recognize them from previous visits! There ID will look similar to our TWIC cards. Have several knowledgeable crew available to assist each inspector and answer his or her questions plus showing them parts of the vessel. Tell your crew if they get a question they don’t know the answer to DO NOT GUESS! Have them say, “I will check with the captain”. A typical question might be something like, “What type of fire does black smoke indicate and what would you use to fight it”? The correct answer is diesel or similar and use CO2 if available.
When they arrive have all your information ready for inspection. Applicable CFR books, Colregs book, log books, waste management plan, emergency checkoff list, station bill, stability letter or book, Certificate of Documentation, International Load Line Certificate (>79 feet), Tonnage Certificate, Safety Management Plan, Drug Plan & records, FCC Vessel Station License, Current Paper Charts for your routes, excerpts from the Light List for your route and any previous COI. Make them a printed list of: Vessel’s representatives w/ phone & email, Owner, Operator, Build Date, LOA, Beam and Draft, etc. You will need a copy to show them of all crew licenses, Current First Aid and CPR certificates for 50% of the crew. Make sure any flares and smokes are not beyond their expiration. Make sure all fire extinguishers and systems plus any pressure vessels have a current inspection tag. Have your marked PFDs stucked in groups for easy counting and “tug testing” to make sure they are not too old or deteriorated. Double check running lights and any alarms.
They will inspect the vessel and ask you to get underway (don’t forget pre departure checks) for man overboard, fire, vessel maneuvering, etc. demonstrations. For man overboard they will throw a PFD or “Oscar” a heave mannequin/dummy overboard and see how long it takes you and the crew to get it back aboard. Don’t forget basic First Aid checks of the victim once back aboard. Ask if you can simulate throwing a life ring to the victim to simplify things and don’t forget to mark the MOB position on your chartplotter and simulate a Pan-Pan call to CG/local vessels.
If they identify deficiencies you will get a CG-835 list that you must sign. It will indicate how long you have to correct each deficiency and should give you a CFR rule reference for each. If you have any question or confusion about what is needed ask now! If something is critical you may get a “Do Not Sail” until corrected notice. They may require a reinspection to insure you got the fix right. If they find something you can quickly fix do it and show then you fixed it. It will not likely go on the 835 or on the CGMIX vessel data website.
The CG-840_TBoat Booklet here will give you some idea of the possible Sub – M inspection checklist format.