4.1 Statutory surveys of hatchcovers and their coamings are to be carried out by the Administration as part of the annual survey required by article 14 of the International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, as modified by the 1988 Protocol relating thereto. On ships subject to the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers (resolution A.744(18), as amended), these should be surveyed taking into account the guidance in paragraph 3.3 of Annex A to the said Guidelines.
4.2 A thorough survey of hatch covers and coamings is only possible by examination in the open as well as closed positions and should include verification of proper opening and closing operation.
As a result, at least 50% of hatch cover sets should be surveyed open, closed and in operation to the full extent in each direction, at each annual survey. The closing of the covers should include the fastening of all peripheral, and cross joint cleats or other securing devices. Particular attention should be paid to the condition of hatch covers in the forward 25% of the ships length, where sea loads are normally greatest.
4.3 If there are indications of difficulty in operating and securing hatch covers, additional sets above those required by 4.2, at the discretion of the surveyor, should be tested in operation.
4.4 Owners and operators should ensure that facilities and personnel are available to perform the required hatch cover movements during each annual survey.
4.5 It is implicit that if the hatch securing system cannot be properly operated, the ship will be obliged to effect repairs under the supervision of the Administration. Where hatch covers or coamings undergo substantial repairs, the strength of securing devices should comply with IACS UR S30.
4.6 Owners and operators should be made aware that partial replacements in cleating systems have the potential to introduce imbalance between old and new cleats. This could result in isolated cleats being subjected to excessive loads, which may then lead to sequential failure.
4.7 For each hatch cover set, at each annual survey, the following items should be surveyed:
.1 cover panels, including side plates, and stiffener attachments of opened covers, by close up survey (for corrosion, cracks, deformation);
.2 sealing arrangements of perimeter and cross joints (gaskets for condition and permanent deformation, flexible seals on combination carriers, gasket lips, compression bars, drainage channels and non return valves);
.3 clamping devices, retaining bars, cleating (for wastage, adjustment, and condition of rubber components);
.4 closed cover locating devices (for distortion and attachment);
.5 chain or rope pulleys;
.7 guide rails and track wheels;
.9 wires, chains, tensioners and gypsies;
.10 hydraulic system, electrical safety devices and interlocks; and
.11 end and interpanel hinges, pins and stools where fitted.
4.8 At each hatchway, at each annual survey, the coamings, with plating, stiffeners and brackets should be checked for corrosion, cracks and deformation, especially of the coaming tops.
4.9 Where considered necessary, the effectiveness of sealing arrangements may be proved by hose or chalk testing supplemented by dimensional measurements of seal compressing components.