Rules for the Marking of Free-Board (Load-line) for Ferry Boats
(a) "Free-board" shall mean in the case of open boats, the vertical distance between the uppermost part of a vessel's side at half the length and the mark denoting her maximum load draft: and, in the case of decked boats, the vertical distance between the lowest part of the upper surface of the deck and the mark denoting the maximum load draft.
(b) "A decked boat" is a boat which has a deck complete from fore and and, well laid and caulked, and which has all deck openings protected by coamings and hatches or other water-tight contrivances.
(c) All other boats are to be considered to be "open boats".
(d) "At half the length" of a vessel shall mean at half the length as measured on her water-line when on an even keel.The "Uppermost part of the vessel's side" shall mean the uppermost part of the vessel proper; wash boards and other superstructure should be treated as being non-existent. 2. These rules shall apply to both decked and open boats. 3. The free-board should be not less than 12 inches for boats 20 feet long or less and 18 inches for boats 40 feet long or more. For lengths intermediate between 20 and 40 feet the minimum free-board should be in proportion. The length should be measured from the forward side of the stem to the aft, side of the stern post. 3A. In the case of small boats of the dug-out type -
(a) if such boats have a moulded depth of 1'6" or less, the minimum free-board shall be not less than 9";
(b) if such boats have their free-board increased by stakes or planks, the load-line shall be not less than 2" below the lower edge of the first joint;
(c) Such boats (i) must be fitted with out-riggers, known as "ulandis", to give them necessary stability, and (ii) must not ply within five miles of the mouth of a river.4. Marking -
(a) The free-board as found by these rules is to be plainly marked on each side of the vessel by a circle measuring 12 inches, outside diameter, the line being 1 inch thick. The centre of the circle shall mark the free-board, and it should be placed at half the length of the vessel as measured on her load water-line when on an even keel. The top edge of a line 18 inches long and 1 inch thick shall pass horizontally through this centre.
(b) In wooden vessels these circles and lines should be cut into the vessel to a depth of one-eighth of an inch.
(c) In iron and steel vessels they should be marked round with a centre punch or chisel.
(d) These circles and lines can most conveniently be marked from a template of thin sheet iron or zinc, a small hole one-eighth diameter being made in the centre to take a steadying nail whilst marking. A template with the circle incomplete at the top is convenient as it is suitable for use on vessels where the centre of the circle is less than 6 inches below the moulding, etc., round the vessels' sides. In other cases the circle can be completed by revolving the template about the nail (see figure 1).
(e) In the case of decked vessels where the lowest part of the deck (from which point the free-board is measured) may not be at the extreme edge, the free-board can be marked by the following methodPlace a batten horizontally across the vessel resting on some convenient support such as the bulwarks, hand rails, bollards; etc., from this batten measure to the lowest part of the deck on the inboard side; to this measurement add the free-board as calculated and transfer this to the vessel's side by measuring vertically down from the batten on the outboard end (see figure 2).
(f) If a batten of sufficient length to overlap both sides of the vessel is not available, a shorter one may be used as a continuation of a line stretched across (see figure 3).5. The officer appointed to mark the free-board is held responsible that the boat is of normal dimensions and stable when loaded down to the marks; this should be decided by actual demonstration if any doubt exists.