U.S. Coast Guard Experience with Commercial FRP Vessels with Respect to Structural Reliability

by William M. Hayden, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, United States,
Neil VandeVoorde, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Serviceability and Durability of Construction Materials


The U.S. Coast Guard currently inspects over 1000 fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) vessels used in commercial passenger service. The designs include monohulls, catamarans, hydrofoils and hovercraft. In order for a vessel to receive a Certificate of Inspection (COI) it must undergo a technical plan and specification review and a rigorous inspection program. After the initial construction phase, each vessel undergoes periodic structural inspection and approval of any modifications or damage repair. These periodic inspections have led to a data base of experience with the serviceability of various types of materials, vessel design, and route. This paper presents the Coast Guard's experience with the serviceability of FRP vessels used in commercial service from a regulatory agency's point of view.

Subject Headings: Structural reliability | Fiber reinforced polymer | Synthetic materials | Ships | United States armed forces | Inspection | Serviceability | Structural analysis | United States

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