Standard Guide for Conducting a Stability Test (Lightweight Survey and Inclining Experiment) to Determine the Light Ship Displacement and Centers of Gravity of a Vessel
4.1 From the light ship characteristics one is able to calculate the stability characteristics of the vessel for all conditions of loading and thereby determine whether the vessel satisfies the applicable stability criteria. Accurate results from a stability test may in some cases determine the future survival of the vessel and its crew, so the accuracy with which the test is conducted cannot be overemphasized. The condition of the vessel and the environment during the test is rarely ideal and consequently, the stability test is infrequently conducted exactly as planned. If the vessel is not 100 % complete and the weather is not perfect, there ends up being water or shipyard trash in a tank that was supposed to be clean and dry and so forth, then the person in charge must make immediate decisions as to the acceptability of variances from the plan. A complete understanding of the principles behind the stability test and a knowledge of the factors that affect the results is necessary.
1.1 This guide covers the determination of a vessel's light ship characteristics. In this standard, a vessel is a traditional hull-formed vessel. The stability test can be considered to be two separate tasks; the lightweight survey and the inclining experiment. The stability test is required for most vessels upon their completion and after major conversions. It is normally conducted inshore in calm weather conditions and usually requires the vessel be taken out of service to prepare for and conduct the stability test. The three light ship characteristics determined from the stability test for conventional (symmetrical) ships are displacement (“displ”), longitudinal center of gravity (“LCG”), and the vertical center of gravity (“KG”). The transverse center of gravity (“TCG”) may also be determined for mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and other vessels which are asymmetrical about the centerline or whose internal arrangement or outfitting is such that an inherent list may develop from off-center weight. Because of their nature, other special considerations not specifically addressed in this guide may be necessary for some MODUs. This standard is not applicable to vessels such as a tension-leg platforms, semi-submersibles, rigid hull inflatable boats, and so on.
1.2 The limitations of 1 % trim or 4 % heel and so on apply if one is using the traditional pre-defined hydrostatic characteristics. This is due to the drastic change of waterplane area. If one is calculating hydrostatic characteristics at each move, such as utilizing a computer program, then the limitations are not applicable.
1.3 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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