163.003-13 Construction.§ 163.003-13 Construction.
(a) General. Each pilot ladder must have two suspension members on each side. Each step in the ladder must be supported by each suspension member.
(b) Suspension member. The suspension members of a pilot ladder must meet the following requirements:
(1) Each suspension member must be continuous from the top of the ladder to the bottom and must not be painted or otherwise coated or covered.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section -
(i) The top end of one suspension member on each side of the ladder must extend at least 3 m (10 ft.) beyond the top ladder step; and
(ii) The top ends of the other suspension members must be just above the top step and must have an eye splice or thimble large enough to fit two passes of a suspension member.
(3) The top end of each suspension member that does not have an eye splice or thimble must be served or treated to prevent fraying.
(4) Each pair of suspension members must be clamped together both above and below each step. Marline seizing may not be used.
(5) The clear space between the suspension members on one side of a ladder and those on the other side must be at least 400 mm (16 in.), but not more than 480 mm (19 in.).
(6) The suspension members must not have fittings at the bottom of the ladder that can be used for attaching additional ladder sections.
(c) Steps. Pilot ladder steps must meet the following requirements:
(1) The four lowest steps must be molded steps and the rest of the steps must be either wooden or molded steps.
(2) The top face of each step must have a rectangular surface that is at least 115 mm (4 1/2 in.) wide with a non-skid surface that does not retain water. Adhesive non-skid sheets may not be used. (For example, a suitable surface for a step is one that has grooves at least 3 mm ( 1/8 in.) deep cut in a diamond pattern so that water runs off the edge of the step. Non-skid grit is applied directly to the step surface extending to almost the full width of the step.)
(3) Each step at its thinnest point must be at least 25 mm (1 in.) thick and in determining this thickness, the depth of the grooves in the non-skid surface and the diameter of any hole extending from one side of the step to the other must not be counted.
(4) Each step must be at least 480 mm (19 in.) long.
(5) Each step must be designed so that it can be removed and replaced without unstringing the ladder. If special replacement steps are made to meet this requirement, the replacement steps must meet the requirements of this section.
(6) If a step has grooves for its suspension members, the grooves must be in the sides of the steps.
(7) The spacing from the top of one step to the top of the next step must be uniform and this spacing must be between 300 mm (12 in.) and 350 mm (13 3/4 in.).
(8) Each step must be a bright orange color, except that this color is not required for the non-skid surface. If a step is painted, it must be painted with a two-part epoxy paint intended for marine use, or a paint of equivalent durability.
(9) The height of each device attached to the step for securing the suspension members must not be more than one-half the width of the step so that the step is not prevented from rolling if the ladder is caught between a pilot boat and the hull of the vessel.
(10) Each replacement step must be either white or yellow instead of the orange color required under paragraph (c)(8) of this section, and must have the special marking required in § 163.003-25(b).
(d) Spreaders. Each pilot ladder with 5 or more steps must have one or more spreaders that meet the following requirements:
(1) Each spreader must be at least 1.8 m (70 in.) long.
(2) The spreaders must be positioned at intervals of not more than 9 steps.
(3) The lowest spreader on a ladder must be on the fifth step from the bottom.
(e) Fasteners. Each fastening device securing a part of a pilot ladder must have a means to prevent the device from loosening.
(f) Workmanship. A pilot ladder must not have splinters, burrs, sharp edges, corners, projections, or other defects that could injure a person using the ladder.
(g) Special arrangements for pilot hoists. Each pilot ladder produced for use with an approved pilot hoist must have at least 8 steps. The top ends of its suspension members need not have an eye splice or thimble or be arranged as required in paragraph (b) of this section if necessary to permit attaching the ladder to fittings of a particular pilot hoist. The spreader required in paragraph (d) of this section may be omitted from an 8 step ladder for a pilot hoist.[CGD 74-140, 46 FR 63291, Dec. 31, 1981, as amended by CGD 79-032, 49 FR 25456, June 21, 1984]