NVIC 10-14 Assessment Gap

So I’m getting back around to CM/M upgrades and have found a bit of a gap as per MITAGS. The NVIC 10-14 assessment 10.2 (E) “Remotely operate steering gear” isn’t covered in ANY of the MITAGS classes (I’ve been emailing back and forth with them about this). Given the fact that nobody is bothering with getting the Qualified Assessor rating to sign these things off leaves me in a bit of a conundrum. Anyone have any ideas on how to get this done? Anywhere else that I can go to get this silly sign off completed?

Since this is the only one that can’t be done via classes at MITAGS surely there have been others that have had this problem?


IIRC they extended the deadline where they require a QA to the end of this year so you can still get it signed off shipboard by the master. @jdcavo

Edit: It’s extended to the end of 2019.

I can’t remember how many times we did aft steering gear instruction/operation as a part of our emergency drills. It had to be at least once a quarter.

The deadline was extended.

Some SMS manuals call for testing the steering gear through full range of motion on every steering pump from every control station while watching the gear operate in the steering compartment (a confined space) every time before getting underway, and there is a checklist form, so of course the form is often pencil whipped and the steering gear is rarely actually viewed while testing. The same SMS manuals say never enter confined space.

I understand the steering gear testing before arrivals and departures. We did this while underway where steering was transferred aft and we steered (albeit not very long) using the mechanisms there. Each mate was given the opportunity to gain familiarity on the procedures on how to transfer/take control and steer.

Obviously it is much more difficult due on a tug due to the spaces involved.

There are just too many departures and arrivals, not enough crew, iconfined space with no vents, often no portable blower, no scba, the hatch may be difficult to open and reseal, and where it may be dangerous due to cramped conditions to be in the compartment when the steering is operational. Not to mention the risk of going overboard, or slipping and falling in a compartment with no good walking/crawling surfaces.

Pre-departure operation of the steering while watching the rudder angle indicator, normal steering operation underway, and trying hand steering on arrival is enough. It’s only practical to go into the steering compartment to inspect , test bilge alarm, tighten packing, and grease about once every two weeks. Usually no good reason to do it more often. If the steering compartment equipment works with one pump and control station, it will work with any of them.

Yes, the drill is quarterly and requires operation from the steering gear room. Here is the reg:

§ 164.25 Tests before entering or getting underway.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and © of this section no person may cause a vessel to enter into or get underway on the navigable waters of the United States unless no more than 12 hours before entering or getting underway, the following equipment has been tested:

(1) Primary and secondary steering gear. The test procedure includes a visual inspection of the steering gear and its connecting linkage, and, where applicable, the operation of the following:

(i) Each remote steering gear control system.

(ii) Each steering position located on the navigating bridge.

(iii) The main steering gear from the alternative power supply, if installed.

(iv) Each rudder angle indicator in relation to the actual position of the rudder.

(v) Each remote steering gear control system power failure alarm.

(vi) Each remote steering gear power unit failure alarm.

(vii) The full movement of the rudder to the required capabilities of the steering gear.

(2) All internal vessel control communications and vessel control alarms.

(3) Standby or emergency generator, for as long as necessary to show proper functioning, including steady state temperature and pressure readings.

(4) Storage batteries for emergency lighting and power systems in vessel control and propulsion machinery spaces.

(5) Main propulsion machinery, ahead and astern.

(b) Vessels navigating on the Great Lakes and their connecting and tributary waters, having once completed the test requirements of this subpart, are considered to remain in compliance until arriving at the next port of call on the Great Lakes.

© Vessels entering the Great Lakes from the St. Lawrence Seaway are considered to be in compliance with this sub-part if the required tests are conducted preparatory to or during the passage of the St. Lawrence Seaway or within one hour of passing Wolfe Island.

(d) No vessel may enter, or be operated on the navigable waters of the United States unless the emergency steering drill described below has been conducted within 48 hours prior to entry and logged in the vessel logbook, unless the drill is conducted and logged on a regular basis at least once every three months. This drill must include at a minimum the following:

(1) Operation of the main steering gear from within the steering gear compartment.

(2) Operation of the means of communications between the navigating bridge and the steering compartment.

(3) Operation of the alternative power supply for the steering gear if the vessel is so equipped.

According to the plain reading of that regulation, you have to do the drill before entry into US waters or quarterly (par d) and every single time you get underway while in US waters (par a) unless you’re on the Great Lakes and have anchored or run aground somewhere in between ports of call (par b).

Both pre-arrival and pre-departure test are required. But if the operation of the steering gear from the steering gear room is done every three months and logged it is not required to be part of the arrival/departure tests, only a requirement for a visual inspection from aft while the gear is being operated.

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Gotcha. I should read more carefully. :-/

The point of my posting was to say, in essence, that if the OP was regularly sailing he should be familiar with assessment in question (Remotely operate steering gear) having participated in the drills and testing. Getting it signed off should be a nonissue.

The OP is regularly sailing and realizes that it is a quarterly drill. I just didn’t realize that the USCG extended the QA deadline by 2 years. I didn’t see a way to get it done without that extension since MITAGS doesn’t offer a class that covers that particular assessment. Someone voiced the same concerns over the QA program in another new thread. Seems like that problem will be at the forefront in a few years time as no one has the incentive to become a QA without some benefit to themselves…