Offshore crewboat fuel transfers


I have a fellow Capt. that needs info on Fuel transfers offshore .
The offshore facility wants to put a tote Tank on deck of crewboat and fill tank with fuel while it is on deck. I personally never have allowed or willing to do so . I do have Policy letter 04-97 transfer excess fuel from crew boats
Also found where OSV may fill or discharge portable tanks aboard vessel if
autrourized by endorsement on vessels Cert. of Insp.
D.O.I. Only covers Facility to vessel, vessel to facility ,vessel to vessel ,
internal transfers,.I cannot find anything in cfrs that would cover this type of transfer for crew boats.Any help would be appriciated


I know that my company does not allow filling tanks on deck. Also, I would not do it because of the risk of a spill. As Master, I would be responsible not the oil company.

Only certain cargoes are authorized, 49CFR part 173, to be transferred. The transfers are covered under 46CFR part 98.33-15. Required containment is covered under 46CFR part 98.30-15. Here is a link to the CFRs online:

The short answer is that there is no approved containment on the deck of a crewboat, so filling tote tanks on deck is not allowed.

Hope this helps.


The containers would have to be Coast Guard and ABS approved and you would need a method by which to secure them. Depending on the volume of the tanks, that alone represents a potential problem in a blow. A loose cannon full of fuel, so to speak. Pipe and casement don’t blow up or burn…they just tear stuff up and sink. Fuel do!

You would need a means of grounding the tanks to prevent static electricity buildup and an approved containment system in the event of a spill. A spill would be career threatening and expensive. A fire might be vessel and life threatening.

I don’t even use “tote-tanks” on my center console. Too dangerous.

If you’re careful and have the right setup I suppose it’s doable, but I’d be damned careful. Ever heard of a “chain of events”?

The COI might give some guidance, as mentioned previously.

Just my two cents.



I hope you would not use 550 gal tote tanks on a center console .
Anyway i did find out that you can do only what your C.O.I. authorizes your vessel to do.
so no filling of tote tanks on deck even if these guys on oil platforms what you to .
Thanks DP for cfr’s


This seemed like a good time to add my two cents worth since I ran into a similar situation several months ago.

The dispatcher asked me to fill 50 barrel MPT tanks with methanol at the dock. I knew it was a bad idea, so I checked company policy and the CFRs. It is always a good idea to do your homework before refusing to do something that may have been acceptable, though not necessarily legal, in the past.


This is off topic. I am new at this, so a quick question: Why does my post have a “thumbs down” in the corner? Did I offend someone that quickly? Thanks