Special surveys to be paid for by the owner, or owners, of the vessel, accord-to a fixed scale.
The first survey of the hull of a new vessel to be made during its construction, and a specification of it transmitted to the Board, as is now done by the surveyors of Lloyd's to the committee.
A survey of the hull to be made during each of the two first years, and a survey every six months subsequently. All steamers to be docked, benched, or laid on the gridiron (as circumstances permit), and surveyed, after sustaining any injury by taking the ground, or otherwise, under penalty.
Boilers, engines, and machinery, to be surveyed every six months after the first year, and all serious accidents to be reported.
The surveyors to report on the fitness of a vessel, whether as a sea-going or river-steamer.
3. License to express whether it be granted for cargo only, for towing vessels, for the conveyance of passengers, or for these purposes combined; also, whether the vessel be intended to ply as a river or sea-going steamer.
License to ply with passengers to be granted or withheld as aforesaid; a duplicate of which, or certificate to the same effect, signed by the Board, to be exhibited in the cabin, or other conspicuous part of the vessel. All public advertisements of steamers to state whether licensed to carry passengers or not.
4. That the surveyor shall ascertain that the safety-valves be sufficient to pass all the steam which the boilers can generate in their ordinary state of work, at the pressure determined by the weight on the valves; the maximum of which pressure shall be fixed by the maker of the engines or boilers, and the valves be loaded accordingly.
5. That, after an assigned period, no passenger license be granted to any vessel having safety-valves whose spindles, or levers, are exposed on deck, or capable of being loaded externally, unless satisfactorily protected. Penalty on engineers, masters, or others, for loading valves beyond the weight ascertained by the surveyor, and regulated as above.
6. That in all new steamers, and after an assigned period in all steamers now afloat, glass water-guages, and mercurial pressure gauges, shall be required to be fitted to the boilers, to entitle the vessels to a license to ply with passengers.
No perfect mechanical substitute can be found for care in the management of the steam-engine at sea or on land; nor do we think that the use of the fusible discs, enforced by the French laws, would be productive of additional security; nor, indeed, that any complexity of apparatus attached to boilers would contribute to the attainment of that object.
Apparatus, however, for indicating the level of water and pressure of steam in boilers, is essential to their safe and economical management, and is of far greater import to the boilers of marine than of land engines; accidents to the former, or failure in their supply of steam, being attended with peculiar dangers and disasters at sea, from which land boilers are exempt. Yet it is a fact, accounted for, perhaps, by the circumstance of steam-vessels being owned and managed, generally, by persons unacquainted with the nature of the steam engine, that these simple instruments are much more rarely to be found attached to marine than to land boilers, which latter are usually under the direction of parties of mechanical education or knowledge.
7. That, in the event of the surveyor having information that any boiler be deteriorated in strength, or unsafe at its working pressure, in the interval of his periodical surveys, he shall be empowered by the Board, on his representation, to examine it; and in the event of the boiler proving faulty, the Board shall suspend the passenger license, until satisfied of the safety of such boiler.
9. That, after an assigned period, no sea-going steam vessel, which carries coals on the tops or about the sides of the boilers, shall be entitled to a passenger license; unless the boilers be protected by a shell of metal, or other sufficient security.
The surveyors to ascertain that these boats be kept in serviceable condition, and ready for use on emergency.
11. All steamers to be provided with sufficient hoses, to convey water to any part of the vessel, with a serviceable outfit of water-buckets; and a moveable fire-engine to be carried in all coasting, channel, and ocean-going steamers.
The proposed system of registration should include a classification of steamers; and as the character to which each vessel would be entitled in its class would depend on its general state of efficiency, we are disposed to think that many other important requisites for attaining the utmost practicable degree of security, would gradually be adopted by owners without compulsion; such as water-tight bulk-heads in new vessels; powerful extinguishing pumps, worked by the engines; connexion of the condensers with the bilge-water; disengaging apparatus for the paddle-wheels; heavier and more effective ground tackling, etc. The publication of accidents, and of their causes, would also warn steam vessel owners, commanders, and engineers, and instruct them how to guard against disasters.
In framing these recommendations, our object has been to suggest practical means for further securing public safety, without inflicting vexatious rules on steam vessel owners; we believe that their adoption would tend materially to-promote, and in no respect to cripple, the progress of navigation by steam. We are confirmed in these views by finding them so much in accordance with the majority of opinions expressed in the appendix: and they correspond with several of the regulations enacted by foreign states. They are, however, much less stringent in their nature than those proposed by many of our correspondents; and we consider them much less onerous, and more suitable to the character of the British steam-marine, than the laws of other countries.