Hold preparations for general cargo ships

How to prepare cargo holds prior loading

1. The compartment should be swept clean, and all traces of the previous cargo removed. The amount of cleaning is dependent on the nature of the previous cargo: some cargoes, such as coal, will require the holds to be washed before the carriage of a general cargo. Washing is always carried out after the compartment has been swept. Drying time for washed compartments must be allowed for, before loading the next cargo; this time will vary with the climate, but two to three days must be expected.

2. Bilge areas should be cleaned and all ‘bilge suctions’ seen to be working satisfactorily.All ‘holes’ in rose boxes should be clear to allow the passage of water and the lines’ non-return valves seen to be in a working condition. Should the bilges be contaminated from odorous cargoes, it may become necessary to ‘sweeten’ them by a wash of chloride of lime.This acts as a disinfectant as well as providing a coating against corrosion.

3. The fire/smoke detection system should be tested and seen to function correctly.

4. The holds drainage system and ‘tween deck scuppers should be clear and free from blockage.

5. Spar ceiling (cargo battens) should be examined and seen to be in a good state of repair.

6. Steel hatch covers should be inspected for their watertight integrity about any joints. If hard rubber seals are fitted, these should be inspected for deterioration.

7. Ladders and access points should be inspected for damage and security.

8. Hold fitments such as built-in lighting and guard rails should be checked and seen to be in good order.

9. Soiled dunnage should be disposed of.New dunnage, clean and dry, should be laid in a manner to suit the next cargo, if needed.

10. Hold ventilation system should be operated to check fan conditions.

Additional for Special Cargoes

1. Grain : Limber boards should be plugged and covered with burlap. This prevents grain blocking bilge suctions, while at the same time allowing the passage of water.

2. Coal: Spar ceiling should be removed and covered (most bulk cargoes require this).

3. Salt: Metalwork should be whitewashed.

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