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Published Date

July 2008

Double Hull Oil Tankers: Guidelines for Surveys, Assessment and Repair of Hull Structures

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This manual provides guidelines for a double hull oil tanker that is constructed primarily for the carriage of oil in bulk and with the cargo tanks protected by a double hull that extends the entire length of the cargo area, consisting of double sides and double bottom spaces for the carriage of water ballast or void spaces.

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The guidelines focus on the IACS Member Societies' survey procedures but may also be useful in connection with survey/examination schemes of other regulatory bodies, owners and operators. The manual includes a review of survey preparation guidelines, which cover the safety aspects related to the performance of the survey, the necessary access facilities, and the preparation necessary before the surveys can be carried out.

The survey guidelines encompass the main structural areas of the hull where damages have been recorded, focusing on the main features of the structural items of each area.

An important feature of the manual is the section,providing examples of structural deterioration and damage related to each structural area, advising what to look for, possible cause, and recommended repair methods, when considered appropriate.

This manual has been developed using the best information currently available. It is intended only as guidance in support of the sound judgment of Surveyors, and is to be used at the Surveyors' discretion.

Note: Throughout this publication reference is made to various IACS Unified Requirements (UR), Procedural Requirements (PR) and Recommendations. All URs, PRs and key recommendations are available from the IACS website.

1 Introduction

2 Classification Survey Requirements

2.1 General

2.2 Annual surveys

2.3 Intermediate surveys

2.4 Special surveys

2.5 Dry-docking (bottom) surveys

2.6 Damage and repair surveys

3 Technical Background for Surveys

3.1 General

3.2 Definitions

3.3 Structural load descriptions

3.4 Structural defects, damages and deterioration

3.5 Structural detail failures and repairs

4 Survey Programme, Preparation and Execution

4.1 General

4.2 Survey programme

4.3 Survey planning meeting

4.4 Conditions for survey

4.5 Access arrangement and safety

4.6 Use of boats and rafts

4.7 Personal equipment

4.8 Thickness measurement and fracture detection

4.9 Survey at sea or at anchorage

4.10 Documentation on board

4.11 Reporting and evaluation of survey

5 Structural Detail Failures and Repairs

5.1 General

5.2 Actions to be taken by the classification society when fatigue failures have been identified

5.3 Catalogue of structural detail failures and repairs


1 Bilge hopper

2 Wing ballast tank

3 Bottom ballast tank

4 Web frames in cargo tanks

5 Transverse bulkheads in cargo tanks

6 Deck structure page

7 Fore and aft end regions

8 Machinery and Accommodation Spaces

Dedicated to safe ships and clean seas, IACS makes a unique contribution to maritime safety and regulation through technical support, compliance verification and research and development. More than 90% of the world's cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification design, construction and through-life compliance rules and standards set by the twelve Member Societies of IACS.

IACS is a not for profit membership organisation of classification societies that establish minimum technical standards and requirements that address maritime safety and environmental protection and ensures their consistent application.  It carries out this responsibility through its panels, expert groups and project teams and provides a Quality System Certification Scheme (QSCS) that its Members comply with, as an assurance of professional integrity and maintenance of high professional standards.  IACS is recognized as the principal technical advisor of IMO.

Title: Double Hull Oil Tankers: Guidelines for Surveys, Assessment and Repair of Hull Structures
Number of Pages: 178
Product Code: 4383
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-349-1 (9781856093491), ISBN 10: 1-85609-349-2 (1856093492)
Published Date: July 2008
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 297 mm
Book Width: 210 mm
Book Spine: 10 mm
Weight: 0.80 kg

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