Friday, October 14, 2011



Read the charter party . Check out the time allowed for a full load. What is the minimum rate for a chemical parcel. The 100 psi or 7 kg manifold pressure rule applies for what minimum quantity limit of parcel.

Parcel chemicals which are in an obviously dangerous condition and which could damage the ship, its tanks or adjacent chemicals must NEVER be loaded. (For example you are aware that an Ammonia based inhibitor has been used for stabilizing a polymerizing chemical  which was stored in a Zinc Silicate tank ashore ).

Hence on chemical tankers it is important to observe correct sampling procedures. It is important to know what type of pump is used for loading. If the pump is not a piston pump or screw pump it should be possible to take a first foot line sample in a clear SELF SEALING glass bottle against a closed manifold valve. If the shore / barge line content is contaminated  or has water this fact can easily be found out . Sample bottle label must contain ships name/ voyage number/ date/ location / type of sample manifold, tank . Samples must be retained for one year. It is important to drain compressed air lines before any line blow.

Often shippers misdeclare the loading temperatures of high melting point cargoes which are brought in by rail wagons. Chemicals which is not in a condition as projected in the shipping documents must be rejected. It is understood that the ship staff are not experts with regard to quality of cargo but he can observe any reasonable obvious deviations like rancid odour veg oils, foaming Molasses , milky DIDP/DINP , non sputtering Sulphuric acid or barge dischg with open ullaging / veg oil sweeping in heavy rain.  If you suspect inherent vice even an ordinary letter of protest will serve the purpose.

No documents must be signed for any cargo which is not yet on board.

Stowage must be planned meticulously for parcel cargoes and don’t allow the charterers to rush you into immediate stowage solutions without double checking. On parcel tankers there are more than one hundred considerations before you arrive at the best stowage from all perspectives. It is important that you are not hustled into accepting only the sub-charterers perspective.

All tanks must be inspected prior hose connection. Fill up the proper enclosed space checklist. If a tank has been methanol sprayed  or methanol dehumidified the surveyor will want a Draeger ppm reading of the tank to be wall washed. A tank cannot be entered by a shore person unless a ships officer is present.

Unless expressly advised tanks must be cleaned to water white standard dry and odor free. Unseen areas are checked by rubbing hands for residues—especially under steam coils and impeller area ( for hyd oil) . On epoxy ships the tank coating  must be 98.5% intact and flaked coating must be removed and checked for cargo residue behind coating. There should be no loose scale or rust.

For heated cargoes heating coils must be tested applying full steam pressure for AT LEAST TWENTY MINUTES. If any leaks are detected the tank should not be used until “permanent” repairs are carried out and retested again.  No soft patches are allowed even with heat/ chemical resistant putties.

Vapor return spools can be connected only if it is the same homogeneous grade in all tanks.

Look into manifold lines for cleanliness before the shore surveyor does. No manifold hoses can be rigged unless a manifold rigging plan has been signed by the chief officer and posted in the CCR and a copy is given to the deck watch.

To remove moisture from pipelines to handle moisture sensitive cargoes like DINP/ DIDP/ MEG FG etc blow all lines with nitrogen till the last drain valve at pumpstack is completely moisture free.

Shore line is usually pigged. It is a good practice to inspect the pig if feasible and permitted to see if is free of moisture, odour and cargo residues.

If the ship’s crew is constrained to connect shore loading hoses, a letter of protest should be issued before the job stating that “ship/ owner/ crew/ charterer cannot be held responsible for any incident or direct / indirect liability that may arise due to the ships involvement in the connection/ disconnection”.

Do not disconnect hoses unless you get the tank dry certificate at disport. Like wise do not start loading at loadport unless the tank ready certificate is recd on board.

When ever a first foot tank sample is taken make a log entry. There is no need to take first foot samples on ships initiative unless required by EMS Singapore office.

If there is foam on top of cargo issue a LOP.

Separate pumping  log must be made for each grade. Otherwise it becomes difficult to collect demurrage.

If ships discharge is restricted by shore with a pressure of less than 7,0 kgs / 100 psi, or the rate of which the vessel can discharge the entire load within 24 hrs, a LOP must be issued. The vessel must always discharge with a min. pressure of 7,0 kgs (universal c/party requirement engraved in stone ) at the manifold. If not doing so, the reason must be clearly remarked in the pumping log.

Whenever pre-wash is required according to Marpol regulations and washings are discharged ashore the pre-wash record should be made and attached to the vessel’s slop record.

Cargo: Chemical name.

Pollution Cat: X,Y,Z

Tank: Identity of tank.

Litres: Cargo ROB, before the pre-wash.

Mixed with: Quantity of pre-wash water used.

In case ships figure is greater than shore figure do not protest unless you have confirmed with the operator. It may be better to sacrifice  extra freight when pitted against the option of being slapped with imaginary and deliberate shortage claims. If the outturn quantity at disport is more extra freight can be claimed even in the absence of a LOP for discrepancy .

During the voyage the cargo temperatures for heated cargoes of each tank must be checked at least twice a day.  The average temperature is to be used in the heating report. There must be one heating report for each grade.

Any delays which can affect laytime counting, must be recorded under delays / remarks.

A draft survey is normally conducted when it is impossible to obtain the density of the cargo.
The draft survey should be done as accurately as possible as the outcome of the draft survey often is used as Bill of Lading figure. If vessel is rolling slightly mention it in the ullage sheet and SOF remark column. If the draft survey has been conducted incorrectly, the Owners may face a claim from the consignee. Density of dock water must be ascertained for 4 metres below waterlevel.

Combined masters certificate is required by many shippers, when vegoils are carried in accordance with FOSFA rules.The certificate should only be issued if required by the shipper / surveyor or charterer.

The Master must convey the tankcleaning plan after departure discharge port. The tanklcleaning done report must be completed as per format and filed.


Agents are paid to board the vessel daily . In some notorious ports protective agents are used by the charterers to expedite ships operations.  Relevant messages must hence be copied to them especially NOR. Ask agents for pre arrival information well in advance and not at the last minute.


If original bill of lading has arrived


Stay at berth

Which side a/s

Restrictions due to tide/ darkness

Number and size of shore connections

Flexible hoses or rigid chicksans for freeboard considerations

Load / dischg sequence

Wall wash standards

Nitrogen blow/ purging

Vapor return which require time to turn spools

Draft restrictions

Local mandatory requirements like Brazil customs flag 

Draft restrictions

Reason for berthing delay—tanks full, congestion, tide

The master must be careful to reveal only relevant information to charterers agent, whose loyalty lies with his principals who pay him.

It is common practice that three original Bills of Lading are issued, in case one should get dropped by the pigeon. Banks always require original documents to release a payment under a letter of credit, which often takes time, whereas the shipper also has to make sure that an original B/L is present at the port of destination in time to release the cargo.

NOR , ETA advice must be given to agents and to Company in local time and in GMT.


A separate SOF is required for every chemical loaded dischg at the port. This must include—

Chemical description

B/L and Ships fig quantity at load/ dischg ports

Time of arrival time spartique granted

Time NOR is tendered for that particular chemical

Time of request for tank inspection ( if applicable )

Name of berth, terminal or barge

All fast time ( in case of barge anchored time )

Time barge a/s

Time tanks inspected / accepted

Time cargo hose connected ( if already connected and used by previous cargo, then time of completion of previous cargo )

Size of shore connection

Commd loading/ dischg

Times for delay with reason ( must specify shore reasons )

Time of starting completion of sweeping of each tank

Bunkering details if any

Time of cargo completion

Hoses disconnected time

Time cargo documents are received.

Delays prior departure in detail ( especially reasons not caused by ship )


NOTE: PORT LOG must contain tankwise start/ stop/ sweep/ line blow.

Remember a ships delay is a delay ONLY if it interferes with the charterers business.

Detention due to inherent vice of cargo is NOT OFFHIRE.

SBT ballasting / deballasting times must NEVER be mentioned in SOF.


It is the period of time the owner will keep his ship available for loading/ dischg without fines. LAYCAN is the agreed date of loading. It is charterers duty to load/ dischg cargo within 72 hours after laycan. If vessel is not ready within 1600 hours of the last day then charterers may cancel. 

There is no obligation on the charterers to load a vessel that arrived before the commencement of laydays, but if they did, they could not normally expect to use the vessel without paying for it.


If the agent does not give customs manifest then use ships form.  Certain ports like in Italy require manifest for “in transit “ or “ same bottom” cargoes too.


When a charterer agrees to load a ship with FULL cargo and then fails to do so—the difference between the quantity shipped and the quantity the ship is capable of loading may be recoverable as deadfreight. If the ship is cubed out—the fact must be mentioned as a remark in the SOF. Dead freight claims are not discrepancy protests,  It is also possible that one parcel may be subject to both deadfreight and discrepancy claims.


It is commonplace for one chemical parcel to be sold to various consignees each of whom receive a portion of the total quantity loaded. In such cases the total quantity of all the b/l issued must equal the total loaded and each b/l must contain the following commingling clause.—‘ this shipment was loaded on board the ship as part of one original lot of ----- mtons with no segregation as to the parcels. Neither the ship nor the owners assume any responsibilities for the consequences of such commingling nor the separation thereof at the time of delivery”

Unlike blend” which is concerned with deliberate admixing of grades of cargo in specified proportions, the term co-mingling indicates that grades can be admixed without regard to maintaining any particular proportioning during the discharge process


All our company ships are equipped with a digital camera which can be used in the video mode. When ever you feel live documentation of an event is required to prevent your ship from losing money use it. This must be with the Master in port and must be readily available at a few seconds notice , say to Chief officer or Duty officer.

Sometimes the tank surveyor rejects the tank or does a wall wash as a delaying manoevere because cargo is not ready or a chemical barge is arriving late. If the master suspects such a thing, protest and if required call P&I.


In certain small ports one single surveyor wear different hats. Like in the good old days Penavico China was agent for every body. The master should be sensitive to the potential of such conflict of interests. P&I surveyors can attend to the vessel for cargo contamination, damage to jetty, pollution , third party damages and investigations into sea worthiness of ship in the context of General average. The P&I surveyor can be head owners or time charterers. Most reputed parcel chemical time charterers have their own P&I to handle cargo related matters. The master must be aware whom the surveyor represents. Surveyors acting on behalf of third parties such as charterers, receivers, terminal, stevedores and other ships must be treated with utmost caution.  Master should be careful about release of information and documents. Managers and owners should be informed so that they can arrange a surveyor to represent their interests before the other nuisance potential surveyor is permitted to carry out his business. Master should not feel embarrassed about speaking privately with owners surveyor even if it means that he has to tell the other surveyor to step out into the alleyway.


If there is a cargo contamination claim the Master must:

Immediately call in the local representative of the vessel’s P&I club.

Notify Operator about the alleged claim and confirm that the P&I representative is attending.

Take good care of vessel’s sealed cargo samples, i.e.

before loading sample

first foot sample

before discharge sample

and not hand them to anyone, except in agreement with the P&I representative, and only against written receipt.

Master IS NOT obliged to follow any orders that go beyond the terms of the charter party.

The Master must NEVER load any cargo which is not on the coating resistance list and the certificate of fitness.

If the charterers inspector rejects the tanks and as a master you feels cheated ( because cargo is not ready or whatever), approach P&I to appoint an independent surveyor.


If ship cannot discharge the whole cargo in 24 hrs or maintain 100 psi at the rail throughout—the MUST be LOP covering the delay or all rights are automatically waived. Delay in receiving shore documents after disconnection of hoses must be documented. Any document on which shore signature could not be obtained must be endorsed accordingly. Delays between tendering NOR and berthing should be documented.

Master to protest if the latest ASTM tables  6A and 24A are not used for oils / cargo surveyors not using own or standard equipment.


An IWL chart is attached which should be displayed on the Bridge or ships Office. This clearly shows the areas outside the IWL and the areas which are seasonal exclusions. The map also has a reference, which gives the various positions and dates for the areas excluded and seasonally excluded.

Masters should be aware that a breach of the IWL can invalidate the Hull and Machinery Insurance. To maintain the insurance cover the managers are required to inform the insurers of the IWL breach and dates. The managers may also be required to comply with certain conditions and / or pay an additional premium.

Masters should familiarise themselves with these limits and should it become apparent that they will breach IWL then they should inform this office. Vessels on time charter are sometimes weather routed and advised to proceed on a route, which takes them outside IWL. Although the charter party will contain a clause stating that the vessel is to be always within IWL, the routing company may not be aware of restrictions and it remains the Master’s responsibility to be aware of the situation and inform the managers accordingly.

Inform the company and charterers by standard message the date and time in UTC of entering and departing IWL / exclusion zone limits.

Any messages regarding change of disport, quantity of consignee must be copied to charterers.

Standard messages must be sent by email or telex  but never by fax

If the master cannot follow the weather routing due to constraint of heating cargo, tankcleaning, repairs on deck etc he must communicate to the weather router through the charterers .

Ordered speed must be interpreted as the average speed required to be made WP

Reserve bunkers must take into account boiler consumptions for HO for tankcleaning in cold weather and cargo heating..

If on any voyage if the heating requirements would cause a vessel to reduce speed, notify the charterers

The measurement of bulk chemicals is not accurate if ship is rolling slightly at berth and also evaporation losses will occur during a long voyage. Prolonged rolling and pitching during hot heavy weather can increase the rate of evaporation loss of cargo, and may result in voyage transit loss of cargo. To keep measurement inaccuracies to a minimum, standard procedures should be adopted by the chief officer  for all measurements of cargo especially if the voyage is long with volatile cargo . It is usual practise for many loadport surveyors to calculate cargo using ASTM mineral oil tables in their laptop computers which will inflate the cargo tonnage on board, when compared to calculations with density correction factor, the way it must be done for non mineral oil chemicals .

Ullage reports should be signed for “ullages and temps only”—all ships must have a stamp made .

Non persistent oils: CPP , veg oils and animal oils

In some berths masters will be told be charterers to discharge within the tidal window. Master to ensure that the ship is always afloat—if not cast off and berth at the next tidal window.

At SBM if the ship has any problems keeping engines running astern continiously ( in the absence of a tug ) and inform the charterers .

The Bareboat/ Time/ Voyage charterer of a vessel who subcharters the vessel to another party is known as the disponent owner in the new charter agreement.

Composite cargoes: 2 or more grades having widely differing specs if carried on the same ship eg lub oils and white products


Master must discharge as much slops as possible enroute after tankcleaning.

During tankcleaning ensure that you must ensure that you follow the Marpol regulations with respect to special areas, depth of water, distance from land etc.

The Master should always contact his Operator should he be in doubt whether the wash water can be discharged to the sea.

The master must give the operator enough time to react to arrange for slops to be landed at a feasible port.

Disposal of slops containing tankcleaning chemicals, can be expensive as this is deemed as chemical waste.

CPP slops without detergents can usually be disposed free of charge

So it is important that the Operator is informed about the type and quantity of chemicals inherent in the slops.

The Master must never on his own arrange landing of tankcleaning slops, unless written  statement is received from the terminal/ agent that it is free of charge.  Landing of slops always must be arranged through Operator.

If the vessel is out on time-charter, then the Time-Charterers to be advised .

Disposal of engine slop is always on Owners account.




  1. Dear Captain,

    Its been so nice whenever i visit your blog.

    i am working in a stainless steel company. Pls ping me in my gmail id whenevr you are free.

    i need your help in understanding the chemical tankers made of stainless steel..

    looking forward to hear from you.. regds

  2. hi nagarajan,

    check in the archive folder of AUG 2011--

    there is a comprehensive post dated 8th aug 2011, on STAINLESS STEEL ON CHEMICAL TANKERS.

    i dont correspond on email-- due to obvious reasons.

    you can ask me questions vide the COMMENTS BOX.

    capt ajit vadakayil

  3. ok Capt...

    My interst is to know the manufacturers of stainless steel chemmical tankers in india...aprox demand of ss for the same...

    we are promoting variety of grades for the applications...

    i would b thankful if i could get some references of the manufacturers...with contact details..

    thanks in advance.

  4. hi nagarajan,

    we do NOT manufacture chemical tankers with SS tanks in India.

    the SS used is austenitic.

    Martensitic and ferritic SS is NOT used on ships.

    capt ajit vadakayil

  5. Hello Capt. Vadakayil,

    Let me first introduce myself. My name is Gunjan and I work as executive with Wade Maritime.

    Wade Maritime Consultants Pvt Ltd is a leading international firm of maritime business consultants with extensive experience in the maritime transportation industry. Wade Maritime has a broad client base in the shipping, Oil & Gas industry across the globe. Keeping in view the global nature of the maritime transportation industry the firm has offices in India, Singapore and a wide network of associates to effectively serve our clients worldwide.

    Under our Invisio - specialist vessel audit and inspection service, we conduct ISM, ISPS, TMSA, Pre-CDI, Navigation and other third party audits. We are now looking to expand our team of auditors worldwide on contractual basis. And so we are looking for Chemical(Parcel)tanker auditors.
    If interested, please email us your detailed resume. We would appreciate if you could also recommend someone else for the job incase you are unavailable for the same.
    My contact details are:;

  6. CH
    October 13, 2014 at 6:35 AM
    Respected Captain,

    What is special about Tamil Nadu?

    How come it is able to continuously produce word geniuses like Ramanujam, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, C.V. Raman, A.R. Rahman, Abdul Kalam, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Viswanathan Anand, Illayaraja, etc?

    Even till recently the Chief Justice of India, the Finance Minister, the RBI governor are all Tamils?

    Is there any scientific reason behind this? Because no other region has produced such super genius people in such numbers.


    Capt. Ajit Vadakayil
    October 13, 2014 at 7:06 AM
    hi ch,

    i am sure if i were a lawyer, i will NEVER EVER become CJI.

    i am sure if i were an economist, i will NEVER EVER become finance minister.

    you want me to continue ?

    when i was on my training ship in mumbai with 250 other cadets ( two years ) -- the biggest TELUs ( oily and slimy ) and SNEAKS ( snitches ) became SCC ( senior cadet captains ) , CC ( cadet captains ) , CL ( cadet leaders ) etc.

    i used to be in the CAPTAINS MONTHLY BREAKFAST PARTY ( cadet with maximum negative marks for OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES ) -- to be chewed up for breakfast every month .

    i got an EXTRA FIRST in every subject --except OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES.

    now what are OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES-

    being a son of a bit#h, being a sneak, being a hypocrite, being a as$ kisser , being a leader who will sell out his team, being a back biter, being an informer , being the best in playing to the gallery.

    so, so--

    at the passing out parade --most of the cadets who got all PRIXES were leaders -- they all got BOOOOOEEEEED !

    I remember i got only one prize--for being the best REPORTER IN ENGLISH -- the claps I got from the entire hall still resound in my ears -- along with another ROC ( royal officer cadet -who did NOT care to become a sold out leader ).

    and mind you -- i was in every single team which made my TOP ( starboard fore top ) the champion TOP.

    i was a champion sailor, rower, signaller, marks in subjects, soccer team in both years --

    but i lacked OLQ ( officer like qualities ) of being a FU#KIN' SLIME BALL.

    so in my passing our certificate , after two years of training -- i had an EXTRA FIRST in all subjects -- except OLQ where i was third grade

    so i guess they held a special meeting and GRACED ME TO FIRST CLASS --a young 18 year old boy -- .TEE HEEE !




    this has now passed on to LORE -- never ti happen again in the annals of sea .

    am i boasting ?

    -- so be it !

    humility is NOT about having a low opinion of yourselves to please the JEALOUS party.

    see, this would have been part of my post-- GAMES CAPTAIN PLAYED--

    you made me reveal it prematurely --with your TAMIL PRIDE ! TAKE IT EASY !

    check out my training ship-

    capt ajit vadakayil