Subchapter M Ventilation Compliance


One of our favorite things over here at Quest is helping people solve unique issues so they can focus more on their business.  Many times that involves their product, their environment, their manufacturing process, or structure.  Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about the Coast Guard’s Subchapter M regulation in the Inland Marine industry and the industry is really struggling to understand how to be compliant.

HVAC system in a Workboat
HVAC system in a Workboat


In 2016 the Coast Guard laid out their final ruling for the inspection of and safety management of towing vessels and this came to be known as Subchapter M of the Code of Federal Regulations.  While not fully implemented until July of 2018, the industry is scrambling to understand the regulations and ensure compliance.  Our customers bring this up frequently to us and every conference has several workshops dedicated to Subchapter M.  Once the dust settles, this will undoubtedly improve safety and living conditions for the crew, the general public, and the ecosystems towing vessels work in.


One section of Subchapter M that is causing particular heartburn for all of Quest’s customers is Subpart F:

144.600 Ventilation for accommodations – Each accommodation space on a vessel must be ventilated in a manner suitable for the purpose of the space

144.610 Ventilation in a vessel more than 65’ in length – A vessel of more than 65 feet (19.8 meters) in length with overnight accommodations must have a mechanical ventilation system unless a natural system, such as opening windows, portholes, or doors, will provide adequate ventilation in ordinary weather.

144.720 Crew rest consideration – The condition of the crew accommodations must consider the importance of crew rest. Factors to consider include vibrations, ambient light, noise levels, and general comfort.

Two Dry 155s in a Tug


Our customers have been struggling for years with humidity issues in their vessels leading to  fogged windshields, musty odors, extensive corrosion, and expensive recurring mold remediation.  Anytime the dew point approaches the temperature of the water surrounding them, that humidity issue will rear its head and mechanically or passively ventilating their boats will only compound that exponentially without a means to condition the incoming fresh air.  Luckily for them, the Quest Dry line (Dry 70, Dry 155, and Dry 205) has demonstrated in actual marine applications the ability to dehumidify the wheelhouse, galleys, and living quarters in all brownwater and offshore applications. Properly sizing and installing a Quest Dry unit will lower the Relative Humidity of the boats and accommodate the ventilation requirements of Subchapter M, Subpart F quickly, effectively, and efficiently leading to much more comfortable working conditions and protection of the valuable fleet assets.

Call us today to help size your marine application.  We can help you become Subchapter M compliant.