Aboard ship, deck coverings get more wear than
any other material. Unless deck coverings are properly
cared for, costly replacement is required. There are
several materials used for covering decks, but only two
types are covered here. These are the resilient and the
nonslip (nonskid paint) types.
Resilient deck coverings include vinyl tile, vinyl
asbestos tile, and linoleum. These deck coverings do not
need painting; however, daily sweeping and wiping
away spills as soon as possible are required. Resilient
deck covering is clamped down (cleaned with a damp
swab) frequently, allowed to dry, and then buffed with a
buffer. For more thorough cleaning when the deck is
unusually dirty, apply a solution of warm water and
detergent with a stiff bristle brush or buffer and rinse
with clean water to remove residual detergent. Stubborn
dirt and black marks left by shoes can be removed by
rubbing lightly with a scouring pad, fine steel wool, or a
rag moistened with mineral spirits.
After the deck covering is washed and dried, it can
be polished (with or without waxing) with a buffer, or it
may be given a coat of self-polishing wax and allowed
to dry without buffing. Deck coverings can be buffed
several times before rewaxing.
No wax should be applied to the deck when the ship
is going out to sea or when heavy weather is anticipated.
This is an added precaution against slipping, even
though the approved floor waxes are designed to be slip
Nonslip (nonskid paint) deck coverings contain
pumice, which provides a better footing. To clean a
nonskid painted deck, use a cleaning solution of
detergent and dishwashing compound. To make the
solution, mix 1 pint of detergent and 5 tablespoons of
dishwashing compound. You can mix this compound
with freshwater to make 20 gallons of cleaning solution.
Apply the solution with a hand scrubber, let it soak for 5
minutes, and then rinse with freshwater. Dont wax or
paint nonskid deck coverings. Waxing or painting
reduces their nonskid properties.
If it becomes necessary to spruce up the
appearance of a nonskid deck cover, brush it
with deck paint diluted with mineral spirits.
The diluted paint should be as thin as possible
so that the nonskid properties are not affected.
Frequent inspections are held to make sure that all
spaces, machinery, and equipment are in a satisfactory
state of operation, preservation, and cleanliness. One
type of inspection, the zone inspection, divides the ship
or station into various sections. Each zone is then
assigned to an inspection party or team. Usually the CO
will head one team, while an officer or chief petty
officer will head each of the remaining teams. If you are
assigned to present a compartment, you present the
space to the inspecting officer by saluting and greeting
the inspector in the following manner: Good morning
(afternoon), sir/maam; Seaman Apprentice Frost (your
rank and name) standing by compartment (name or
number), for your inspection, sir/maam. You will then
stay with the inspecting officer during the inspection of
your spaces to answer questions and provide assistance.
Such things as stowage cabinets, lockers, and drawers
should be unlocked before the inspection for easy
access. Usually the inspecting officer will give an
overall grade to the space; for example, a grade of
outstanding would indicate that no new discrepancies
were noted and all previous discrepancies have been
corrected. You can be proud of an outstanding grade.
REVIEW 1 QUESTIONS
Q1. The responsibility for cleaning and maintaining
certain spaces in the ship is listed in what
Q2. What person is generally assigned to clean living
or berthing spaces?