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One of the significant advantages of SBT is the potential for completing the ballasting of the vessel before cargo discharge is complete. However, the ballasting cannot be conducted without regard to the cargo operation and the weights of ballast taken must be incorporated in the evaluation of stress, trim and drafts produced by the combined cargo and ballast operations.
The ballast plan is incorporated in the cargo orders by indicating when the SBT is to be started, the sequence and rate of loading and the 'hold points' where ballast is to be stopped until cargo discharge is progressed further.
Maximum and minimum drafts allowable should be clearly indicated in the cargo plan, as dictated by the minimum under-keel clearance permitted (allowing for tide) and the maximum freeboard allowed within the operating envelope limitations for the cargo arms.
The ballast plan must indicate the checks of the ballast system to be completed prior to and during the start of ballasting operations.

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