Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Maritime Affairs


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Balmer, T.F.


A brief introduction recounts the early rules and the rationale of early load line discussions, which shows concern not only for freeboard but also for hull tightness, strength, stability, and protection of crew. Development is traced through the early British legislation, the first Tables of Freeboard, the work of the British Load Line Committees, the 1930 Load Line Conference to the present 1966 Convention. The International Maritime Organization is mentioned as the 'host' for the Load Line Convention and as the medium for making improvements. This paper does not repeat any Rules, Convention Articles or Regulations; its primary aims are to outline the reasons giving rise to the setting up of such Committees or the calling of such Conferences, to indicate the philosophy underlying the changes which have been made, and to highlight some of the arguments which were brought forward in debating contentious matters.