Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
load line[′lōd ‚līn]
the symbol of maximum draft; placed amidships on both sides of the hulls of oceangoing vessels. Acircular symbol with a horizontal line passing through its center shows the maximum draft for seawater (in the temperate zone in the summer), and a series of horizontal lines indicates the various drafts for ocean or river waters and for various times of the year and regions of navigation. The deck line is placed above the load line.
The height of the load line is based on an established minimum freeboard, which is regulated by an international convention (1966) or by national rules, depending on the purpose, size and structural peculiarities of the vessel and is attested to by a certificate issued by a classification organization. To reduce the registered tonnage when shipping cargo with a high ratio, a tonnage mark may be shown below the second deck of an oceangoing freight vessel; the mark is an equilateral triangle whose apex touches a stepped horizontal line indicating the maximum draft in salt and fresh water.
L. G. SOKOLOV