What are regulations/ requirements for lifeboat as per SOLAS?

As per SOLAS Chapter 3, Regulation 41 ,General requirements for lifeboats

 Lifeboat fittings
  1. All lifeboats shall be provided with at least one drain valve fitted near the lowest point in the hull, which shall automatically open to drain water from the hull when the lifeboat is not waterborne and shall automatically close to prevent entry of water when. The lifeboat is waterborne. Each drain. Valve shall be provided with a cap or plug to close the valve, which shall be attached to the lifeboat by a lanyard, a chain, or other suitable means. Drain valves shall be readily accessible from inside the lifeboat and their position shall be clearly indicated.
  2. All lifeboats shall be provided with a rudder and tiller. When a wheel or other remote steering mechanism is also provided, the tiller shall be capable of controlling the rudder in case of failure of the steering mechanism. The rudder shall be permanently attached to the lifeboat. The tiller shall be permanently installed on, or linked to, the rudder stock; however, if the lifeboat has a remote steering mechanism, the tiller may be removable and securely stowed near the rudder stock. The rudder and tiller shall be so arranged as not to be damaged by operation of the release mechanism or the propeller.
  3. Except in the vicinity of the rudder and propeller, a buoyant lifeline shall be becketed around the outside or the lifeboat.
  4. Lifeboats which are not self-righting when capsized shall have suitable handholds on the underside or the hull to enable persons to cling to the lifeboat. The handholds shall be fastened to the lifeboat In such a way that, when subjected to an impact sufficient to cause them to break away from the lifeboat, they break away without damaging the lifeboat.
  5. All lifeboats shall be fitted with sufficient watertight lockers or compartments to provide for the storage of the small items of equipment, water and provisions required, Means shall be provided for the storage of collected rainwater.
  6. Every lifeboat to be launched by a fall or falls shall be fitted with a release mechanism complying with the following requirements:
    • The mechanism shall be so arranged that all hooks are released simultaneously.
    • The mechanism shall have two release capabilities as follows:
      1. A normal release capability which will release the lifeboat when it is waterborne or when there is no load on the hooks;
      2. 2 an on-load release capability which will release the lifeboat with a load on the books. This release shall be so arranged as to release the lifeboat under any conditions of loading from no-load with the lifeboat waterborne to a load of 1.1 times the total mass of the lifeboat when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment. This release capability shall be adequately protected against accidental or premature use.
      3. The release control shall be clearly marked in a color that contrasts with its surroundings,
      4. The mechanism shall be designed with a factor of safety of six based on the ultimate strength of the materials used, assuming the mass of the lifeboat is equally distributed between the falls.
  7. Every lifeboat shall be fitted with a release device to enable the forward painter to be released when under tension.
  8. Every lifeboat which is fitted with a fixed two-way VHF radiotelephone apparatus with an antenna which is separately mounted shall be provided with arrangements for siting and securing the antenna effectively in its operating position.
  9. Lifeboats intended for launching down the side of a ship shall have skates and fenders as necessary to facilitate launching and prevent damage to the lifeboat.
  10. A manually controlled lamp visible on a dark night with a clear atmosphere at a distance of at least 2 miles for a period of not less than 12 h shall be fitted to the top of the cover or enclosure. If the light is a flashing light, it shall initially flash at a rate of not less than 50 flashes per minute over the first 2 h of operation of the 12 h operating period.
  11. A lamp or source of light shall be fitted inside the lifeboat to provide illumination for not less than 12 h to enable reading of survival and equipment instructions; however, oil lamps shall not be permitted for this purpose.
  12. Unless expressly provided otherwise, every lifeboat shall be provided with effective means of bailing or be automatically self-balling.
  13. Every lifeboat shall be so arranged that an adequate view forward, aft and to both sides is provided from the control and steering position for safe launching and maneuvering.
Lifeboat equipment

All items of lifeboat equipment, whether required by this paragraph or elsewhere in this chapter, with the exception of boat-hooks which shall be kept free for fending off purposes, shall be secured within the lifeboat by lashings, storage in lockers or compartments, storage in brackets or similar mounting arrangements or other suitable means. The equipment shall be secured in such a manner as not to interfere with any abandonment procedures. All items of lifeboat equipment shall be as small and of as little mass as possible and shall be packed in a suitable and compact form. Except where otherwise stated, the normal equipment of every lifeboat shall consist of:

About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.

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