What are requirements of Lifeboat Engine as per SOLAS ?

  1. Every lifeboat shall be powered by a compression ignition engine. No engine shall be used for any lifeboat if its fuel has a flashpoint of 430 C or less (closed cup test). 
  2. The engine shall be provided with either a manual starting system, or a power starting system with two independent rechargeable energy sources. Any necessary starting aids shall also be provided.  The engine starting systems and starting aids shall start the engine at an ambient temperature of 150C within 2 minutes of commencing the start procedure unless, in the opinion of the Central Government having regard to the particular voyages in which the ship carrying the lifeboat is constantly engaged, a different temperature is appropriate.  The starting systems shall not be impeded by the engine casing, thwarts or other obstructions. 
  3. The engine shall be capable of operating for not less than 5 minutes after starting from cold with the lifeboat out of the water. 
  4. The engines shall be capable of operating when the lifeboat is flooded upto the centerline of the  
  5. The propeller shafting shall be so arranged that the propeller can be disengaged from the engine. Provision shall be made for ahead and eastern propulsion of the lifeboat. 
  6. The exhaust pipe shall be so arranged as to prevent water from entering the engine in normal operation. 
  7. All lifeboats shall be designed with due regard to the safety of persons in the water and to the possibility of damage to the propulsion systems by floating debris. 
  8. The speed of a lifeboat when proceeding ahead in clam water, when loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment and with all engine-powered auxiliary equipment in operation, shall be at least 6 Knots and at least 2 Knots when towing a 25 persons liferaft loaded with its full complement of persons and equipment or its equivalent.  Sufficient fuel, suitable for use throughout the temperature range expected in the area in which the ship  operates, shall be provided to run the fully loaded lifeboat at 6 knots for a period of not less than 25 hours. 
  9. The lifeboat engine, transmission and engine accessories shall be enclosed in a fire-retardant casing or other suitable arrangements providing similar protection.  Such arrangements shall also protect persons from coming into accidental contact with hot or moving parts and protect the engine from exposure to weather and sea. Adequate means shall be provided to reduce the engine noise.  Starter batteries shall be provided with casings which form a watertight enclosure around the bottom and sides of the batteries.  The battery casings shall have a tight fitting top which provided for necessary gas venting. 
  10. The lifeboat engine and accessories shall be designed to limit electromagnetic emissions so that engine operation does not interfere with the operation of radio life-saving appliances used in the lifeboat. 
  11. Means shall be provided for recharging all engine starting, radio and search-light batteries.  Radio batteries shall not be used to provided power for engine starting. Means shall be provided for recharging lifeboat batteries from the ship’s power supply at a supply voltage not exceeding 55 volts which can be disconnected at the lifeboat embarkation station. 
  12. Water-resistant instructions for starting and operating the engine shall be provided and mounted in a conspicuous place near the engine starting controls.


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