According to LSA Code, Chapter 3, Reg. 4.4
General requirements for lifeboat:
- All lifeboats shall be of sufficient strength to:
- Enable them to safely launch when fully loaded with their full complement of person and equipment.
- Be capable of launched and towed when a ship is making headway at a speed of 5 knots in calm water.
- Except for free fall, each other lifeboat to be launched by falls shall be of sufficient strength to withstand when loaded with its full complement of person and equipment and with applicable skates or fenders in position, a lateral impact against ship side at an impact velocity of atleast 3.5m/sec and also a drop into water from a height of atleast 3 mtrs
- The size, number and the capacity of the lifeboat for a merchant vessel is decided by the type of the ship and number of ship’s crew, but it should not be less than 7.3 m in length and minimum two lifeboats are provided on both side of the ship (port and starboard).
- The requirement for lifeboat of a cargo ship with 20,000 GT is that the boat must be capable of launching when the ship is heading with a speed of 5 knots.
- The ship must carry one rescue boat for rescue purpose along with other lifeboats. One lifeboat can be designated as a rescue boat if more then one lifeboat is present onboard ship.
- The gravity davits must be hold and slide down the lifeboat even when the ship is heeled to an angle of 15 degree on either side. Ropes are used to hold the lifeboat in stowed position with cradle. These ropes are called gripes.
- The wires which lift or lower the lifeboat are known as falls and the speed of the lifeboat descent should not be more then 36m/ min which is controlled by means of centrifugal brakes.
- The hoisting time for the boat launching appliance should not be less than 0.3 m/sec with the boat loaded to its full capacity.
- The Lifeboat must be painted in international bright orange colour with the ship’s call sign printed on it.
- A fully loaded lifeboat in calm water has an engine speed of atleast 6 knots and at least 2 knots when towing a 25-person life-raft and enough fuel for 24 hours.
Additionally for Tanker lifeboats
- Self rightening fully enclosed.
- Self-contained air system (Oxygen bottle)
- Fire protected lifeboat (Sprinkler system)
Regulation for lifeboat engine as per SOLAS
- Lifeboat shall be powered by a compression ignition engine. No life boat engine can be used if the fuel used in it has a flash point of 43˚C or less.
- The lifeboat engine can either be two stroke or four-stroke type, and can be started either by hand or by power.
- The engine must be capable to operate when life boat be flooded upto waterline of crankshaft. Power starting can be by using accumulator batteries or hydraulic.
- In power starting, normally two independent rechargeable energy sources are provided. However, any starting method should be capable of starting engines at 15˚C of ambient temperature within two minutes of commencing of starting procedure.
- The engine power is transmitted to propeller through gearbox. The gearbox is capable of disengaging the engine as well as engaging in either ahead or astern direction.
- The exhaust pipe outlet is located well clear of waterline.
- Engine should be capable of operating for not less than 5 minutes after starting from cold, with lifeboat out of water.
- Neptha or Butane spray is injected in air filter to start from cold condition.