To satisfy the requirements of the regulations of SOLAS indicated in § 160.151-7, each inflatable liferaft must meet the following requirements of this section:
(a) Workmanship and materials (Regulation III/30.2.1). Each liferaft must be constructed of the following types of materials meeting MIL-C-17415E, or materials accepted by the Commandant as equivalent or superior—
(1) Type 2, Class B, for the canopy;
(2) Type 8 for seam tape;
(3) Type 11 for the inflatable floor; and
(4) Type 16, Class AA, for all other inflatable compartments and structural components.
(b) Seams (Regulation III/30.2.1). Each seam must be at least as strong as the weakest of the materials joined by the seam. Each seam must be covered with tape where necessary to prevent lifting of and damage to fabric edges.
(c) Protection from cold inflation-gas (Regulation III/30.2.1). Each inflatable compartment must be provided with a protective liner or baffling arrangement at the inflation-gas inlet, or other equally effective means to prevent damage from exposure to cold inflation-gas.
(d) Compatibility of dissimilar materials (Regulation III/30.2.4). Where dissimilar materials are combined in the construction of a liferaft, provisions must be made to prevent loosening or tightening due to differences in thermal expansion, freezing, buckling, galvanic corrosion, or other incompatibilities.
(e) Color (Regulation III/30.2.6). The primary color of the exterior of the canopy must be vivid reddish orange (color number 34 of NBS Special Publication 440), or a fluorescent color of a similar hue.
(f) Retroreflective material (Regulation III/30.2.7). Each inflatable liferaft must be marked with Type I retroreflective material approved under part 164, subpart , of this chapter as complying with SOLAS. The arrangement of the retroreflective material must comply with IMO Resolution A.658(16).
(g) Towing attachments (Regulation III/38.1.4.) Each towing attachment must be reinforced strongly enough to withstand the towing strain, and marked to indicate its function.
(h) Weight (Regulation III/38.2.2). The weight of the liferaft including its container and equipment may not exceed 185 kg (407.8 lb), unless the liferaft is intended for launching into the water directly from its stowed position using an inclined or hand-tilted rack, or is served by a launching appliance approved by the Commandant under approval series 160.163.
(i) Lifelines (Regulation III/38.3.1). Each lifeline must be made of nylon tubular webbing with a minimum diameter of 14 mm (9/16-inch), rope with a minimum diameter of 10 mm ( 3/8 -inch), or equivalent. Each lifeline-attachment patch must have a minimum breaking strength of 1.5 kN (350 lb) pull exerted perpendicular to the base of the patch. Each bight of an exterior lifeline must be long enough to allow the lifeline to reach to the waterline of the liferaft when it is afloat.
(j) Painter length (Regulation III/38.3.2). The length of the liferaft painter shall be not less than 10 meters (33 feet) plus the liferaft's maximum stowage height, or 15 meters (49 feet), whichever is greater.
(k) Painter system (Regulation III/38.6.1). The painter protruding from the liferaft container must be inherently resistant, or treated to be resistant, to deterioration from sunlight and salt spray, and resistant to absorption and wicking of water.
(l) Inflation cylinders (Regulation III/39.2.3). Each compressed-gas inflation cylinder within the liferaft must meet the requirements of § 147.60 of this chapter, and be installed so that—
(1) Slings and reinforcements of sufficient strength retain the inflation cylinders in place when the liferaft is dropped into the water from its stowage height and during inflation; and
(2) The painter and the inflation cylinders of the liferaft are linked to start inflation when the painter is pulled by one person exerting a force not exceeding 150 N (34 lb).
(m) Boarding ladders (Regulation III/39.4.2). The steps of each boarding ladder must provide a suitable foothold.
(n) Canopy lamps (Regulation III/39.6.2). The exterior liferaft canopy lamp must be approved by the Commandant under approval series 161.101.
(o) Containers (Regulation III/39.7.1). Each container for packing liferafts—
(1) Must include a telltale made with a seal-and-wire, or equivalent, method for indicating whether the liferaft has been tampered with or used since packing;
(2) Must be designed so that the liferaft breaks free of the container when inflation is initiated, without the need to manually open or remove any closing arrangement;
(3) Must have an interior surface smooth and free from splinters, barbs, or rough projections;
(4) Must be of rigid construction where the liferaft is intended for float-free launching or for exposed stowage on deck;
(5) If rigid, must be designed to facilitate securing the inflatable liferaft to a vessel to permit quick release for manual launching;
(6) If constructed of fibrous-glass-reinforced plastic, must be provided with a means to prevent abrasion of the liferaft fabric, such as by using a gel-coated interior finish of the container, enclosing the liferaft in an envelope of plastic film, or equivalent means; and
(7) Except as provided in paragraph (o)(4) of this section, may be of fabric construction. Each container of fabric construction must be made of coated cloth, include carrying handles and drain holes, and be adaptable to stowage and expeditious removal from lockers and deck-mounted enclosures adjacent to liferaft-launching stations. The weight of a liferaft in a fabric container including its container and equipment may not exceed 100 kg (220 lb).
[CGD 85-205, 62 FR 25547, May 9, 1997, as amended by USCG-1998-4442, 63 FR 52192, Sept. 30, 1998]
Title 46 published on 2012-10-01
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