46 CFR 160.027-3 - Additional requirements for life floats.
(a) Each life float must have a platform designed to drop through the center of the float, whichever way the life float is floating. A typical arrangement is shown in Figure 160.027-3(a).
(b) The platform must meet the requirements of one of the following paragraphs:
(1) A lattice type platform must be of western red cedar, port orford cedar, sitka spruce, northern white pine, or southern cypress slats constructed on an oak frame. The slats must have nominal cross-section dimensions not less than 90 mm (3 5/8 in.) by 9.5 mm ( 3/8 in.). The frame members must have nominal cross-section dimensions not less than 100 mm (4 in.) by 12.5 mm ( 1/2 in.). The space between adjacent slats must not exceed the width of the slats. The space between each frame member and the adjacent slat must not exceed twice the width of the slats. The platform must be riveted together at each intersection of -
(i) Frame members,
(ii) Slats, and
(iii) Frame members and slats.
(2) A plywood platform must be made of exterior or marine type plywood with surfaces that are either “A” or “B” grade as commonly designated in the plywood industry. Holes 35 mm (1 3/8 in.) to 50 mm (2 in.) in diameter must be drilled through the platform. The number of holes must be at least the number equal to (L-25) (W-25)/225, where L is the length of the platform in cm and W is the width of the platform in cm. (The formula is (L-10)(W-10)/36 where L and W are measured in inches.) The thickness of the plywood must be at least -
(i) 12.5 mm ( 1/2 in.) for life floats of 10 persons capacity and under,
(ii) 16 mm ( 5/8 in.) for life floats between 11 and 25 persons capacity inclusive, and
(iii) 19 mm ( 3/4 in.) for life floats of 26 persons capacity and over.
(3) A platform of construction differing from that described in either (1) or (2) of this paragraph will be approved if it has holes to permit the passage of water and if it passes the tests in § 160.027-7. The number of holes must be the same as required for a plywood platform. If the platform is netting on a frame, the netting must be constructed of cordage with a breaking strength of at least 1600 N (355 lb.). The netting must be constructed on not more than 5 cm (2 in.) centers and must be knotted together at each point where the lines intersect.
(c) Each platform must be of a material that is resistant to deterioration by exposure to weather or must have a surface that protects it from deterioration by exposure to weather. For a wood platform, this surface must be at least two coats of water resistant spar varnish, or two coats of marine paint.
(d) Each part of the platform, including surfaces, edges, and rivets must be smooth and must not have cutting edges, points, or splinters which would be dangerous for bare feet.
(e) The platform must be arranged so that under normal stowed conditions, it can be retained in the center of the float and can be readily released from this position for use.
(f) The platform must be suspended from the body of the float by a net or an equivalent arrangement, which when fully extended, holds the top of the platform approximately 900 mm (36 in.) below the center of the float body.
(1) The net must be constructed of cordage with a minimum breaking strength of 1600 N (355 lb.). The net must be attached to the platform through holes on centers that do not exceed 165 mm (6 1/2 in.).
(2) If the platform is suspended from the body of the float by an arrangement other than a net as described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the arrangement must be of equivalent to the net in terms of strength, resistance to tangling, and allowing the platform to freely pass through the center of the life float body.