46 CFR 160.133-7 - Design, construction, and performance of release mechanisms.

§ 160.133-7 Design, construction, and performance of release mechanisms.

(a) To seek Coast Guard approval of a release mechanism, a manufacturer must comply with, and each release mechanism must meet, the requirements of the following -

(1) IMO LSA Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89), chapter IV/ (incorporated by reference, see § 160.133-5 of this subpart), and a release mechanism for free-fall lifeboats must also meet the applicable provisions of chapter VI/6.1.4;

(2) IMO Revised recommendation on testing, as amended by Resolution MSC.321(89), Part 1/6.9 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.133-5 of this subpart);

(3) 46 CFR part 159; and

(4) This subpart.

(b) Each release mechanism must meet the following requirements -

(1)Design. All functions of the release mechanism, including removal of interlocks, operation of the release handle, resetting the hooks, and reattaching the falls to the hooks, must be designed to be operable by persons wearing immersion suits;

(2) Each release mechanism should be designed following standard human engineering practices described in ASTM F 1166 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.133-5 of this subpart). Design limits should be based on a range from the fifth percentile female to the ninety-fifth percentile male values for critical body dimensions and functional capabilities as described in ASTM F 1166. The dimensions for a person wearing an immersion suit correspond to the arctic clothed dimensions of ASTM F 1166;

(3)Steel. Each major structural component of each release mechanism must be constructed of corrosion-resistant steel. Corrosion-resistant steel must be a type 302 stainless steel per ASTM A 276, ASTM A 313 or ASTM A 314 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.133-5 of this subpart). Other corrosion-resistant materials may be used if accepted by the Commandant as having equivalent or superior corrosion-resistant characteristics;

(4)Welding. Welding must be performed by welders certified by the Commandant, a classification society recognized by the Commandant in accordance with 46 CFR 8.220, the U.S. Navy, or the national body where the release mechanism is constructed or the national body's designated recognized organization. Only electrodes intended for use with the material being welded may be used. All welds must be checked using appropriate non-destructive tests;

(5) Metals in contact with each other must be either galvanically compatible or insulated with suitable non-porous materials. Provisions must also be made to prevent loosening or tightening resulting from differences of thermal expansion, freezing, buckling of parts, galvanic corrosion, or other incompatibilities;

(6) Screws, nuts, bolts, pins, keys, and other similar hardware, securing moving parts must be fitted with suitable lock washers, cotter pins, or locks to prevent them from coming adrift;

(7) The on-load operation of the release mechanism must require two separate, deliberate actions by the operator;

(8) The mechanical protection required by “IMO”, LSA Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89), Chapter IV/ must only be able to be engaged when the release mechanism is properly and completely reset. Proper engagement of the mechanical protection must be visually indicated;

(9) The release and recovery procedures required by “IMO” LSA Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89),Chapter IV/ must be included as an illustrated operation instruction plate or placard. The plate or placard must be corrosion resistant and weatherproof and must be marked with the word “Danger”. The illustrations must correspond exactly to those used in the instruction and maintenance manual provided by the manufacturer;

(10) The release lever or control must be red in color, and the area immediately surrounding the control must be a sharply contrasting light color;

(11) The release lever and its connection to the release mechanism must be of sufficient strength so that there is no deformation of the release lever or the release control assembly during on-load release;

(12) Positive means of lubrication must be provided for each bearing which is not permanently lubricated. Points of lubrication must be so located that they are clearly visible and accessible in the installed position in the boat;

(13) A hydraulic system, if used to activate the release mechanism, must be in accordance with 46 CFR part 58, subpart 58.30, with hose and fittings in accordance with 46 CFR part 56, subpart 56.60, except that -

(i) Push-on type fittings such as Aeroquip 1525-X, 25156-X, and FC332-X are not permitted;

(ii) The length of nonmetallic flexible hose is limited to 760 mm (30 in); and

(iii) If a hand pump is provided, adequate space must be provided for the hand pump or hand operation;

(14) Each release mechanism designed to launch a boat by free-fall must not be able to carry any weight until the release mechanism is properly reset, and each of the two independent activation systems required to be operated from inside the boat must require at least two independent actions from different locations inside the boat to release the hook; and

(c) Determinations of equivalence of design, construction, and materials will be made by the Commandant only.

[USCG-2010-0048, 76 FR 62983, Oct. 11, 2011, as amended by 79 FR 44139, July 30, 2014]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Title 46 published on 09-May-2017 04:27

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 160 after this date.

  • 2016-07-22; vol. 81 # 141 - Friday, July 22, 2016
    1. 81 FR 48220 - Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 22, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on August 22, 2016.
      33 CFR Parts 140, 145, 148, and 149
The section you are viewing is cited by the following CFR sections.