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

(1) IMO LSA Code, Chapter IV (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart) applicable to the type of lifeboat;

(2) IMO Revised recommendation on testing, Part 1/6 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart) applicable to the type of lifeboat;

(3) 46 CFR part 159; and

(4) This subpart.

(b) Each lifeboat must meet the following requirements:

(1) Design.

(i) Each lifeboat, other than a totally enclosed lifeboat, must be designed to be operable by persons wearing immersion suits.

(ii) Each lifeboat should be designed following standard human engineering practices described in ASTM F 1166 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 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.

(2) Visibility from operator's station.

(i) The operator's station must be designed such that the operator, when seated at the control station, has visibility 360 degrees around the lifeboat, with any areas obstructed by the lifeboat structure or its fittings visible by moving the operator's head and torso.

(ii) The operator, while still being able to steer and control the speed of the lifeboat, must be able to see the water—

(A) Over a 90 degree arc within 3 m (9 ft, 10 in) of each side of the lifeboat;

(B) Over a 30 degree arc within 1 m (3 ft, 3 in) of each side of the lifeboat; and

(C) Within 0.5 m (1 ft, 8 in) of the entrances designated for recovering persons from the water.

(iii) In order to see a person in the water during recovery or docking operations, a hatch must be provided so that the operator can stand with his or her head outside the lifeboat for increased visibility, provided the operator can still steer and control the speed of the lifeboat.

(3) Construction. Each major rigid structural component of each lifeboat must be constructed of steel, aluminum, Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP), or materials accepted by the Commandant as equivalent or superior.

(i) General. 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.

(ii) Steel. Sheet steel and plate must be low carbon, commercial quality, either corrosion resistant or galvanized as per ASTM A 653, coating designation G90 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart). Structural steel plates and shapes must be carbon steel as per ASTM A 36 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart), or an equivalent or superior steel accepted by the Commandant. All steel products, except corrosion resistant steel, must be galvanized to provide high quality zinc coatings suitable for the intended service life in a marine environment. 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 §160.135-5 of this subpart) or another corrosion resistant stainless steel of equal or superior corrosion resistant characteristics.

(iii) Aluminum. Aluminum and aluminum alloys must conform to ASTM B 209 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart) and be high purity for good marine corrosion resistance, free of iron, and containing not more than 0.6 percent copper.

(iv) Fiber Reinforced Plastic.

(A) Resin. Any resin used for the hull, canopy, hatches, rigid covers, and enclosures for the engine, transmission, and engine accessories, must be fire retardant and accepted by the Commandant in accordance with 46 CFR part 164, subpart 164.120.

(B) Glass reinforcement. Any glass reinforcement used must have good laminated wet strength retention and must meet the appropriate specification in this paragraph. Glass cloth must be a finished fabric woven from “E” electrical glass fiber yarns meeting ASTM D 4029 commercial style designation 1564 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart). Woven roving must conform to MIL-C-19663D (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart). Other glass materials equivalent or superior in strength, design, wet out, and efficiency will be given consideration on specific request to the Commandant.

(C) Laminate. All exposed surfaces of any finished laminate must present a smooth finish, and there must be no protruding surface fibers, open voids, pits, cracks, bubbles, or blisters. The laminate must be essentially free from resin-starved or overimpregnated areas, and no foreign matter must remain in the finished laminate. The entire laminate must be fully cured and free of tackiness, and must show no tendency to delaminate, peel, or craze in any overlay. The laminate must not be released from the mold until a Barcol hardness reading of not less than 40-55 is obtained from at least 10 places on the non-gel coated surface, including all interior inner and outer hull surfaces and built-in lockers. The mechanical properties of the laminate must meet the requirements for a Grade 3 laminate as specified in Table I of MIL-P-17549D(SH) (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart). Other grades will be given consideration on specific request to the Commandant.

(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 lifeboat 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) Lifeboat buoyancy.

(i) The buoyancy material must be accepted by the Commandant as meeting the performance requirements of the IMO Revised recommendation on testing, part 1, 6.2.2 to 6.2.7, with a density of 32 ±8 kg/m3 (2 ±0.5 lb/ft3). The buoyancy foam or lifeboat manufacturer must certify the results of the testing to IMO Revised recommendation on testing, part 1, 6.2.2 to 6.2.7 and submit those results to the Commandant. A list of accepted buoyancy foams may be obtained from the Commandant upon request and online at http://cgmix.uscg.mil.

(ii) All voids in the hull and canopy required to provide buoyancy for positive stability and self righting must be completely filled with Coast Guard accepted buoyancy material.

(6) Engines.

(i) In order to be accepted by the Commandant, any compression ignition engine fitted to an approved lifeboat must meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission requirements in 40 CFR part 89, part 94, or part 1042, as applicable, and have reports containing the same information as recommended by MSC Circ. 980 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart) certified and witnessed by a U.S. Coast Guard inspector or an independent laboratory.

(ii) A hydraulic system, if used to start the engine, 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—

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

(B) The length of nonmetallic flexible hose is limited to 760 mm (30 in). Longer, nonmetallic flexible hoses may be allowed in emergency steering systems at the discretion of the Commandant.

(iii) If a hand pump is provided, or if the engine has a manual starting system, adequate space must be provided for the hand pump or hand start operation.

(7) Fuel system.

(i) The fuel system must meet 46 CFR 56.50-75(b) and, except as specified in this paragraph, the fuel tank must meet 46 CFR 58.50-10.

(ii) Tanks constructed with—

(A) Aluminum must be at least 5 mm (0.20 in) thick of ASTM B 209 or 5086 alloy;

(B) Nickel-copper must be at least 0.9 mm (0.0375 in) thick of ASTM B 127 hot-rolled sheet or plate;

(C) Steel or iron must be at least 1.9 mm (0.0747 in) thick. Diesel tanks of steel or iron must not have interior galvanizing;

(D) Fiberglass reinforced plastic must be at least 5 mm (0.187 in) thick; be sealed against porosity by at least one ply of chopped strand mat; be reinforced in the way of tank openings; be fitted with corrosion-resistant fittings; have each joint at the top of the tank; and have each joint bonded and through-bolted; or

(E) Roto-molded plastic must be at least 5 mm thick; must meet the requirements of 33 CFR 183.510 (a), (b), and (e) regardless of tank capacity; must be able to pass all static pressure tests as required in 33 CFR 183.510 at a minimum pressure of 5 psi; and be fitted with corrosion-resistant fittings.

(iii) Each fuel tank over 0.75 m (30 in) long must be baffled at intervals not exceeding 0.45 m (18 in).

(iv) A fuel level indicator must be provided for each fuel tank.

(v) Any fuel tank vent piping must be at least 6 mm (0.25 in) outside diameter tubing.

(vi) A shut-off valve must be provided at the fuel tank and must not be provided at the fuel pump. The valve must be clearly labeled. The position of the valve must be clearly indicated by a permanent marking inside the lifeboat. The marking must be an arrow pointing in the direction of the valve, and the words “Fuel Shut-Off Valve” must be in a color that contrasts with their background. The marking must be legible to a person within the vicinity of the engine.

(8) Starting system batteries. Any battery fitted in a totally enclosed lifeboat must be stored in a sealed compartment with exterior venting. If the lifeboat has more than one engine, then only one starting battery is required per engine.

(9) Exhaust. Engine exhaust must be routed away from bilge and potential oil drips. Any paint used on engines, manifolds, or exhaust must not give off fumes when heated. All exhaust lagging must be non-absorbent.

(10) Propeller guard. Each propeller on a lifeboat must be fitted with a propeller guard with a maximum opening of 76 mm (3 in) on all sides on which a person is likely to be exposed.

(11) Control and steering station. The operator's control and steering station must have complete lifeboat lowering and launching, hook release, engine throttle, steering controls, and if applicable, an air system and water spray system.

(i) The throttle must be a continuous manual control and must be able to be set and locked at any position.

(ii) The control and steering station must be designed and laid out in accordance with ASTM F 1166 sections 9 and 10, so that controls and displays are unambiguous, accessible, and easy to reach and use from the operator's normal seated position, while wearing an immersion suit or a lifejacket.

(iii) Each control, gauge, or display must be identified by a marking posted on, above, or adjacent to the respective item. Each control must operate in a logical manner and be marked with an arrow to show direction of movement of control which will cause an increased response. Each gauge must be marked with the normal operating range and indicate danger or abnormal conditions. Each marking must be permanent and weatherproof.

(iv) Gauges, and audio and visual alarms must be provided to monitor at least the following parameters—

(A) Coolant temperature, for a liquid cooled engine;

(B) Oil pressure, for an engine with an oil pump;

(C) Tachometer, for an engine not provided with over-speed protection; and

(D) State of charge, or rate of charge, for each rechargeable engine starting power source.

(12) Hull drain plug. The position of each drain plug must be clearly indicated by a permanent marking inside the lifeboat. The marking must be an arrow pointing in the direction of the plug, and the words “Drain Plug” must be 76 mm (3 in) high and have letters of a color that contrast with their background. The marking must be clearly visible to a person within the vicinity of the drain plug.

(13) Remote steering. The procedure to change over from remote to local steering must be simple, not require the use of tools, and be clearly posted. There must be sufficient clear space to install, operate, remove, and stow the removable tiller arm. The tiller arm and its connection to the rudder stock must be of sufficient strength so that there is no slippage or bending of the tiller arm. Rudder stops or other means must be provided to prevent the rudder from turning too far on either side.

(14) Lifelines. Buoyant lifelines must be of ultraviolet resistant material.

(15) Rails provided as handholds. Rails provided as handholds to cling when the lifeboat is overturned must extend for half the length of the lifeboat on both sides of the hull, and the clearance between the rail and hull must also be at least 38 mm (1.5 in). The rails must be attached to the hull below the chine or turn of the bilge, must be faired to prevent any fouling, and not project beyond the widest part of the lifeboat.

(16) Storage compartments and collection and storage of rainwater.

(i) Each storage compartment must be supported and secured against movement. It must have adequate hand access for removing and storing the required equipment, provisions, or water, and for cleaning the inside of the compartment.

(ii) The rain water collecting device may be incorporated into the design of the canopy or may be a separate unit to be mounted outside the lifeboat. The device must have a projected horizontal area of at least 1 m2 (10.7 ft2) collection area and be designed to function unattended.

(iii) Provision must be made to continue to collect water in the storage compartment while drawing water to fill a cup. The compartment must have a means of drainage and adequate access to allow filling the graduated drinking cup required to be carried as part of the lifeboat equipment.

(17) Release mechanism. Each release mechanism must be identified at the application for approval of the prototype lifeboat and must be approved under 46 CFR part 160, subpart 160.133. The release lever or control in the lifeboat must be red in color, and the area immediately surrounding the control must be a sharply contrasting light color. An illustrated operating instruction plate or placard showing the correct off-load and emergency on-load release procedure and recovery procedure must be posted so that it is visible and legible from the helmsman's normal operating position. The plate or placard must be corrosion resistant and weatherproof and must be marked with the word “Danger”.

(18) Painter release. Any painter release must be located such that the lifeboat operator can readily release the painter from the operator's control and steering station.

(19) Canopy lamp. Any exterior lifeboat position-indicating light must be approved by the Commandant under approval series 161.101.

(20) Manually-controlled interior light. Any interior light must be approved by the Commandant under approval series 161.101.

(21) Lifeboat equipment. Each lifeboat must be designed to accommodate and carry the equipment as specified in 46 CFR 199.175.

(22) Oars. Oars are not required on a lifeboat with more than one engine, provided one engine can be operated while the other is disabled.

(23) Bilge pump. Each lifeboat that is not automatically self-bailing, must be fitted with a manual bilge pump approved under 46 CFR part 160, subpart 160.044. Each such lifeboat with a capacity of 100 persons or more must carry an additional approved manual bilge pump or an engine-powered bilge pump.

(24) Exterior color. The primary color of the exterior of the canopy and interior of partially enclosed lifeboats visible from the air must be a highly visible color equivalent to vivid reddish orange color number 12197 of FED-STD-595C (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart), or a durable fluorescent color of a similar hue.

(25) Self-contained air supply system and fire protection system operating instructions. Each compressed gas air cylinder must meet the requirements in 46 CFR 147.60. The cylinders must be accessible for removal and charging in place. Water-resistant instructions for starting the water spray and air supply, if fitted, must be provided and mounted in a conspicuous place near the system controls.

(26) Navigating lights. Each lifeboat must have navigation lights that are in compliance with the applicable sections of the International and Inland Navigation Rules and meet 46 CFR 111.75-17.

(27) Retroreflective material. The exterior of each lifeboat and its canopy must be marked with Type II retroreflective material approved under 46 CFR part 164, subpart 164.018. The arrangement of the retroreflective material must comply with IMO Res. A.658(16) (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart).

(28) Permanently attached foldable canopy. For a partially enclosed lifeboat, the foldable canopy cloth material must meet the specifications for Type II, Class 1 requirements of A-A-55308 (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart), or be accepted by the Commandant as equivalent or superior.

(29) Labels and notices. Any labels, caution and danger notices, and operating, maintenance, or general instructions, must be in accordance with ASTM F 1166, Section 15, in terms of format, content, lettering size and spacing, color, and posted location. They must be illustrated with symbols in accordance with IMO Res. A.760(18) (incorporated by reference, see §160.135-5 of this subpart), as applicable. Information and instruction plates, not specifically mentioned in this section, must not be posted in the vicinity of the control and steering station without prior approval from the Commandant. Identification label plates, if required, must be posted on or above the component or equipment to be identified.

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

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