liferaft, solas requirement of lifeboat
Marine Engines Merchant Navy

Solas Requirement for lifeboat on ship

Solas requirement for lifeboat have been discussed in this article. This is most common topic that come across us during our exams and also while we are doing some work onboard.

Lifeboat as you know is an important lifesaving equipment or setup available on ship. It’s meant for escaping the vessel in case the condition of ship is such that it is unable to float like major fire, flooding etc. Though ship is the safest place at sea, but if circumstances force us to leave it, then we have to use lifeboat to get off the ship and be in a safe place or reach there.

Before reading this article on solas requirements for lifeboat, you should read this article on launching of lifeboat on ship.

Solas requirement for lifeboat on ship

1) Lifeboat on each side should be able to accommodate total number of crew in single lifeboat itself.

2) The amount of fuel inside the lifeboat should be enough to sail for a period of 24 hours and at a speed of 6 knots.

3) Following Items should be present inside the lifeboat (important ones are mentioned here)

  • Hand-flare- 6
  • Food ration of having NOT less than 10000 KJ calorie for each person.
  • Smoke Signal- 2
  • Rocket Flares- 4
  • Thermal protective aid for at least 10 % of the crew
  • Radar Reflector
  • Sea anchor
  • Fishing tackle
  • Compass

There are other items as well, but these are the main ones.

4) Lifeboat should be capable of being launched at an angle of not more than 20 degree and ship speed not more than 5 knots.

5) The material by which lifeboat body is made fire resistant and having color which is easily visible.

6) If Lifeboat being used as rescue boat then it should have similar launching mechanism like rescue boat. Basic difference is that it should have faster heaving up speed.

7) Fuel used for the lifeboat engine should have a flash point of not less than 43 degree Celsius.

8) Lifeboat engine should be able to start at ambient of till -15 degree Celsius with in 2 minutes of commencement of start.

9) Should have two independent starting mechanisms. So the reason you have two batteries is because they are independent of each other.

10) No Lifeboat can take not more than 150 passengers inside.

11)  The name of the ship and port of registry should be mentioned on the lifeboat and also some sort of identification information like call sign should be written on top of the lifeboat.

12) The speed at which the lifeboat should be launched should not be less than the speed derived from this formula


Where S is the speed at which it should be lowered and H is the height in meters from the davit head to the waterline with the ship at the lightest sea-going condition.

So the above mentioned requirements for lifeboat are the key ones. We might have missed some of the important ones, if you have something to suggest on this, then please comment here.

MG Staff
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