U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jul 12, 2020
(a) General. Each lifeboat, inflatable liferaft, and lifefloat must be stowed so that -
(1) It is capable of being launched within 10 minutes or, in the case of vessels having one compartment subdivision, 30 minutes;
(2) It does not impede the launching or handling of other lifesaving appliances;
(3) It does not impede the marshaling of persons at the embarkation stations, or their embarkation; and
(4) It is capable of being put in the water safely and rapidly even under unfavorable conditions of list and trim.
(b) Lifeboat stowage. Each lifeboat must be stowed to meet the following requirements:
(1) Each lifeboat must be attached to a separate set of davits.
(2) Lifeboats must not be stowed in the bow of the vessel nor so far aft as to be endangered by the propellers or overhang of the stern.
(3) Lifeboats must be stowed so that it is not necessary to lift them in order to swing out the davits.
(4) Means must be provided for bringing the lifeboats against the ship's side and holding them there so that persons may safely embark, unless the lifeboats are arranged for boarding at the stowage position.
(5) Lifeboats must be fitted with skates or other suitable means to facilitate launching against an adverse list of up to 15 degrees. However, skates may be dispensed with if, in the opinion of the Commandant, the arrangements ensure that the lifeboats can be satisfactorily launched without them.
(6) Means must be provided outside the machinery space to prevent the discharge of water into the lifeboats while they are being lowered.
(c) Inflatable liferaft stowage. Inflatable liferafts must be stowed so that they will float free in the event of the vessel sinking. Stowage and launching arrangements must be to the satisfaction of the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection.
(d) Life float stowage. Each life float must be stowed to meet the requirements of this paragraph.
(1) Each life float must be secured to the vessel by a painter and a float-free link that is -
(i) Certified to meet subpart 160.073 of this chapter;
(ii) Of proper strength for the size of the life float as indicated on its identification tag; and
(iii) Secured to the painter at one end and secured to the vessel on the other end.
(2) The means by which the float-free link is attached to the vessel must -
(i) Have a breaking strength of at least the breaking strength of the painter.
(ii) If synthetic, be of a dark color or of a material certified to be resistant to deterioration from ultraviolet light; and
(iii) If metal, be corrosion resistant.
(3) If the life float does not have a painter attachment fitting, a means for attaching the painter must be provided by a wire or line that -
(i) Encircles the body of the device;
(ii) Will not slip off;
(iii) Has a breaking strength that is at least the breaking strength of the painter; and
(iv) If synthetic, is of a dark color or is of a material certified to be resistant to deterioration from ultraviolet light.
(4) The float-free link described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section is not required if the vessel operates solely in waters that have a depth less than the length of the painter.
(5) If the vessel carries more than one life float, the life floats may be grouped and each group secured by a single painter, provided that -
(i) The combined weight of each group of life floats does not exceed 400 pounds;
(ii) Each life float is individually attached to the painter by a line that meets paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section and which is long enough so that each can float without contacting any other life float in the group; and
(iii) The strength of the float-free link and the strength of the painter under paragraphs (d)(1)(ii) and (d)(2) of this section is determined by the combined capacity of the group of life floats.
(6) Each life float, as stowed, must be capable of easy launching. Life floats weighing over 400 pounds must not require lifting before launching.
(7) Life floats must be secured to the vessel only by a painter and lashings that can be easily released or by hydraulic releases. They must not be stowed in more than four tiers. When stowed in tiers, the separate units must be kept apart by spacers.
(8) There must be means to prevent shifting.
(e) Hydraulic Releases. Each hydraulic release used in the installation of any inflatable liferaft or life float must meet subpart 160.062 of this chapter.