The inflatable life raft is essential survival equipment for a yacht up to commercial ships. The emergency life raft is SOLAS standard with EC, RS, DNV-GL, CCS certified. Grand Ocean is able to supply throw-overboard liferaft, davit-launched liferaft, self-righting liferaft, open-reversible liferafts, and leisure liferaft. Our life raft brands include Shanghai Cunhong, CRV, Sea-Air, Youlong, CSM liferaft.
An inflatable life raft is a lightweight buoyant platform, designed in the likeness of a small boat in structure. It is carried within water vessels such as yachts and ships during sea travel for the purpose of evacuating the members on board in the event of an emergency. Inflatable life raft can drift crew away to safety until help arrives.
Keeping passengers afloat after abandoning a ship increases their chances of survival at sea and saves lives thus the name ‘life’ raft. Inflatable life raft comes with a canopy and insulation to offer a fair amount of protection especially from the sun, water, wind, and cold. Inside are supplied too for sustenance before being rescued.
The inflatable life raft is normally secured at the starboard, aft of ship or other quick to reach location and provides a simple launching process when the need arises.
Inflatable life rafts must meet certain minimum requirements to be deemed fit for use at sea. These requirements are in accordance with the SOLAS standards for life rafts. SOLAS is an abbreviation for Safety of Life At Sea. It is a universal treaty with laid down international maritime regulations meant to uphold the preservation of life during marine activities.
The standards revolve around the storage arrangement, launching mechanism and capacity of inflatable life rafts. Throw overboard type and Davit launch type life rafts are some good examples of SOLAS approved life rafts. Some of the most critical requirements for inflatable life rafts by SOLAS include:
For vessels venturing 100 miles and more offshore, SOLAS commercial standards are the best inflatable life rafts for this type of voyage.
The application of inflatable life rafts to emergency situations is within a wide range of sea activities whether commercial or recreational.
Some of the most common scenarios that could potentially lead to sinking or capsizing and calls for the use of inflatable life raft are natural calamities such as sea storms, tsunamis, cyclones, and typhoons; fires and explosions, collision with another vessel and striking reefs or icebergs. Ideally, inflatable life raft is a must-have appliance in any sea-human related activity.
Whether fishing, ferrying passengers, transporting cargo, cruising or racing, there is always the possibility of the occurrence of any of the above-mentioned hazards.
Throw overboard liferaft meets the SOLAS standard. As the name suggests, this type of SOLAS life raft is built to be launched by getting thrown over from a ship.
Others are designed to fall freely. Immediately this happens, the painter is pulled to inflate it instantly and passengers can climb down using a ladder or by jumping in. It is therefore stowed within easy reach at either side of the vessel.
In other instances, the ship sinks much faster than the throw overboard liferaft can be launched. A special feature known as the hydrostatic release unit prevents the liferaft from going under with the ship. At 4 meter depth, it causes the liferaft to quickly detach from the ship and float up.
As the vessel goes deeper, water pressure builds up forcing the painter to pull tighter and inflate the life raft. Throw overboard liferaft is best suited for the international voyage.
The davit-launched liferaft is transferable by a davit. This is a specialized launching device with a lifting hook used to mechanically transfer the liferaft as opposed to being lifted and thrown over. Inflation and embarking occur at the deck after which pulling a winch lower the liferaft into the water using steel ropes.
Davit-launched liferaft also meets the SOLAS requirement. Davit-launched liferaft follows the same process as the throw overboard liferaft to activate the hydrostatic release unit and auto-inflates when a vessel begins sinking and manual inflation is impossible. In other circumstances when the davit fails, it can still be thrown over.
The davit-launched liferaft is suitable for both passenger and cargo ships and it has an essential advantage overthrow overboard type. Embarking on the deck shields passengers from getting wet which is very critical in preventing hypothermia especially in cold climates.
Also, survivors who are hurt or unconscious and thereby unable to board on their own can be helped by others to embark easily.
Self-righting life raft can turn over itself if it is launched in an upside down position. At times before gaining stability due to ballast bags being empty, an inflatable life raft tends to roll over to an inverted position.
The moments spent in water by a survivor trying to flip it back up is enough to cause the massive escape of body heat. Self-righting life raft uses a combination of systems that ensure it automatically rolls upright without requiring any help from the crew.
Open reversible liferafts are designed to be purposeful on either side of the liferaft. It has twin buoyancy tubes and circularly shaped construction that makes it operational regardless of the side it lands on water when being launched. As a result, passengers do not need to worry about overturning it because both sides are usable in the same way.
It may have a boarding ramp or another alternative method of embarking directly from the deck into the raft without encountering any splashes. Open reversible liferafts come with HSC pack and are ideal for high speed and coded vessels traversing the coast or inland waters.
Leisure life raft, also known as a recreational life raft, is among the most compact of inflatable life rafts with minimal weight. It is built to serve passengers on small watercraft undertaking recreational activities such as fishing, boat or yacht riding, sailing on the coastline or inshore.
A leisure life raft is not full featured like the other commercial high seas SOLAS standard inflatable life rafts, it is constructed with the ISO 9650 standards. The leisure life raft comes in a valise, it has some canopy shelter, inflation gas cylinder, and HRU too.
Inflatable liferaft has capacity specifications as per SOLAS and ISO 9650. It is important that the number of passengers plus crew you intend to take on-board is catered for in the life raft you choose. It is recommended to give an allowance of double the members you have. In simple terms, a 10 passenger ship will need a 20 passengers capacity life raft.
To be sure that your safety is almost guaranteed, you want to check the certification of the inflatable life raft you intend to buy. It should meet the minimum requirement as per universal standards such as SOLAS, ISO 9650 and ISAF.
One of the biggest challenges for surviving a shipwreck is hypothermia. This is true particularly in cold current oceans and cold climates. If you intend to sail across such temperature conditions, a sustainable choice would an inflatable life raft with double insulated floor and walls, canopy with lockable door and embarkation system that keeps those boarding dry.
The expected time that will be spent on inflatable life raft prior to the arrival of rescuers cannot be pre-determined with accuracy. Nonetheless, if you travel deeper and far off land, it will probably take longer to be rescued than if within inshore waters. Therefore, plan with a life raft in mind that has ample supplies and more supportive features.
When purchasing an inflatable life raft, you want to stay within your budget but still find something durable, suitable and sustainable. There are standard features across the board such as the anchor, heaving ring and knife. The price tends to escalate with an increase in size and additional features for more comfort and protection.
Warranty varies from one manufacturer to another. It could be 5 years, 10 years or even a lifetime guarantee. The common factor is the ability to claim warranty which is highly dependent on how strictly you follow their recommendations for servicing the inflatable life raft.
Inflatable life raft must be stowed in an easy to access position so as to be reached quickly in case of an emergency. Inflatable life raft in canister container is best secured at the starboard or aft. Valise container is kept in the lower deck or locker found at the cockpit or ransom. The chosen place must be free from moisture and direct UV rays.
To increase the useful life of an inflatable life raft, it must be serviced as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Being available during servicing is important as it is the only chance to learn more about the life raft and its contents. Only authorized service agents are mandated to open and inspect, repair and test inflatable life raft. This is because a minor mistake by non-certified personnel in repair or even repacking can have dire consequences such as causing failure to launch. Servicing must be up to date with intervals as per manufacturer recommendation but not exceeding 36 months.
Launching procedures indicated on the container must be adhered to for success. To manually open the inflation valve, a considerable amount of strength is needed to pull the painter. Before launching the inflated life raft, the area below must be clear of objects or people. The best side to launch is on the leeward side to lower chances of damage to the life raft by objects being thrown around or falling from strong winds.
The liferaft is constructed of inflatable material whereas lifeboat is made of fiberglass. Also, the lifeboat is fitted with a motor for launching whereas life raft is launched by pressurized gas and a throw overboard, hoist or slip. Another key difference between lifeboat and liferaft is that liferaft is collapsible and can be folded into something small and stored away in a canister or valise. Governed by SOLAS standard. It must never be opened until the point of servicing only by a certified practitioner. Lifeboat is non-convertible and gets regularly inspected by crew members.
|Youlong Liferaft Type||Capacity|
|KHA Throw-over Inflatable Liferafts||6,8,10,12,15,16,20,25,30|
|KHD Davit-launched Inflatable Liferaft||12,15,16,20,25|
|KHZ Self-righting Inflatable Life raft||6,10,15,20,25,50,100,110,125|
|KHZD Self-righting Davit-launched||25,37|
|KHR both sides of a canopied Reversible Inflatable Life rafts||6,10,25,30,50,65,100,150|
|KHK Open-reversible Liferafts||6,10,25,30,50,65,100,72,72*2|
|KHY Leisure Life raft||4,6,8,10,12|
|Marine Evacuation System||50,75,100|
Youlong liferafts are in accordance with various international, domestics resolution including SOLAS 96 amendment, MSC.81(70) and its amendment, Life-saving appliance(LSA), HSC, 2000 Sea Fishing Vessels Safe Rules and testing of life-saving appliances.
1. How often should a life raft be serviced?
The servicing interval is normally determined by the liferaft manufacturer. Most of them recommend between 1 to 3 years.
2. How much does an inflatable life raft cost?
The cost of an inflatable life raft varies greatly across brands. But the main factor influencing the cost is the life raft capacity. The more capacity, it will be more expensive.
3. How do inflatable life rafts work?
Inflatable life rafts work by inflating its buoyancy using a highly pressurized gas cylinder. This is done manually by applying tension to the painter or automatically through the HRU in the case of a sinking vessel.
4. How many people can an inflatable life raft hold?
The number of people an inflatable life raft can hold is dependent on the authorized capacity. The minimum it should be able to hold is 6 and the maximum can go up to 100 or more.
5. What is HRU in liferaft?
HRU is an abbreviation for hydrostatic release unit. It is an auto-release mechanism for inflatable life rafts to prevent them from sinking with the ship. At 4 meters depth, water pressures trigger the life raft to detach and float. A further sinking of the ship tightens the painter to a point of opening the inflation valve and pressurized gas inflates the life raft.
6. How many countries did your liferaft export to?
Our liferaft is already export to Singapore, Indonesia, UK, USA, India, Europe, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Greece, Italy, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Dubai, UAE, Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada, etc.