Then pull the painter, actuating the cylinder valves and
space (about 3 1/2 inches) between the two layers of
canopy fabric provides insulation against extremes of
inflating the boat.
heat and cold.
A raincatcher tube for collecting rainwater is
installed in the top of the canopy, near the center of the
The survival gear for boats packed in rigid
lifeboat. The lower end can be tied off to allow water to
containers is packed in the lifeboat, where it is
accumulate in it. Two plastic bags for collecting and
immediately available when the lifeboat is inflated.
storing water are provided in the survival equipment.
Life lines are provided around the inner and outer
circumference of the boat. The outside line is intended
The boat has the latest in improved inflation
to be an aid to boarding; the inside line is for survivors to
systems. The compressed air cylinder, under high
use for support during heavy weather.
pressure, ensures rapid (20 to 30 seconds) inflation at
A righting line, knotted at 12-inch intervals, is
temperatures as low as -20°F. At high ambient
attached to the bottom of the raft and can be used to right
temperatures, the compressed air system creates a
the lifeboat should it inflate upside down or be capsized
somewhat higher than normal pressure in the hull tubes.
from wave and wind action.
This pressure is relieved by the pressure relief valves
installed in each of the tube compartments. These
Rope ladders, located at each end of the lifeboat, are
valves will relieve at 3.5 psi and close automatically at
used for boarding.
The boat, after initial inflation, will be quite firm.
Cooler air temperatures will cause the boat tubes to
The Mk 5 Mod 2 and Mk 6 boats can be launched in
soften. This is normal. As the sun causes the
either of two ways. They can be manually placed
temperatures to rise during the day, the heat causes the
overboard or, if they are left on a sinking ship, they will
tubes to firm up again. Use the hand pumps packed in
automatically launch themselves.
the boat to "top off' the boat to normal pressure when
Inflate the inflatable floors and cross tubes by
If the ship should sink before the boats can be
means of the hand pumps as soon as possible after you
launched manually, the boats will sink with the ship to a
board the lifeboat, as they provide insulation against the
depth of between 10 and 40 feet. At some point within
colder water temperature.
these depths, water pressure will automatically activate
the hydrostatic release, allowing the boats to float to the
surface. For boats stowed in rigid containers, one end of
The standard Navy lifeboat container is stowed on a
the sea painter is attached to the cylinder valve actuating
cradle that has a H-degree lip on its outboard side. (See
cables. The other end is attached to the lifeboat stowage
fig. 6-3.) The purpose of this lip is to prevent the
point. As the ship continues down, the painter will pay
out to its full length, creating a pulling force on the
lifeboat from falling out of its cradle if the hydrostatic
release is accidentally tripped
cylinder valve activating cables, releasing the
compressed air into the boat and inflating it
automatically. The painter has a predetermined
breaking strength, less than the buoyancy of the boat,
The lifeboat is held securely in its stowage by three
that allows it to break once the lifeboat has surfaced.
assemblies in one. These are (1) a hydrostatic release
mechanism, (2) a plastic-coated wire-rope harness, and
Manual Release Launch
a (3) a 1/4-inch-diameter double braided nylon cord.
The 1/4-inch nylon cord is provided as an emergency
If an abandon ship situation occurs and there is
means of launching the lifeboat in case the hydrostatic
sufficient time to release the boats, you can trip the
release device is frozen or inoperative. No substitution
hydrostatic release manually by hitting its release
button with the heel of your hand. After you clear away
for the nylon cord is authorized. It is attached to the
the stowage straps, push or roll the boat overboard.
shackle on the hydrostatic release device by a bowline.