Life rafts for pleasure boats/sailing yachts: ISO 9650

The ISO 9650 standard for life rafts

Since March 2005, the international standard ISO 9650 for life rafts on sailing and motor boats has been in force. This standard determines the scope of the equipment and the technical data of the life rafts and the materials.

The ISO 9650 standard is divided into three parts:

  • ISO 9650-1 (Part 1): Liferafts for offshore navigation

  • ISO 9650-2 (Part 2): Life rafts for coastal navigation

  • ISO 9650-3 (Part 3): Material requirements for life rafts

1.ISO 9650-1:

Regulates the requirements for life rafts for long trips where strong winds and high waves are possible (exception: unusual weather conditions such as hurricanes).
It is divided into classes A and B depending on the temperature conditions of the traffic zone:

Class A: Liferafts that inflate at a temperature of -15°C to +65°C and have an insulated double floor.
Class B: liferafts that inflate at a temperature between 0°C and +65°C and have a single bottom.

Depending on how long the shipwrecked person is expected to spend on the island before being rescued, there are 2 different types of emergency equipment on the island:

Pack 1 (>24h): If rescue is expected after more than 24 hours.
Pack 2 (<24h): If rescue is expected within 24 hours

For reasons of space, part of the emergency equipment from Pack 1 will be stowed in a separate grab bag, which must contain an exact description of the contents.

2.ISO 9650-2:

Liferafts designed for navigating coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes or rivers where temperate conditions may be encountered. These life rafts are designed to inflate at temperatures between 0°C and +65°C and only have a single floor and standard equipment.

3.ISO 9650-3:

Regulates the requirements for the material from which life rafts are made. A large number of tests are prescribed that every material component must undergo before the liferaft receives the ISO certificate.